Thursday, 16 April 2015

Being just a regular mum

Perhaps last week I shouldn't have shared my happiness at Miss A's ability to use the toilet as of course, this week, she has reversed proceedings and demonstrated an inability to not just use the toilet, but to go at all. The poor thing is suffering from constipation.

Just another of the regular challenges facing a mother.

After several days of no movements despite feeding her pear and prune puree, encouraging exercise and lots of tummy massage, Saturday saw her screaming in pain as she desperately tried to push with no results. Eek, what mother can stand that! Off to the A and E it was. I hate visiting the doctors, particularly as a new mother. I actually try my best to solve the problem before heading to the doctors as I constantly feel that I am the paranoid new mother turning up for no valid reason. Of course it is always better to be safe than sorry and I generally do feel better for the visit.  Anyway, hubby rang ahead and checked there was no queue while I bundled Miss A into the car and headed down the road, it's literally a 2 minute drive. Of course, in that 2 minutes, she stopped crying so come time for me to head to reception and explain my daughter was in pain, she was flashing her smile around and charming the pants off everyone. I felt like a fraud circling "severe pain" on the form! Once again, that 'paranoid new mother' sign was flashing away.

"Well you certainly make gorgeous babies", was the way I was greeted by the doctor. Um, thanks but slightly awkward! After a quick examination to ensure there was nothing else wrong plus a talk on constipation "just for my information" which included the fact that the majority of the population actually suffers from constipation without realising it and Kellogs All Bran is the best breakfast cereal to eat to prevent the problem, we were sent on our way with a script of some sugary medicine that should get things going.


New problem. Getting Miss A to take 5mls of this sugary substance. We attempted adding it to water, then adding it to food before finally holding her down and syringing in it. This child is stubborn. We eventually got most of it in. Problem solved we hoped.

By this time we were running behind schedule as we were due at a friend's house for the evening so off we went. I always dread a night out in which we have to settle Miss A at someone else's house. I love seeing people of course, it's just the settling part that is the issue as my first experience was not pleasant. It included a couple of hours of attempted settling, lots of tears from Miss A and an early exit by us with an overtired baby and a hungry, embarrassed and stressed out mother. In short, it was a total disaster! Thankfully, since then, she has settled the few times we have tried it but I still always worry that she won't.

Fortunately, despite the problems from earlier in the day, she settled without any problems. I sat down, relaxed, and looked forward to an evening with friends, particularly as this was a farewell for a couple moving overseas for 3 years.

The evening didn't go quite as planned unfortunately as just as we sat down for dinner, Miss A woke up. This is very out of character for her. In I went to resettle and out I went again. She was still awake. The process repeated and I eventually gave up when it was evident that she was not having a bar of it. Turns out that in the space of a few hours, she had developed a cold. Our first real cold!!! Another early exit for us as we headed home to get our bubs into bed.

The past few days have seen her battling this cold, not helped by the winter chill either. It has left me frustrated. I am used to a relatively chilled out baby, not a constantly clingy one who wants to be held all the time but when held is still unhappy being. There are so many things I have wanted/needed to get done this week with my parents visiting from Australia for a few days, Miss A's dedication at our place on Saturday and a garden in dire need of some attention before this event. Plus the general house work, sewing for Mubs, taxes to be calculated and the list goes on. Needless to say, not much has been achieved. Such is life. Our routines are out the window and I have just had to roll with it...something that I struggle with to say the least.

This cold continued to impact the household. On Tuesday it was hubby and my 4 year wedding anniversary. Thankfully the weather 4 years ago was far milder than it was on Tuesday as we married in a lovely outdoor ceremony in fairly balmy autumn weather. Anyway, the initial celebration plan to mark the event was a nice, candlelit dinner at home. However, come Tuesday, hubby was now down with a cold too and I was feeling slightly jaded so we canned the plans and instead ate left over chicken soup and headed to bed at 8.30pm for a romantic evening of actual sleep...well that was my plan. Hubby slept and I had to wait for Miss A to resettle after coughing herself awake. So much for an early night.

The following morning dawned as one of those freezing mornings when all you want to do is snuggle up under the warm blankets and shut out the world. Of course, Miss A had other plans, treating me to another early morning wake up and so instead of remaining in my lovely warm bed I instead found myself donning my dressing gown and entering the cold reality of the morning to get her up.

So why am I sharing these experiences with you? For no particular reason really except to say life is not glamorous. Well not mine anyway. I am a mother doing motherly things. That means life revolves around a certain little person, this week even more so than usual. That is the reality of being a mum. Not losing yourself completely, but priorities do shift. There is a little helpless person now in my care. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't put extra blankets on herself when she's cold. She doesn't know how to lie in bed and get better when she has a cold. She can't dose herself up. She can't google the answer to her problems. She can't get herself up in the mornings, feed herself or basically do anything at all for herself.

She needs me to help her.

That is my job.

It will evolve. She'll gradually learn to do all these things and will need me less, or need me in a different way, but for now, she is completely reliant on me so what I want/need will have to take a back seat. That is what it means to be a mum. I'm sure in the vast majority of homes around the world, the same situation will be found. We are all in good company.

If you find yourself in a similar situation to me this week, be encouraged by this reminder.

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