EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote this blog weeks ago but didn’t publish it. I even forgot I had written it at all until I discovered it in the Drafts folder on my laptop. This wasn’t an easy blog to write and it’s an even harder one to publish but this is the No Bullshit Baby Tales and to that end I promised I would be honest, even if being honest makes me look like a heartless, selfish, dickwad.
It’s rare that I lose my patience with The Small. 99.99 percent of the time I understand fully that she is nothing but a small, vulnerable, helpless little pudding who relies entirely on me to keep her safe and make her feel secure. For that reason, this is a really hard blog to write, because for the first time, I lost my patience.
My husband is still away on tour and being on your own with a baby day in and day out means two things: 1) you spend all day running around to various coffee mornings, playgroups, lunch dates because unless you have stuff booked you’re going to go out of your mind and 2) not matter how much stuff you have booked, you’re always going to feel pretty isolated. The end result is that I wear myself out doing all this stuff and then sit on my own at night and lament the absence of my best buddy – my husband.
Not being able to have a conversation with someone at night is pretty demoralising. Watching Scandal and The Good Wife until my eyes bleed is all very well and good but eventually, you just want to be able to have a laugh with an adult.
So, to sum up, this week has been hard. I’m bored of being alone and I’m tired. No scratch that. I am exhausted; I am exhausted to the point of bursting into tears because I dropped her milk bottle on the floor. I’m exhausted to the point that I’ll drive somewhere and have no recollection of the route I took. Most days, I have no idea what day it is and the last time I had a decent night’s sleep was about three weeks ago. I’m dragging myself through the days and counting down the sleeps until my husband is home and we are once again a team.
And why, all of a sudden is my angelic Small, who has slept through from ten weeks, suddenly waking up five or six times a night? Oh because, as if we didn’t have enough on, the god of baby sickness has decided to throw into this emotional mess a touch of Hand, Foot & Mouth disease and an ear infection. It doesn’t rain but it friggin’ pours.
So, I have a baby who is sick and tired and she’s got a momma who is losing her mind and on her knees and close to tears pretty much all the time. That’s why, when I finally got some antibiotics for the Small’s ear infection and she threw the sticky, yellow liquid all over me as I tried to give it to her, I screamed. I temporarily dropped my basket, lost my shit and screamed, not quite in her tiny face, but almost and I wanted to punch myself for it.
She jumped a foot in the air and, inevitably, screamed as well. I immediately felt like the worst person, not just mother, in the world and hated myself instantly. I gave her a cuddle, I calmed her down, I whispered sorry over and over again and I cried silently and shocked myself at how easy it was to lose my temper, to scare her and for what? What on earth did I achieve? Nothing.
Well, not nothing. I learned a valuable lesson…I learned that, at the end of the day, we are all human and sometimes it’s all too much. I learned that I’m not the first mother to do it and I won’t be the last. I learned that you will have to be ok with the fact that your kids will know you’re not the superhero they thought you were and I learned that despite my guilt and my horror and what I had done, I was still doing the very best that I can do. No one’s best is perfect and yes, I dropped the ball (it won’t be the last time) but today is a new, much better day.
This too shall pass.