I mean when was the last time you walked up to an adult, tutted then told them to stop crying? Most of us have never and would never do this.
There are obviously reasons we have all said this to our kids (Confession, I’ve heard myself say it…more than once).
I think the number one reason is frustration. Frustration at seeing our child upset and being somewhat helpless. It’s so difficult to reason with a child as usually they are unable to think their way out of an emotion; that takes practice and if we’re honest with ourselves most adults haven’t actually managed it.
We talk to our friends, swear at things, take ourselves off to a bathroom and sob….write things down (this is mine if you haven’t guessed) but we don’t just stop emoting because someone told us not to. It’s not possible, and it’s not possible for our kids either,
Do you remember how much bigger everything was when you were a kid?
I can remember (I can even picture) a forest at the back of my nursery that I used to play in….I’ve been to that Nursery and know there are about 3 trees, yet I can still remember that forest.
Emotions are bigger when you’re a kid too. Even if it is just about the wrong colour cup, a change of plan or not being able to climb in to the oven. Kids have no concept of brushing off the little things, because to them these are the big things in their lives (thank god for that).
To this day I hate crying in front of people, I don’t want people to see me vulnerable or out of control (who knew I was a control freak…joke…everyone…everyone knows).
I feel like others will think i’m weak. I hide in bathrooms and sob until I’m finished and my eyes are no longer red so I can pretend I’m fine.
Can you imagine if we could just cry when we felt sad or frustrated?
Or could let someone hug us, let them be there for us…how wonderful would that be, what a weight it would take off.
Let’s be that for our children.
Next time let’s try saying “its ok to cry and be sad, let’s have a cuddle until you feel better, but look the dishwasher’s finished now so you can have the blue cup after all….No you still can’t climb in to the oven”
I started to loose it when I was trying for a baby to be honest. It was the biggest thing in my life, I had an app to tell me when I was ovulating and to track my menstruation and I made sure we did the deed whenever we needed to.
It only took 2 months of trying and we struck gold, I was pregnant Yay!!!
Around 6 weeks in I bled….quite a lot, I stayed in bed and waited for my first midwife appointment before doing anything about it. Mainly because I was scared i was losing my baby and a little because I was ashamed that I could be (that’s a whole other article).
At the first appointment she told me off for not ringing because now i had to wait a weekend for a scan to see what was happening. It was a long weekend but at our scan we found out all was fine…no one could tell me why i bled but all was fine.
I’m pretty sure this is when my anxiety started.
Throughout my entire pregnancy all I could think about was how scared I was of losing it, I started to avoid things that I thought might be dangerous for the baby, i even panicked going to the supermarket in case I was knocked by someone.
My Pregnancy was fairly uneventful, I had sickness for the first 12 weeks, heartburn for the rest of the time and didn’t sleep for the last few months of it (pretty standard stuff). I remember feeling very strongly that I couldn’t wait for him to be born so that I could make sure he was safe (oh how wrong I was on that!!!)
At around 2 am at 8 months preggers my waters went. I waited about an hour before I told anyone…to be honest I couldn’t decide if I was just uncontrollably peeing myself as it felt pretty much the same. I googled an article (google is a friend as well as an enemy) that suggested putting a pad on and laying down to see if there was pooling (pooling meant waters have gone).
I did this and when I shifted my position I felt a very dramatic gush of water (gross).
As i was paranoid my whole pregnancy I had put mattress savers on the bed so the mattress was saved!( I wish I hadn’t as it was a really uncomfortable mattress) I Also had my bag packed.
I rang the ward and they said to come straight in so i woke up my fella (I hadn’t told him anything until that point). His first reaction was to ask if I was joking; followed by whether he had time to get a shower. After telling him no we got a taxi to the hospital.
My son was born after about 2 days when they chose to induce because of infection risk. It was quick and terrifying but no real complications.
After what felt like 10 mins my son was taken upstairs to the neonatal ward, I sent my fella with him so he wasn’t alone and I took a bath…..I couldn’t stop shaking and wasn’t thinking straight.
We spent 10 days living in the neonatal ward with him as he wouldnt take to my breast so we had to tube feed, after lots of trying, tears and support from the amazing nurses we tried nipple shields and could take him home.
I didn’t want to go home…I wanted to stay in a hospital with Doctors and nurses and everyone else that could help if bad things happened I was petrified. I never said this to anyone.
I have told you all this as i think it’s important to see how all these things may have affected my mind from then on.
At home I would not sleep unless someone else was making sure my son was breathing.
I never told people this was what I was doing, i found excuses and reasons and if I couldn’t come up with one, I just stayed awake and did it myself.
While on the ward one of the nurses told me I had to be careful that he didn’t creep over to the side of his moses basket and suffocate himself as he tended to jiggle in to the side of his crib. In hindsight that nurse should never had suggested anything of the sort to me. We ended up buying a new crib, he wouldn’t sleep in it and he slept on my chest for the first 6 months of his life, I wanted to be able to feel him breath.
I started having intrusive thoughts, for example if I was walking near some stairs I would imagine falling down them and crushing him, or slipping and throwing him over the banister; I didn’t like pushing him in a pram past driveways in case a car came out and ran him over.
I didn’t tell people about these thoughts, and they were constant, if there was a horrifying scenario that could happen, I imagined it in full and in detail.
I didn’t tell anyone for 2 reasons; –
- I thought that people would think I was crazy and a danger to him, when I 100% knew that I would never hurt him and
- I thought that if i told people it might make them come true.
I have a background as a mental health nurse and knew that I was developing OCD related symptoms, I almost started to do things to ensure that bad things didn’t happen. I stopped myself and reasoned with myself but that didn’t make me feel any better or make the intrusive thoughts go away.
Mainly I just plodded on and hoped that it would get easier.
During this time I had several visits from midwives and health visitors, I never told any of them anything. Every single one of them asked me the question “do you have any thoughts about harming yourself or your baby?” I did not…not once.
“Do you feel sad for long periods of time?” I did not… I was overjoyed and completely in love with my baby.
I did not have postnatal depression. I had something else…I have something else.
I wish that just once someone could have asked me “do you ever have unwanted thoughts that you can not shake?” “ Do you feel like your child isn’t safe, even though you know that they are?”
I would have screamed “yes…that…please help!”.
I went to a Doctor once to tell them that I had intrusive thoughts, he looked horrified and immediately asked if I was going to harm my son….so i pulled back and said no i just had thoughts I couldn’t shake. He recommended counselling. I went to one session but although she wanted to help I couldn’t tell her the thoughts I was having because i couldn’t ever bring myself to say the horrible things as they were too distressing. I honestly can barely utter them now.
I was saved eventually by reading an article about postnatal OCD. It showed me that i wasn’t alone, that it was a normal and somewhat common thing that happens, not just to Mothers I might add.
Over time my symptoms have reduced, I dont panic the way i used to although i still hate not being able to see my son in the soft play area (I watch him like some sort of sniper hawk) and I can’t sleep in the house alone unless my son is in my room and I have a barricade set up on the door. I also think all fireworks are a possible invasion of some sort (I am well aware that this is crazy and do not ever let on to my son).
I have learned to live with the fact that my brain is just not the same as it was before i had my son, and accept that it may never be the same again. We are all happy and healthy and my mental health is manageable just by saying the words anxiety out loud.
I hope that anyone else feeling even slightly the way i felt reads this and realises they are not alone, but mostly I hope that Doctors, Health Visitors and all the other health professionals start asking new Mother the right questions.
Imagine me, aimlessly skipping through life, skating with Dogs, the lot. Saying moronic things like “I don’t really get period symptoms, maybe I get a bit weepy” …… Idiot.
Well no one tells you that Mother Nature (Bitch nature) is storing up all those symptoms until after you’ve had kids, because obviously you’ll be so much better equipped to handle them when you’re already a wreck of the person you once was and you’re trying to figure out if you’re even a person at all…or just a bag of cells that belong to everyone else.
So that was me, an idiot…without a care in the world.
Now I have about 3 weeks of symptoms and a week of bleeding. Joy! (sorry to all the fellas reading this, but this shiz is real).
Week 1 – Stomach ache, not just stomach ache, more like eat something then run straight to the loo…. brilliant. Good job I don’t have public toilet fear anymore. (Note. Cutting out diary has actually reduced this loads tbh).
Week 2 – Floods of Tears, tears of joy (ugly sobs of joy). Tears of sadness (ugly sobs of sadness). Tears of frustration (ugly sobs…. you get the idea). Everything makes me cry EVERYTHING!
Week 3 – Annoyance. I walk around huffing at things…. actually huffing, I will huff at someone huffing, that’s how annoyed I am.
The worse thing I do is get totally annoyed at all the love my son (my gorgeous 3-year-old son) showers on me.
My son never took to any sort of comforter we tried; no dummy, no blanket, no cuddly toy, not Sophie the pesky giraffe. Nothing, and we tried everything…. often.
His comforter is… my forehead.
Just mine, he’ll make do with someone else’s forehead if we’re not in the same house, but if he can smell me near then its my head he wants.
He strokes it goodbye when I go to work, he strokes it when we watch telly (we watch a lot, I am a lazy parent), if he’s sad…he strokes my head, If he’s hurt his arm, he puts it on my magic head.
it’s sweet, its gorgeous, its beautiful and once a month for around a week it drives me mad. When he falls asleep stroking my forehead; I grind my teeth to tatters, I’ve even been known to flick his hand away (I immediately hate myself for it).
This is the worse stage for me, because its so stupid, its ungrateful of me but I can’t help it.
Week 4 – Bleeding. This is fine, it’s a relief to be honest and since I got some WUKA’s (google them they are life changing) I barely notice the inconvenience of it.
Anyway, that’s my little rant on parenting on a period, there’s more I know. I’m sure I’m not the only person who struggles, I know I’m not, and I didn’t even get in to the anxiety; because honestly its still too big of an issue for me to write about yet.
Basically, periods suck… They SUCK!!!!
(written smack bang in week 3)
I started to really miss being on holiday about 4 days in to my holiday. Bare with me, I’ll explain.
It took me at least 2 days to settle in to our location and shake the holiday anxiety (still working on that piece). Day 3 I started to relax and enjoy it, I also stopped feeling guilty about letting/encouraging Grandparents and an Aunt to take on a fair amount of my parenting (thank you by the way x). So by day 4 I realised I would have to go home again..in 3 days no less. That’s when my brain really decided to betray me (for the purposes of the rest of this article my brain is represented as a completely separate entity).
Here’s a little list of some (by no means all) of the thoughts I had while on holiday. I hope the house is OK -I’m sure we’ve all had this thought but seriously WTF brain. Unless it’s somehow burnt to the ground or been burgled the house (inanimate object) is ok. I didn’t leave any teenagers in it, I don’t have a cat and my Mother lives around the corner, and said she would pop in and mow the lawn (thanks Mum).
The House is actually probably in better shape than it would be if we were in it. I have sooooo much washing to do -related ideas Maybe I can reduce the amount of Clothes everyone is wearing, ie. extended PJ time Is there a washing machine here (I actually considered doing washing on holiday!)
Do I have enough carrier bags for the dirty stuff so it doesn’t scruff up the clean stuff? (note. There was no clean stuff).
I don’t want to go back to work. – Again this is one for all. For me this always goes back to feeling like I have too many things sitting in my brain, and being on holiday allowed me to let one thing go. It’s worth mentioning that my job is beyond cushdy really. I like my Boss, get paid reasonably well and have an element of flexitime. It’s just that now I have a kid i miss him and I feel bad that I don’t get to enjoy him. He’s not at School yet and I wish I was there to do all the fun preschool stuff without being grumpy because i’m fried from work.
I forgot to write my anxiety piece for my blog. -Seriously brain….SERIOUSLY! Its my blog, I have no deadlines, barely any followers and I am purely writing it for me and you add this to the list of worries. F*#$ you brain.
Anyway I’m home now and honestly it’s taken me until today to settle back in. One of my friends text me to ask if I had a good holiday and my first thought was “Oh I have friends that I have to stay on top of too”. I had become so focused on work and to do lists that I totally forgot that these things are such a small part of my life. My life is so much bigger and full of family and friends and I am so lucky. Moral of the story? Relax when you’re on holiday, relax when you’re at home, just relax.
I struggled for inspiration for what to write about this week so i have combined 2 of my favourite things and constructed some lists about inventions that absolutely should exist (I love a list)
Things they should invent that I would buy
- A sofa curtain/crumb catcher – who is really moving the couch out the way every time….not me!
- A sofa insert/crumb catcher….see above but for under the cushions….I never find money in the sofa only food…mainly coco pops.
- Self cleaning floors – I think this speaks for itself…also be prepared for mainly cleaning avoidance based inventions as I was sat in my house while writing.
- An app that allows me to take pictures of cluttered areas and it will tell me where the f**k to start.
- A cafetiere that eats the coffee grounds when they have been left in the pot
- An insta sleep for my 3 year old
- A magic toy box- see Mary Poppins bag
- A warm milk dispenser – I know there are formula machines out there. I need a vending machine that provides perfect temperature (this is whatever my 3 year old decides at the time) whole milk with a few dashes of water; served in the only bottle he will use, on demand…it will also sometimes have to buy the milk…as I forgot.
What I think my fella would buy
- Robot gardener
- Quiet bubble (that he could hide in and have a nap/read)
- A never ending Book either by Wilber Smith or bernard Cornwell
- Also an instant sleep for our son
- A mobile air conditioning unit, that is invisible and weightless
- Shorts that look like Jeans/trousers (maybe a hologram projects the rest i don’t know no one has invented them)
- A transporter (He does not travel well)
- An app that comes up witty replies if he can’t think of one in time
What i think my son would buy
- A dinosaur
- A never ending chocolate provider
- An instant warm milk dispense (We are agreed on this one)
- A clone of me, so he can stroke/poke my forehead “because it’s warm Mummy” even when I am not there
- That one…that one…that one (any toy that has been seen/glimpsed no matter how brief)
- A pill that he could take so that he would never have to do another poo (*note I once had to pretend to be a poo asking permission to come out of my sons bum so that he could do the poo….I didn’t know what voice I would use for a poo until that very day….I did Mr Hanky…..from South Park…parenting is FUN!)
And i think that is a great place to end my lists.
Just for fun this is the list my fella made
- Robot gardener
- The shower unit thing from The Girl From Tommorow
- Clothes that fit automatically Back to the Future 2 style but also have air conditioning in them
- Which brings me to Hover board obviously
- Rat repellent that means you are never nearer to a rat than a mile
- teleporter with zero risk of becoming half fly
- Hammock rooms and for them to become standard in restaurants
- A coffee plunger thing that cleaned itself somehow
- A wearable bubble to stop you getting ill before a holiday/Christmas or if someone talks to you on a train – would be nice if it floated a bit too
- A slap silly device where i could just press a button and someone was magically slapped silly, like Donald Trump to pick a name completely at random.
I could be good at maybe one thing but i’m basically mediocre at everything…at best.
Which would be fine except what I really want is to be a good mum.
Here are some other things I’m barely coping with…