Last week was a bit of a turbulent week for me. Nothing too extreme but lots of little things accumulating to result in a pretty sh!tty week. You see our little man hasn't been sleeping well. He's gone from being an all night sleeper (yes we were hated by all new parents) to waking every couple of hours for several nights in a row. At one stage he was sick, poor little man, and we were pretty much up all night as he would only sleep on us for comfort. But as well as lack of sleep, I had some devastating news that my honours topic wasn't accepted by my university and then I had a big blow on my blog with another blogger causing me a lot of distress over something I posted. I was so distressed, I actually cried over it and thought about chucking the whole blog thing in.... but that story is for another time.
So all in all we had a rough few days. I was absolutely exhausted from lack of sleep and I had a massive kick in the self-esteem basket from the recent rejections.
The first big sign I wasn’t coping was when I lost interest in the things I like to do. I didn’t want to exercise. I didn’t want to eat at all let alone eat healthy. And it was all I could do to have a shower, get dressed and clean my teeth some days.
The second big sign came on the fourth night. Hubby came home later that night and as per usual, bubby was bright eyed and smiley, as he always is when dad comes home. Typical! I was preparing dinner… mum’s secret recipe hamburgers with the lot. One of our favourites. But it was a total disaster. I steamed veggies when we weren’t even having veggies for dinner and couldn’t think for the life of me what the ingredients for the hamburgers were. There were hamburgers and bread and umm beetroot (I think) and…. er. Nope, nothing…. a total mind blank. Hubby came in, took one look at me and escorted me from the kitchen. He took over, I just had no idea what I was doing. To top it off, that day I had gone to the supermarket and forgotten half of the items we usually bought, things like milk and fruit. I was simply too stressed.
But it really all came to a head the following afternoon. My little man wouldn’t sleep. I had tried everything. Everything I tell you! I ended up picking up my crying little man for what seemed like the umpteenth time and just held him in my arms and cried. I didn’t just cry, I pretty much howled. I stood in the middle of my living room with an inconsolable baby in my arms and just cried. It was then that I knew I needed some extra support.
I thought that maybe as a family we had bitten off more than we could chew. You see we are pretty busy. As well as being a full time mum and running a household, I am studying honours in psychology, I have a blog and I try and get at least an hour of some form of exercise every day. Hubby is just as busy – he’s a full time dad, works full time, is training for an ironman and volunteers several hours a week. I immediately thought it’s not working, something has to give and it’s not going to be our most important role of being parents.
So I talked to hubby about everything I was experiencing and he was fantastic. Like most men, he likes to try and solve problems, so together we devised a plan. For the two days hubby was home for the weekend, he took our little man out for long walks so I could start my whole new honours project again. During the night, hubby was able to get up several more times than usual as he wasn’t working. I debriefed with friends and family about the awful blogger and had my feelings validated which made me feel better about that whole scenario. We now have weekly food plans where most meals are cooked on a Sunday night so I am not trying to coordinate study with bath time with getting dinner and bed time every night of the week. All groceries are now being ordered online and delivered. This is so much easier than coordinating a baby with a trolly and then loading the pram up with groceries and carrying the baby up into the apartment block. And I am now committing to sleeping while the baby sleeps… again! I did this for the first six weeks after bub was born but stopped doing it once he slept through the night.
So all in all things are faring much better this week. I was able to get some much needed sleep, make a massive start on my thesis, receive some motivation for my blog and re-organise my life to make it a whole lot easier. This is all because of the support that I asked for and received.
Being a parent is so wonderful but at times it is so, so tough. Some days run quicker than others, some nights seem longer than others, and some weeks are harder than others,. But regardless of what week, night or day you’re having, support is only a conversation away. Whether you have a partner, or your partner is away, or you’re a single mum, I can guarantee you that you will have support from friends, family or the community if you ask for it. They key is, just to ask!