Let’s face it, being a mummy doesn’t come with a manual or handbook and nothing can prepare you for the unknown.
When I say unknown I mean, we all know that a baby cries, drinks milk and sleeps right? Yes we lean that from family, friends and pre natal classes. What we don’t lean is what each cry means and why they are constantly waking when they have a clean nappy, have a full tummy and are at perfect temperature.
If like me you have tried control crying, tried the shhh method, patting, night lights, baby monitors, white noise etc etc but sometimes after 2hrs of continuous toddler waking – for no apparent reason other than he calls out my name and thinks I should be sleeping in his room along side him. You snap…
Well last night I did. I had reached my teather of shhh, patting, white noise, coving in blankets and every other method known to mummy’s all over the world. I raised my voice at my 20 month old little man. The love of my life, my world. I told him ‘just go to sleep mummy is cold and tired and I’m over the constant waking’. He didn’t listen though and as soon as I left his room he started to stream and call out ‘mamma, mamma, mamma’. I eventually gave in as I often get ‘mummy guilt’ and feel bad for raising my voice at such an innocent little delight (delight when he isn’t awake at 2am!).
I gave in at 4am after 2 hours of back and forth from his room to my bed and put him in bed with me. He then slept until 8am. I know this is a terrible bad habit but I suffer ‘mummy guilt’ and this morning I feel terrible for many reasons.
1. I raised my voice at him
2. I ended up giving in to him and allowing him to sleep with me
3. I was to tired to get up and see my hubby off to work
4. It’s 8am when I’m usually up at 6:30am
5. His routine is now out by a couple hours all because ‘I gave in’
Does anyone else suffer from ‘mummy guilt’?
I’ve read all the sleep books, saving our sanity books, taming toddler books, healthy eating books but none of these methods seem to help my little one.
Perhaps he just has it over me?
I look at him with overwhelming love and stare into his beautiful brown eyes and feel besotted with love and adoration. Why am I yelling at him to sleep? Perhaps he is just ready to start his day? He did go down at 7pm. That’s 7hrs sleep, adults survive on that, is it enough? Then the little voice of reason kicks in, I hear it telling me – ‘no all the books say toddlers needs 14 hours of sleep’. So I’m confused and feeling ‘mummy guilt’ again.
It’s not only with his sleep I feel guilt, it’s also with his eating. We all want our children to grow up healthy and as my father used to say ‘big and strong’ and we were drummed in that vegetables and meat made us this way. ‘Eat your veg then your meat’ my dad used to say every night at the dinner table and it was a ceremony of us all sitting down to eat together. So I feel guilty that my little one eats alone at 5pm as to keep to his nightly routine of dinner, bath, bottle, story and bed.
I feel guilty about what if he isn’t getting enough nutrients or fruit and vegetables? I still do purée veg for him to endure he eats veg every night and I do them in weekly batches and freeze then in Snap lock bags, mixing up the veg so that it’s not boring and ensuring he eats a variety of different things. I know a few children who are almost teenagers who still don’t eat veg and I think it’s because it wasn’t encouraged as toddlers.
Your taste buds and also habits evolve on a 30 day cycle so you can either beat a habit or learn to enjoy something if you stick to it for 30 days. Now I’m not saying eat the same veg for 30 days straight but encourage healthy eating from a young age and when ten reach 8, 9 or 10 even older they will enjoy certain veg. Don’t get me wrong we don’t have to love all veg but at least like 1 of every colour. He eats meat every night and I ensure he is having enough dairy such as cheese, yogurt, custards, milk etc. I don’t allow too much excess or un necessary sugars and although I allow treats, I try to minimise chocolate, chips, lollies and biscuits to a special occasion.
I’ve listed some veggie and fruit colours below that I try to have at least one veg from each colour in his weekly cook up. I freeze these in 1 cup lots then thaw for the day and cook fresh meat each evening.
Orange / Yellow = pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, corn, squash, rockmelon, oranges, lemon, mango, pineapple.
Green = broccoli, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, green capsicum, spinach, asparagus, avocado, green apple, green grapes, limes, kiwi fruit, pear.
Red = tomato, red capsicum, radish, cherries, rhubarb, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries.
Purple / Blue = beetroot, purple asparagus, red cabbage, eggplant, blue berries, mulberries, black berries.
White / Brown = cauliflower, mushroom, onion, peaches, nectarines, garlic, banana, potato, ginger, brown pears, dates.
I know I’m not the perfect mother, I wish I was but what is ‘perfect’? I try my best to raise my child to be the best person he can be. Encouraging him to try new things, be brave, show leadership skills, be kind and caring, fun and happy, help others but most of all I encourage him to be himself. Strive for what he wants rather than what I want him to be.
Perhaps I just have too high of expectations on what is being a good mummy?