All those tears and smiles. All those filters. Remember we only want you to see what we choose. Its not always the filter and smiles behind the lens…..
Firstly let me just say I don’t personally think the number of babies you have prepares you for the baby you just had.
Oh man those first six weeks feel like they’re never going to end of serious sleep deprivation, tears, smiles, exhaustion and second guessing ourselves. Its a horrible feeling that you think you can’t do it. You feel inadequate and that you’re failing as a new mother to the new baby. Its actually scary what you can sometimes think.
I’ve received so emails over the last few months and I feel like these are the only women that feel like speaking out I wonder how many are just sitting there thinking these things.
Most of the emails have said around the same things so I’m going to go through the most asked questions and hope to give you some dam good advice.
- How do you do it? Firstly, I have no idea. All of a sudden this little baby is my arms. I’m not counting down anymore until I can meet this little face but he’s here and now life begins. I remember the hormonal roller coaster I was riding. It was full on. It was hectic. I would stare at Nolan when I had Indie and think of the ways I could harm him whilst he slept so peacefully with his useless bloody man nipples. With Sonny it was a different story. Though the first three weeks remain a blur. It was just second guessing and wondering what I was doing wrong. He was unsettled and I felt like I couldn’t help him.
- Coping with no sleep, how can you get through it? You can’t, well you do but not happily. I don’t remember how many times I cried at night. I use to just get anxiety when the darkness rolled over the sky. I could do it during the day but at night it was the unknown that filled me with uncertainty. Will I sleep? For how long? Should I feed before I go to sleep? Will he sleep? What if he wakes up everyone? You do learn to cope and you do learn their routine. I now feed him before I go to sleep and he wakes around 3 – 4 am for a bottle.
- How is your and Nolan relationship? At the start of the newborn life its taxing. The first year is bloody taxing. But those first few weeks…. man you could rip each others eyes out and love them all in one go. There has been times where Nolan has had the shits because Sonny won’t settle and there has been nights that I get pissed that he won’t settle. Those first few weeks you need to be open with each other. Sometimes I think men feel like we just naturally know what to do with the baby. I mean we carry it how hard can it be afterwards? Its actually really difficult. But men don’t know this unless you explain to them that you’re struggling too. Tell them you’re tired and you need a break. Tell them that you need to sleep and if you’re feeding bub by breast ask them just to wake you when they need it. If by bottle then ask your partner to do a couple of nights for you. If mum isn’t rested or coping than everything around them will seem so much more daunting.
- What about your other kids? Oh god knows how they survived those weeks too. I was snappy. Nolan was snappy. But they forgive and forget. Ask people to help you out. I think thats where we all fail. We feel as though we think we can do it all and it took me one HUGE anxiety meltdown to learn that we can’t. Kids can watch hours of TV, they can eat crap with some bananas. Its only for a few weeks they’ll survive and adapt.
- What do you do when its all too much? This has taken me some getting use to! I remember Christmas 2012 I had all of Nolans family here. It was special, Ivies first Christmas she was 4 weeks old. I was sick as a dog! I was overly exhausted, I was anxious and I couldn’t cope with the stress. I ended up in bed all morning and then we had lunch around the corner at Nolans brothers house. The best thing happened for us there, his brother took Ivie and they told us to go home. I know it all sounds so easy because I wasn’t BFing and it’d be different if I was but we went home and slept for hours. I felt awful being Ivies first Christmas but in hindsight we needed it. So now I ask for help. I have friends I would comfortably call and say I need help. I have family I would call and say please I’m exhausted.
- I just don’t feel like I’m bonding with my baby, what do I do? I would suggest going to see a doctor. Don’t bottle these feelings up speak up and talk to someone. Those first few weeks can make you feel as though you don’t love your baby – and you most likely do its just the tiredness and hormones overcoming you. Don’t hold onto those feelings and warrant them give yourself a break and realise you’re only human and this shit is tough!
So here are my top 5 things for you to do or think about.
- I don’t mean to sound harsh but your baby can do without you for a couple of hours. Shower, sleep or go for a walk. Take your phone and if you have to come home someone will call you. By all means don’t leave your baby alone lol ask someone to come over.
- You’re important. Yes you! Take time for yourself and ask for assistance.
- Asking your partner for help isn’t something really something to feel ashamed of. They helped make this baby and they’ll help raise it. Most of the time they may feel like you don’t want them helping. Maybe you’re a little over bearing and they fret for their own lives right now… embrace them. Sit them down and tell them how you feel and what you need.
- Babies cry. They really do. ALL. THE. BLOODY. TIME. Especially at night when everyone else is sleeping and they usually go up a couple of decimals on the sound scale. They have no idea of whats happening to them. Their most likely scared and overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need to sit in bottom of a shower and cry together… its therapy I’m sure.
- Unless that nappy is full don’t change it at night! You’ll just wake them more and then you’ll both be pissed off.
- OKAY ONE MORE…. Just because you don’t feel like your parenting journey is going like someone else doesn’t mean its not a journey. Some people hate the way I parent. Really they do…and thats okay because sometimes I cringe with the way others parent. I’m not into the over the top “my baby is my life and nothing else in this world matters. Blessed, so so blessed” I’m definitely more of a I love my baby so much. I also love my husband and my other children to. I’m blessed but really fucking tired. Each to their own.
Always remember its just a phase and soon you’ll both grow and will get to know each other more.