I am not a natural mum. People think I am, but I’m not.
I mean, yes, I cope (most days) with the challenges of motherhood/working/marriage, but it’s definitely not come naturally to me.
From the moment Mackenzie was born, she was taken away and I woke up in recovery with her asleep in a crib beside my hospital bed. The ward was understaffed and the nurses did not give a flying frick that I was scared, alone and in the dark, didn’t know what to do, and was feeling like I’d been sliced in half (because I had, you see).
Safe to say it was not a pleasant “onboarding” experience to motherhood.
I couldn’t really routine her as a newborn and struggled to understand what the fuck a “tired-sign” was. Then I turned to the online world of baby experts which was so pointless.. Once I started to try and read her I got better and picked up when she was gonna lose her mind and when she was fine to take out. Then when she was old enough I sleep trained and got into a semi-predictable rhythm, but most days we still struggle with naps and bedtime. Glorious bedtime fights are the stuff childhood memories are made of.
I get these selfish pangs of annoyance when she cries to be picked up because it usually happens when I’m busy. Like, cooking her dinner. Or packing her bag. Or wiping up her spilt milk. Or hanging/folding/putting away washing. I know she’s telling me, in her own way, to slow down and put her first, but shit still needs to be taken care of.
On the weekend I struggle to provide interesting things to do, play with, learn from. Most of the time I’m like, but why can’t you just play with that toy you’ve seen every day since birth? I know what you’re thinking… here goes a mediocre mum.
I really HATE preparing food at the moment because most of it gets dumped on the floor and I have to actively remind myself it’s not personal (yet). So of course any creativity around meals is out the window and don’t even talk to me about meal prep. I don’t even cut up my veggies like the self righteous, know it all I once was.
And all this “white girl angst” stems from the fact that my kid changes every week and I constantly feel like an amateur. I just want to feel in control! No, I neeeeeeed to feel in control, that I will know what to do and that I will be able to do it. And that’s why I struggle with motherhood.
Maybe that’s the point. Every day, week, month, developmental leap, illness, life/routine change, sleep regression, feeding regression (…you get the point) throws up a new set of challenges that you feel like you just can’t possibly tackle. And now that every member of society feels it’s appropriate to ask when I’ll “give Mackenzie a sibling”, I have a big middle finger ready to go.
Except, how about the concept that I have tackled all these problems in the past?
I know the solution doesn’t always come naturally to me, but good or bad outcome, either way, I reacted. Maybe that’s enough?
Am I the only one who thinks they’re not a natural born mother?
How do I let go of the angst?