TO SUM UP: THE KEY IS IN THE PLANNING..... APPARENTLY
It really is true that, especially with regards to motherhood, as soon as you feel that you have a grip on things.... It all falls through and you have to start picking it all back up again.
As I have said times before, the trick is to not take a day that goes smoothly for granted and believe that you have magically 'cracked' parenting. It's a hologram. As soon as you see the full picture the angle changes and you see a whole new image forming. Perfect parenting isn't even a real thing... it a mirage! And as much as you think it's hard on you... just imagine how your baby must be feeling?!
I'm sure some take comfort in reading baby books and I am inundated with well wished advice and musings from left right centre above AND below, but ultimately, each baby is an individual just like all of us are and sometimes they're hard to read and it even seems as if they don't quite know what to do with themselves... I know that's the case with ours anyway.
I drive myself to distraction trying to figure him out - from his body language, to his pitch of cry, to his body temperature and even his poop size, colour and frequency! Sometimes I feel like we are completely in sync and I am some mystic mother type who can ready his mind as if we are one and the same, then others I get despondent and wonder if I know this person I've grown from a cell at all!
At times like that, I try to take a step back and just look at each minute rationally. He is a little person with his own experiences going on and all on top of learning how to function whilst growing at the rate of knots!
For example, on a particularly alert afternoon whilst Baby Bear was happily kicking about next to me on the sofa, I found myself reaching for a toy only to be rebuffed by a reaction of red faced crying and thrashing about. I started to have hurt feelings and disappointment but then realised that, at the moment, just looking around the room is enough for the poor little mite to cope with. He's just about managing to process walls and a ceiling and then I come along with a brightly coloured jingly monstrosity.... no wonder he freaked out! You would in his shoes wouldn't you?
The hardest thing I find is keeping the frustration tamed. You feed them, they scream and then puke it back up. You then change them into clean clothes (all whilst still being screamed at) and they puke again. You then change them a third time, by which point they are hungry (and coincidentally, still crying) from emptying their stomach all over themselves and you so you make up more and feed them only to start the process all over again. And this is especially crap at around 3.45am after you've managed to just grab around 40 minutes of sleep. AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH! Sod bamboo and water torture, just pass your enemies a 9 week old baby with reflux and colic!
Just as you feel your head is about to explode and you may just walk out the front door and drive to the nearest airport, everything calms and you look at this cute little peanut in your arms and you just forget how shit it all was 30 seconds ago. Love conquers all.... plus babies are cute for a reason. It prevents them being launched out of the nearest window....
All I have managed to know for certain on this whole journey so far is that planning and organisation helps. If you make sure that everything is set up for the next 'shift', things will go just a fraction smoother. Cleaning and sterilising the bottles and lining them up ready for use is a real help when you are bleary eyed and deaf in the early hours. Keeping the baby bag permanently stocked and ready by the door means you can just grab and go on the way out. Prioritising some chores over others is necessary and NOT lazy. What is more important? Plumped up cushions and a dusted mirror or clean clothes and plates?
Going out has become nothing short of challenging.... I swear I hear the Mission Impossible soundtrack whilst we are getting ready to leave. For instance, we went to visit family in Bromley for my brother in law's birthday this week, and we packed up so much stuff that it took 3 trips to and from the car to the house, each way. That is 6 trips to load and unload stuff we needed! And that's not us being overly cautious parents who packed the kitchen sink 'just in case'. We used every single thing that we packed and could have even done with a couple of extra muslins (yes, I'm still obsessed with having enough of them!).
But it would have been much worse if we hadn't planned and packed. We may have had a lot of stuff to take but we didn't have to stress when it came to knowing we had enough clean clothes to counteract the reflux, enough milk to feed Baby Bear for the duration of a long day and we even took his bouncy chair so that he could be comfortably upright without the confines of his car seat. The fact it took up half the boot and stubbed a few toes in its pride of place position in the middle of my mother in law's living room is by the by....
As hard as this parenthood malarkey can be though, you do feel a real sense of achievement for all of your efforts. A content baby all snug in his cot (or toe crushing bouncer), seeing the smiles he prompts from loved ones and watching him sleep on his Daddy's shoulder make all the stress, worry and sleep deprivation worth while.
What I try to remind myself above everything else is that it's not really that important - being 'on top of the wonder woman/mum' game. As long as you and baby are flourishing and all is happy and healthy, then the rest is just fluff. I try to always remember that there'll be plenty of time for washing up, sleep, dusting and 'me time'. There will be a day when he will do his own washing and I will marvel at how he ever used to fit into a size 2 nappy, let alone my womb. Then, I suppose I won't care two hoots about how organised I was.
But for now, it helps.
|Someone luuurrrrves their bouncy chair.|
Additional information and findings from this week:
- Waiting for your baby to master his first smile is possibly the most exciting and biggest thing to anticipate in your entire life.
- Not securing a nappy properly will result in the equivalent of a poop landslide.... all over your lap and onto the floor.... during dinner.
- Baby Bear is becoming more sensitive to sound. We have tried to be as loud around him as possible to prevent him becoming too precious about sleeping in silence, but some sounds just seem to be that bit too much for him to sleep through....
- As a result of sensitive hearing, you find yourselves being to scared to do things you once took for granted. Such as turning over in bed.... or sneezing. I found myself cringing whilst I ate a bowl of cornflakes one morning... how ridiculous is that??
- Baby farts stink.... how can something so small produce such pungency?
- Being out and about without Baby Bear is liberating for the first five minutes. Every minute there after feels as though I am missing my right arm.
- Baby Bear is surprisingly strong. Without your wits about you, he can easily attempt to launch himself out of your arms and across the room in manner of Super Man.
- Said attempt leaves you both stunned and petrified. Nobody wishes to drop a baby.
- He is starting to seriously try lifting his head up all by himself. This is both cute and dangerous. Cute because he looks like a drunk meerkat and dangerous because without warning he flops back onto your shoulder with a hefty thud and, at times, head butts you. Ouch.
- Despite his reflux, Baby Bear is steadily gaining weight and at this current time weighs around 13lbs.... aka the size of a baby rhino.
To think he could have been this weight if I had gone full term leaves me a little grateful things turned out as they did, don't you agree?! It doesn't bear thinking about....
Thanks for reading peeps! xx