just coping

I’m having one of those days. One of those days where I end up feeling like a vacant plot of land, untended, unloved, unmotivated, lonely and unfulfilled. That’s a lot of ‘-un’s to shake off.

Shock horror! Unfulfilled! When I have such a gorgeous child. Yes well. When I go from a job leading people and strategizing, have instructions followed and clocking off at 6 . . . . to spending half my day on my hands and knees trying to teach an infant to sleep by shooshing and rocking and the other half of my day cleaning poo, I think it is ok to feel that way occasionally.

Buddy has learned how to stop the spoon full of rice cereal from entering in his mouth.  Joyfully, he’s also learned how to grab said spoon with force then release it suddenly. You can imagine then how the rice becomes a slow moving catapult sending rice mash into the air where it hovers momentarily before landing on Buddys head, the wall, my head, the cat.

I considered myself somewhat intelligent (unless I’ve had a glass of wine when I often become a boisterous, potty mouth, extrovert). Until such time as I let him grab the spoon over and over again.  You’d think I would’ve learned when he started to develop a sandcastle type rice cereal mound on his head. Perhaps it was the 4 hours of sleep I’d had. Perhaps it was all the ‘-un’s taking up brain space.

Having got Buddy to sleep for what i know will be a half hour cat nap i stare at myself in the bathroom mirror. My house smells of mould from the loads of rain we had . . . 5 months ago. All clothes in the house are on the laundry bed (ie the Queen guest bed, we’d better not ever have guests) rather than in everyone’s closet.

The laundry bed – can you spy an intruder?
I don’t fit into any clothes – I’m between my maternity and normal size. My hair needs a cut before it reaches my bum. I can’t be bothered going anywhere as I know it will just make the end of the day harder. Showers and eating are optional when you have a baby that cat naps. I shake my head and think ‘this is not how it’s meant to be’ and ‘I didn’t sign up for this’.

What sort of pressure is this? Where does it come from? Who says its not meant to be like this?  Magazines and stereotypes, tv shows and movies are my guess? Or are us mums doing this to each other?

What is normal anyway? My normal may not be your normal. My normal certainly isn’t Victoria Beckhams normal. I used to scoff when I was at home “sick” from work and would watch Oprah say “motherhood is the hardest job in the world”. To all those scoffers and VB hopefuls out there, be warned, the reality is it is freaking hard, often thankless and sometimes unfulfilling. And I’ve only been doing it for 5 months!

There are some women out there that love this motherhood type role and seemingly adapt to it like a duck to water (quickly, smooth, gracefully, calmly and with poise) others like a dog with a bone (excitedly, then frustratedly, then gritting the role firmly in their teeth and shaking it violently from side to side, before surrendering outstretched on the lawn belly up and watching it with a combination of confusion and love before falling asleep . . . briefly). Then there are others that strut around peacock style telling all other birds that they are all over it and hot stuff while looking draw droppingly spectacular. I don’t know much about peacocks but I’m sure they go home to baby birds that behave the same as other baby birds. And yes I am aware it’s the male peacocks that do the strutting . . . I’m to tired to think of a better strutting animal.

I tentatively suggest the majority of mums find it a difficult adjustment.

To all those out there finding it difficult – I’m with ya! We’ll get there.  You are not alone. When I was pregnant a friend told me ‘just make it through the first six weeks, it gets better after that’.  Then when Buddy was born someone else said ‘make it through the first 6 weeks, the turn around and make it through the second 6 weeks, then you’ll be right’.  I have to tell you, it’s 5 months and I can now say I feel comfortable and almost competent, but I’ve stopped trying to ‘make it’ to an end point and started to be mindful in each moment – whether it’s a struggle or a joy, each moment is worthy of my attention.

To cope with all my un’s I return to my new life’s motto . . . and so it is. It’s perfectly alright to feel this way. It is what it is. I notice it. I accept it. I notice my breath, slow, rhythmic and calming. I also return to the present moment . . . I can see the sun peeking through the trees, leaves moving with the faint breeze, little birds sifting through leaves, I can hear the creek running, magpies calling, cattle mooing in the distance and Buddy stirring on the monitor. I can feel warmth on my face and the earth beneath my feet, the earth that grounds us all. I focus on this, now, for as long as my mind lets me. And I remind myself any struggle is worthy. This is me coping. If it helps anyone else out there then that is good.

What’s your normal?

I am interested to hear if you think other mum’s contribute to this sort of pressure?

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