When the going gets tough...
I know that having a baby is meant to be the most magical wonderful time of your life.
But sometimes, it's not.
Sometimes it's feeling exhaustion - to the point of struggling to have any kind of coherent thought. When you have no idea what day it is and you're walking around like a zombie. Forget about making conversation with anyone about anything.
Sometimes it's feeling overwhelming self-doubt. Over absolutely everything.
Are they overdressed? Or underdressed?
Should they be napping this much?
Am I creating a monster by picking them up whenever they cry?
Is it normal that they want to feed this much?
Do my friends like me any more now I've got a kid?
Sometimes it's literally counting the seconds until someone else is with you.
Craving the opportunity for someone else to just hold your baby for a second. Making adult conversation.
Watching the clock until 5pm when your husband gets home so you can just use the toilet without panicking about whether your child will suddenly learn to roll off the mat you've left them on.
Sometimes it's coping with the judgement of others, or very differing opinions.
"Oh I wouldn't carry on co-sleeping! They'll never be able to sleep on their own."
"Wouldn't bottle feeding be so much easier?"
"Yeh see I don't like to pick mine up straight away when they cry. She has to learn."
Sometimes it's the fact you know you have really been picking at your partner. And you don't want to nag them, and you really do appreciate all the help you can get but you just WISH he'd remember to put the washing on like you asked him to. Or without you asking him to.
Sometimes it's seeing other people posting about their little angels on Facebook and exclaiming how they're 'already sleeping through the night' whilst people congratulate them. And you wonder what on earth it is you are doing (or not doing) that means you are STOPPING them from sleeping through the night?! And your mum reassures you that it means your child will be a brainiac, but right now you'd take a lower grade in GCSE French if it meant you could just have a 5 hour sleep!! Just once!
Sometimes it's looking at your body and no longer recognising it. Trying so hard to embrace your stretch marks and jelly belly, whilst ignoring the number on the scales. Trying, and failing.
Sometimes it is tough. And maybe we don't say it out loud enough.
But maybe it's because in amongst all of the tough bits, we really do love our kids. When they smile for the first time, our heart melts. When they learn ANYTHING new and you can't wait to send everyone the video. When they eventually say mama or dadda. When their eyes search for you in a room and light up when you're spotted. When you finally get the hour away you've longed for and you can't wait to get back to them. It's a love you cannot prepare for.
Parenthood won't always be easy.
But it'll be worth it.
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