Thursday, 19 March 2015

Surviving the hard times - when being a mum is too difficult!

I'm going to get honest here. Sometimes being a mum is just so very hard you feel like putting your baby down and packing up shop. Just leaving the house so our babies to scream to themselves for a while. Of course we don't, but isn't it tempting sometimes?

We have had a rather difficult week with the little koala. Between her growth spurt and development leap along with the emergence of her first tooth. I may have averaged 3 hours sleep a night and have barely put her down all day.

This is probably the most challenging my little koala has been. Teething is not fun!

It was Monday when I first noticed the little spot on her gum. A little tooth breathing through. It was all downhill from there! She wasn't too cranky on Monday, but by the evening she hadn't slept more than 15 minutes all day. Yet she refused to go to sleep until after midnight! My husband and I spent a good four hours pacing the floor carrying our little screamer. The next day she was a poor little clingy mess. Moaning and groaning, refusing sleep and crying if she left my arms for more than 10 seconds. By today, I was a mess! Three nights of very little sleep and four days of trying to entertain a very cranky, very clingy koala. It was torturous! I couldn't get her to sleep at all. Nothing I did was keeping her happy. I'd sung every song. Walked a good 10km carrying her. Administered the baby panadol. Shoved every teething toy we had in her mouth. But it was no good and I was pulling my hair out!

So what do you do when you feel like just packing it in and hiding in bed for the next 2 months? Well I wish I had some answers, but I don't. Nothing will magically make it all better. There's only so much baby panadol you can administer, pulling faces and singing songs will only calm them for so long. But as they say, these days too shall pass. Not such comforting words when you've had a total of 9 hours sleep in four days.

It's hard to get through these days, but somehow you just do. It might be the way your baby laughs and giggles when daddy gets home from work. Or that feeling when you finally get your baby to sleep (albeit in your arms) and she snuggles into your shoulder. Whatever it is, that precious little face, the musically song of her giggles or beautiful smiles that just lights up the world, you will again look at your baby with marveled joy. That little human is still the most wonderful creature in the world.

My tips:

  • remember that while its hard for you, it must be so much worse for her. That tooth ripping through her gums, the world she knows suddenly changing, realising that mum can just put her down and walk away, or meeting a bunch of strangers who all want to pull at her and squeeze hers cheeks. These things can be scary and sometimes painful for a little baby. 
  • the cliched 'these days too shall pass' is actually true. The tough time may only last a day, or a week, or a month. But your sweet little baby will return or if you've had a rough time with colic or reflux they will grow out of it. Just repeat it over and over in your head and it might just come true!
  • my baby carrier was my best friend today! When nothing else would put her to sleep, at the very least I didn't have to struggle to hold her as she wriggled and screamed. Eventually, she did fall asleep in there too! Even if only for 40 minutes.
  • call a friend or relative to come and help you out. Even if they can only stay for half an hour, that might be all you need to have a shower a cup of coffee and a hug.
  • if all else fails, there is coffee and wine and the knowledge they'll grow up one day!

...and remember, if these days do not pass, you might be suffering Post-Natal Depression. If you think this might be you, please talk to your GP, call PANDA Post and Ante Natal Depression Australia or talk to a friend! It will help.

xo

... now where's that glass of wine?

12 comments:

  1. Great post, teething is not fun at all, I won't miss that stage!!
    thanks for the tips #Brilliantblogpost x

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    1. Teething is horrid. Poor babies :( But it passes.... in about 3 years!

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  2. Hope it gets better Luisa (and as you say it will). I think it is the sense of helplessness you feel to make your baby feel better that wears you out so much. Those days are well past for us, but take heart that they also prepare you for the times that come later when it is hard to find the right thing to say or do to make them feel better.

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    1. Luckily, last night she slept well for the first time in over a week! I'm feeling a little more human today :) Being a mum is hard work! There's some day you feel like giving up, but it's all worth it!

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  3. The dark days are dark indeed, Lu. Raising babies and children is often a relentless, thankless task. Sometimes I wonder if parenting is actually only lovely in hindsight... What I do know, though, is that it passes. A new, difficult stage often takes it's place, but at least we know that THIS stage is going to pass. After that it becomes a series of blissful, pure moments that seem to wipe away the tears. Thanks for sharing with such honesty and candour. x

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    1. I finally got a decent night sleep last night and a happy(ish) bub today! It makes the hard times worth it when you see her so happy though! I know the tough times will come and go, I just focus on whats to come. My babies beautiful smile, her giggle, her cuddles :) Even in the dark times I would never give her back!

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  4. I had many dark days myself. What saved me was my friends - particularly my mother's group. They got me out of the house and helped the day pass quicker, and gave such love and support. Hang in there, it will get easier! A beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

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    1. I'm lucky we are staying with my parents at the moment. Sometimes they'll watch her for 10 minutes just to give me a break or have a shower. It can make a world of different! It really does take a village doesn't it?!

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  5. Teeth are the absolute worst! Just as you get yourself into a great routine another one of the suckers appears. My best tip is to let it go. If your baby needs you because they are teething/sick/whatever then the housework/anything else can wait. Be kind to yourself x

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    1. She has one tooth poking through now but I'm told they come in pairs, so I'm think it's only another few days before the next rears its ugly head! Only a few more years of teething to go! There's always something with kids isn't there. I think they are just trying to teach us patients and flexibility. Some traits I probably do need to work on!

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  6. Babywearing saved me in the early days! I feel like I'm right back at the beginning at the moment... my 20 month old is cutting his canines and it is HELL!! For everyone in the house!

    I hope you have a better week this week Lu xx

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    1. oh, poor bub! Canines sound bad. They are so pointy! The only way I got my girl to sleep last week in the worst days of teething was putting her in the carrier! Hopefully I'm more prepared for the next tooth :)

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