By the 9th week of my little boy’s life and the whole reflux/no sleep thing hadn’t really improved, even with half the pharmacy. That week with my son asleep in my arms and my daughter snuggled asleep beside me, I broke down and cried. It had all finally become too much. Problem was, once I started, all those tears I’d held in for so long wouldn’t stop.
So why write about it? Because, as I’ve found with my breastfeeding debacle, people don’t talk about the horrible times when everything goes wrong. And if you’re experiencing one of these horrible times, it can be terribly isolating. Especially if you’re a new mum and you’re under the impression that everybody else is having an easy time. I write about these bad times because when I’ve written about it I get so many emails from people, who still aren’t comfortable enough to reply on my blog, telling me about their stories. I do not understand why we don’t share these stories, the bad ones, the ones where we’ve thought about putting the kids in their cot (so they’re safe) and just walking out, the stories that tell the harsher reality of being a parent. Why do we feel the need to present a perfect, ‘yummy mummy’ exterior? Especially when every parent knows it’s a tough slog more often than not… I know how much better I feel when I read and hear other people’s stories and know that I’m not the only one who has thought it was all too hard at times.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by mums who’ve thought the same and we’ve ended up in laughter many times over the times things went pear-shaped. You know the 2am nappy changes (that you do in the dark so as not to disturb your sleeping husband) where you end up covered in poo and wee, the time you had to leave the grocery store with your screaming, thrashing toddler under your arm much to the dismay/amusement of the onlookers, or those times you risk the restaurant meal only to have your child decide they’ve had enough just as all the food arrives at your table. I could go on. However, I think it will be a long time before I can look back on this period of time with anything other than heart ache and a desperate desire for sleep.