I have a confession to make.
Sometimes I don’t believe being a Mum is the best job in the world. Sometimes I think its the worst. Sometimes I hate being a Mother.
I feel guilt, deep into my bones for being so ungrateful. I did not have an easy path to pregnancy. Two long years of poking and prodding of elimination diets and hours spent in Doctors offices to get our little girl. I prayed to a God I don’t believe in that if was blessed with a child I would be the best mother. I would always be calm and measured and my child would know how loved they are, how very much they were wanted.
It’s in the small hours of the night when I am trying to get her back to sleep while she screams, writhing in my arms that I pray to that same illusive God to make it all go away.
Let me sleep. Let me read a book. Let me go out for dinner and be able to sit in one spot long enough to hold a meaningful conversation.
It's when I'm losing my patience at 3am that I have to tell myself over and over again 'don't shake the baby, don't shake the baby'. It's the stomach churning guilt I feel when I recall that moment the next morning when she greets me with her beautiful, big brown eyes. I feel like a monster. I wonder if it's people like me that end up abusing their children.
I recall days after my daughter was born when I was in a floating cloud of love and exhaustion, my Mum said to me that my sweet baby would give me the best and the worst days of my life. It didn't take me long to understand.
How do you reconcile your emotions when you have this entirely dependent human being, who is a cluster of yours and your other halves cells lights up your life one minute and crushes your soul the next?
In my darkest moments I envy people with sick babies in hospital, who get to leave their babies for the night, go home and sleep. I know how awful that sounds, in fact I have deleted it and re-added it to this entry three times. But I must plead not guilty by insanity. I am so lucky to have a healthy, happy baby and I know many people would take my sleepless nights and tantrums in a heartbeat. I know there are people who would be more grateful than me, be a better parent than me. Please know, I don't really want that, my heart bleeds for people whose babies need help just surviving. It is not a rational thought, I don't mean it and I'm so sorry it even enters my mind.
Is it just me? Are you reading this thinking I'm a monster? Or are we all secretly harbouring some small shred of disdain for motherhood?
It's a thankless job that never ends. I'm rewarded with smiles and giggles, hair pulling and face scratching, giants poos and impressive milestones. I know that every day until I die I will be a Mum. There's no retirement, no redundancy. I know best, I'm a grown woman with a baby and a mortgage who sometimes has to ask her Mum to pay her phone bill or give me advice about a funny rash on my daughter.
I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not 98% of the time. But I would be lying if I said that there was never any doubt in my mind that this was the best job in the world like people told me. I'm certain I am not the amazing Mum people told me I would be.
But I am doing my very best. I'm trying to be better. To be more grateful. She makes me want to be a better version of myself.
I'm just at the beginning of parenthood, I know I have so many more trying times ahead of me. I don't know everything about how to be a good Mum, although I'm not sure I ever will.
But, my darling Ivy I want you to know that despite my weakest moments when I have to walk away and let you scream hysterically when all you want is your Mum, you are the best thing that's ever happened to me and your Dad. Never have I smiled as much, laughed as much or been as proud as I have been since I first saw those two lines on the home pregnancy test.
My girl, when you are 60 and I'm 84 there will still be a place for you beside me, a spot on my chest to rest your head in the tough times and let your Mummy make it better. Maybe by then I'll even have it all worked out, but no promises.
If you are having more bad days than good days as a new Mum, you don't have to suffer alone. Help is available from the National Perinatal Depression Helpline on 1300 726 306. From one Mum to another, you are doing a wonderful job.
This post originally appeared on The Wasted Mumma and has been republished here with full permission.
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