When we read North Shore Mum Katey Fulmer’s powerful 1am thoughts on parenting, we just had to share them.
A little mind ramble while I’m up with an unsettled bub…
Let’s face it. No mum really knows what she’s doing. You’re handed a warm, squirming, squishy miniature person and society expects you know what to do just because you pushed a human out of your vagina or had one cut out of your stomach.
They cry but can’t tell you why. They don’t sleep, they sleep too much. They bottle feed, they breastfeed. They have colic, reflux, wind. They do explosion poos and you’re cleaning someone else’s faeces from their neck to their feet. There’s no handbook given to you along with the birth certificate, you’re just expected to know.
I’m seven years into being a mum. I now have four sons and I can use my experience to date with the younger kids but each baby is so different. What works for one doesn’t work for the other but may work for the other one! But I have no experience with kids older than seven so I still have no idea.
When I was pregnant with my fourth child everyone said “oh you’ll be fine. You’ve done this three times already!” But can I tell you the labour hurt just as much, if not more. (I literally told the midwife I was sure I was dying!! She laughed..)
Yes I’d had three babies before but I’d never had a baby with three other children to look after. I’d never had four children before.
So I’m learning to just wing it. Not be so uptight with certain things, realise that this time is finite, it won’t last forever. Leftovers are a perfectly acceptable dinner, as is porridge, weetbix or cheese and crackers. If your three year old won’t get out of his pyjamas all day then who cares? Don’t make excuses for why you’ve got piles of washing laying around or why the kitchen is a disaster zone. If people judge that’s their problem, not yours.
Give into the fact that you’ll be tired. All. The. Time. Don’t fight against it, embrace it!! You can use sleep deprivation as an excuse for many things!! Why did you have tea and chocolate for breakfast? Because you’re sleep deprived, that’s why. Why did you wash your face with shampoo? Does it matter, at least your face is clean!
I now live by the mummy mantra of ‘whatever works’. Do whatever you need to to get through the day, or hour. Hold your baby if he’s crying, the washing up can wait. Play pirates with your child in the sun, it may be raining tomorrow. Have that cuppa with a friend and tidy up later. It’s far more important to see friends than clean. Don’t stay quiet if you’ve got questions. Ask another mumma bear. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. We all need to be there to stick up for each other and be there to wing it together!
It’s 1:09am right now and I’m holding my unsettled Bub. I could get irrationally angry because I just want to be asleep, or I could just look down on his perfect tiny little face and try to soak up that image. Because in no time my baby will be gone and a seven year old will be in his place. And I’ll wonder where that time went.