Soggy cereal and tepid tea

Friday 01 April 2016

My little man is nearly seven weeks old and while the house is still a bomb site I feel like I’m slowly regaining a little control. Even if it’s just by changing my ideas of how we should be filling the day. I came into this with visions of being some kind of super mum (who doesn’t?!) I expected to be entertaining my little man, blitzing the house work and still having the energy to cook tea or bake up a storm for my other halves 30th (that didn’t happen – thank god for M&S cakes to order!).

We’ve still got a long way to go to reach super mum status (if we ever get there at all!) but with the husband back at work after his two weeks of paternity we had no choice but to get our arses in gear. At this early stage getting our arses in gear meant going out for a walk with the dog every day, venturing out to our first baby groups, braving errands around town or a trip to the supermarket and managing to make it to our various doctors appointments on time. It also means occasionally abandoning ideas about being super mum so that I can feed myself. Even if I am only feeding myself cold toast while cuddling a baby who doesn’t want to be put down. While this helps partially satisfy my insatiable appetite (who knew breastfeeding made you so ravenous?!) it does also mean that on more than one occasion Ethan has ended up covered in toast crumbs while sleeping in my arms.

Pre-pregnancy I read mummy blogs on the daily and dreamed of days spent the way other mummies wrote about. Days out with friends, playing, washing, baking, all that jazz. Seven weeks in and I’ve had to adjust my idea of the perfect way to spend a day. Circa week two I would have tortured myself about not being productive or the fact my reality was so different to my expectation. At a month and half I’ve learned that if we all we do is get out with the dog for a stroll it’s going down as a victory. It’s a realisation that has saved my sanity. We get done what we can manage. Lying on the floor while he chatters away to me in his own little language or holds his head up by himself for the first time is way more important than clearing the pots out the sink or scrubbing the bathrooms. On an especially good day we manage to clean the kitchen and get through some laundry. On a bad day – which usually follows a bad night – we are lucky to be out of bed by noon and even then only change location to go and nap on the sofa. But there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what works for us.

Today is a fairly bad day (in that we are both still in bed!) We’re fighting off cold and Ethan’s little baby sneezes and coughs are enough to break the coldest heart. It also means he’s developed a new found clinginess so that every time I attempted to put him in his Snuzzpod last night he cried actual tears (a new development I could do without in my emotionally fragile and sleep deprived state.) The only way to soothe him back to sleep was to make sure he could see me next to him and squeeze my finger tightly with his podgy little hand. The only flaw in this method was that every time I dozed off enough to start feeling the benefits of sleep I unwittingly took my finger away from him and we were back to square one. Being woken up by a grouchy, crying baby when your head is pounding and you’re so stuffy that you can’t breathe is painful. Until the moment you and pick him up for a feed to be greeted by a huge, gummy grin. That’s a pretty good painkiller.

Sometimes I think I miss making myself a hot lunch or a nice brew, sitting down and eating or drinking it while it’s still steaming without any interruptions. And then, mid daydream about a life of food or beverages enjoyed at the correct temperature, he coos at me or flashes me his curly lipped smile and I know that I’d surrender hot drinks forever if that was what it took to be his mummy.

So here’s to “enjoying” cold tea and (almost) inedibly soggy breakfasts for the foreseeable future. Because I wouldn’t change being Ethan’s mummy for the world.