What no one tells you about being a parent

Before having Beatrice I thought I had a pretty good idea what being a parent would be like.  I’m a neonatal nurse (look after premature babies) and I have friends with children. Now cue the knowing look from parents that as a childless person I found patronising. But truly I had no clue. 

Now I could sprout off a whole list of things like: lack of sleep (I know everyone says it), no time to myself, always having a mini me attached, not being able to eat hot food or have a drink, but the biggest thing for me has been the amount of love I have for my baby and the pain and fear that comes with it.

I feel like the hulk at times being a mum. The feeling that I would do anything to keep my baby safe really surprised me with it’s strength. I feel like I could do anything. Being away from her causes me physical pain and even though I’m desperate for time to myself the minute I’ve left her I’m desperate to be back with her. And when she’s upset or in pain I can’t be bear it. And as a trained children’s nurse the sight of my daughter projectile vomiting broke me completely. Suddenly all my training had amounted to nothing as every little thing in my mind is the end of the world. It takes my wonderful husbands patience and kindness to try to get me thinking rationally. His most common question is “if this were your patient’s parent what would you tell them?” He is truly amazing.

And those charity adverts that show poorly or malnourished children who are living in poverty. Oh my goodness!  My heart aches for their parents and them.  For their parents because I can only imagine the distress at seeing your child like that. Which is probably why I’m now a sucker for those adverts. Sorry Ian (the husband). 

Luckily knowing that Beatrice is happy in childcare and doesn’t scream when I leave her has helped and by gradually increasing the amount I’m away from her has helped. And after being back at work on Monday I can say the distraction of my job allowed me to ignore the missing her part of me. Now I just need to work on my sadness for the day that she won’t want breastfeeding anymore or when she goes to school,  but I’ll leave them for now and focus on the moments I have with her now. Every single one is precious.

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