Part one: The Dark Side (written 19th June 2017)

I began this blog with the intention of documenting the first year of the Little One’s life alongside the first year of my new working life. It was mainly born out of wanting to know more from my mum and dad about my baby firsts and although they seem to remember a fair bit, it’s completely understandable that they can’t remember it all. I thought that if I wrote some memories down that the Little One would always have something to fall back on if I begin to forget and if she ever decides to take the plunge into parenthood. Inevitably it has turned into something more for me and has almost been like therapy at times. However, I went dark on the blog for a few months and this is because I felt like I was lacking in anything positive to say. I didn’t want to turn THIS into anything more than it was but have since realised that I started out intending to be 100% honest and that, by avoiding the negative part of my parenting journey, I was not being honest.

I had this deluded idea that as the Little One got to 1 year old+ that life would suddenly start to get easier. Ok, perhaps not easier…I know it’ll never get “easier”…but I half expected life to become less ‘foggy’. I certainly didn’t expect this to happen overnight but I also didn’t expect the never ending sleep regression to regress even further – seriously I don’t know how it is actually possible! Also, I didn’t expect my food liking baby to decide that the only food she would eat on a regular basis was peas and sweetcorn. And don’t get me started on how my boob monster, at one years old, became even more attached to the boob – morning, noon and night. I accepted that the Little One would not sleep through any time soon but I did hope that we would get some sort of solid stretches at night. And yet, here I am, exhausted and touched out for the majority of the time and I seem to lack patience, most days, for things that former me wouldn’t have batted an eye lid at.

Even work has temporarily become a hard slog for me which is pretty disappointing. I’m certain that lack of sleep is probably the main reason for me feeling like this. I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world but running your own business and working a manual job on months and months and months of broken sleep is not ideal. I literally have not slept like a normal human being since before she was born.

I’ve harked on in the past about how I didn’t appreciate all the stereotypical comments about becoming a new parent because we were ready and it seemed an obvious conclusion when adding a baby to the mix. None of the advice passed on seemed to apply to preparing me for what was to come once the baby was moving on to the next stage of being an almost-toddler. This I think I would have found a lot more valuable. Throughout all the downs of the ups-and-downs I have always known that every phase shall pass eventually but the (down) sleep phase is now onto its 12th month and some days it feels like it’s all one big joke. And when you add clingy phases and non food eating phases to the mix I feel like I could crumble. All this being said, I’m definitely still holding things together – the house is still clean and tidy, between Mr Little One and I, we still manage to cook fresh meals and wash the dishes every day and I still find time for showers and make-up. However, these things mean I simply haven’t given up, and at the worst moments they are probably the things actually keeping it all together. We all have our individual coping mechanisms and at times like these I think this is what keeps us sane enough to be the parent that our little ones need. That doesn’t stop me wishing I could have a fairy godmother to clean the house once a week and another one to tackle that leaning tower in the corner of the room called the ironing pile. Gulp!

The dark and lonely side of parenting is hard slog but the rollercoaster continues and the ups are far more elating than anything else in life right now. Saying that, I’m off to pick the Little One up from her second attempt at nursery this morning….she wasn’t a happy bunny when I left….sob…..

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