In the throws of labour all I wanted was to go home to Isaac and give him a cuddle, I missed him so and wanted to feel him snuggled up in my arms. I had also hoped for a four hour discharge with Maverick so that our little family could be together in “our” space. Maverick didn’t get that memo and so him and I have spent the night together in hospital which was also the most amazing time with just him and I. Possibly the calm before the impending storm???
It was also fairly lucky for Mylo as Mav was on mission to bring my milk in and so we have sat up from about eleven last night until six thirty this morning feeding. What a wonderful way to usher in his second day on earth; watching the sunrise whilst feeling like your nipples might fall off because they’ve been attacked by a Pirana overnight.
Sleep is not on the cards for me yet though as if I want to get discharged today we need to get up and cracking so that the doctors can all give us the green light to go home. If we are asleep they’ll skip ahead to someone else and next minute it’s five pm and we are still here. So here I am awake thinking about the logistics of our new norm.
I thrive when I’m making other people happy, I am an extrovert through and through, my cup is full when I am with others and if I am helping them then we are dealing in my currency. Having children seriously hinders my ability to do that. I cannot be on the phone long because Isaac gets upset that my attention is elsewhere, I cannot drop everything I am doing to rush to the aid of a friend (naturally extreme exceptions would apply, but in the general sense) and I do not have unlimited time, energy or resources to give to people. Let alone the juggle to be a good wife and somewhere in there be good to myself.
This has been one of my greatest challenges over the last eighteen months since becoming a Mother.
Knowing this about myself I am aware that I am a prime candidate for “mum guilt” which I have expanded to family guilt because from any angle there is the ability to feel like you’ve fallen short. Look I know that every mum regardless of their personality type is a candidate for guilt but I’d be lying if I said that meeting every need of my two children equally was not of greater concern for me leading up to this birth than the birth itself. All I want to do in life is be everything to my kids and I know that this is physically impossible with one of them let alone once I have two; as is now the case.
Isaac loves Mav so much, he is beyond excited every time he sees him but he is a little like a big beautiful Labrador. He bounds round knocking things over with his big tail and paws not understanding the power he is wielding by his size alone in comparison to his baby brother. I know I’m going to have to be very diligent with their interactions as he is still such a baby himself and things could easily go sideways.
How on earth do I tag team with Mylo so we spend equal amounts of time with each child when Mylo unfortunately can’t breastfeed? Oh and he’s our bread winner as well so realistically I’ll be spending much more time alone with the kids than we will be as a family, as is the way our society has deemed it be with the cost of living and all. How do I make sure Isaac doesn’t get jealous of the hours and hours I will spend feeding and burping over the next twelve months. How do I make sure that Mav isn’t neglected unless he needs feeding?
How do I manage this guilt coupled with the sleep deprivation, hormone surges, physical recovery and everything else that comes with the birth of a new baby?
I’ll let you know I guess because whether I figure it out or not, it’s going to happen and I will one way or another make it through.
I guess the best thing I can do right now is try to remember that “Mum Guilt” is a joke and doesn’t deserve the thought space as it is impossible to achieve the standards we set ourselves as parents. I still believe we should set them high and try our darndest, but when we fall short we should take it as a lesson learnt and move forward without beating ourselves up over it.