What did I find so hard?
This is something I find myself thinking about when life with three small boys feels busy and hectic. What did I actually do with just one baby? What did I find so hard about having one baby? I really don’t know, but to this day I absolutely feel it was the most difficult part of my parenting adventure. Sadly, I know it won’t stay that way forever.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t hard. I just felt it was hard. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I like to know what I am doing and what to expect. I didn’t feel lost, low, or depressed – just insecure in my new role. Overwhelmed, naive and I took everything personally. Surely a baby would sense my effort, and unconditional love? Surely he would know I was trying my best? Surely he know I only wanted the best for him? Of course not – but it took me a long time to realise it, and now it is so obvious.
When Jared and I were new parents I remember us discussing regularly: “Why did nobody tell us about…” and “Why did nobody mention…”, but we swiftly realised that no one can tell you how to parent – you have to find your own groove (amongst all the books and advice), which I know sounds so cliché. Parenting comes with so many responsibilities – sometimes they can feel glaring and unkind, and at other times they feel motivating, exciting and overwhelmingly full.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a pest. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the ‘new mum Esther’ and whisper a few things in her ear, but then I remember that experience is the best teacher.
I was exactly the same. I think the first was hard because every thing was so new and it was a mixture of having to learn everything from scratch combined with the shock of sleep deprivation. Hind sight is brilliant but you only get it once you’ve been through something and learned from it 🙂
Absolutely! and I agree that everything being so new has a lot to do with it. Sleep deprivation is certainly a shock! x
Oh I totally understand how you feel. I agree though, it’s all about not really knowing what you’re doing. By the time a second baby comes along you’re much more clued up. That said, I was surprised at how much I’d forgotten!
I’m with you when you say that you were surprised how much you’d forgotten. I felt exactly the same. Still having to look things up and think back. Thanks Nat x
I think, in addition to what you’ve said about it all being new, the first is hard partly because it’s such an intense and all-consuming relationship – you don’t really get a break from it, and that is gruelling. With subsequent children your attention is split by necessity, and even though that’s a lot busier it is somehow less intense and oddly less draining… And with the first there is the whole monumental identity shift, and loss of personal space and time, which never happens again in quite the same way…
You have put this so perfectly, and I loved reading your comment. I agree with you wholeheartedly. An identity shift and splitting your time out of necessity. Beautifully put, thank you x
I’m currently a mom to just one 14 month girl. I used to take it personally too. I was so worried that my baby didn’t love me. I expected way too much from a tiny person who didn’t realize the hands and feet flailing in front of her wer her own. I felt overwhelmed by the sudden realization that there is no break from parenting, ever. You’re on call 24 hours a day and you never know when that call will come in. It’s becoming easier these days as I’m becoming more secure in my new role and more in tune with my baby. #MarvMondays
Thank you for your comment, I loved reading it. The responsibility when somebody is relying on you is huge, and I love that you feel more secure and in tune. ‘In tune’ is exactly what happens isn’t it? You get to understand each other, and it’s wonderful x
Life us definitely a learning curve and its amazing how we can look back with hindsight and know we’d do things differently. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays
Totally agree with this Esther, I found it so hard with Lucas. I know he was a more challenging baby than the twins have been but I do also know I was completely overwhelmed. When I had the twins I looked back and wondered if maybe I was depressed as it was such a different experience but I don’t think I was, I think it’s just the complete turnaround of your life overnight and I was still hanging on a little to the life I had before, when I had time to read a book or watch TV whenever I fancied. I think when we had the twins I didn’t have the time for that anyway so it wasn’t there to miss! There is no way to prepare for that first baby, I wish I’d been a bit calmer with Lucas but he taught me everything I know! xx
I am so interested that you found Lucas harder than a set of twins. I can’t get my head around that at all, but like you said, life changes overnight, in a way that doesn’t occur again. I loved reading this, thank you. I wish I’d been calmer too, yet everyone told me I was so chilled…I just didn’t feel it inside! x
Oh this is all so true. There’s no rule book or how-to manual because there just can’t be. And yeah, I get you. I thought I was sinking fast with Amelia sometimes (“Why is parenting soooooo hard?”) but second time around I guess you just get on with it, hindsight firmly in the foresight!
This is so true! Hindsight is amazing once you’ve had the first! x
You’re so right. I have a pregnant friend who I have been telling to slow down and enjoy the time before her baby arrives. She of course isn’t and is dashing around and wishing the time away. Another friend asked why she wasn’t listening to us and I said it’s because we each have to learn through experience. My daughter is 2 and being quite challenging right now. However, I still find myself wanting another child. Some days I question if I am crazy but know that nothing can be as daunting as those first steps into parenthood and the unknown. I’m under no illusion that more children won’t be hard work. But I doubt anything could match the arrival of a first child in terms of a learning curve! #MarvMondays
This was such a lovely read. Thank you so much for your comment. I agree, you need to enjoy those last few weeks. Your life is never the same again, but you can’t comprehend it when they baby is on the inside! My five year old is definitely our most challenging, but he always has been x
I found it all quite natural but there are definitely days that I find harder than others. I realised quite early on that those days are when I am putting too much pressure on myself. The best days are when I just roll with it, don’t try to do too much, just enjoy it. #marvmondays
Thank you so much for your comment. I think it’s beautiful that you found it all really natural. I thought I would, but it took me a long time. I agree, less pressure is always welcome x