Unfortunately parenting just isn’t all love and roses and perfect family moments 24/7, as much as we would love it to be, we just don’t live in that kind of world. Would you be normal if you didn’t stress out? Didn’t need to have a cry? or didn’t raise your voice once in a while? Of course not! We’re all human and lets face it – things annoy us.
You can have some really dark days or even just moments as a parent and wonder how on earth you’ll get through it. Maybe its the sleepless nights, or you had quite a poorly baby or even just a toddler in terrible twos who’s telling you no to everything!
I’ve had a few times this year where I’ve had to lock myself in another room and have a cry, down to just pure f r u s t r a t i o n. It really does feel like your just about loosing at life and nothing is really picking it up, but it does. Even without knowing it you’ll have something or someone that makes your dark days better.
I know after a bad evening with my daughter I cant focus on a single thing I usually just flop into bed in a miserable state and fall to sleep. The next morning Lola will shout me to open her gate and as soon as I hear ‘Hello Mummy’ everything seems ok again, it can really be things as small as that.
I was interested to hear about what hard times you guys have been through lately, and what helps you through it?
Have a read of a few of our reader responses below:-
I am Charlotte Mum to Florence who’s 2 and a half and Ellis who’s nearly 3 months old. I remember the anxiety that I felt before Ellis arrived about how I would manage with going from one to two children. The first few weeks were okay I had my husband there and then the reality kicks in when it’s just you and 2 very young children. I distinctly remember the Mum guilt and feeling like I was failing as a parent when Ellis was about 3 weeks old he suddenly became very unsettled and wanted to be held all the time. Every time I put him down he would scream and not stop till you picked him up again. This is when if I am being completely honest I said to myself and my husband, I can’t do this if this carries on. I felt so guilty as I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do with Florence or the things the things she was asking me to do. I felt awful telling her to wait all the time. I then felt like I was failing Ellis as I wanted to give him more time and try and make him feel secure and settled. I was also so aware that they grow up so fast that I didn’t want to miss precious cuddles and newborn moments with him too.
Basically there was just an overwhelming amount of guilt and that I was a terrible parent and was failing at it. I knew it was early days so I kept telling myself that it will get easier and there was always going to be an adjustment period. To make it easier I just had to leave things like keeping on top of the house, I asked for help and took it when it was offered and decided to try and be more positive. Florence could have stories whilst I was feeding Ellis and play next to me with puzzles etc too. When Ellis slept I grabbed those moments to do something just with Florence, he was usually in the sling but it worked. Then when Florence was napping or had gone to bed I just gave myself the time with Ellis to cuddle him and interact with him. That also gave me some down time to relax and recuperate too which always helps as you feel you can cope so much more when you are a bit less tired and your patience and tolerance levels are so much more higher. So here I am a bit further down the line and Ellis is so much more settled he’s a happy baby and content. He’s so good with fitting in with Florence’s activities. Florence is more settled she has days where she is challenging being 2 years old can be confusing for them and she’s had a big change in her life.
We are finding our feet and slowly finding our new normal, it’s got so much better and there are more good days than bad days. The Mum guilt and the feeling of failing has definitely lessened. I think it’s part and parcel of being a parent and these children do like to worry you and keep you on your toes but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
A bad time through parenting for me was when we had to have out little boy early and he struggled with feeding and required a NG tube. I felt like I wasn’t a proper mother and I found it hard for other people to understand what I was going through in not be able to feed my own child.
What got me through was the constant love and support from my partner and family, encouragement that I WAS a good mum, and that I was Alfie’s mum and we were going to get through it with lots of laughter too.
I went through a really rough time and parenting really got me down when Jude was little. I think being a young mum at the time didn’t help, I constantly felt judged and then his behaviour became uncontrollable. I ended up walking him to a SureStart Centre and asking for help and that alone made me feel like I had failed because I had to ask for help and I couldn’t do it by myself. A lovely lady there helped me out loads. They arranged visits to my house, got him into nursery every morning, which I think the routine and being around other children really helped and also having to listen to other adults aside from me.
For me keeping to a bedtime routine is hard as both myself and my partner work 50+ hours a week, different work patterns. If we’re late out of work it can put us behind a good hour or so meaning bedtime for my daughter can sometimes be after 8.30pm, meaning their isn’t much quality time to ourselves.
What gets me through is sticking to do it the best I can, remembering everything I’m doing, I’m doing it for her future and making the most of days off and making memories with her.
You can see just from these 4 responses how different peoples lives are and the different hurdles they have to face. I believe you should never be afraid to ask for help if you need it, we’re only human we need all the love and support we can get! A big thank you to the lovely ladies above sharing their experiences with me.
If you’d like to get involved please feel free to get in touch!
Happy Reading! x