Today started off brilliantly. I felt like I was winning at motherhood, ‘I’ve got this!’ I thought. Ha! One non sleeping, winging small person later and I am uptight, stressed, cursing myself because of something horrible I’ve said and the whole day feels ruined. Before pointing out this is catastrophic thinking I know it is and it’s frustrating that knowing this doesn’t make it easier to stop.
After this Alice fell off the bed which was mortifying. She was absolutely fine after a cuddle and being allowed to pull out the entire contents of a 150 nappy bag pack while I sobbed (and I did).
To top the afternoon off I clicked on this article on my Facebook and started ruminating about birth. AGAIN. I started thinking where was my reassurance? Where was my information? Hell where was my friggin’ care?! I started to feel really bitter and sore about the whole experience.
I found myself sitting in a bad mood puddle refusing to get out of it. I spoke to friends, I spoke to husband, I did things and had things that would have made me feel better but still I sit there insisting I’m drowning.
I am not saying that I have exaggerated everything that has happened or that I’m some kind of misery lover because honestly I can’t stand those people and the idea I might turn into one is terrifying. I’m saying that sometimes the only person holding me back is me. Sometimes the only person ruining my good day is me.
Somehow I need to remember to give myself permission to carry on being happy and being a good mum. I am not a bad mum just because I snapped or got it wrong. It is ok to forgive and carry on. I am not a bad or incapable mum because I found labour terrifying and bloody painful. I am not weak in some way because of my experience. I owe myself time to fully heal, I will get there. I am not a bad mum because I whisper ‘for fuck sake’ when Alice wakes me up at 3am just because she wants to play. I’m just totally crap with broken sleep, but that’s ok there’s other stuff I’m good at.
It is so easy to condemn yourself as not good enough because you are trying to live up to every standard of motherhood/parenthood out there but there is only one standard you should be living up to; your child’s.
I look at Alice and I know she loves me, she thinks I’ve got this, she has no idea I’m shitting myself thinking ‘god damn it where is the manual for this thing?!’ When her grandparents drop her off home and I open the door she gives me the biggest toothiest grin and says her version of ‘Hiya!’ it is freakin’ adorable. Sometimes she laughs so hard she can barely breathe, I make her do that. I always put her first, she is the queen of this castle and she has no idea. When I pick her up she cuddles me, sometimes she will stop playing and crawl over to me just to give me a hug. Sometimes she misses and hugs the carpet but it’s the thought that counts. Everyone always says what a happy, contented child she is and she couldn’t be that way if she wasn’t happy and I wasn’t doing something right.
A good mum does her best for her child.
A good mum plays with her child and does everything to make them laugh.
A good mum cuddles her child LOTS.
A good mum loves her child fiercely.
I am a good mum.