Dear New Mum

 

Dear New Mum (me a few years ago),

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This new mum thing has come as a shock to the system. I’m sorry nobody told you how hard it would be. You expected to feel “overwhelming love and pride” for the new bundle. All of your friends told you about the pure joy and bliss of those new born days. You just feel sleep deprived and emotionally unstable. I’m sorry there seemed to be a blackout of any “this new born stuff is tough” posts on Social Media and you were bombarded with “feeling blessed” posts when people had a baby.  You feel like an inadequate mother because you are too tired to feel blessed.

I’m sorry you’re not able to tell anyone how you’re feeling. You’re putting on a brave face and the mask isn’t slipping.  You’re worn out after the C section and you just want to rest but your son will Not. Stop. Crying. It’s painful every time you bend over the cot to pick him up and I’m sorry you feel guilty about wanting the nurses to take him from you for just an hour or two. Your mum talks about her early days in the maternity hospital as a relaxing experience. Your experience is not like your mothers.

You thought your son had golden skin and now you feel awful because it turns out he is Jaundiced. I see you’re upset because you didn’t know the difference between a blanket and a sheet and you wrapped him in the wrong thing. I could see the look the nurse gave you too. I heard you ask to switch him to the bottle because he constantly wants fed. I also heard the midwife list all of the reasons why you shouldn’t do this. I know you could have listed them yourself because you’ve read enough books on the subject. None of those books explained how difficult it would be though.

You didn’t realise every cry from your new baby would be like a dagger through your heart. You never envisaged just how sleep deprivation could make every little thing seem worse.  You feel hopeless because you’re having difficulty showering yourself or fetching breakfast. It’s a day after your C Section and I’m sorry that you think you are supposed to be doing those things. It’s ok to ask for help – you are not a failure.

I’m glad you’re getting home and I can see you’re both struggling to get the screaming baby in the car seat. I know you are panicking that you’ll have to walk the 20 miles, but you’ll all get home in the car. Eventually. Your husband will drive at 7 miles per hour, just to be on the safe side. You’ll laugh about all of this later.

You think you’re not cut out for this mothering stuff and I’m sorry you feel like this. After a while you’ll turn a corner. Yes, you’ll cry more than you ever have but you’ll also begin to feel the “overwhelming love and pride” that your friends were talking about. Life will change beyond your imagination, but it’ll be a good thing. You will realise that NOBODY is a perfect mother and we’re all just trying to do our best. Oh, and after those first few months in a sleep deprived trance, you will have a new appreciation of sleep. A shame really, because 7am is now a lie in.

Yours faithfully,

 

you years later (a bit more awake)

 

Back to School Blues

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Sharpening his pencils;
ironing his clothes.
Wishing it would slow down –
how fast the time all goes.

Packing up his schoolbag;
new shoes up a size.
Seeing that he’s growing –
mammy wipes her eyes.

Every year he’s moving,
another step away.
Feels his hands in hers now –
he’s still a child today.

Trousers getting longer;
time can’t be ignored.
Although she wants him closer –
life’s there to be explored.

Today my boy returned to school today after an “awesome summer” (in his own words).  He is a home buddy and was terribly sad on the walk this morning. He’s also quite lazy so the thought of school work and homework and having to do any type of work depressed him. Fair enough; I get it.  He probably takes after me.

Why was I so sad though? He’s eight and going into primary five. I’ve been through the back to school ritual a few times before. I think it’s the realisation that the clothes are getting bigger, the work is getting harder and my little boy is taking another step further away from me.  If I’m honest though, I’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet today and managed a personal best on my run. It’s not all doom and gloom 🙂

 

The School Bag

 

The School Bag

A new school bag
He’s forced to own
Such a drag
Choices thrown

Hauling behind
A weight on back
The daily grind
His worries stack

World on shoulders
Pressure is high
He carries boulders
So cannot fly

A bag of work
and evenings in
Where failures lurk
It’s wearing thin

No longer free
He’s feeling glum
Just wants to flee
So cries for mum

 

 

 

None of Your Business

When you’ve had enough of people asking about your family planning.

 

Warning: There may be emotional triggers, related to fertility and loss

Well Meaning Questions

You don’t have a baby!

How can that be?

Surely you want one,

you’re a woman, you see.

 

You can give birth

and therefore you should.

You’ll feel incomplete,

without motherhood.

 

What’s that you say?

There’s reasons you can’t?

I was only asking –

there’s no need to rant!

 

Response

 You seem perplexed

at my reluctance to chat,

about personal issues,

fertility and that.

 

Because I’m a woman,

my fate is decided.

I must be a mother

If not, I’m misguided.

 

You people don’t think,

of the reasons behind

the absence of children;

but bear this in mind:

 

Some woman don’t want

a child in the nest.

They’re happy without one

and their decision is best.

Others have tried

again and again.

But a baby ain’t coming –

they’re feeling the strain.

Some have babies

who never were born.

Their heartache is deep

and they’re trying to mourn.

 

It’s not only the childless

constantly bombarded

with well-meaning comments;

no wonder we’re guarded:

 

“He’ll be spoilt and lonely,

If he’s not a big brother.

It’s not fair on him,

If you don’t have another.”

 

“You’ve got 3 the same gender,

that’s such a shame!

You’ll be hoping the next one

isn’t the same.”

 

“4 children you have!

They’re a handful  I see.

It’s clearly obvious

you never watched much tv!

 

So forgive us all

if we’re not always forthcoming.

There are many prejudices

we’re still overcoming.

This is a poem I wrote  a few months ago, but thought it was worth a re-post on Mother’s Day. I’m thinking of a special friend who has yet again been for a scan and found there was no heartbeat or growth from her baby. She is desperate to be a mother but it’s been a long and difficult struggle so far.

So many people are missing their mothers, or miss being a mother to someone and today we should give a thought to those people as well as the happy mums out there.

World Book Day

  Oh Joy, it’s World Book Day! Fun to see them fancy dressed. Characters from books of course and hand-made is for the best!   We’ve been planning for a month and he’s read the complete book. Delighted with the outcome – got the ideal novel look.   Hope the others make an effort; sick […]

Confusing Messages

Advice for the Young Child

Shhh.

Not now, just wait.

I’m trying to work

and I can’t think straight.

 

Careful!

Don’t drop that cup.

You’ll spill all the milk –

I’ll have to clean up

 

Stop!

Don’t run ahead.

You’re too fast for me,

walk slower instead.

 

Gentle!

You play too rough.

It’ll all end in tears

and I’ve had enough.

 

Attention!

You’re dreaming again!

You won’t pass that test;

what will you do then?

Advice for the Adolescent

Speak!

Please use your voice.

Give your opinion

or you won’t get a choice.

 

Relax!

Stop stressing out.

Must live a little;

stop living in doubt.

 

Run!

Pick up your speed!

You must try harder

or you won’t take the lead.

 

Fight!

Don’t be their prey.

If you don’t fight back

you’ll just fade away.

 

Imagine

where you could go.

If you never dream

then you’ll never know.