Nobody said it was going to be easy

Baby crying in its cot, teething
Baby crying in its cot, teething

Well we made it through. Just about. Some nerves have expired, I’m sure of it. Those nerves are definitely gone. I already have grey hair so can’t say I’ve got a few more, but I probably have. And as for the husband. Well he’s still here. Just about.

It was a Mammy Week From Hell. And no real reason for it. No sickness as such, no accidents, no major dramas. I had nothing really to complain about. But that didn’t stop me. The past week was a bit of a coping fest. And I didn’t cope very well.

You could put it down to teething. Everything these days is because, “she’s teething.” Nappy rash? Teething. Crying? Teething. Mammy in pysch ward? The child was teething. I swear people have been tipped over the edge for less.

There have been a few highlights, which I hope never to repeat again. Screaming at himself in the kitchen at 5am in the morning, then pounding the stairs and slamming the bedroom door was a good one. Lying there listening to strange voices in my head, after a particularly long stretch of no sleeping and lots of baby minding, was another. I literally, was going mad.

Last week after meeting the girls for lunch and cleverly turning up an hour early by mistake, (who does that with a 9 month old baby – a Mammy Masochist, that’s who) I had to come home and go straight to bed because I was holding my body so tightly. It was the only way I could think of to get my muscles to relax. Tense. Moi?

The baby up till now was a pretty predictable sleeper and while there may have been a wakening or two during the night, she’d always take a feed and go straight back to sleep.

This week she’s either been impossible to get to bed in the first place, staying up well past bedtime with the joys of life (everything is a plaything) and fighting the tiredness like a good little 9 month old warrior, or worse, wakening one hour after going to sleep and refusing to go back to bed for the next five hours thereafter. She’s been under the weather too, with a bit of a fever and certainly seeming in pain. So the teething has been causing some problems. But who knew it would have such an effect on my emotional state?

Other mammy friends I’ve spoken to have reported similar feelings. It seems dealing with newborns was a doddle compared to this. We’re all now back to work so the tiredness is crippling. And, we feel totally out of control.

It may be the lack of control that’s causing the mini-meltdowns. They usually happen when I really really want to be doing something else. Like going to sleep because it’s 1am. Or blogging because I’d scheduled that hour for when she was (supposed to be) in bed. I’ve had to learn that being a Mammy means not having full control, and being baby-centred as opposed to Nicci-centred.

So, what do we take away from this week? Well the lessons are that babies are unpredictable. Schedules go out the window. And there’s no point whinging about it, because you’re a Mammy now and baby comes first.

Patience comes from both sides, from you and your partner. Compromise is key, even though it can be hard to talk about or find a way through the baby muddle. Our compromise has developed organically, spurred on but probably not helped by our communication methods of raised voices and lots of screaming (from me).

Crying happens. Not from baby, from you. It might make you feel better. And like a bit of a failure. But it’s probably ok, in the grand scheme of things.

And it’s probably ok to be a bit scared. If nine months seems harder than newborn time, who knows what’s coming down the track? Nobody said it was going to be easy. But everybody says it is always worth it. Probably. Definitely. I mean definitely.

December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

December Girl audiobook

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