Back at work

Its been a while as I’ve gone back to work. Finding time to go to the loo is hard enough let alone writing a post or having the energy. Since returning to work I am feeling a lot of conflicting emotions. I love my job and I love being there as it feels like a break. It’s quiet and relaxing, but I feel like I’ve abandoned my children. People who ask me if I’m back full time have this look on their face of pity as though I have been forced to come back and I had no choice. I’m made to feel guilty for my choice as though I have chosen to abandon my children. I shouldn’t have to justify myself but I feel obliged to. There’s this weird double standard that if you don’t return to work you are antiquated and obviously not very clever but if you do you are abandoning your children. On the other hand men who stay off with their children are heroes and those that go back to work are providing for their families. I do feel guilty that the staff at the nursery see more of my children then I do and that most of my communication with them is screaming commands in the rush to get out the door in the morning. But how much will they remember? I need to do my job to feel like me, to feel normal but it doesn’t mean I love my children any less than those who stay at home with theirs. Happy mummy, happy children.

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Have I damaged my baby?

During my pregnancy with child B, I suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum which means that I could not stop throwing up. The duchess of Cambridge had to announce her pregnancies early because of the condition but there are actually several types. The type the duchess had where you can’t keep anything down and you throw up about 10 times a day but it ends early in your second trimester, or you have the type I had where you throw up about 5-10 times a day for the entire pregnancy. Now the signs that you have the condition are failure to keep anything down and a loss of at least 7% body weight. I’ve seen some women on different blogs and sites saying that women don’t have the condition because they haven’t been throwing up enough. It’s not a competition. If you’re small like me then throwing up 5 times a day is as detrimental to your health as 10 times for a larger person. If you lose more than 7% body mass and can’t keep stuff down then you have the condition. And my throwing up went from 5 weeks until 38 weeks with no let up. Some days it was only 1-2 times a day, some days it was 11. I ended up in hospital for 3 days for dehydration at 30 weeks because I couldn’t even keep water down. In order to try and relieve my nausea and my throwing up, I was prescribed many different types of anti-emetics (think that’s how you spell it) including the ones they give to cancer patients who are going through chemo to stop them throwing up. Unfortunately nothing worked. But I still took these tablets, that were prescribed, all through my pregnancy. Now, whilst they were prescribed, the thought of the babies who were born with deformities in the 60’s due to thalidomide which was prescribed for the condition constantly made me believe that I was damaging my baby. So now that he’s here and doing baby things, I constantly think; “is he not developing as fast as his brother because I damaged him taking those tablets?” Or “his arm is twitching. Is it doing that because of the tablets”. I know they are different people but I can’t help but compare them as child A is the only measure I have. So will I constantly think I’ve damaged my baby? Probably.

How to occupy yourself during the 3am feed

Very random post. Staying awake for this feed is one of the hardest parts for me as there is this constant battle of whether or not to stay awake. Do you let yourself drift and possibly drop the baby or do you occupy yourself. If you occupy yourself then you run the risk of being too awake when you get back to bed to go back to sleep. As I breast feed, you’re supposed to wait until the baby comes off your nipple on their own as it indicates that they’re full. I run a constant discussion in my head of “is he finished? Is he asleep enough? Can I take him off without waking him? If I do, will he wake up earlier to have more?”. I really hate the 3am feed!

Am I alone?

This past week had been a real struggle for me. Child A has been particularly clingy and emotional and child B is teething. On top of that, after 6.5 months of maternity leave, I am BORED. Not just “can’t really think of anything to do” bored but the “I’ve even cleaned the fridge inside and out” bored. Whilst I was determined to have some form of routine for the little people, it has meant that week after week is the same and there is no let up. But this feeling of boredom makes me feel guilty for not loving every moment I have with my children.

I had post natal depression with child A and during my councilor sessions, we did a lot of work on whether other people felt the way I did so I know I’m not alone, but when times are tough, it’s hard to remember that and for it to have any effect on my mood.

I have several friends who are also on maternity leave this time round but I find myself not wanting to bother them. Either I Don’t feel we’re close enough to have the “I’m hating my life right now but feel incredibly guilty for feeling that way” conversation. Or they have bigger issues and I don’t want to bore or burden them with my trivial problems.

There are so many programmes about people having babies and there is always one person who is the type of mother who “just adores every moment with their beautiful perfect child who’d they’d do anything for” and I find myself both hating and being jealous of these people. Now it could be a charade but it makes me feel bad. Am I a terrible mum for not wanting to be a mum 24/7. Am I alone thinking this or does everyone feel this way?

Am I doing it all wrong

After being screamed at by my toddler for an hour and eventually losing it and screaming back, I utter that familiar phrase in my head of “what am I doing wrong?”. When the baby is screaming, won’t feed, won’t burp and won’t be comforted I hear that little voice say “what am I doing wrong?”. When child A is grunting at me and not talking and starts hitting himself or child B is again refusing to eat any solid food those words start ringing in my ears of “what am I doing wrong?”.

There have been a few times when child A has told me I’m a bad mummy. There have also been many occasions when he’s told me I’m a gorgeous mummy and he loves me yet I believe the negative much more.

Why is it that I have no confidence at all in my parenting and I constantly feel I’m doing it all wrong? My children are happy and healthy and child A for the most part is incredibly polite and intelligent. So why don’t I believe people when they tell me I’m doing a great job. I feel I constantly have to justify every decision I make and even when I do, that everyone is judging me and thinking I did it wrong.

One day I might believe I am a good mummy but at the moment I feel that any good points of my children is down to them and all the bad ones are because of me.

The word why and wanting to kill your own child

“Is that my left foot?”
“Yes”
“Why?”
“Um…..because it’s your foot on the left hand side of your body”
“Why?”
“Because it is”

“Is that sam?”
“Yes”
“Why?”
“Because his name is sam”
“Why?”
“Because that’s what his parents called him”
“Why?”
“Because they liked the name?”
“Why?”
“I don’t know”
“Why?”
“Because I don’t know everybody’s decision making process”
“Why?”

“Is she getting off the bus?”
“Yes”
“Why?”
“Because this is where she wanted to go”
“Why?”
“Because this is where she lives”
“Why?”
“Because she found a house she liked and wanted to live there”
“Why?”

“Is it daytime?”
“Yes”
“Why?”
“Because the earth is at a point of its rotation on its axis such that the sun is pointing at our location on the earth making it day time. On the opposite side of the earth it will be night time.”
“Oh. Ok. Can I have grapes?”
“Yes”
“Why?”

Guilt

As a mummy I constantly feel guilty about certain things; whether I’m giving my boys the best start, am I doing everything too much or too little, am I overly strict or not strict enough. But some of my friends have had terrible times and I feel guilty that I’ve been so lucky. One friend tragically lost her baby at 38 weeks of her pregnancy and another has discovered she has bowel cancer when her little boy is only 15 months old. Whilst I have done nothing to cause either of these situations, I feel guilty that on a regular basis I am not happy and yet I have everything that I ever wanted. It makes me feel that my problems are so pathetic and not important at all and I’m silly for feeling the way I do. How can I complain about my lot in life when I have two gorgeous boys who are happy and healthy. I also feel guilty that I missed about 6 months of child A growing up because I was so ill during my pregnancy with child B and spent most of the time in bed. He’s not going to remember that mummy wasn’t around much because he was only 18 months old but I know and I remember and I wonder how I can ever make it up to him. In discussion with other mummies I find that the guilt of everything hits everyone but the trick is to not let it take over and get you down. You have to accept that feeling guilty is part of being a mummy and use it to make you a better mummy and not stop you. I’m still struggling with this and on days when it really hits me I struggle to keep going. What I always try to remember is that every mother feels guilty about something at some point and I’m not the only one.