“Welcome To Parenthood”

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I am finding things a little hard going with Miss Rose at the minute. Not parenting her or caring for her, I am completely in love with her and love everything about being a mum. What I’m struggling with is that in the night she is still feeding constantly. Last night she fed at 9, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and we got up at 530. It is hard going and I am very tired and it has been nearly 6 months.

She is entirely breastfed but yesterday we gave her a bottle of hungry baby formula to see if it would fill her and she has been violently sick on a regular basis since. We think she might be allergic. We are taking her to the health visitors today to get some advice on milk allergies and whether they have any tips for how to fill her up better and get her to sleep for longer.

I am not expecting her to sleep through the night and I do not resent night feeds, but I feel like she is too hungry, I am not filling her, and I am exhausted trying. She isn’t properly swallowing her solids yet, though she enjoys playing with them, and I just need some help.

I posted about my situation on Facebook and have received a lot of helpful advice, support and encouragement from many of my friends with children. However, what I am SICK of is this.

“Welcome to parenthood, stop moaning” and “Well my baby did this for seven months” and “Mine didn’t sleep through until she was 5 and I was fine” and “My baby NEVER slept and I coped”

Just shut up. I am sick of being told by so many people that they had a harder to deal with baby and they coped better than I did. I am sick of the suggestion that I am moaning. I am not moaning, I am seeking advice. I am admitting that I am struggling and asking for suggestions.

Yes, there are many women who are better mothers than me and yes I know that they think I’m being pathetic. But I don’t care. I admire them and their strength and abilities but I am not them and asking for help and advice does not make me weak, it makes me human.

If you are struggling and are scared of getting these responses I feel your pain. As if I don’t feel guilty enough all ready they have to just add to it by reminding me that for millions of years women have been coping without all the facilities I have access to. That they have coped fine in situations harder than my own.

My advice is this. Still ask. I am grateful to everyone who shared their experiences and things they tried, things that worked and things that didn’t. I am grateful for all the simple “xxx” comments that show solidarity. The people who are proud to share how much better they are at being parents than me I am pleased for, but wish they would keep that to themselves.

I am tired, I am not a bad mother. I am asking for help, I am not weak. I am admitting when things are hard, but I love this child with everything I have and show it her every damn day and I refuse to believe any perfect parents could love their children more.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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7 responses to ““Welcome To Parenthood”

  1. My husband’s family parent differently to me. His sisters bottle fed, used dummies, put the babies in front of CBeebies when they wanted to get work done, followed a routine, and had placid babies that slept through the night, in their cots. I’m not saying how they raised their children is wrong, and my nephews are very lovely. It’s just not my parenting style.

    Ava only wants to sleep in our bed. She wakes frequently and will not self soothe. I don’t want to use a dummy, as I worry she’ll need braces as a teenager.

    I’ve not put any comments on Facebook, but what I am fed up with is my husband not wanting to bed share (I feel it’d make my life easier), and his suggestions are all different to my instincts. I’m fed up of him constantly referring to making a rod for my own back. Ava wakes up through the night too, but she really is thriving and changing by the day. I’m learning to compromise with husband, as it’s his little girl too.

    At the end of the day Rose is loved and adored, and will eventually sleep through. I’ve never heard of a 20 year old waking up for night feeds.

    xx

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    • I’m similar to you I think. She does have a nighttime routine but its a very gentle one and stays in our bed quite often. We all parent in our own way and every baby is different. She will get there in the end!

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  2. Hey there, it SUCKS when your child doesn’t sleep, it’s horrible and not always very helpful when people say all that ‘get used to it’ stuff.
    I only have two points of advice – I’m no total expert – one is, if you find something that works, do it, despite what others may say you ‘should/should not’ do. If it works for you and your child, do it. Provided of course it’s safe 🙂
    My second point is, all the hard stuff does get easier i promise and it will happen before you know it. I spend anywhere from 25 mins to 2 hours sitting in my sons room waiting for him to fall asleep each night (this is what works ATM) and I call it my ‘forced relaxation time’ and I do all my reading and social networking (and blogging!) on my iPad while that happens! When he wakes during the night he walks to our room and climbs in our bed, I barely notice anymore, and I don’t care. I’m lucky, it’s only now he’s a bit older that this happens.
    All else I can offer is understanding and sympathy, hope it gets better soon 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for the support. I very much believe in parenting my way. If it stops working for us its time to change but as long as it works why change it. That’s why she’s still in our bedroom and still comes into our bed for feeds. It works for us. Thank you x

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  3. Every baby is different. I had one who slept wonderfully and one who fed every two hours, day and night. I struggled with the second much as I adored him and am amazingly impressed that you are coping with yours as well as you are. The first night she doesn’t wake for a feed you wil think she has died. It’s never easy!! xxx

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  4. I feel your pain on the commenting thing. All I can offer is that putting Molly to sleep on her tummy made a huge difference to us, and she does sleep through the night. Not all the time, granted, but often enough to let me function. I know I’m lucky, but I do think that of we hadn’t made the change she’d still be waking every hour or so. She doesn’t even nap well on her back.

    Additionally, you can get lactose-free baby formula and a friend of mine found that giving her little boy formula for his late evening feed filled him up longer and facilitated him sleeping much longer.

    I hope you find a solution and get some rest soon xxxx

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