People flock daily to popular parenting forums to seek tips, advice and opinions on matters about life and their precious offspring – it’s popular stuff! If babies and toddlers used them, however, we might find them wrestling some particularly meaty issues… Following on from the original Totsnet, this Am I Being […]
ParentingHome / Parenting
So there’s apparently always a lesson to be learnt. Even in the hellish midst of sleep deprivation…
1 – To lower my expectations… and then lower them some more. To the point where I consider a two hour stretch of unbroken sleep pretty decent
2 – That sometimes the only thing allowing me to parent safely is a hot cup of tea and the gritty determination to reach the bottom of it
I hear a lot of stuff about the baby days, a lot about the terrible two’s and a lot about 4-year-olds and the huge milestone of starting school. Right now though, I’m bathing knee deep in 3-year-old lunacy, which I actually don’t hear much about at all.
My son Just. Doesn’t. Stop.
Age 3 seems to be an explosion of imagination, conversation, learning SO much, and the blossoming of both awesome and frankly quite frightening personality traits. It’s a time to savour the happy chaos – in between shouting, ‘Get to bed!’ And, ‘Stop picking your nose!’ – and a time to worry if we’re doing what we should to help him not become a psychopath.
Tired and a little stressed, I sat down last week and tapped out this post for my Facebook page. I had had enough… of feeling like I wasn’t doing well enough, or that my baby was somehow wrong for not singing the same song sheet as the books prescribe. The response was so wonderfully overwhelming that I realised so many of us feel similar, and so many of us are cracking on doing an absolutely stirling job, but without any self-recognition. At all.
To my big and little whirlwinds,
To my loves… my work… my miracle daily grinds.
It hit me recently, amidst the busy-ness of two small kids and the fact I am still very much finding my feet with the (not so) new baby, how settled I actually am, and happy. I am tired – like bone tired – and sometimes stressed and flailing. Everything is disorganised and when I attempt the daily plate spinning every other parent also does, I always, always drop one. I worry about various things both related and unrelated to you, and my head can never retain all of the information it needs to be fully functional. Oh, and did I mention I’m tired?
Dear Little H,
This has been bubbling around my head for some time now, but the last eleven weeks – since your arrival – have flown by so quickly with busy days and wakeful nights that I haven’t been able to get anything down. Now, you are sleeping and I have chance to try and turn these feelings into words, though I am not sure where to begin.
It has been another restless night and despite my plans to be Mrs Oh-So-Relaxed-Superwoman this time, I am feeling the stress of a baby who has fallen out with his moses basket and a toddler who needs more from me than I can sometimes spare. Oh and several million things I am behind on at home. But hey, they say that stuff doesn’t matter, I know. Until of course the toddler has no clean trousers and we have run out of nappies, and food.
It is the middle of the night and your croaky voice wakes me through the monitor, you have been coughing and need a drink. It is just a cold – one of many this winter – and I stroke your head as you gratefully guzzle your water, while hoping you settle back down. I am tired, I need the loo and my legs are aching and unsteady. But then you say, ‘Want to lie in Mummy and Daddy’s bed,’ and I don’t hesitate. Of course that’s what you want, and secretly I do too tonight, not just because it is the quickest path to lying back down again.