Am I losing my mind? Am I boring? Am I going mental?
That feeling you get when you first hold your newborn son or daughter and start to bond is unlike anything else.
The weeks and months that follow are an amazing and never-get-back time of your and your partner’s lives. Painful and gory yes, but absolutely beautiful all the same.
You live in a daze of smiles, tears (both good and bad), exhaustion, happiness and love. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
The ‘new baby haze’ can last a long time. When our now 12-month-old baby boy Harry was just a few weeks old I made the decision that I couldn’t go back to work at four months post-partum, like I was meant to. The job was to last just another three months after that and I just couldn’t bring myself to leave him that young. My career, something that was so important to me pre-baby, paled into absolute insignificance once he arrived. He became my everything.
I was blissfully happy staying home with him, watching him grow and devouring every development and moment. It wasn’t until he was around nine months old that things started to change.
Being a stay at home mum or dad is a tough gig. And it an be downright isolating, particularly if, like me, you don’t have any stay at home mummy or daddy friends or much family support nearby.
Each day can get a little like ‘Groundhog Day’. When it actually boils down to it, if you had to explain the ins and outs of it to your other half, it would sound silly. “What did you do all day?” your other half says. “Well, I fed Harry, cleaned up, played with him, cleaned up again, did two loads of washing, made lunch, cleaned up, hung out the washing, put away clothes, took Harry for a walk, cleaned up…” repeat repeat repeat…
Pre-baby, my job was a big deal to me and kicking butt in it was my sole focus. Now, I feel like I spend all day every day chasing my tail and accomplishing nothing. Yes, I know my achievements are all there in the eyes and happiness of my child – however, all of these mummy tasks definitely don’t do much to stimulate the brain, and if I’m truly honest that’s left me feeling pretty blergh.
One day a little while ago it dawned on me that I’d spent all day thinking or talking about my child. That was probably the case for consecutive days before that. I had little idea of news and current affairs outside of the parenting world, and will fully admit to being way too obsessed with my baby and his daily routine.
There are those who are completely and utterly content to stay at home with their kids for good. For a while there, I thought that was me. But it’s just not.