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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Feeling like a fraud

When you're a first time mum it's ok to not know what you're doing. Nobody expects you to pop out a baby and bam you magically have it all figured out. First time mums get help, encouragement, advice {even though a lot of it may be unwanted} and a never ending conga line of visitors who want to come and go absolutely gaga over the baby because oh my god she's so cute and squishy and people can't help but be attracted to them.

Second time around people aren't as excited. Don't get me wrong I got the obligatory gushing congratulations comments on my Facebook status announcing her arrival {and my 3am hormonal self thanks every one of those people because it gave me something to read while feeding a ravenous baby}, but then crickets. I can count on one hand the number of friends who came to visit the baby once I got home, and almost 7 months later they're still the only 3 friends who've come to visit her {although considering the state of my house most days that may not be a bad thing}.

Even the midwives in hospital expected me to get up and recover from my emergency c-section twice as fast {I got kicked out after 2 days instead of 4 because they needed the bed}. You've been through this before love suck it up and get on with it seemed to be the general consensus amongst the staff. Like major surgery is so much easier to recover from the second time around {newsflash it's not really}. Go home and if that massive gash across your belly starts to hurt take some Panadol, you'll be right {because a wound big enough to literally exit an entire human from your body is totally the same thing as a headache}. 

Probably the biggest difference I've noticed though is that society {strangers, family, friends etc} all expect me to know what I'm doing this time. I've done this parenting thing for 4yrs I should know what to do with a tiny little baby. Eat sleep poop repeat, easy right?  Apparently not.

The problem is I've had a baby before, but I haven't had this baby before {even though she looks almost exactly the same as her sister did}. On the surface I know what should work, but just when you think you know what you're doing the universe likes to throw you a curve ball to remind you that actually you know nothing. What worked before just isn't going to cut it this time. The fun part is this time I also get to navigate the muddy {pooey} waters of new motherhood with a demanding 4yr old by my side every day.

Truth is I spent the first few months wondering why I ever decided to have another baby, not because I regret having her, but because the shock of 2 kids was far beyond anything I'd ever imagined and I was frustrated at my inability to magically adjust to the new hell chaos that had become my everyday life. Almost 7 months on and I still feel like I'm constantly treading water trying to stay afloat, but really I'm so close to drowning under the pressure of 2 kids {a baby with multiple food allergies}, a shift working partner and a household to keep together. 

Things that would be 10 minute jobs before now take hours because I have to stop and start 15 times to console a crying baby, fetch crayons, paper, toys, food, drinks for her sister every 5 minutes and re-console, pick-up, cuddle or feed the crying baby in between each time. The kitchen is my arch nemesis at the moment, I can never ever get the whole thing clean. I pack and unpack the dishwasher, wash dishes, make food and re-clean all day long and yet by the end of the day it represents a battle zone all over again. Same thing with the laundry, the lounge room etc. Actually I pretty much feel like the whole house is my arch nemesis. It's just so never ending, no matter how much I get done there's always more to do.

On top of that I feel like I can never satisfy everyone's needs when they want. It's physically impossible. There's 2 of them and 1 of me and they always want or need something at exactly the same time {usually when I'm busting to pee as well}. I'm constantly being pulled in different directions {sometimes literally} and juggling their needs to decide which is more important at the time, and the trade off is either a screaming baby or a frustrated small person. It's just so physically and emotionally exhausting and I feel like I'm always letting someone down.

I forget what quiet is. I forget what personal space is. I forget what being organised is. I forget what me time is. I forget what sleep is. I basically just forget everything, but I feel like it's almost wrong to admit these things. Like I'm failing at being a mum if I can't handle 2 kids. They're pretty small after all, they should be pretty easy to handle, you'd think.

More often then not I have days where I feel like everything is falling apart and I'm getting nothing done. I'm starting to think this might just be what life with a 4yr old and an allergy baby looks like for us {for the foreseeable future at least}. I'm quietly hoping that other mums are sitting at home thinking they have no idea wtf they're doing most of the time too. For the most part my immediate plan is to continue winging it.

Toni x

Would you like to comment?

  1. Exactly how I felt with a 3yo and a baby with medical/additional needs (so many appointments, worry, stress, no sleep etc). I felt like I was stuck in a job I hated but couldn't resgn from. Plus so much guilt for not loving it as much as all my friends did. My girls are now 5.5 and 2.5 and returning to work has honestly saved me. Hang in there. It's so hard but it will get better. My tip is to spend time with families with older kids, it gives me perspective and helps me to remember it's going to get better and easier.

    1. I think this is my problem, this time around I feel so much more isolated. The majority of my mum friends are back at work so there's not many people to have playdates with. My social life is literally medical appointments.

  2. Hang in there Mumma.xo.
    Life wasn't meant to be easy they say (bastards...)Before long we'll be cursing them as they forget to come see us when we're old and done (our luck they'll still be living at home. .)
    Remember you're identity and hold on to it don't let it slip away. Hugs

    1. Haha I can imagine her living with me until she's 25, purely to save money {not because she can't live without me}. We have to get through the teenage years first, god help us!

  3. I completely understand, and I've only got 1. People came to see him when he was new but now this mum life is one lonely ride, with no map and the only destination is survival. I constantly wonder why we chose this path and why I feel so crap at doing something that was my job (and boy the pay is piss poor). I know we've decided we will do this all again, at some stage, but how the heck do people survive 2 or more little humans, when I feel I struggle with 1. I guess though there are plenty of people out there who have which gives me faith that maybe I can too, I hope that helps you too, hold onto that. Try to take a little me time, although it is hard to when there are kids in tow. I wish we could have cuppas at each others place, mine probably looks like yours, so I wouldn't bat an eye. I find my mums group is my saviour and I definitely love Mondays with swimming and our after swimming catch up. It keeps me sane, for that day at least.
    I am sure it'll get easier, or as my sister says 'it doesn't necessarily get easier, it just changes'. She is about to pop with number 3 and has a 4 and 2yr old.
    Anyway, we might not be in exactly the same boat but they are still boats.
    Oh, I started watching a series called 'the letdown' on ABC iview, soooo scarily relatable.

    1. It does get easier as they get older, but then the fun stuff comes like tantrums and jealousy. Actually it's probably not easier, the challenges are just different, and it helps they sleep more as they get older {hopefully}. I think this time around I feel even more lonely because none of my friends have had babies at the same time and also our mothers group hardly meets up as most of them are back at work. It's so different to when I just had one baby and a huge group of friends who all had babies at the same time.

      I'm going to look up that series, I need something new to watch.

  4. By the way, you ARE doing an AMAZING job! Just saying.

  5. No kids here, I don't think I could manage one, let alone two, so you're steps ahead of me! I'll have to disagree with your last paragraph though, on the contrary, nothing's falling apart because YOU are keeping everything together because you're getting everything done. Don't be so hard on yourself and give yourself a high five, you deserve it!