Q: Why did I start this blog?
A: Since having my beautiful daughter Holly I have truly come to realise what a wonderful thing it is to be a parent. Yet at the same time it is one of the most challenging and exhausting things I have ever done. People tell you how tired you will be, warn you of the sleepless nights etc. Yet there are some things I've come across which are never spoken about, some situations and emotions that I simply wasn't prepared for. So I wanted, and needed a place to get it all out in the open, not just for my sanity, but for any other parents out there who might be having the same ups and downs and might need to know they aren't alone, or that maybe things aren't as bad as they thought. So be prepared, I plan to tell my parenting story here, warts and all. The good, the bad and the down right ugly truth of it all.
Q: What has my experience been so far?
A: Everyone knows or should expect that the first few weeks with a newborn are going to be hard. That is unless you are Mary Poppins or super nanny or some other wonderful person like that. I however am neither of these people, and have none of their exceptional training, skills or experience in the field of child rearing. I did expect the sleepless nights (and there have been plenty), but what I didn't expect or plan for was the anxiety I felt. The huge weight of responsibility heaped upon me. I wasn't prepared for the self doubt either, and I'd say that was the hardest thing of all to cope with. It is still with me now. I have no confidence in my parenting skills whatsoever. Let it be said for the record that Holly is a very good baby, she sleeps fairly well and generally doesn't cry a lot. Yet when she does cry, even for a few minutes it absolutely breaks my heart. I immediately feel like a failure as a parent, I feel I must have done something wrong, or forgotten to do something. I feel it is entirely my fault that she is crying, even though I know sometimes babies just cry. I second guess every decision I make with respect to her care. For example: Am I feeding Holly enough or am I feeding her too much? Shouldn't I know these things instinctively? Which leads me to conclude I have no mothering instinct, and am therefore a terrible example of motherhood. Those around me reassure me as best they can. Telling me how good I am with Holly, and that no one else can settle her the way I can, and I know that what they are telling me is true...but it doesn't matter, the doubt is still there. I often wonder if I will feel this way forever, even when Holly is an adult? I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one out there to feel this way, but it isn't the type of thing many people want to talk about, I mean who wants to admit they feel like a crap mum? Still there is one thing that reassures me, I can't help but think that a crap mum would never worry about being a crap mum, she simply wouldn't care one way or the other. A crap mum wouldn't worry about her baby's well being because she loves her baby so much. So maybe I'm not as crap a mum as I thought?