Day three

After the horrific ordeal that was my labour (one day I’ll blog about it as a free virtual contraception to any readers still around to hear me complain) my wonderful midwife came over for our first check. She weighed baby and did the usual midwife type things and then she said as she left: “Remember, around day three you’ll suddenly feel very emotional. This is hormonal. And it’s normal. Just be ready for it. If you start to feel out of control just take a breath.”

I immediately forgot this advice while staring at my little bundle of perfection who had been born only eight hours or so earlier.

On the morning of Day Three I was feeling very smug. I still had that adrenaline-fuelled-happy-happy-thank-all-of-the-Gods-I’m-not-pregnant-anymore-look-at-my-perfect-baby rush going on. I was dressed which I felt was a huge achievement. I was still feeling powerful (but in an I survived a massacre kind of way) about my son’s birth. A coffee was all I needed and my day would be perfect.

I turned on my new coffee machine.

The little light with the beautiful little outline of a coffee didn’t turn on.

What the fuck?

I pressed it again, but the little light with the little outline of a coffee didn’t turn on.

I shook the machine. The light. It didn’t fucking turn on.

I took the thing out of the thing. It didn’t turn on.

I hit the machine. It didn’t turn on.

Suddenly I knew with every fibre of my being that this was my husband’s fault. He had clearly broken the machine. Never mind that he doesn’t drink coffee. That was a minor detail. I bet he fucking broke it and didn’t fucking fix it. Probably because he doesn’t drink coffee. And you just can’t trust people who don’t drink coffee, even if you’re married to them.

Then, like a deer about to be hit by a leaking truck fuelled not by petrol but by pure incandescent rage, my husband walked nonchalantly into the kitchen.

“The coffee machine won’t work. You need to fix it,” I told him.

“Can you just have a coffee at my mum’s?” He said in a perfectly reasonable tone. “We are already late”.

“HOW DARE YOU. HOW VERY DARE YOU,” I screeched. “FIRST YOU GET ME PREGNANT AND THEN YOU DENY ME COFFEE. YOU FUCKING MONSTER.”

My husband blinked at me. “Don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit? It’s just coffee. Just have one at mum’s.”

“JUST COFFEE? JUST. COFFEE. WHO EVEN ARE YOU??”

I launched into a 45 minute attack that covered most of his suddenly apparently numerous failings and the fact that there’s only instant coffee at his mum’s. “Why can’t you just fix the machine that you broke so I can just have the one thing I need in this world?” Clearly our marriage was in trouble if he couldn’t do this one thing that would make me so happy. Suddenly I was devastated, I had always thought we had a good marriage. People had commented on how good our marriage was. And now, it was all a lie. We would need to divorce probably. What kind of impact would this have on Christmas? I don’t want to have to fucking drive on Christmas Day when Christmas Day is clearly a day for drinking too much. What if he got a girlfriend? What if he married someone? What if my new baby called her mum????

He picked up the nappy bag.

“Are you leaving me?” I cried.

He stared at me utterly bewildered.

I began sobbing.

I was clearly a terrible wife. I adored him. And I didn’t want to raise two kids on my own. I didn’t want my kids being raised by some other woman who would probably be far more attractive than me. But he did break the coffee machine.

“Umm I don’t know what’s going on with here but I think we should just go to mum’s and we can buy you a proper coffee on the way there”.

We cannot afford a proper coffee I thought. We are so broke. What are we going to do? Now I have no coffee machine. I can’t buy coffee and I can’t make coffee at home. I’ll have to go back to work tomorrow even though it’s Sunday and the office will be closed. I won’t be able to bond with my baby. He will turn into a serial killer. I’m going to ruin my precious baby’s life. I fell to the kitchen floor sobbing.

“I am a terrible mother,” I wailed. “Just leave. Take the kids. They’re better off without me”.

My husband stared at me with a look of confused fear on his face. He walked slowly over to the coffee machine trying to avoid turning his back to me. He maintained eye contact. His movements were slow and deliberate.

He turned the power on at the wall. He pressed the button. The little light with the little outline of the coffee cup turned on.

***

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I am grateful and…

I’ve had a few requests for a no-swears version of my original post. I want the post to be accessible to any sleep deprived mums so here’s a censored version. My other posts (if I ever get around to writing another post – this was my first on parenting) will likely have swears in them so in future – viewer discretion advised. I am overwhelmed by the wonderful response to my post. Thanks so much for reading and sharing and I hope you get some sleep soon 🙂

It was some time between midnight and 3am. I was dead asleep. I’d fed the littliest at midnight so it was after that, and it was before he woke up for a feed at 3am. This hardly matters, because that time of night is Hell unless you’re pashing, happy drunk, smoking in a bar, dancing, or on drugs – y’know, generally having a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve milk dripping out of your breasts or playing the fart or poop game.

So, I’m asleep and I feel this tiny hand on my face and then there’s a kiss on my forehead. And for a second I’m confused like – did the tiny one do that? He’s only four-weeks-old? Is he a mutant? That would be amazing. And then I realise it’s my big baby and I pull him into my arms while still asleep and think “oh he’s delicious”. But then he elbows me in the boob and says “JAY JUNGLE MAMA” and I’m like “ughhh you’re not delicious at all. What is that smell?” And I tell him to be quiet and I cuddle him and he says “NO JAY JUNGLE” and he climbs onto my chest and it hurts so bad because my boobs are about to explode. And then I cuddle/smother him and spend the next 40 minutes or so (who knows how long it was – it felt like days) getting him to sleep. And then I got him to sleep and I got up and I went to the bathroom and I came back to this: Bed And I was like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IT’S MY BED. WHY ARE YOU EVEN UPSIDE DOWN? WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE SPACE THAT IS MY OWN? WHY ARE YOU ALMOST THREE AND YOU SLEEP WORSE THAN A NEWBORN? WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY ROOM FOR ME??”.

And even though this was an internal scream the little one woke up angrily demanding a feed. While feeding on the floor I took a photo and I put it on Facebook and Twitter. And on Twitter I said ‘sigh’ because the parents on Twitter get it. And on Facebook I did a slightly longer comment because I was trying to be a bit light hearted because…well, we will get there… So, I said “How come it’s my bed and there’s never room for me in it?” Which you’ll note is not “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?…”

It was meant to be funny, a way for me to be like “see?” without being like “OMG KILL ME SEE?” And then I got this message, which I always do, from a friend’s mum. It said: “Be grateful for your boys. They will be adults before you know it and they won’t want to sleep with you. You should enjoy this time”. And I was like OK, I hope I’m never so unstable that when my sons are in their 20s I want them sleeping with me. But aside from that – CAN YOU NOT?

I know the first thing I’m going to be told is “people are just trying to be nice! They’re trying to comfort you”. Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to be charitable when you’ve had two hours sleep. Here’s the deal – trying to be helpful or not – it isn’t. It isn’t helpful. It’s condescending, patronising, and it’s actually (without being melodramatic but maybe a bit melodramatic) it’s dangerous. Constantly telling parents – Be grateful! Be grateful! One day they won’t be pooping on you! And you’ll be like “omg, I long for the days when I was covered in sour milk and diarrhoea!” So – be grateful! You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL – leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel.

It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong. I am so grateful for my kids. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. So I don’t need you to tell me to be grateful. I am.

Guess what – I can be so grateful and so tired. I can be so grateful and so over it. I can be so grateful and also imagine not having kids and just pashing and dancing and drinking bourbons till I puke. These comments always come from people with grown kids. And I get it. Maybe? I mean when the boys are in their 20s I might be wishing they still lived with me and needed me 24-7. I mean, I kind of hope in my late 50s I’m acting like I was in my early 20s – boning their dad, drinking bourbons, going to gigs, spending all my money on band tee shirts and fast food. But I digress – I get it kind of. Your kids are grown, you miss them, you see parents at the beginning of their parenting journey and it makes you nostalgic. I get that there’s no malicious intent.

But just again – can you not.

Because when I make a heavily sanitised comment about not sleeping and you make a comment about being grateful, it implies I’m not grateful. And in my sleep deprived state it makes me feel like a horrible person.

And this might seem like an overreaction to a comment, but I (and other parents) get it All. The. Time. The other week I said: “Just as one little bogan falls asleep, another little bogan wakes up. They’re like a tag team” and I got one comment and three messages with the “one day you’ll miss it/be grateful” message. I get it about once a week. And the more I get it the more I feel like I can’t talk about the hard parts of parenting, or the things I’m struggling with. Because I don’t want to appear ungrateful for my awesome kids, even the one that hates sleeping. And you see how that’s a problem right? So, here are some things you can say instead of be grateful:

  • I don’t remember how hard it was never sleeping because I’m retired and I sleep until 10 now and I spend all day playing Candy Crush. SO I’m just going to shut up. (Might be too specific).
  • That sounds tough, want me to drop you over something with chocolate in it?
  • You don’t look tired at all. You look like a glam actress who only eats paleo stuff and drinks grass smoothies.
  • I heard kids who don’t sleep are smarter than kids who do.
  • Parenting is really hard sometimes. It’s ok to find it hard sometimes.

xB

***

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I am grateful, now fuck off.

It was some time between midnight and 3am. I was dead asleep. I’d fed the littliest at midnight so it was after that, and it was before he woke up for a feed at 3am. This hardly matters, because that time of night is Hell unless you’re pashing, happy drunk, smoking in a bar, dancing, or on drugs – y’know, generally having a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve milk dripping out of your breasts or playing the fart or shit game.

So, I’m asleep and I feel this tiny hand on my face and then there’s a kiss on my forehead. And for a second I’m confused like – did the tiny one do that? He’s only four-weeks-old? Is he a mutant? That would be amazing.

And then I realise it’s my big baby and I pull him into my arms while still asleep and think “oh he’s delicious”. But then he elbows me in the tit and says “JAY JUNGLE MAMA” and I’m like “ughhh fuck you’re not delicious at all. What is that smell?” And I tell him to be quiet and I cuddle him and he says “NO JAY JUNGLE” and he climbs onto my chest and it hurts so bad because my boobs are about to explode. And then I cuddle/smother him and spend the next 40 minutes or so (who knows how long it was – it felt like days) getting him to sleep. And then I got him to sleep and I got up and I went to the bathroom and I came back to this:

Bed

And I was like “FUCK THIS SHIT IT’S MY BED. WHY ARE YOU EVEN UPSIDE DOWN? WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE SPACE THAT IS MY OWN? WHY ARE YOU ALMOST THREE AND YOU SLEEP WORSE THAN A NEWBORN? WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY ROOM FOR ME??”.

And even though this was an internal scream the little one woke up angrily demanding a feed. While feeding on the floor I took a photo and I put it on Facebook and Twitter. And on Twitter I said ‘sigh’ because the parents on Twitter get it. And on Facebook I did a slightly longer comment because I was trying to be a bit light hearted because…well, we will get there…

So, I said “How come it’s my bed and there’s never room for me in it?” Which you’ll note is not “FUCK THIS SHIT…” It was meant to be funny, a way for me to be like “see?” without being like “OMG KILL ME SEE?” And then I got this message, which I fucking always do, from a friend’s mum. It said: “Be grateful for your boys. They will be adults before you know it and they won’t want to sleep with you. You should enjoy this time”. And I was like OK, I hope I’m never so unstable that when my sons are in their 20s I want them sleeping with me. But aside from that – CAN YOU NOT?

I know the first thing I’m going to be told is “people are just trying to be nice! They’re trying to comfort you”. Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to be charitable when you’ve had two hours sleep. Here’s the deal – trying to be helpful or not – it isn’t. It isn’t helpful. It’s condescending, patronising, and it’s actually (without being melodramatic but maybe a bit melodramatic) it’s dangerous.

Constantly telling parents – Be grateful! Be grateful! One day they won’t be shitting on you! And you’ll be like “omg, I long for the days when I was covered in sour milk and diarrhoea!” So – be grateful! You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL – leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel. It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a fucking monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.

I am so grateful for my kids. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. So I don’t need you to tell me to be grateful. I am. Guess what – I can be so grateful and so tired. I can be so grateful and so fucking over it. I can be so grateful and also imagine not having kids and just pashing and dancing and drinking bourbons till I puke.

These comments always come from people with grown kids. And I get it. Maybe? I mean when the boys are in their 20s I might be wishing they still lived with me and needed me 24-7. I mean, I kind of hope in my late 50s I’m acting like I was in my early 20s – boning their dad, drinking bourbons, going to gigs, spending all my money on band tee shirts and fast food. But I digress – I get it kind of. Your kids are grown, you miss them, you see parents at the beginning of their parenting journey and it makes you nostalgic. I get that there’s no malicious intent.

But just again – can you not. Because when I make a heavily sanitised comment about not sleeping and you make a comment about being grateful, it implies I’m not grateful. And in my sleep deprived state it makes me feel like an asshole.

And this might seem like an overreaction to a comment, but I (and other parents) get it All. The. Time. The other week I said: “Just as one little bogan falls asleep, another little bogan wakes up. They’re like a tag team” and I got one comment and three messages with the “one day you’ll miss it/be grateful” message. I get it about once a week. And the more I get it the more I feel like I can’t talk about the hard parts of parenting, or the things I’m struggling with. Because I don’t want to appear ungrateful for my awesome kids, even the one that hates sleeping. And you see how that’s a problem right? So, here are some things you can say instead of be grateful:

  • I don’t remember how hard it was never sleeping because I’m retired and I sleep until 10 now and I spend all day playing Candy Crush. SO I’m just going to shut the fuck up. (Might be too specific).
  • That sounds tough, want me to drop you over something with chocolate in it?
  • You don’t look tired at all. You look like a glam actress who only eats paleo stuff and drinks grass smoothies.
  • I heard kids who don’t sleep are smarter than kids who do.
  • Parenting is really hard sometimes. It’s ok to find it hard sometimes.

xB

Update: wow! I’m really overwhelmed by the response to this post. Thank you so much for all of your comments. I wish I could reply to every one – but I’m typing one handed because cluster bloody fucking feeding. But thank you – I feel less alone and I hope you do too. Also, I love the idea of #iamgrateful!

***

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