Friday, October 26, 2007

The thing about accepting help

I love being a Mummy. My son is just so incredible. Every day he learns something new and it warms my shattered heart like nothing I could imagine.

But over the last couple of weeks my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) has been playing up and I have been having bad attacks nearly daily that don't seem to be triggered by anything in particular. I find myself running to the loo and if that is in the middle of a feed, poor Alex is left crying in his bed until I can return and finish his feed, which can be 20 minutes later. It also comes with a variety of other lovely symptoms like contraction strong stomach pains, and nausea.

My back has been killing me too. My pelvic ligaments are still not very strong from the pregnancy and my pelvis keeps popping out of alignment. I get pains up my back and down my legs and I get to a point where it hurts to walk. Then I go to the chiropractor and he fixes it for me, and I get a few days of peace before it starts again. Not very conducive to losing weight.

All of that combined with the lack of sleep has left me daydreaming about the parents of this child coming home so I can collect my babysitting money and go home to peace, quiet and uninterrupted sleep.

Today I imagined that I was just a nanny and that I had to smile heaps because surely there is a nanny-cam somewhere that is spying on me (so i had better do a good job).

In all my life I have never asked for help. Never accepted any even if someone volunteered and it has absolutely killed me to accept any help when it comes to my son. My mother in law calls often asking if she can help. I struggle saying Yes. Usually I say No - regardless if there is no milk in the fridge and we are eating wilted veggies. The only time I reluctently say yes is if there is something that Alex needs - formula or nappies.

Whenever my Mother in law comes over she says (at least twice a visit) - "you are doing so well" or variations of this "I don't think you ever thought you would do this well, but you are", "you are coping so well". I love it as it is the only encouragement I get, and if makes me feel really good.

I really need a break though. Some time when I don't have to half sleep so I can listen out for Alex. Hubbs could sleep through a chainsaw massacre and he doesn't wake to Alex crying, even when he tries to. I do all the night feeds (which I must admit are not many - he usually has a feed around 11pm, another at 5am and another at 7:30am).

So why then, did I say "No, everything is fine, we don't need anything" to my Mother in law when she called today to say "anything you need?".

The fear of failure! Somehow I feel if I say "yes, please come watch Alex for an hour so I can collapse" that somehow I am failing. That she will stop encouraging me by saying that I am doing so well and I really need to hear that I am doing okay in this motherhood thing.

Don't get me wrong. I am not depressed or anything. I am just tired. A perfectly normal reaction I believe.

I found a lovely antidote though to any times I do get frustrated with Alex. I have found that even when he is screaming his head off for no apparent reason, all i need to do is give him a kiss on his perfect little head and instantly I feel rejuvenated. A small kiss brings out an overwhelming surge of love for his little man of mine. Suddenly everything feels okay again.

I can't sleep during the day. I have tried it again and again and it just doesn't happen for me. Instead I find myself lying awake thinking of all the things I should be doing - washing, dishes, bottles etc. Eventually I have to get up and do one of those things on my ever increasing list.

It is something I am going to have to continue to struggle with. I must force myself to say "yes can you do "x" for me" without feeling guilty, without feeling like I am a failure as a mother.

It's going to be hard.

Tomorrow I am taking Alex off to a luncheon Mum in law is attending at her best friend's house. She wants to show Alex off and it will be nice for me to get out of the house too. It will be nice to talk to other adults. If she asks me "do you need anything?" I am going to say "yes".

Let's see if I can be strong enough to actually do it this time.

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6 Comments:

At 9:40 pm, Blogger LL said...

Hey Bugsy, maybe look at it this way...being with Alex is your job... If you were in paid employment and someone offered to do some filing/photocopying or something, would you be able to accept?
As the saying goes "it takes a village to raise a child"

 
At 5:29 am, Blogger Ruby said...

Failure? On the contrary, I think you're doing a great job! It takes much courage to accept help when offered.

I'm rooting for you, say YES!

 
At 10:48 pm, Blogger Casp said...

My friend's mother in law comes over every week for an hour or two on a Tuesday arvo and she goes out and does the groceries. Why not suggest something like that? And once it becomes a regular event you can take that time to have a rest!

MIL will probably love it too - grandparents are usually dying to get time alone with the little bubs.

 
At 9:19 am, Blogger Mony said...

You are such a brave & inspiring girl.
Ask for help. All Mums need it...and you are no different.
Kisses.

 
At 3:58 pm, Anonymous Leoni said...

"""Somehow I feel if I say "yes, please come watch Alex for an hour so I can collapse" that somehow I am failing."""

No way!!! That is not a failure, you are not abandoning Alex, you are taking a well needed power break. In fact I am sure you've heard of the saying "Happy mummy = Happy Baby". I too think you are doing a wonderful job, its one of THE most difficult jobs there is, with no breaks nor holidays. So I say go and say a resounding YES to anyone who offers to help. The best thing would be for MIL to regularly help, say once or twice a week, or else you will turn into a tired/neglected/frumpy mummy (like me lol) with no sense of "self". It will feel funny saying yes the 1st time, but after that its a piece of cake! I also challenge you to do some "you" things during your breaks, its very easy to use your "free" time doing chores, and life ain't just about chores.

cheers,
Leoni

 
At 9:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to remember also that Alex won't remember how clean his house was, Bugsy. He will, however, remember that his Mummy played with him, read him books and spent time cuddling him. Don't stress about the housework!
Ask your MIL to give you a hand from time to time with that too.

 

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