Riding the mum roller-coaster of emotions
So I’ve finally finished this blog. I started it 3 weeks ago one evening when Ellie had gone to bed. But the aul’ brain capacity these days is pretty limited after 6pm and usually I’m past out by the time Eileen Dunne is wrapping up the 9 o clock news.
So I have spoken honestly in the past about how much I wanted our baby girl and how god damn blessed we feel that our dreams came true. Not a day goes by that I don’t stop and appreciate how lucky we were that it happened for us.
Our sole focus for so long was getting pregnant and so I don’t think I really got my head around becoming a mum until quite late into my 3rd trimester. I was nervous the whole way throughout my pregnancy. After 3 years and 2 miscarriages, I just wanted to hold a healthy, happy baby in my arms and until that happened I struggled to let myself fully and wholly believe it was going to. Then she arrived and I was filled with a love so powerful I thought my heart was going to burst. 7 months later and myself and Padraig are still besotted…..bedraggled and deranged but besotted!
I think I treated the whole process like a series of jobs. Get pregnant, tick. Have a healthy pregnancy, tick. Deliver a healthy baby, tick. Mind her and look after her, tick and I had prepared myself for all the regular things people told me would become a normal part of life; the lack of sleep, the unwashed hair, being covered in puke, the broken back from lifting her and lots of her shit into and out of really awkward positions….(btw I have decided I am going to design a car seat that you can actually carry!!!) I was kind of ready for all that but I never actually readied myself for the emotional impact of becoming a mum.
Like sitting on the floor, watching her sleep and bawling my eyes out about nothing else apart from how perfect she is in every way. You question whether you are losing your marbles or is it just sleep deprivation that is making you act like a crazy lunatic. Then you accept that you are just totally in love and scared out of your brain with the responsibility that comes with having a baby! Then other nights after constant screaming matches, kicks in the face, explosive nappies and no sleep you sit in a ball of sweat covered in vomit and realise the the care free life you had before becoming a parent, you will never have again. It is gone forever and you mourn it because you never even got to say goodbye to the person you once were. And then of course, you feel guilty as hell for even thinking like that and never say it out loud for fear of sounding like a total whinge bag.
And while we are on the subject of guilt, when you are pregnant you get lots of advise thrown at you including, “don’t let the mum guilt get to you.” I thought not a chance. But there is no stopping it I’m afraid. It creeps in everywhere, like a bad dose of piles. Going back to work, not breast feeding for long enough, breathing a sigh of relief when she finally drops off for a nap, dropping her to the childminder on your day off so you so you can have a shower on your own and a quiet cup of coffee.
Add a touch of worry into the guilt mix and you have the ultimate first time parent recipe. Lying awake at night wondering what sort of a world Ellie will be living in when she is 13 and how can I protect her from technology robots who will be governing the planet. Why cant she just climb trees and have the craic with conkers on a string like we all did? Or hoping against hope, that she never develops any life threatening condition. Because I know that would rip my heart in two. You try and block out stories of child abuse on the news or on your Twitter feed because of the primal rage that starts to bubble inside you. The thoughts of what you would do to anyone who hurt your child actually scares the shit out of you…so you just don’t go there. You change the channel and watch something like Bake Off instead! Or David Attenborough, he’s always a safe pair of hands for the emotionally fragile mum days. Until a lion eats a baby gazelle and then your up shit creek without a paddle again.
Also, hands up, I never really noticed mums with buggies before. And all the bits and bobs and bags and coats and blankets hangin’ out of them. Now I see Mums a super human race. I almost want to run over and hug everyone with a pram because I know that they know that I know what they know. How one day you think you are mum of the year and the next you feel like a total fraud.
Then there is all the amazing precious one on one moments, hours spent on the floor chatting to Mr Cluck because he makes her smile the most, blowing raspberries on her tummy until she almost gets sick from laughing, smelling the top of her head while she naps in my arms, melting at her smile that is changing very week as another little tooth appears, listening to her singing to herself,proud as hell that she is crawling like a boss and figuring out what her little legs are for…and wondering quite frankly, how nothing you ever did up until this point ever gave you that much joy? Being, a new mum is a total rollercoaster of emotions but I feel like I have strapped myself in for the best ride in the world