Even though you’re a mum, you still need your own mum.
Today I was tired, overtired from looking after an overtired baby. I was crabby, irritable and irritated and teary. It’s been building for a few days as my daughter has hit the 4 month sleep regression a little early and additionally due to the tongue tie, weight gain issues we’ve had I’m having to wake up to dream feed her if she doesn’t wake. This has meant returning to the broken and/or sleepless nights that I thought were behind us.
So after a couple of weeks of this becoming progressively worse and baby P refusing to nap in the day (which turns her into an overtired, sensitive, tetchy bossy little madam come teatime) I woke up today as a witch. A teary, emotional, yet grumpy witch with leaking boobs, grey roots from endless amounts of dry shampoo and a kitchen table that’s become a new style of wardrobe as the clothes seem to rotate from there our bodies and into the machine (ikea eat your heart out).
I cannot deny that my husband is supportive, he lovingly reassures me that I’m doing an amazing job, he tentatively approaches me when he knows I’m an overtired ticking time bomb, ignores my sleep deprived rants and promises to use his weekends to help us catch up with housework, give me a break and suggests I sleep when baby sleeps (he really needs to learn the meaning of “sleep regression” 🙄). However, just as the name stereotype is, his support tends to be practical, he has to do something, or at least say he’s going to, rather than give the emotional support you need sometimes. Plus he doesn’t quite get it, yes he’s looked after her on his own and yes he gets stirred during the night but he can roll over and go back to sleep. He also goes off to work every weekday leaving me to fly solo so doesn’t fully grasp what it’s like being sleep deprived and looking after a small baby on a daily basis.
That’s why when my sleep deprivation boiled over today I had to call upon the SWAT team, that’s right…I rang the mothership! Within seconds of ringing her I already felt better, she allowed to have a nonsensical rant and moan about everything and nothing in particular all at the same time, then she let me get upset and have a quiet weep, before offering to come and help with household chores, or looking after baby P. But I didn’t need that, I just needed to get it off my chest and for her to give me her seal of approval as a mother. I just needed to be looked after a little bit so that once the phone call ended I could pick myself up, dust myself off and get back in the race. I just needed mum to tell me that I was doing a good job, to calm down, have a lazy day with my little lady in our pjs and leave Christmas present wrapping or kitchen floor scrubbing for another day.
And I did. I did with a new lesson learnt, that it’s ok not be ok and super-mum all the time. That sometimes you have to ignore the washing up and just keep emptying the water out of the bowl and running the pots another bath whilst you bounce baby up and down until she parts with the burp that causing her tummy pain. That sometimes you need to recharge your batteries. And that you need to remember the mantra, “this soon shall pass” not every phase is will last forever, hence why it is called a phase.
Most importantly I’ll learnt today that I still need my mum, sometimes I just need her wise words, her calming voice and reassurance because she’s always got my mine and baby P’s best interests at heart and will listen and guide without judgement. I’m lucky as well in that my mum accepts that when I ask for her help or guidance on a parenting issue, I may not follow what she suggests, that she was a mum in the 1980s and I’m a mum in 2017, that times change and I will take on board her comments but form a solution that best suits me, my husband and baby. She also doesn’t over step the mark, this morning she wasn’t offended when I declined her offer of helping me with my household chores, it’s my house, my baby, I can handle it really, I just needed a good moan, a good cry and a bit of mummy loving!