To the people out there that think they have a right to comment on my family, let me tell you right now...
I can't tell you how many times over the last few years that we've fielded questions such as,
Firstly these kinds of questions are ridiculous (and no one else's business).
Secondly they imply that there's one type of 'perfect' family... mum, dad and the pigeon pair, and that anything other than that is a disappointment. What's more, it always makes me laugh that people make the assumption that NATHAN will be disappointed with only ever having daughters, like every man on the planet needs a son, otherwise they will forever be unfulfilled.
I'm constantly running through scenarios in my head, wondering what people's reactions would be if I answered them...
What do people really want us to say in response??
I myself, am one of FOUR GIRLS... that's right FOUR! I bet my father never imagined in his younger days, that he'd be surrounded by so many vaginas! I have never in my life heard that man complain. He is the dad of girls. In fact, I am under the understanding that he in fact considers himself LUCKY to be a father to 4 daughters. At the end of the day, if you're lucky enough to have 4 happy and heathy children, it doesn't matter what they have between their legs, right?
Lately, the possibility of us having number three has come up for discussion, and to be perfectly blunt, I'm sick of being told 'You're crazy' or 'Wow, you're game'... I'm neither. Yeah ok, we've had a rough run with sleep in our time, but it's nothing I wouldn't be willing to go through all over again. It sucks balls when I'm up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time, standing hunched over a cot, or pacing the halls rocking a baby. It's really tough, but it's nothing I can't get through. Every single sleepless night, and every single tear is worth it when they smile at me, or hug me, or say 'I love you' for the first time. After all, we're not going into this unprepared. We know now, more than ever what the possibilities are, in terms of adding to our brood. We know that the pregnancy will be hard (as they ALWAYS are), and recovery will probably be harder. We'll have to juggle the two older children while going through the 'newborn' phase again. There will be more breastfeeding, and sleep training, and nappies! At the end of the day, it's our family, and we'll add to it (or not) as we see fit.
If we want to pop out a kid every year, for as long as I have a working uterus, that's up to the two of us, my vagina and Nathan's bank account to worry about. So unless you're going to be here to hold back my hair while I'm suffering morning sickness, or you're on nighttime nappy duty, it would be wise (and much more polite) to keep your negative opinions to yourself.
Motherhood is a funny kind of experience... And I don't mean funny in a 'haha' type of way, I mean it in a peculiar, unique, unlike any other kind of way. On one hand it can be so natural, so organic, like you were put on this earth to be here with these little people in your arms... and at the very same it, it's so alien, so unusual, so out of your comfort zone. It's been the only time in my life where deep down I knew exactly what I was meant to be doing, while simultaneously screaming out for someone to help me.
Becoming a mum myself was the first time in my adult life where I was desperate for it, jealous of others with it, longing for it... A relationship with my own mother.
I can't explain what it is. For the longest time, my mother has been estranged, or in the very least a distant part of my life. For lack of a better word, the relationship is complicated. It's always been strained, and over the years the emotional toll it took on me had to be considered, and eventually for the sake of my relationship with my own children, my relationship with her had to end. Yet, until I entered the realm of motherhood myself, I hadn't really been missing that figure in my life.
Each year, mothers day would come around, and I would often send my dad a message instead. Lets face it, in my late teens and early adulthood, he was the one helping me pick up the pieces after a break up with yet another boyfriend, counselling me through new relationships, through the time we were trying to get pregnant, and weren't! He's been the one there dealing with things that were probably well out of his depth, yet, never once making me feel like he was. On the flip side, when I did see my mother, I was plagued with anxiety. I would worry myself sick over my appearance, worry of the things that she could criticise. I hid aspects of Abbie's birth from her, for fear of judgement, because if it wasn't a text book, drug free birth, then there must be something wrong with me... 'You must've got that from your father's side' she would say.
The affects of this kind of relationship on me are abundantly clear, I think now, I've reached a point where I'm strong enough to move forward. I think i'm more able to face them, and give them a stiff middle-fingered salute that they deserve.
The funny thing is, I don't think I would have ever been capable of moving forward and letting go of the resentment that I had held onto for so many years, until I had children of my own. There are so many times that I have wondered how I will possibly manage to teach my children all of the things a mother should, when I didn't have that myself. What I realise now, is that sometimes the greatest lessons aren't necessarily about what you should be doing, but rather, they're about what you shouldn't be doing. In all of my years of longing, and confusion, I can now honestly say, that my mother has taught me some of my greatest life lessons. I know exactly the kind of mother I don't want to be...
I just have to figure out what kind of mother I do want to be, but that's not something anyone else can teach me. I know now that with the help of my girls, I'll eventually find my own way.
I wanna talk about sleep deprivation for a second here... The kind of sleep deprivation that hits you like a tonne of bricks the moment that the adrenalin and hormones are no longer hiding the fact that you have a sleep demon on your hands. I thought we'd have said goodbye to that by now, but for 3 long years we have been living in that constant headachey, fog that comes with complete and utter sleep deprivation. I can't count the amount of nights that I've cried to Nathan, or said the words "I can't do this anymore". It's completely debilitating some days. The affects of severe sleep deprivation are fairly similar to many of the symptoms of Post Natal Depression... Need I say more?
Living with sleep deprivation is like having to get up and get on with life (because lets face it, the baby doesn't give a flying poo if you're tired... they still need to you to be their everything) after getting run over by a road train, slapped in the face a good half a dozen times with a double plugger and then shat on. You think I'm joking. Unless you're the proud owner of a teeny tiny sleep terrorist, you have no idea what tired really is.
The most frustrating thing about the whole situation is the unsolicited advice...
"Well, you need to do controlled crying"
"Oh, it's because she's breastfed"
"She needs a comforter"
"You need to teach her to self settle"
That's just a few examples.
I swear, if someone dishes out another piece of useless advice to me, my head is gonna explode... or in the very least, I'll channel Linda Blair and rotate 360 exorcist style.
You see, the first time around we did most things (mostly) by the book. Oh the fucking book... We fought and fought until we reached breaking point thinking that we'd be creating so many bad habits if we didn't! I was so sick and tired of people assuming all of the 'mistakes' we must have been making for this to be happening to us. By the time number two came around, we were too damn tired to fight it all. We bed shared when we needed to, I breastfed to sleep because it was the quickest and easiest way to get it done sometimes, I used a dummy, I didn't bother fighting the 40 min nap, instead I just waited until she worked it out herself. Not only has it made for a much more enjoyable experience, but SHE'S MY BETTER SLEEPER! I don't mean at the same age... I mean now! My 15 month old sleeps 12 hours a night (mostly), where as my 3 year old is up constantly throughout the night.
I spent so much time wondering and worrying about where I went wrong. You know what though? I didn't do anything wrong. Every. Single. Child. Is. DIFFERENT! I personally don't care anymore if your child was sleeping through the night from 6 minutes old, but if you keep regaling me with tales of a perfect nights sleep, you're gonna cop a swift fly kick to the baby-maker.
You guys, I think i'm going through a mid-life crisis...
I'm going through a MUM-LIFE CRISIS!!
Today is the LAST DAY OF FEBRUARY! It's even a leap year, which mean that the guys down at the calendar shop gave me a whole extra day to get used to the idea this year. The end of February means only one thing, the beginning of MARCH! AHHH!! Ok, ok, well DUUUHHH, but March is my birthday month...
My birthday's coming up, as it does relentlessly, every. single. year... I mean, without fail. Here it is again. BOOM you're another year older. Last year, I literally hid from my birthday. We packed up and went on a mini family vacay, which was amazing don't get me wrong, but I didn't want to be celebrated. I couldn't handle the big 3-0. Now this year, it's 31!!
30 effing 1... What the heck?
If you were to ask me off hand how old I was, I would automatically want to say something like 'Oh, I'm 26', and I've been wondering why that is. Why has the time between my 27th birthday and my 31st birthday flown by in a blink? I know why...
We started trying to get pregnant with Abbie not long before my 27th birthday, and I think from that moment on, life became ALL. ABOUT. KIDS... My life went from all about me, to all about babies with he appearance of the word "PREGNANT" on one of those digital pregnancy tests (but not with the 5 tests taken before that), that was when it all changed! Life was that wasted time between little baby kicks, or Braxton Hicks (Grrr)... the time between the monotonous baby 'feed, crap, sleep' cycle, or the juggling of toddler routine vs baby needs! Before you know it, you're rocking a trendy balayage hair do, when in fact it's just mega regrowth, and you're channeling your inner Sesame Street with a fierce Bert-esq monobrow! Don't even get me started on trying to figure out when the old 'smile lines' appeared... Once upon a time, I could smile without granny wrinkles, ugh...
31 was always my 'I thought I'd have all my shit together' age. I still feel like a teenager, pretending to be an adult, while trying to figure out how to raise two tiny people, set a good example, and not screw them up royally. I guess I'll have to reassess... Maybe I should make my new 'I'll have all my shit together' age 70, and just work on not screwing up my grandkids... At least that gives me a few years to breathe.
So if you see some posts over the next few weeks of a mildly depressed, haggard looking old lady, that's just me, mourning my youth...
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version