I’m a new traveler in the world of spit up, vomit and poop stories. I’m getting relatively little sleep, especially as Cheeky Monkey develops, becomes more alert and goes through stages of waking at night on an all too frequent basis! Considering all that you would think that I’d be willing to cut myself a bit of slack here and there in relation to high standards/ expectations… or at least be too tired to care. But, unfortunately, you’d be wrong!
Why is it that we (western society) have managed to get ourselves so busy, stressed and obsessed with productive progress that a new mother can feel that if she isn’t the all singing, all dancing model she was pre-baby that she’s somehow less of a woman?! But more importantly, why have I bought into this crazy train of thought?!
Cheeky Monkey is almost five months old! I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone… from that perfect, tiny little bundle who would fall asleep on me two seconds after being fed and burped to the gorgeous little boy who is smiling, cooing and giggling (his favourite recently being thrown up in the air above my head… my drool dodging skills, however, leave a lot to be desired). He is super interested in anything and everything I do, especially if it includes putting something into my mouth… whether it be a glass of water (breastfeeding is thirsty work) or Friday’s baby spinach and orange juice smoothy (oh yes, he had to have some and his next poop will no doubt recount that story!). His aspirations to join a nudist colony are also pretty darn adorable… as soon as his nappy comes off he gets his excited little wiggle on and totally loves his nudey towel time (there has been an exponential increase in washing considering the number of towels he piddles on! But he’s experiencing the world and learning, so I won’t deny him the opportunity). I find it difficult to find words that can adequately describe how totally wonderful it is to be a Mummy!
And yet the flip side of the coin is somewhat different! I struggle greatly with many aspects of my new life: that my brain often struggles to function out of sheer exhaustion, that some days getting out of my pj’s is an achievement in itself, that I don’t have the energy or brain power to help others as I would like (as I used to), and of course there is the whole matter of finances. Hubby and I have decided that I will stay home with Cheeky Monkey and not go back to work – which is fantastic as I have never been comfortable with the idea of someone else raising my children! But it’s also very difficult for me to accept that I no longer contribute to the family income! So of course, I think I should be able to be Super Mummy and have been looking into business ideas that I can run from home since before Cheeky Monkey was born! Perhaps if I was someone else I would be able to manage setting up a home business and getting used to motherhood without too many issues. But I’m me… and I’m struggling with post-natal depression and I need to work out how to cope better and keep things harmonious within our family so that Cheeky Monkey has a relatively calm and loving environment to grow up in! I don’t want him having a Mummy who can’t get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want him to feel that Mummy doesn’t pay him enough attention because she is too busy trying to be Super Mummy and consequently not doing a great job of simply being Mummy!!!
It’s a real challenge though! It is very difficult to learn to let go of the part of me that has always felt I should be the best at everything I put my mind to… that I should be Super Woman, I should… I should… I should… but as a friend said to me the other day -