Since becoming a mum last November, I have been challenged emotionally. Of course I’ve discovered unconditional love and joy at little things etc. But I also get more angry and frustrated than I ever did and I am not ashamed to admit it.
There is one thing in particular that triggers these “negative” emotions:
Not managing to get A to nap. She’ll go from going down for her morning nap at 9AM for days in a row and one day just won’t. Or I’ll try and get her down for a last nap around 3 because surely she can’t be awake from 1.30PM til 7PM and it will be impossible. The worse is when she won’t even fall asleep in the buggy because as all mums know when all else fails, take them for a walk! It makes me angry that I resort to feeding her to sleep sometimes still, not always but sometimes I know that it will work. I should not get angry about that, it burns some of the “Naughty treat” calories I consume. I get most frustrated when she finally falls asleep and wakes after 10 minutes, I mean WTF? All that for 10 minutes!!?? Somehow when the naps are a disaster (thank god not every day and isn’t that bad overall and she goes to bed easily at 7PM every night), it hits me at the core of my sense of “motherhood”, I feel like a failure, nothing else makes me feel like a failure except these bloody naps or lack of rather…And yes before you ask, I look out for tiredness cues (the second she rubs her little face, she goes to bed), make sure she’s not awake too long, try to stick to the same nap times every day, have read Gina Ford and the baby whispers and countless blog posts and websites…
Maybe it’s because when she was a newborn I “sleep deprived” her, as we were having so many issues feeding, I assumed all cries were hunger related and kept feeding her when really she should have been sleeping. She would be awake for hours which is not right for a newborn. Anyway she survived. Or maybe it’s because being able to get your baby to nap easily seems to be the “ultimate” in being a good mum nowadays, it means you’ve got the whole “routine” thing down, those mums are in CONTROL or just lucky.
Also I hate (and to be honest am not that used to failing) failing at anything, which is probably why I have trouble dealing with it.
When she won’t nap, it really frustrates me because all I want to do is HAVE A BREAK, have a cup of tea in silence, read the gossip on Dailymail.com, watch TV, make a phone call, write a blog post…
I go from being obsessed with naps to thinking fxxx it, it’s her problem if she won’t go to sleep but then the guilt over how “lunchtime time naps are crucial for their brain development” rears its head…
I think naps reflect the challenge of motherhood, desperately trying to do the right thing yet trying to not get “obsessed” and realise it’s not a question of life and death and no it won’t stop her going to university if she doesn’t have midday naps. You want to do what’s best for them, yet you mustn’t believe everything you read (or get told by people…) or worry too much. It’s a hard balancing act – trying to stay relaxed and happy and neither become obsessive nor careless. I find it a real struggle sometimes. I keep reminding myself that there are millions of mums over the world who have a lot more important things to worry about than if their baby has been awake for more than 2 hours. I’m lucky that I can worry about these things, it’s a luxury to be able to stay home and spend time on routines etc. It’s probably because I have too much time on my hands, if I ever have 2 children, I’m sure number 2 will just be left to cry sometimes and I certainly won’t have time to keep track of and analyse nap times! First world mum problems that’s for sure.
I now know why nature makes babies so cute, it’s so you can’t remain angry with them for long 🙂
Anybody else understand how I feel?