I’m sorry I can’t settle Mitchell quickly.
I’m sorry he likes to be held. I’m sorry I can’t do as much with Ashleigh when I’m holding him.
I’m sorry I use the pram to settle him as much as I do. I’m sorry he’s not learning to sleep in the cot.
I’m sorry he cries a lot. I’m sorry I don’t always know why. I’m sorry I can’t make him feel better. I’m sorry my heart breaks a little more every time I see that bottom lip tremble and know he’s about to unleash the cry that pierces my skin.
I’m sorry I can’t give Ashleigh the attention I used to. I’m sorry that I can’t even give her half the attention I used to.
I’m sorry I don’t give Mitchell the attention I gave Ashleigh at this stage. I’m sorry that I can’t even give him half the attention she used to get.
I’m sorry I’m missing one-on-one opportunities with Ashleigh. I’m sorry the words she hears most often from me are shhhhh, not today, I just need to feed Mitchell, sorry sweetie, Mitchell’s sleeping, and we have to stay home. I’m sorry our relationship seems to be suffering. I’m sorry she prefers to spend time with other people than with me.
I’m sorry I’m so tired. I’m sorry my temper is so short. I’m sorry I burst into tears at the slightest provocation.
I’m sorry I can’t cook a varied, healthy and interesting range of foods for us all to eat as a family. I’m sorry I’ve neglected the washing recently. I’m sorry the floor is dirty, the house is messy, and the beds aren’t made.
I’m sorry I want my husband to leave later in the mornings. I’m sorry I want him home earlier at nights.
I’m sorry I expect so much of him. I’m sorry I expect so much of myself.
I’m sorry I’m sorry. I’m sorry I cave in to the mother guilt I load upon myself.
I’m sorry I’m nervous about hitting ‘publish’ on this post. I’m sorry it’s been sitting in my drafts folder for a month. I’m sorry I’m embarrassed to be seen to be struggling sometimes.
I’m sorry I can’t be the ‘perfect’ mother I seem to expect myself to be.
Quick note: I’m okay. These are thoughts I’ve had since Mitchell was born – usually it’s one or two at a time. Rarely (but sometimes) do I have them all at once! And as I wrote above, I’ve been sitting on this post for a month, and things are getting better all the time (thanks to The Beatles for the earworm).
I publish this post not in a bid to seek sympathy, but to show what it can be like when we bring a newborn home. It is difficult. It is exhausting. But there’s often an unacknowledged expectation that you’ll not only cope, but cope well, and simply glow with the love and pride you feel for your newborn.
I am glowing with love and pride. For my newborn, my toddler, my husband and our little family. But sometimes it’s buried beneath layers of guilt, doubts and second-guessing.
Enough of that. Any tips on settling a bub down for a nap during the day? One who settles down well enough after feeds at night but just doesn’t seem to want sleep between 8am and 8pm unless he’s in the pram or the car seat, or snuggled against your chest?