Holiday expectations 

So here I am on holiday in France and I can’t say we’ve had the best start to the holiday. We’ve had an unsettled and grumpy baby. She’s been difficult to get to eat or drink and we’re back to breastfeeding in the day just to get fluids in her. This seems to have helped and she now seems more settled. The only problem is now……

…..Ian and I are ill. We’ve had diarrhoea and vomiting. (Sorry if that’s too much). Luckily Ian had started to feel better as I was going down with it so Beatrice had someone to keep her happy but she has been an angel and amazing. The hard part of holidays is that we don’t have the back up of friends or family to help with Beatrice if we’re too ill and we don’t have home comforts. 

We’re lucky enough to have an amazing network of friends and family to pray for us and give advice where needed. But one thing I’ve learnt from all of this is to have no expectations for holidays. Some tips I’ve had from people are below: 

– Don’t try and stick to your baby routine as there is no way they’ll keep it particularly with a time change.

– Be relaxed and don’t try and pack your holiday full of sightseeing. Babies like to move and car seats and pushchairs don’t allow that. 

– Let them eat whatever they want as long as they eat something. 

– Use bottled water. Yes it’s not free or good for plastic consumption but if it stops upset tummies and discomfort from different water then it’s worth it. 

– And finally work as a team. Yes it’s a family holiday but no one will be happy or rested if you’re both constantly with your child. Take it in turns to give each other a break and baby free time for some of the day. 

Hopefully this will help others in our sucky situation. And let’s pray Beatrice doesn’t come down with wherever we have. Give yourself a break and you’ll find just relaxing and enjoying doing nothing is so much more fun. Particularly with a baby.  Happy baby = happy parents

Inconsolable

These last few days have seen my beautiful and happy little girl turn into a screaming banshee at night (and sometimes the day when tired). Her screams are those of someone who is in such distress it is heartbreaking to hear. We’re on our 3rd night now of this and yet again the husband is out walking her in her pushchair as that’s one of the only ways to get her to sleep at the minute. 

Why is she screaming? There must be some explanation?! Not that we’ve found so far.  She is teething and may be developing an ear infection (seen the GP today) but when away from her room or hey duggee is on she seems to settle. She has been kept topped up on calpol. Maybe I should throw in some ibuprofen as well. But nothing else works. She wants holding but then she screams to be down,  you put her down then she screams to be held, she wants her dummy and then doesn’t want it, she wants a feed but then doesn’t. It’s exhausting and I don’t know why a screaming baby and no sleep isn’t deemed more of a torture technique because it’s breaking me. 

I’m left with so many questions and the worst part is that I can’t help her. I don’t know what she wants,  I don’t know what’s wrong, all I know is her cries hurt me as well as her and I really hope this phases passes soon. 

Guilt

I was diagnosed with depression in 2013 and anxiety along with it and since the birth of my daughter have been diagnosed with postnatal depression. I’m incredibly lucky with the support I have around me and an amazingly understanding husband. But even with all this the voice of guilt in my head is strong and hard to ignore. Silly things like not doing the washing up, not cooking tea, the house being a mess, etc but also bigger things like not being there for my daughter when working or being super tired at the end of the day and having no energy for my husband. But this week I’ve had another thing to feel guilty for. 

My beautiful daughter has been poorly with a fever and sore tummy. We think it’s teething related but she has stopped eating and drinking and only wants breastfeeds and sleeps a lot! So only my second week back at work and I’m having to take carers leave.  My initial phone call to work was not well received and the night shift sisters response was “sorry you can’t have time off to look after her,  we’re short staffed, there’s no sister tomorrow and you’re the second in charge”. I felt awful already that I’ve barely been back and already taking time off but the added pressure of knowing I’m leaving work hanging was almost too much.  I almost left my poorly child to have no food to work for an understaffed NHS. That responsibility should not have been put on my shoulders. Luckily I rang back in the morning and spoke to my manager who was very supportive of my need to be at home and I’m glad I did as cuddles and breastfeeds were my day. 

But as news of the high suicide risk for female care employees hits headlines how can anyone be unsure of the reason why. Understaffing, guilt and wanting to be there for not only there for your patient’s but family could make anyone feel torn. As the NHS struggles work-life balance is not always something its staff has. I hope in the future NHS staff will be appreciated and treated accordingly but until then coping is all we can do.

Take time to give yourself space and time to rest and do things you really enjoy,  learn to say no without feeling guilty and know your limits and ALWAYS seek support or help if you feel you can’t manage! 

For me I love crafting, reading, swimming, singing and gardening. Discover your passions.