Full disclosure, it’s 2pm on a Monday and I am currently sitting in a cafe, alone. Without my baby. I could be at home trying to convince my son that he does in fact need to sleep and eat but right now I need to not be parenting. It could be only half an hour before I get a call from my husband saying our little man is screaming the house down but for now I am just me which doesn’t happen enough these days.

I’m not sure how this post is going to go down really. It’s probably not going to be all that coherent given it’s being written by a person who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in over five months and is today existing on about four broken hours from the night before. Still, I’ve had an itch to write for the past few weeks and my bub hasn’t made it all that easy for me to scratch so here we are.

The last few posts about my new life as a mum have been pretty light hearted but it’s time for a slice of real because holy crap life has been tough lately and sometimes you just need to vent right?

So here goes, basically my darling boy is so curious and into this crazy world he’s waking up to that it means he has minimal interest in two of the key elements of life – eating and sleeping. Unfortunately for me these two factors are how our society measures the success of a mum so to say I’ve been feeling less than adequate as a parent is an understatement.

Every Plunket weigh-in my stomach lurches as the little numbers slowly tick up on the scale and when they show that my perfect baby has yet again plateaued or made minimal gains it makes me feel like a failure. Even though I know that I am doing the best I can do and loving my little man more than life itself I still feel like shit, how is that fair?

And speaking of fair I am well aware that I don’t really have a license to complain given that I have a baby for a start (a fact which I don’t take for granted for a second and am thankful for every day) and more than that, my baby is well. I know there are mamas out there with really sick kids and I just can’t even go there or the breakdown that I seem to teeter on the edge of from time to time on may just happen.

So yes I know I’m lucky, so lucky but also I’m exhausted. Every health professional I’ve seen has told me that the reason why our baby isn’t sleeping at night is because he’s hungry and when you’re breastfeeding this is such a kick in the guts. They may as well say, you’re baby is suffering because you can’t nourish him properly. That’s how I hear it anyway. Yes we have tried the bottle, formula and most recently solids and every time we try something my husband and I say to each other – “well it can’t get worse”. And then it does.

I’ve heard all the advice I’d care to hear, read all the internet forums and articles that I shouldn’t and sat wide awake at night wondering how to settle my little guy and it’s made me even more exhausted and anxious. “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, “let him cry it out”, “feed him a big bottle before bed”, “just think, one day you’ll look back and wish that he was still calling out for you in the night”. Yes, if only it were that simple.

Ok so this is turning into full blown rant now and not really going anywhere but you know when you’re so full of feelings that sometimes you need to just verbalise them or put them down in writing or else you’ll explode? Yeah that.

As I sit here on my own wishing that I could relish this freedom but feeling a pit in my stomach wondering if my baby is ok I’m able to see myself from the outside. I love my baby more than life itself. That doesn’t make me a crap mum. So why do we judge motherhood on the size of a baby’s thighs or the hours they sleep at night? I guess it’s because we can’t peer inside people’s hearts but if you could then you’d see that mine is so so full of love for my child. All I want is the best for him and that hurts sometimes.

The daunting thing is that this feeling doesn’t ever go away. A beautiful friend came over today with toys for him, carbs for me and words of wisdom as a mother of two great kids. She told me how she can only really be happy when she knows that her kids are happy and how from the moment you become a mother that’s just how emotions roll really.

So rather than stressing about whether my little lad is big enough or rested enough maybe I just need to take comfort in the fact that he is and always will be loved more than enough and that in my opinion is the true measure of a good parent.

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