Does being home with your baby get a bit ho-hum some days? Yes? Does it mean you’re a bad parent?
For centuries parents have been staying home full time with their offspring, having the same secret thoughts-“ Gosh I adore this amazing miracle I’ve created, and I love watching them grow and develop, but sometimes…well…I’m just a bit bored really”
When Others Don’t Understand
It can be difficult to explain to non-parents (or those who have forgotten) the extreme highs and lows being at home with a baby. Some days can be full of surprise with your wee ones, the discovery of a first tooth, witnessing their first roll over and popping them in cuddly onesies and other seriously cute outfits.
But the flip side of that is the weeks (months in some cases) of grizzling, drool and wakefulness due to those sharp little chompers busting through tender little gums. The days (ok, also months) of the constantly emitted ‘eh eh eh’ noises as soon as you put your pride and joy down on their back or tummy because they haven’t mastered the fancy art of rolling yet.
Then once they do that, they generally keep up the ‘eh eh eh’ because they can’t get back over! And the cute outfits? That novelty wears off at about the fourth change of the morning just as you’re walking out the door to your appointment at the doctor/clinic/supermarket because of an up-the-back-out-of-the-nappy poop explosion.
Sigh. Yep, it’s a story a lot of us can relate to, and still find difficulty in admitting and explaining, being on the parenting merry-go-round, see-saw and roller coaster ride all in one!
So If It Isn’t All Bad, What’s The Problem?
The problem is that we have a huge amount of pressure placed upon us as parents to a great job, be happy and grateful and raise delightful offspring. The pressure comes from everywhere — family (‘When I was at home with the kids…’), friends, mother’s groups (‘Is your baby doing the Macarena yet?’), the cashier at the corner store (‘Oh he looks cold/hot/hungry/under stimulated’) and most definitely from ourselves. I mean who doesn’t want to be a bloody awesome parent with everything under control and an unrelenting interest in our child? But the reality is, we are humans. Parents are humans.
We may have been used to a grand slam social life or a fairly decent career previous to pregnancy and birthing, and though we would never regret having our family expansion, it’s normal to be a bit underwhelmed when it comes to doing pretty much the same thing over and over every day. That shit can do your head in, It can even be scary!
For example, the days when your toddler is at kindy. Husband is at work (that’s a day out, mate) and you are faced with the prospect of being alone with no idea of the direction your day will take, because you are at the mercy of a teething, tired, cranky little squishy who has very little idea of what they need (and you are offering all the comfort and distraction that you can but it still isn’t working)…it’s pretty normal to be worried.
Anxiety and depression can creep up from just such things, like being scared to be truthful about your feelings surrounding parenting. Get out, tell people, be honest and feel your space open up around you the first time someone else smiles and says ‘Oh yeah, totally remember that feeling!’.
Do I Still Feel Guilty?
Yes, of course! Admitting that I get bored being home all the time with my babies is crushing me inside because of the pressure not to feel anything but amazing bliss with my child. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love them to the ends of the universe and I would absolutely lay down my life for them and I’m super grateful for their healthy and beautiful existence…but I’m human.
An honest human who is still a freakin’ awesome mum who will never, ever enjoy the Tellytubbies…Are you feeling me?
What You Can Do About It
It depends on how confident you are – leaving the house and catching up with fellow new Mumma Bears is a great way to get out of the house and talk ‘shop’ with Mums in a similar position, and it will make you feel human again having an adult conversation.
If leaving the house is truly difficult due to your new bundle of joy (and don’t worry – some babies are hard work!) – get some friends or family to come over to your place and give you a hand.
Another idea it to book your own Mum to come and watch your bubba for even an hour so you can get out and do something just for you – get your nails done or a facial. It will make you feel somewhat human again.
Don’t feel down on yourself if it is too hard. Being a new parent is damn hard work – and you have to do what is within your own comfort zone to cope.