When the going gets tough

Life with a newborn is lovely and it’s h-a-r-d.

I’ve had emotional breakdowns at 3am and 2pm.

I’ve forgotten what it is I did with my life and still don’t know how to cram into 2 (if that) hours what I had a day to do but I’ve resolved not to beat myself up about it or fight sleep.  Sleep is a rare commodity so sleep always wins.

I’ve had cabin fever more times than I care to count (and this is coming from a self-confessed homebody) and what I wouldn’t give to go out and run an errand at the drop of a hat but I am my son’s sole food source and while I am in awe of what my body can do I’m what you might call an awkward (slash bashful) breastfeeder.

I am still trying to find a balance in this new normal of ours.

Sometimes I don’t want to sleep when he sleeps, I want to finish a project or start one.  I want to give the house a good clean but I know that if I do I will be a ball of tears at 3am when all I can see are cluster feeds and all I have is the dark and lonely flicker of a night light.

On the flip-side and above all else, he is my reason for being.  I look at him and just one smidgen of a smile makes me melt.  The other day after I’d had an emotional melt down he looked me square in the eyes, smiled and with two hands outstretched gently touched my face.  I smiled back and yet I was so emotionally spent that I cried too.  I was annoyed at myself for letting him see sadness when all I really wanted to communicate was that these were happy tears.

It’s these tough moments where I can’t wait for him to know me better and I him.  The days when he’s overtired, crying uncontrollably and I fold imploring him to ‘please please for the love of all that is good s-l-e-e-p’, then he sleeps for so long that I miss his awake-ness!

When he sleeps like an angel or my midwife says how much he’s grown in a week it’s those moments where filled with pride I want him to stay small and fall asleep in my arms forever because I know that years from now (or months) I’ll wish that he needed me this much.

The good will always outweigh the bad in this chapter of course but it’s important to acknowledge that life with a newborn isn’t all gummy smiles and TV-ad cliche’s.  In fact if it weren’t for the tough and trying moments then the absolutely fantastic moments wouldn’t feel as sweet as they do.


Erena Te Paa sig

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  1. Sharlene kingi
    April 12, 2016 / 11:15 am

    I just think …how lucky this little man is to have two devoted loving parents….

  2. Kate
    April 12, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    I hear you!!!! It is hard, hard work. I’ve had emotional breakdowns often, but I know you’ve probably heard this…but it does get easier. You’ll find your rhythm. Breastfeeding is so awkward in public! Sleep is so precious isn’t it. Thinking of you xxx

  3. Monika
    April 12, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    We read up, we know people with babies, hear people talk about it, see it in films, documentaries….and n.o.t.h.i.n.g. can ever prepare us for the real thing. Those weeks, months…even early years were hard. Sleeping has never been the same since. But, as you said, these times fly by ever so quickly, even though it doesn’t feel like it when you’re in it. The biggest learning curve of all …it will teach you patience. With your child, other people…and yourself. Be kind to yourself, accept all the help you get offered and if you are in the position get yourself “mothered’ a bit. Your body is still running a virtual marathon, totally astonishing and miraculous and that’s your work at the moment. We are so used to doing something all the time, rushing, planning…..this is the time for just being. And this is not an easy feat – physically as well as mentally. I can honestly say ( and I’m sure I’m only one of countless women) I look back now at those hard, early years and say to myself: ” I wish I had been a bit more mindful about those fleeting times”.
    I wish you all the very best for this “getting used to” time and maybe some mindfulness practice will make the adjustment easier. Breathe and just be.
    With all my love,

  4. Lorena
    April 12, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Big hug Erena, hang in there – I know it’s easier said than done. Thinking of you!

  5. April 17, 2016 / 4:57 am

    Thank you lovely Lorena, you’re so thoughtful! Yep the simplest of things take a lot longer but as he gets bigger (everyday it seems like!) I know I’ll be reminiscing but for now the ‘struggle is real’. Have received the virtual hug and it helped ;-).

  6. April 17, 2016 / 5:03 am

    Such amazing insight Monika. I have already soaked in all your words of wisdom over the last couple of days. Time is fleeting (it’s nearly May for goodness sake!) and as much as there are days when I think ‘I can’t wait till he’s a little older’ I know I’ll look back and wish I lingered in these moments longer. The ‘other stuff’ can and will wait. He is my morning, afternoon and evening right now and I can already feel the days easing up a bit. Good things take time and he is a beautiful thing to take time with! xxx

  7. April 17, 2016 / 5:35 am

    Ah! That is reassuring to know Kate! And as you’re a bit further ahead than me I like that you mentioned it gets easier! I mean I already feel like I’ve acquired some super parenting powers haha. Tell me about it, I’m the poster girl for awkward breastfeeding but hey I get it done and he’s a happy chappy! Thanks for the words of wisdom lovely, I feel better already! xxx

  8. April 17, 2016 / 5:36 am

    Awww, thank you Shar! xxxx

  9. Nicky
    June 7, 2016 / 5:23 am

    Well said. It’s definitely hard work and nothing car prepare you but the rewards make it worth it.

  10. June 8, 2016 / 9:28 am

    Thank you Nicky! Exactly. It’s the hardest job ever but by far the most rewarding X

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