“What do you want?” This is something I’ve found myself uttering to my baby at all times of the day and night. It comes off a bit harsh, so I try again: “I don’t know what you want” or “Mummy doesn’t know what you want”. Because I don’t. I have no confidence and find myself feeding him every 2 hours during the day because I have nothing else in my toolkit. Sometimes I correctly guess that he’s tired. And so to give him the relief of sleep, I need to feed him and rock him to sleep. Oh and he needs to be on me and have his dummy. Often though he’s overtired. Poor little guy. Sometimes it’s fine. I have nowhere to be and nothing I (really) need to do. But now at 12 weeks, the ideas of things I could be doing are piling up in the ‘yeah but you can’t’ pile.
Nothing in life has prepared me for this.
I’ve gotten this far in life using strategies, problem solving skills and resilience to deal with all sorts of situations.
I usually figure something out through trial and error, or learning by researching beforehand or watching someone else do it first.
At work, I communicate and collaborate with others and apply my knowledge and experience to come up with the best outcome. I use best practice where applicable.
But motherhood, this is different. Continue reading
I started Learning To Crawl was because I was trying to figure out becoming a parent for the first time. I learned heaps along the way, but that’s not to say I’ve got this sussed! I’m still learning all about myself, my daughter and my partner. As any parent of young children will tell you, shit changes all the time. You get one thing sorted and the next challenge pops up. With lots of heartwarming stuff in between. In April next year we’ll throw a newborn into the mix. So here’s what I’ll do differently this time…
Becoming a parent has brought many new experiences: childbirth, early mornings, unconditional love and singing the same song 12 times in a row without the aid of alcohol. One of these new experiences is the previously hidden (and overwhelming) community of people who have opinions about how you raise your kid. I’m slowly growing a thick skin to it, but boy did it blindside me when I was starting out. I’ve written before about pre-baby Steph and how naïve she was. But this is different. It’s all very personal. Continue reading
A new colleague asked me the other day to tell them a bit about myself, and for the first time in my life I was at a bit of a loss. I shared about how I’m a mum to a 13 month old and talked about our little family. And that was it. I mean, that’s heaps and it’s wonderful but it’s also very different to before. Prior to becoming a mum I had hobbies and interests that I could quickly and enthusiastically identify. Not any more. I get the impression I’m not alone in feeling this way. We become parents and lose ourselves in the magic, privilege and responsibility and all the trappings it brings.
It’s different to what you imagine
Put most of your preconceived ideas about what parenthood is like aside. Reality will hit like nothing you’ve ever experienced!
OK, not to scare anyone, but holy shit! How do families all over town, the country, the world do this on a day-to-day basis?! I found the first six months particularly challenging. I think there needs to be a huge celebration at that point – because if you can get through that, you can get through anything!! Continue reading
Yes I’m one of THOSE mums. The ones who have no choice but to be fiercely protective of their wee ones. The ones who don’t want to have to ask for special treatment and inconvenience others. The ones whose hearts ache at the thought of her baby coming into contact with something very dangerous through that same child’s natural curiosity and learning. The ones who cannot relax in a social setting as they need to be on high alert to notice which crumbs have been dropped on the ground, and what those crumbs may contain, or which other baby is playing with yours and whether they have leftover food on their face, clothes, hands that may compromise your child’s health. Continue reading
Plastic-free July got me thinking: plastic-free is a pretty lofty goal, but it’s a great opportunity to review our waste output. The disclaimer is – if I’m going to adopt a new process in my household, it needs to be any one of these three:
Otherwise it may not be a sustainable change for our family.
For context, our family is myself, my partner and our 11 month old daughter living in a 1960s pretty much original home. No pets…yet. I’ll share some of the things we already do towards waste reduction, and some of the things I’d like to adopt. Continue reading
There are many many things BC (Before Child) Steph said she’d do…
- breastfeed for a year (eeked my way to 5 months)
- not let my baby watch tv or play with my phone (thank you props!)
- not use a dummy (was a godsend for a couple of months there)
- be a really calm, serene mother who has her shit together at all times (!)
Oh lol at naive, idealistic BC Steph. What did you know about anything?!
Something else I said I’d do is have one year maternity leave then return to work fulltime, with my partner becoming a stay at home Dad (SAHD). This is on-track to happen next month and I’m a bit anxious about it. Continue reading
Slash becoming a mum slash caring for my newborn – I found it all really full-on especially after major surgery!
I told my birth story in What To Expect When You’re Expecting a C-Section and I’ve been actively avoiding writing this next bit. Becoming a mum and getting to know Jessica has been amazing, but I didn’t feel like I got to hit the ground running. Everything except my love for her was running in deficit for the first 6 months or so. Only by then did I start to get the hang of everything and we hit a major sleep regression. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to make this read like a long list of my complaints, but it’s fair to say I’m a bit traumatised – or at least I was for the first wee while. Continue reading