Sunday, 13 November 2016

Motherhood doesn't come naturally to me

A collage of pictures of me and Squidge

I know it's been a while since I've blogged, I've been taking a little break. Life has been really busy (I'll do a separate update) and I needed to focus on that and have a little down time.

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while.  I often describe myself as a bad mum, I could do so much better, and I want to.  I get one day a week (Friday's) where it's just me and Squidge. I look forward to it all week, I absolutely love our mummy/baby days.

We get up, get dressed and have breakfast. We play for a bit, maybe do some drawing, watch a film and chill out. It's a very chilled out day. But I know that's not what I should be doing - I should be taking him out to get fresh air, take him to the park or on a ride on the bus, but we don't. We generally don't go anywhere. 

I get petrified that if I take him out, something will happen to him, or that I'll fail to cope with a tantrum, or that something will happen to me and he'll be left alone. The fear of that is so strong, I feel petrified to leave the house with him alone. It's a total different story when hubby is home, it doesn't even cross my mind, but when I'm alone, I have 0% confidence to take him out by myself.

I've never had that natural motherhood thing. I'd always hoped to have kids, but never had that ache to have them. One day on the way into work hubby and I talked about it, I said that I was getting older and that if we saw kids in our future we needed to start thinking about it. As much as we loved our lives they way they were, we always saw ourselves growing old with children, so we started trying.

When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't believe it. I'd grown to believe that it'd never happen, so only took the test to prove my Dr wrong. It wasn't until my 12 week scan that I actually believed I was pregnant. 

Being pregnant was amazing, I loved every minute of it and couldn't wait to meet Squidge, I was in love with him a long time before he was born, and even now I'm constantly looking at him in complete amazement that he's actually mine, I love him more than I can possibly put into words and would lay my life down for him in a heartbeat. 

But being a mum just doesn't come naturally for me, it's hard. I know it's hard being a parent for everyone, but that thing where you say 'XX is SO good with kids' isn't something people would say about me. I doubt people would even say 'Georgina is such a good mother', and I'm not saying that so you'll all say 'oh yes you are don't be silly), it's just the truth.

He's always front of my mind, thinking of him ahead of my own needs, in fact, hubby is ahead of me too in the pecking order, but I should do better by him and I think it'll always bother me that I don't make more effort - that I don't take him out on Friday's like I should, that I should have more patience, that I should do more activities with him.

I wish I was one of those people who found themselves taking to motherhood like a duck to water, but I don't, I wish there was a button I could press to flip the switch in my head to make that happen.
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21 comments

  1. All mothers feel like this, that we could/should do more. What he needs is time with you, he doesn't care if it's in your front room or at the park. I never took mine anywhere, not because of fear but because there was never time. I hated taking them to the swings so I put one in the garden and taught them how to do it themselves. A trip to the supermarket was a trip out. There's so much "happy families" on social media and it's mostly heavily edited. No-one posts about how they can't be bothered to fight to get them dressed and they leave them in their pjs, they post about snuggle days, lazy days, cosy days. Everyone does it.
    I know you don't believe it but you definitely are a good mother. You are strong and loving. His needs come first always. We all have similar doubts and fears. You are doing great and he is a credit to you xx

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    1. Thanks, it's reassuring to know I'm not alone. I know that everyone's putting their perfect foot forwards in Instagram etc, portraying an idyllic life, I still can't help feel inadequate...

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  2. Hey lovely, most of us are winging it, some hide it better than others. Having an at home day is perfectly acceptable and every moment with you, no matter what you're doing, will be cherished by squidge. When it comes to going out that i think is a confidence thing for you. Start small... Perhaps a play in the garden, then a walk to the next lamp post, then to the end of the road...see how you go. Perhaps a walk with a trusted mummy friend instead of hubby. Don't beat your self up, squidge looks like a happy, thriving little boy which means you're doing absolutly fine xxx

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    1. Thanks :) I hope he doesn't hate me for lazy Fridays when he's older. Sadly there are no mummy friends near me (now we've moved) and no groups to go to on the day I'm off.

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  3. Hey lovely, most of us are winging it, some hide it better than others. Having an at home day is perfectly acceptable and every moment with you, no matter what you're doing, will be cherished by squidge. When it comes to going out that i think is a confidence thing for you. Start small... Perhaps a play in the garden, then a walk to the next lamp post, then to the end of the road...see how you go. Perhaps a walk with a trusted mummy friend instead of hubby. Don't beat your self up, squidge looks like a happy, thriving little boy which means you're doing absolutly fine xxx

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  4. Yes, totally agree! Seen it with my own eyes and as I said last night, you are a great mum! You're patient, always there if he needs you (even just a mere whimper and you appear to see he's okay), you're thinking of him all the time, your love for him shines out! He's such a happy little boy and that's down to you and hubby! Xx

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    1. Aww thanks mate. I just wish I could do better, for him.

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  5. Please, please don't ever unpublish this! You will never know how important your words are to others who feel the same (and there are many) who are unable to put their feelings into words and often don't even let those around them know that they feel this way.

    You don't NEED to go out with Squidge. He will just LOVE having you all to himself, playing, making and just doing stuff with Mummy.

    You are giving him so much MORE than a lot of Mummy's are able to do, and they would absolutely LOVE to be able to have a 'Friday'.

    Enjoy your time with Squidge. They grow up so quickly and it won't be long before he's off and out and you'll yearn for Fridays.

    You sound like a lovely Mum, because you are a lovely Mum, because you feel the way you do. xxx

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    1. Aww thank you Mouse! Ok, I won't unpublish it, promise! Yeah, I know I'm really lucky to be able to have Friday's off work, and in all honesty I'd never looked at it as a thing we're so lucky to have, so thank you :) Gosh I know, he's growing so fast, I just want to press pause and have him stay this age for much longer - I feel like I'm in the film Click.

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  6. Aw love. The internet is so funny. It presents such different sides to how we really are. I think of you as someone who is really confident so I was surprised to read your self doubt. However, I'm mega confident socially but I too think I'm a bad mum. I have no patience and a terrible temper. It's been a massive shock to me to realise that I don't feel like a natural mum either. And I always got on great with kids growing up. I had so much experience with them. But the real thing is soooooo different. Big hugs lovely. Please know you're not alone. And you are definitely not a bad mum. Xxxx

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    1. Huh, no, not confident at all, far from it. I get on great with you though so when I see you at an event I make a bit of a bee line for you :P That's what probably makes me seem more confident :P See, I was never around kids when I was younger, so it's all so new to me, but like you said, everyone has a different experience of it and different self-doubts etc.

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  7. I don't go far with my boys, never have. They are happy, very much loved and rarely go a day without a fit of the giggles. They also have tantrums, misbehave and push my patience to it's limits..... We are all trying out best to raise responsible adults, you're doing a good job xx

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  8. I'm so glad you wrote this as so many of us feel the same. I'm definitely not a natural mother. When my eldest was born she had two outfits I'd bought her!! Other people fill wardrobes! It freaked me out going baby clothes shopping! I remember so much of the time with my first worrying that something would happen to her. She'd gag on her lunch and I'd play the conversation with my husband in my head where I told him she'd choked to death in my care. I'd watch the clock until hubby got home, and then breathe a sigh of relief I had made it through the day and she was alive. The responsibility is huge. I went to the dr crying my eyes out because she had nappy rash and I thought I was a terrible mum! I know that squidge has lots of days out, and quiet days are very much needed to provide balance. I think you get more quality one on one time that way anyway - I bet he loves his time with you, chilling out and playing. Being a mum is like any other job, you have to get used to it and you are constantly learning. I'm sure in time you will feel more comfortable taking him out on his own but until then I think you are doing a great job just as you are. xx

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    1. Awwww Alina :( I know what you mean though - that's exactly what my fear of taking him out is like, my brain over analysing every little thing :/ That's exactly what I do with the hubby too, I feel so much more confident when he's here. I hope I do feel more confident in time, I really want to, I want to take him on lots of adventures!

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    2. No one said parenthood would be easy and as you and others have rightly observed above the face that people put on is not usually an accurate reflection of what is really going on. Most of us are aware of our inadequacies and the fact that you have recognised something in yourself means, by implication, that you do care.

      While there is always a necessity to look forward in life (we can't go back after all) it is, from time to time, important to take an overview and look at what we have achieved. And you have achieved something. Something that you thought you would never happen in your life. So maybe you could begin to judge yourself by your own standards and not those you perceive of others.

      Well done for writing such a good and honest piece and good luck.

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    3. Thank you so much Chris. You're absolutely right, I definitely have a tendency to be over-critical of myself and forget the bigger picture. I need to remember that Squidge is a happy and healthy child who couldn't be more loved. He has a roof over his head, plenty of toys and endless cuddles and lots of time with his grandparents - actually sounds like a lovely childhood.

      Thanks for a lovely comment Chris :)

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  9. I think so many can relate to this. Myself included. I take my little one to groups at the children's centre. There's plenty around there might be one near you. Then it's just 1 hour out of the day. If he has a tantrum there don't worry. They'll understand. And stuff what anyone thinks anyway. I dragged my son kicking and screaming out of a toddler group once, it was embarrassing but I still went back and no one cared. It was some other kids turn that week! But in that scenario there are other parents and kids and he'll be safe, he won't be able to run away or hurt himself. Confidence requires building. Take him for a walk round the block, if he kicks off or won't behave shuffle him back home. We wouldn't even get half way down the street at one point. Now we go to the shop for gas and leccy. It doesn't come naturally to me either, but little by little we've come a long way. You'll probably find he loves his lazy days anyway! I take my son out to burn off his copious amounts of energy and get a decent nights sleep! Time with you is probably his favourite thing regardless of what you do! Apologies for the essay! Xx

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    1. I've had a look - the only groups I can find near me are on days that I work. I could walk him down to the local cafe - it has a kids area which he loves, but again, I'm terrified of something happening on the walk there... silly I know. I think you might be right about the lazy Friday's though, maybe it's not such a bad thing after all? :)

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  10. Oh bless you, anyone who knows you can easily see how much you love, adore and care for Squidge - you're a fantastic mum always watching out for him.

    I think most of us mums reading this feel like this from time to time, there are things that don't come naturally to me like chatting to baby or play fighting with toddler!

    It sounds like you have the most perfect Fridays. He goes out and does stuff every other day so why on earth shouldn't he have a nice chilled day with you every week? :)
    When W was squidge's age I'd be nervous at times taking him out but he gets easier as he gets older but he has plenty of tantrums in public!
    If you do want to start venturing out why not join your local FB groups e.g. 'Caerphilly mums' and ask if anyone fancies a play date? You could start at your house and build up to going to theirs?

    Lots of love to a fab mum xxxx

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    1. Thank you my lovely :) I honestly had no idea how much this post would resonate with people, I felt like I was alone in thinking and feeling this, so it's amazing to see I'm not alone :) That's a really good idea, I'll have a look and just see if there's mums that regularly meet for a coffee, as opposed to a formal group (they're all on days I don't work).

      Thanks so much, mwah!

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