Mum guilt: Feeling like absolute crap for actually not really doing anything wrong, but still feeling like crap and that you’re the worst mum ever but actually you’re doing a pretty good job and the best you can but you still feel crap but your baby thinks you’re a legend but you still feel a knot in your stomach and a tightness in your heart. So yeah, I've had major mum guilt this week. Rafe was a little bit upset when I dropped him off at nursery this week so was extra difficult to leave him but a few hours later, I got a photo and a text from the staff to say he had settled after a cuddles and was happy and playing. Then about 2pm I got a call saying Rafe was really unsettled, he had a bit of a cough (he has had a snotty nose for about a week) and they thought he had enough for the day. He hadn’t really eaten or had any milk and was being really clingy and didn’t want to be put down – the complete opposite of the week before. Luckily work is understanding so I was able to nip and get him and my dad was able to look after him for the rest of the afternoon. But when I walked in, he was just sat on someone’s knee and he looked quite upset and I just wanted to burst into tears. I felt so guilty. The nursery staff were reassuring and reminded me it was only his second session but it just doesn’t make it any easier. But to be honest, along with it just being his second day, I think it was a mixture of him being a bit under the weather and this is the first week in our new home so he has been quite unsettled – so some big changes all in one week. But still felt major hit you in the heart and face mum guilt. And you know what? I miss him. It’s been four weeks back at work and I miss him. Yes, it’s easier in the sense of I’ve got into a routine with being back at work and I feel less broken-hearted about the maternity leave chapter ending but I just miss those days and Rafe. I miss our 8-mile walks a day, I miss baby yoga, I miss after nap-time snuggles when he is all cuddly, I miss our little adventures, I just miss him. Being a mum is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster isn’t it?
It’s been a bit of a tough week this week. Put aside the mum guilt, it’s been a bit unsettling for both Rafe and I. Obviously moving into our new home has been amazing – it already feels like home. But Rafe has been waking quite a bit in the night (more so than normal) which is understandable but I look like a walking zombie and have a coffee on standby all day. It’s also been the first time I’ve been ‘alone’ for a while. Being a military wife, being on your own becomes the norm, I won’t say you get used to it, but you soon get into your own little routine. When they are away for months on end, you have good days and bad days but you just get on with it and count down the days till they are home. However, since Rafe has been born, I’ve never really been on my own. When we were living on the married patch in Arbroath (moved back to the North East when Rafe was 8 weeks), my husband was home most nights. And then when we moved back to Geordieland, we were back in with my parents, so although he went away, I always had company. There was always someone there to speak to, after I came down after bathing and feeding Rafe. I never really felt ‘lonely.’ But now it’s just me and the dog. Who I love, but the conversation is a bit one-sided. So that’s been strange – and there have been a few tears. So I have to get into a routine of it just being me, Rafe and Yankee. Obviously the grandparents are on hand whenever I need them and my mum has been popping in after work on the days she doesn't have Rafe. Just going to take a bit of time to get back into the good old military life of talking to the dog, watching a good box set, living off cereal and oh – looking after a baby too. Wish me luck...
Getting used to not sleeping in the same room together is causing sleepless nights for the both of us. I’m so used to him being next to me in his cot and hearing him wriggle around. It was also so easy in the night to bring him next to me to feed on the bed, then straight back into his cot. When I'm bleary eyed at 2am and have to sit on a chair in his nursery, it feels like an epic. But again, just take time to get used to it. And he won’t be feeding through the night much longer will he?!!!
Friday night was on a whole different level of horrendous. I think it was teething but he would not be put down for hours and hours. I ended up sleeping on the floor in the nursery which was fun. Felt sorry for the poor guy but equally just wanted him to go to sleep.
Rafe’s still a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to food. I mean he will eat snacky finger food until the cows come home but actual meals can still be a bit hit or miss. Unless its lentils or soup randomly! We’ve been doing a mix of mashed food and finger food since I started weaning but have been introducing much more baby-led/textures for a while now but a lot of the time he throws the food on the floor (which the dog loves). Any go-to-recipes I can try for a bit of a fussy eater? Also, what do you all do for lunch? I've been giving him 'proper' meals but I don't know whether to start giving him more snacky lunches - soup and sandwiches etc? He likes laughing cow and banana - any other suggestions for fillings?
After googling ‘best routines for (insert month) since day one, I was shocked to find that there wasn’t a lot of routines out there for one-year-olds. WHAT? I just don’t know whether to drop one of his milk feeds during the day now – and just have a snack? And when he turns one and can have cow’s milk – do I give him that during the day, rather than formula? (I’ll still be breastfeeding morning feed and night – but again, don’t know whether to stop breastfeeding - AHHHHH) I’m basically fucking confused again. Also I read a comment on another mum’s insta page about cow’s milk being bad – and sheep’s milk was better and now I’m like WHAT THE FUCK? I had and still have cow’s milk and I’m okay. Please don't confuse me anymore. I already need to worry about salt content, whether I actually need to make my own jam…and 50,000 other things, I can’t add milk to the list. So yeah, help again please!
I’ve got most of Rafe’s birthday presents and cake sorted. I still just can’t believe he is almost one. Those who have followed my blog for a while and have baby’s a similar age – it would be lovely if you could send me a photo of your little one on their birthday. I feel like we have got through this year together so I thank you all.
Till next time...
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.