Okay maybe not…more squelching like a snail. Do snails squelch?
Mothers Day is approaching and it’ll be my first as an actual mum and it’s got me thinking what does it mean to be a ‘mum’.
I know when I think of my mum I easily say, ‘she’s a great mum.’ I can articulate what that means. She listens, gives advice, hugs, makes me laugh, lets me cry….I can go on. Now for me as a mum….I struggle.
A lot of the time I feel I’m not a good mum. Perhaps this a normal first time mum feeling?
I feel a lot of the times that I’m doing the whole mum thing wrong. I’m not sure why I feel this, no one has said anything and Sidekick is growing everyday and yet I find myself doubting.
I’ve stopped reading parenting books, I wish I hadn’t read them in the first place, they made me stress. Sidekick wasn’t getting enough sleep, she was on the boob too much, she hasn’t fallen into a schedule, we still has night feeds.
All these things made me feel like I was doing it wrong.
Its funny, when pregnant and whilst trying, Hubby and I talked about parenting and how we would like to parent. The thing was these conversations were about general things; how we’d like to encourage an appreciation of nature, how we’d discipline etc. I never knew about having to help babies to sleep, routines and schedules, about ‘training’ them.
I just wanted to raise my baby with love, listening to them and figure out what it was I was supposed to do.
Sidekick didn’t ‘do’ what the baby books said a baby would do. I felt I was doing it wrong, that I wasn’t a good mum. I cried a lot, I panicked, I felt I was no good for my baby, that I’d somehow caused her to be ‘this way’. I felt like crap. Not going to lie I still do sometimes feel like this.
Slowly though I found articles, posts that showed me that I wasn’t alone in having a baby that was different. Like my mum says we can read the books but the baby hasn’t. I came across the phrase ‘High Need Baby’, ‘High Demand Baby’ and things began to make a little more sense. I don’t really like the terms above, makes me think that Sidekick is somehow sick so I prefer to call her my Unicorn Baby.
So Sidekick requires a little more work on some things. We muddle on together. Each day we get stronger, Sidekick learns something new. As for me I learn that whilst I’m not that mum who is ‘together’, with brushed hair, makeup and sick free clothe. Who goes out for coffee, who makes friends with other mums. I have nothing against that mum, I envy her at times because I’m the mum who is only now just getting to grips with leaving the house and still gets stressed by it. I’m the one who hasn’t had playdates, who still goes to bed when Sidekick does.
See typing it out looks bad, makes me feel inadequate but then I think, I’m the mum who Sidekick laughs at, who has just learnt to hold up her arms for a cuddle. I’m the one who knows how to get her to smile, knows what cry means what.
So for now I’m not the ‘together’ mum, I’m the ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ mum but that’s okay.
So what does it mean to be a mum? I don’t know, for me right at this moment it means doing the best I can , and sometimes that may mean not leaving the house and eating ice cream for breakfast.