Yesterday I had one of those moments that as a ‘stay at home mum’ can either make you laugh or cry. It could be one of those points that make you realise that actually, you are not coping too well. I’ve been there before, where I stand in the middle of the chaos and cry. Yesterday I laughed and I realised that despite my chest infection which is making me feel pretty rotten and the baby feeding almost constantly we’re doing OK. In fact better than OK, I’m enjoying this, it’s hard work but I love being around my two small children all day and only occasionally want to scream.
So, yesterday. All was going well, my toddler was having a nap and I was feeding the baby. I realised I needed the loo (IBS means I don’t get warning with this, I needed the toilet right then), then there was the ominous rumble from the baby’s bottom that could only mean a leaking yellow mess all over me. There was a cry from upstairs, my toddler was awake. And grumpy. I got him up and he just wanted cuddles and I couldn’t get him to come to where I was to have cuddles as he would rather stomp around the kitchen crying. I realised it was lunchtime and he was hungry. I put some toast in while holding the baby and getting an increasing spread of yellow poo on my only clean clothes. The toast popped up a couple of minutes later blackened.
This was the moment, do I join them both and cry? I opted for smiling. I put the baby on the changing mat, sat my toddler in his highchair, sorted his toast, then went back and changed the baby’s nappy and clothes, rubbed my clothes down with a baby wipe (we weren’t going anywhere, I could cope with a yellow tinge), gave my toddler more food, went to the loo and then calmed the apoplectic baby with a feed. Even reading that back I think “wow that sounds stressful” but yesterday it wasn’t. I’m not saying that tomorrow it won’t be but I’ve learnt to take a couple of deep breaths and do one thing at a time and if one or other child has to wait that’s the way it has to be.
My health visitor is very good, she supports me and makes sure I’m aware of how I’m feeling (I have suffered with post natal depression in the past) but I do believe that the counselling I worked through a few years ago has made a difference. It doesn’t mean the PND won’t come back, but it does mean I am more aware of the signs and can start to make changes early.
I don’t think there’s any such thing as Super-Mum, but there are many super mum’s out there. A super mum isn’t one that does everything, she doesn’t have to have a gleaming house, angelic children and al a carte meals. She’s one who spends time with her children having fun and enjoying them, caring for them, sometimes feeling utterly exasperated by them, but ultimately loving them.