Archive for the 'mummy guilt' Category

Guilty, Your Honour.

mister maker cbeebies arts craftsWHAT a day.

It started so well – LD slept through till 7am without a peep. Awesome. We had breakfast, we played, we sang, we read, we had lunch, we watched Makka Pakka be all OCD-like with his stones. All good.

LD went down for a nap at about 1 ish. Woke up screaming at about 1.03.  Yep, seems tooth no.3 is finally on the way – right at the back, can just feel it starting to poke through. Every time he tries to sleep, it kicks off.  Poor little dude 😦  He finally crashed about an hour ago. I don’t have high hopes for a restful night.

But enough whiney stuff, let’s talk guilt.  But the good kind.  The pleasurable kind.  That’s right lovely blog readers – we’re talking Guilty Pleasures.

For you see lovely @porridgebrain asked on twitter yesterday for writing workshop prompt suggestions, and she only went with my idea – woo! Given my big love for the workshop, I am super flattered!  Of course now, I must play the game & confess to my own guilty pleasures.  So, here we go:

1. Cult Teen Movies.  Honestly, I don’t really consider myself a grown-up.  Even now with my 30th birthday & a seven month old son under my belt, my brain still thinks I’m 20.  And so every now & then I indulge myself and watch Heathers or The Lost Boys and imagine what life would be like if Christian Slater or Corey Haim were my boyfriend. *wistful sigh*…

2. Trashy chick-lit.  I got an A for A Level English Literature. I can converse about Shakespeare and Hardy & Austen with the best of them, and I truly do love proper novels – both of the old and modern variety.  But sometimes, I do rather enjoy just switching my brain off & reading a vacuous of tale of love and betrayal and shopping.

3. Biscuits for lunch.  At least once a month (yes, often when mother nature is a house guest), I will secretly skip anything of nutritional value at lunchtime, in favour of sitting with a big mug of tea (and perhaps one of those fluffy novels mentioned above), and work my way through a whole packet of biscuits.  Shameful? Probably.  But SO good.

4. Facebook Stalking.  There are SO many people on my friends list who are only there out of politeness. Who I rarely see, only know through friends, or just don’t really care about (don’t judge me – bet you have some too!), but I do quite enjoy checking up on their statuses and the like – particularly when they’re bitching about other pseudo-friends they don’t realise you know. It’s like a little real-life soap opera 🙂

5. Inappropriate crushes. I’ll happily tell anyone who cares to listen about my deep love for Johnny Depp and David Tennant and Robbie Williams… … … sorry – got distracted 😉 – but I also have several less high-profile crushes that I tend to keep to myself – Andrew Castle on GMTV is probably old enough to be my dad, but he’s everso dishy.  Mister Maker on cBeebies – the LD is a long way off cutting and sticking, yet we watch every single day.  And Simon Cowell.  Yes, even with that hair and those trousers.

I could go on, but I think 5 guilty confessions will do for now.

As always, all of the prompts over at Sleep is for the Weak are brilliant, so go have a peek. I may still have a go at some of the others myself, but for now, there’s a little boy starting to stir who needs my attention.

While I do that – consider the comment box a confession booth – what are your guilty pleasures?

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The one where I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself…

Snuffle. Sniff. Sneeze.
Yeah, I have a cold 😦 As does the little dude 😦 Fun, it is not.
(disclaimer: don’t worry, it is just a cold – no oinking or sprouting curly tails!)

I feel like this is one of those ‘mummy rights of passage’ I have to conquer to earn my stripes. Back in the time BLD (before little dude), getting a cold meant bundling up on the sofa for a day or two with tea, biscuits & rubbish daytime telly, feeling a bit feeble until the sneezing subsided.

Now, not so much.

Because despite having his own bout of sniffles (which I am trying to help him with, aided by what I have dubbed the ‘snotinator’ – essentially, a mini turkey baster designed to suck the snot out of your beautiful child’s nose. They don’t tell you about THOSE in the pregnancy books!!), the little dude still wants to play non stop, and be entertained, and of course there’s the feeding, burping, washing, dressing et al – doesn’t leave much sofa time 😛

I feel like such a wuss, and I hate it! I’m really not *that* poorly, but because I’ve not been able to just curl up in a big sneezey ball for a while, I’m exhausted! And I really should stop complaining – the Mr came home, bearing dinner *and* chocolate, made me tea with honey & lemon in, and has offered to take care of feeding duties tonight so I can get some sleep – but then I feel all guilty because he’s up at the crack of dawn for work!!

ARG! The joys of motherhood eh?

On a brighter note, even while battling with his first cold, the little dude has now well and truly mastered the art of the rollover. I’m very very proud 🙂
He’s been trying it for weeks, but couldn’t quite manage to flip his over-sized baby head, now, it’s not a problem. And now he knows how, he wants to do it *all* the time. Don’t think crawling is a million miles away – mummy really needs to get in shape!

And now, I must go blow my nose. I’ve totally lost count of whose nose I’ve wiped more often today. And incidentally – baby wipes make great tissues – no scratchy sore red nose is one advantage of having a baby when you have a cold!

The controversy of boobies!

So as a new mummy, I can’t help but keep up with the mountain of media coverage breast feeding has been attracting lately.

My first thought on the whole thing, is why is it all such a big deal?
Why do so many people who aren’t even mothers, care so much about how those who DO have children, feed them?
(prime example – the breast feeding consultant who ‘helpfully’ manhandled my boobs in hospital, has no children, yet made it her mission to get me lactating like a jersey cow. go figure.)

Secondly, those who apparently find breast feeding in public ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’- what exactly is your problem please?
If you find it so terribly awful, here’s a suggestion: don’t look.
We are not doing it for attention, it’s not a peep show (in my own experience, I’ll use anything available – blankie, bib, babies head – to make sure I’m flashing as little boob as possible!), we’re doing a job. Would you rather a hungry screaming baby interrupt your oh-so-civilised cappuccino & browse through the times? Thought not.

Thirdly, those of you out there who are so fiercely pro-breastfeeding you view formula as the devil’s baby juice & mums who use it as unfit, selfish anti-mothers, how about sparing a though for those who can’t breastfeed?
Oh I know I know, ‘it’s the most natural thing in the world’, ‘breast is best’, blah blah blah, but as with most things in life, sometimes it just doesn’t pan out.

And the last thing a new mum who can’t, or has decided not to breast feed needs, is someone who doesn’t matter judging her decision.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about – each individual mother making her own choice. And it should be an informed choice – as my good friends cafe bebe & OMG Pregnant have been discussing, and it should be respected.

Personally, I always wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t even think about it, just assumed it’d all fall into place.
WRONG!
My birth was traumatic.
Afterwards, I was exhausted, and the little dude was too.
We tried almost immediately, he wasn’t interested.
A little later, the breastfeeding consultant came to visit, poked, prodded, and shoved my boob into the little dude’s face, not happening.
A little later still, he woke up from a nap & I tried myself, he got there. I was full of joy. For about 7 seconds.
Oh my God it hurt.
Nobody had told me ‘the most natural thing in the world’ would make me want to swear like a sailor.
But I persisted. After a week of feeding on demand, often 2 hourly for an hour at a time, my boobs, and me were a mess.
The HV came round to weigh the little man, he had lost 14% of his body weight. I was distraught. I was so disheartened. I felt like a failure.
We had to take him back into hospital, he was weak & listless & just didn’t have the energy to feed.
They gave him some formula through a tube (which utterly broke my heart) & encouraged me to express as much milk as I could, which went down too.
(NB: they lent me an electric breast pump – that did NOT help my painful boobs one bit. Imagine a hoover latched to your nips. Yeah, owch.)
Withing 48 hours, he was back at my boobs.
It was still killing me, but I was so relieved, I grinned & bared it.
The doctor’s guessed that he may have been ‘lazy feeding’, I didn’t care, it all semed to be fixed, we could take him home, I was happy.
A week later, still feeding on demand what felt like a thousand times a day (and night!) the HV weighed him again, he’d put on 3 ounces.
That was my lowest point.
HV suggested topping up with formula after every feed, and after she left, I reluctantly sent the daddy out to get a pot of Aptamil.
I cried for over an hour.
Within another week, we were officially combination-feeding – alternating one boob, one bottle through the day, and just boobs at night.
And we were all SO much happier for it.
The little dude started gaining weight beautifully, my boobs started healing, the daddy stopped having to watch me cry every time I fed.

Breast is best? No, this was much, MUCH better all round.

Now, 3 months on, it’s about half & half. The little dude is happy, healthy & thriving – and seems to be slowly weaning himself off the boobies, which is good,I only ever wanted to breastfeed up until proper-food-weaning, as I personally believe that’s long enough.
(But that’s another story!)
And for the record, my son & I have bonded fantastically despite our bumpy road, so there goes that ridiculous formula = no bond with baby theory.

The best advice I can give to expectant mummies, is go with the flow, and expect the unexpected.
Give it a go, you might be one of the lucky ones – you & your baby will take to it like ducks to water & it’ll be great – but, be prepared to have to work at it, you’re both learning! And, in case it doesn’t go according to plan, have bottle-feeding equipment on hand as a back up plan, and DO NOT beat yourself up about using it.

Those first few weeks are far too precious to waste on a boobs vs. bottles guilt trip – and as long as your little one is full, nourished, and happy, you’re doing a great job, regardless of what you’re using to do it 🙂

So apparently, pain in labour is a good thing.

Or so says Dr Denis Walsh in this article in The Observer. (Brought to my attention by the lovely & equally outraged Sandy at Baby Baby – her blog is great, go have a peek!)

Yes, that’s Denis Walsh, as in a male of the species, so probably not all that experienced in the field of childbirth.
Ah, but he is “a senior midwife and associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University”, so y’know, he has watched a lot of women give birth. Well that’s okay then. HA!!!

The good doctor claims that:
“A large number of women want to avoid pain. Some just don’t fancy the pain [of childbirth]. More women should be prepared to withstand pain. Pain in labour is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby.”

He sounds great, doesn’t he?
DEFINITELY want him on hand in the delivery suite if I ever have a second.
So that I can punch him repeatedly in the head.

Seriously, what a lot of nonsense. (That’s not quite the words I used as I was reading, but I’m trying to be polite!)

Obviously, yes, a natural, drug-free labour is the ideal situation.
But we don’t live in an ideal world!!
And yes, I appreciate that in ‘the old days’, women had no choice but to grin & bear pushing their babies out drug-free – but doctors also used to amputate limbs with no pain relief – should we go back to doing that too Dr Walsh? No, thought not.
And let’s not forget, in the ‘old days’, all too many mum’s & babies tragically died in childbirth – we have the technology to avoid that now – why on earth would we go backwards?

The fact is, modern medicine is constantly evolving & presenting pregnant women with options and choices. And that’s just what they are – CHOICES. Which should be respected. If a woman chooses gas & air, an epidural or even an elective c-section, that is her choice, and she should definitely NOT be made to feel any ‘less of a woman’ because of it.

A pain-free birth may negatively impact your bond with your baby?
Doubtful.
A wretched little man spouting nonsense about pain as a ‘rite of passage’ & making you feel inadequate for accepting help?
I’d say that’s more likely to cause problems. But then what do I know, I have no medical training or qualifications, I’m only a new mum who’s actually had a child.

And incidentally, my own birth plan had ‘Natural’ plastered all over it.
I wanted to grin & bear it & do things the old fashioned way.
But in the end, I did have an epidural (after dilating only a cm in 14 hours & getting utterly exhausted), which failed, and resulted in me needing an emergency c-section. None of which was in anyway fun, or an ‘easy’ option.
I had nightmares about my birth for weeks afterwards, which were not at all fun either.
I did feel inadequate because I hadn’t given birth ‘properly’. Again, not fun, not easy.
But I got through it. And not once did it effect my bond with my son Dr Walsh, if anything, it made it stronger. So there goes that theory.

And the ‘rite of passage’ involved with becoming a mother, is certainly not the pain.

It’s carrying your baby for 9 months & dealing with all that goes with that.
It’s holding your tiny baby in your arms & promising to take care of him for the rest of your life.
It’s changing your first nappy.
It’s gushing over the first smile, the first steps, the first words.
It’s a million other things on a daily basis that are nothing to do with being in agony for however many hours.

Mothers are amazing. How we bring our babies into the world, is irrelevant. We’re clever, strong, adaptable, resiliant and feisty.
And there are a lot of us.
So you should maybe keep your head down for a while Dr Walsh, because we can get rather vocal when provoked too!

(Can’t help but wonder if Dr Walsh is married? My guess would be no. Or if he is, his dinner will be in the dog for sometime to follow.)

Okay, rant over 😀

All aboard the guilt train!

So all of you more experienced yummy mummys will most likely read this either nodding sympathetically or thinking ‘ah, bless the naivety of the newbie’, but really, none of the baby books mention it – The All Consuming Guilt that comes with your pass to the mummy club!

It starts while you’re a preggopot:
-guilt about not eating like a super duper health goddess
-guilt about thinking ‘antenatal yoga classes, what a good idea’, then never actually doing anything about it
-guilt about those boozy nights before you realised you were pregnant and the damage you might have already done to your tiny unborn child.

And then just gets worse in labour & beyond:
-guilt about giving in to the drugs when your au-naturel birth plan goes awry
-guilt about just wanting to sleeeeep
-guilt about secretly not actually liking some of the ‘lovely’ gifts people give
-guilt about not sending thank you cards, replying to texts, answering phonecalls…
-guilt about eating chocolate digestives for breakfast
-guilt about leaving your wide awake baby all alone in their moses basket for 2 minutes because you simply have to pee & there’s nobody else home!
…the list goes on. and on 😛

However, the busy-busy of the last fortnight has made me a little late in mentioning the worst guilt so far: the little dude had his first round of injections last week – oh the trauma!

I’d been dreading it since the appointment slip came through the door (I HATE needles, so the thought of someone sticking them into my tiny little baby was not good!), but the day came, and I was brave – faked being all super happy & calm so as not to worry the little man.
We sat there in front of the nurse, and her two evil syringes.
I babbled to the noodle like a loony, keeping him distracted.
She landed the first one.
He didn’t even flinch. Not a peep. I thought ‘Brilliant!, what was I worried abut?!’
Second leg, Second jab.
Oh dear.

My little man turned to me with the biggest pout I’ve seen so far, a look of ‘what did you just let her do?’, went very red, then let rip with an almighty scream.
Which continued most of the way home.

I have never felt so guilty in all my life!
Of course *I* know that it’s for his own good, but there’s no way of explaining that to a pouty little baby who’s looking at you like you’ve just utterly betrayed him!

Thankfully, he went off to sleep when we got home & woke up having forgotten all about it – no bad reaction, no need for the baby calpol I’d stocked up on, all good.

But of course, we have to do it all again next month.
And again the month after that!

I just hope it’s not like when we take the dog to the V-E-T – when we turn that particular corner and it suddenly dawns on her that we’re not just out for a lovely extra long walk after all.
When we’re sat in the waiting room, will he remember the last time & try to make a break for it?! Or will mummy’s crazy-lady babbling & toy-shaped distractions be enough to keep him occupied?

Oh I hope so.
But either way, the guilt train will definitely pull in again as soon as I see those evil pointy needles.
The little dude might not remember it all in years to come – but I certainly will!


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