As I have stated in numerous earlier posts, I struggle with the mothering gig. Especially the emotional side. Most days feel like a giant mind fuck and I am ready to hide under the blankets and never come out again.
In Part 1 of this Two Part series I covered the physical costs of becoming a parent. Part Two will be all about the emotional responsibilites of becoming a parent. Something that you never fully appreciate until you become a parent. You can work in childcare and still not fully comprehend the emotional toll having a small person who you are completely responsible for 100% of the time.
One of the things that scared and continues to scare me most is that this little person depends on me for absolutely everything. There is no handing the child over when you need a sick day. This little person is your everything and they think you are their entire world. A baby in simple terms is a completely selfish creature. They don’t care if you are sick, have only had 3 hours sleep or are hungry enough to chew your own arm off, they want your time, love and attention.
I think one of the hardest things as a parent is seeing your child sick and there is nothing you can do about it. It could range from a common cold to a life threatening disease but you will still feel like you are completely helpless. For me the first cold was the hardest. Devil Spawn was only a couple of weeks old and he snuffled and tossed and turned in his sleep. There wasn’t much I could do but seeing him being so uncomfortable was heart breaking.
There have been numerous studies performed on the importance of getting enough sleep to encourage good mental health. Babies…they don’t care how many studies you’ve done, they want up and they want up now. Overall Devil Spawn has been a pretty good sleeper. He slept from 8pm until 6am from about 3 months onwards and would have a decent nap during the day. All that changed at 18 months. He decided to scrap the daytime sleep. Me? I wasn’t so ready but finally admitted defeat when I realised that no day sleep meant he was in bed sound asleep by 7pm. That was up until about 8 months ago. He decided sleep was for the weak. One night surviving on just 3 hours sleep and was up and at ’em the next day like it was nothing. Mummy on the other hand was ready to kill the first person who crossed her path. 11pm was an early night in these parts. We muddled through it and just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I don’t question it and am just loving the return of the 7pm bedtimes.
Tying in with the physical costs is the emotional guilt of providing the money for those costs. Unless you are heartless, than you WILL worry about where the next meal is coming from. As your child gets older you will also begin to worry about the *wants* that you can’t provide. Now this isn’t a given, if you have a career that pays well, or you and your partner both do, then this won’t be such a big issue but we all have to start somewhere. The funny thing about chilren is that they don’t always come when you are expecting them. If we waited until we could afford them, then we would never have kids.
I’m linking up with Jess for IBOT 🙂