I gave myself the Worst Mummy in the World award tonight.
It’s 2:14am. I’d been doing so awesome with night EC that I ordered a cape online. The best routine for us right now is not pottying at night. I place her on top of an extra cot blanket with a cloth nappy folded in half under her butt. I lay a cloth nappy over her crotch between her legs and lay blankets over her until she is warm enough. When I hear her signs for needing to wee I get up to her but leave her in bed. I can whip the cloth from between her legs and change it under the blankets without her waking. Her sleep isn’t interrupted and Daddy’s sleep isn’t interrupted. Because I don’t change her only when she feeds now, I wake to her wee which happens between feeds, my sleep is interrupted a couple more times each night at the moment. Her dry butt and deeply restful sleep is worth every second. She is never left for more than a second in a wet cloth.
I’d been doing so awesome with this Nappy Free stuff that I wanted to tell the world.
But I know you need to hear when I fail at being a good mum too, so you know it’s okay. The Supermum cape didn’t suit my eye colour anyway.
I’ve been up with Gilly for a few hours. She wasn’t crying or fussing but my little boobie monster is congested and wanting to feed for forever and wanting to be upright on my chest. She has a nappy on because Daddy put her to sleep tonight.
So it was a Soldier Mum mission to slip the cloth nappy out of its PUL bambo cover and slip another one back in without waking her or lifting her. Although she doesn’t wet heavily when she is nappy free at night, tonight she had wet through the leg of her nappy cover because it was awkward doing the Velcro tabs up without pulling her legs free from her jumpsuit. I didn’t think I could change her jumpsuit too without waking her so I left her in it wet and piled the blankets back over her. Wrong choice Mummy Sloth.
When she roused again after not too long and then fed for eternity and rustled around in my arms for another eternity I felt like all my eternal patience to keep her dry was dried up. So I gently shook her Daddy awake and handed the littlest love of my life into the arms of the biggest love of my life.
“She’s got a cold” (her nose was really runny) “why didn’t you change her jumpsuit?”
I was so exhausted.
Daddy was out fishing from 5.30am then hanging with the boys in the arvo til 8pm. Gilly thought when Daddy got up to leave that it must be morning so we had to wake up and party for a couple of hours. After a night of feeding and changing nappies, being able to hand the baby over in the morning is bliss. Watching her giggle and grasp at your eyes and nose and mouth while she wriggles in the bed next to you is super adorable too though, it pushes the tired feeling back into the shadows.
Gilly’s teeth are coming through so even though she was still not hard work today she wanted to be held all day. When mums say this it is not an exaggeration. Daddy held her at 8.30pm until she went down about 9pm. By the time 2am came around I was sick of being in contact with a wriggling baby.
Its the weirdest feeling – when you’ve been unable to do anything but sit on your butt all day and yet you are entirely exhaustipated. You don’t want to necessarily be away from your babe, you still want to gaze lovingly at her, just…from a distance, without her touching you. Your skin is electrified, fuzzy around the edges and like the nerve endings are all exposed. Anyone in your personal space will probably get zapped. If you are a mum you’ll know exactly what I’m yabbering about.
It’s 2:26am and now I’m sitting in the lounge in the dark feeling like the worst mum in the world. For feeling sick of my precious baby and for not keeping her dry and warm when she is sick.
So all the feelings of accomplishment from all those sleepless nights of hard work I’ve been doing to attend to her every need vanished after one slip up. I haven’t had one night off since she was born 4 and a half months ago. Not one night that someone else stayed always half awake listening out for every rustle and changed breath. Not one night at nanny’s house. Not one night with an expressed bottle of boobie milk in Daddy’s hands. Not one night of uninterrupted sleep. I hear her lick her lips and she’s on the boob before Daddy even wakes so that his night is not interrupted. And I was proud of that, it didn’t weary me during the day it energised me, being her mummy is my job and I love it.
But I needed him tonight and I got caught sleeping on the job. He changed her wet jumpsuit and she snuggled into his warm arms.
It only takes one anxious thought about doing the wrong thing to make a hard working mummy present herself with the Worst Mummy in the World Award.
And it’s okay. It’s all part of the journey. I think.
I think I wrote this to say to you it’s okay to mess up, the kid will survive. I think I wrote this to say hold yourself gently Mumma Bear, your thoughts do not define you, let them slip away like the clouds in the sky. The way she gazes at you like you are a fairy and an angel and a unicorn and a rainbow all in one – let that define you. I think I wrote this so everyone who isn’t a mum can understand – we don’t want to not be a mum in those moments that we don’t want our baby near us. It is still our favourite job. Even when we want to throw that beautiful baby, with her daddy’s beautiful dimples, against the lounge room wall and run screaming from the house in last week’s t-shirt and no knickers and throw ourselves at the first oncoming car. Not kamikaze style so they run us over and we die. Just so they’ll take us with them. Far far away. Or maybe so they run us over. And we can spend a lovely few nights in hospital being cooked for and pampered. Yes at this point a night in hospital seems like a trip to the day spa. I wrote this because…I don’t know why the hell I wrote this, it’s 3:23am.
It’s 3:31am and I have the chance to get some sleep for the first time in 124 nights and I can’t sleep because I feel too guilty. Mum life.
Who else has this going on?