Being a mum is lonely or at least it is at times. Am I alone in feeling this?
Don’t get me wrong I have people around me, Hubby, my mum but I still feel lonely. Maybe it’s because I left having a child until I was a bit older (although still just in my thirties), maybe it’s because I had a career, I managed a team and now it’s a good day if I get a brush through my hair.
I love Sidekick and I adore being with her, my days are filled with laughter and fun, but it’s still lonely at times.
Maybe I find it harder than other mums because, as I have written about previously Sidekick isn’t quite like other babies.
You know what, I’m fed up of writing that, Sidekick is Sidekick, she is her own unique person. When did parenting become so fixed? When did it become about getting them into a schedule? Making sure they sleep through the night at six months, and only ever sleep in their cribs.
Is it because more and more of us have to return to work so we need our babies to follow a plan? I do understand that people have jobs and lives that need to carry on but to force a baby into a rigid structure to me just seems wrong. But maybe that’s why I’m alone, maybe that’s why other people can’t relate to me.
I watch people’s faces when I say that Sidekick still naps on me, that she still spends most of the night sleeping on Dada or me. They think we’ve made a rod for our own backs, Hubby has actually been told that by someone he works with. The thing is this tiny human is so dependant, and perhaps unlike other people’s children she is a little more dependent, that for some reasons she needs more reassurance, more human contact to feel safe and secure. But isn’t that what being a parent is about? Isn’t it about making your baby feel safe and secure?
I still have pangs of jealousy and envy though when I see groups of mummies all out and about with their children, I watch as said babies quietly slumber with no rocking, in the middle of a noisy environment. Then I feel like the worst mother ever, I’m jealous of another persons baby. I have a child who I love more than I thought possible and yet here I am feeling envy.
It happened again on Saturday, Hubby and I went to a Sling Library (I’m attempting to find a carrier that works for me, seems I have freaky shoulders or something!) and there in a room full of noise two babies just happily drifted off to sleep without any help. I turned to Hubby and expressed my frustration and he just smiled telling me our daughter is amazing and exciting.
He’s right of course but sometimes it would be nice to just be able to get her to sleep without a fight, or to know that I can go out somewhere because she will sleep in public.
Then I feel like the worst mother ever.
At 4am when little one is awake yet again and the boob hasn’t for whatever reason put her back to sleep and so I rock in the dark as she pulls my hair, I can’t help the thoughts that come. Wondering if I should look into sleep training, if I should start enforcing a strict nap regime. That perhaps the reason I am doing what I’m doing is because I have made Sidekick have bad habits.
But there is something within me that stops me, that tells me that for me and my child what I’m doing now is the best way. Yes it’s hard, it’s absolutely exhausting but it feels right. At the end of the day Sidekicks needs and wants are more important than mine.
Oh I know what you will say, a rested mum is a better mum. I don’t think so. I’m not a bad mum because I’m tired, I’m not dangerous. When it has been a particularly bad night I call in the reinforcements to help. I console myself that the reason I’m tired, that the three hours of broken sleep have occurred because my baby needed me and I responded and because of that she is happy and healthy.
Hubby tells me I must be doing something right because Sidekick is happy, healthy, she is meeting her milestones, hardly cries in the day and is enjoying life.
I don’t know, I guess sometimes I just feel lonely.