To paint the picture, I’m 38 weeks pregnant, completely ready to pop, and have been for a while now. Baby dropped and engaged weeks ago, and is swinging around by my knees right about now. I’m a big, heavy, exhausted lump, with anxiety, insomnia and a toddler in tow. And said toddler is testing mummy and daddy at every opportunity possible right now.
I’ve been told to expect your toddler to play up and act out when they sense the arrival of the new baby. But we’ve been building up to it very slowly for months now, including her in many decisions, not over egging it, just playing it cool and dropping in babies name every now and again. We’ve bought her the big gift from baby, which is all wrapped up and ready to surprise her with when he comes home for the first time. So in my opinion we are ticking all the parenting boxes on that front.
What my little one can’t seem to handle is the decline of mummies mobility. It started with noticing that mummy couldn’t carry her downstairs anymore. Admittedly I started this off early when bump wasn’t even noticeable, but with losing a baby, you take extra caution of carrying in those early days and Moo is old enough and able to walk herself downstairs by the age of 2 and a half!!! She manages when she wants her favourite daddy pig toy from upstairs! So we’ve been battling with getting her downstairs every morning without a complete meltdown. But then Daddy comes home on paternity leave and swoops in to the rescue (and I’m not blaming him, because MY GOD has he been wonderful) but of course little monkey gets her way and is now carried down every morning, leaving mummy the big bumped bad guy and daddy the superhero. Ok so I can’t have it every which way, and I need to pick my battles but this theme begins to occur more and more.
Mummy can’t get down on all fours and play toys and horsey back rides, mummy can’t play chase in the garden, mummy can’t come for a splash in the hot tub anymore (I know I know, first world problems right!…but I need to vent!). Mummy keeps going off to the hospital and leaving me with other people, mummy can’t lift me in and out the bath, mummy is snappy and tired all the time. The list goes on…and so Moo pushes and tests until we are both weeping messes by the end of most days.
But mummy is trying her best!!! Mummy would do ANYTHING to crawl into bed most nights at 6pm, and wake at a human hour of say 8am instead of 5:30! Mummy would LOVE not to be lugging round a 10 pound baby, whilst being a slave to a demanding madam and making the 10th breakfast choice that morning because all the others have been wrong after one bite. Mummy would KILL to drown her problems in a bottle of wine every night like daddy does!!! Mummy is really, really trying baby girl. Give me a break, please?
But no, mummy must pay. Mummy is now the enemy, mummy is now being pushed away and punished for her actions. It starts with the ‘I don’t want mummy, I want daddy’ screams every morning when I go in to get her, it continues with ‘No mummy can’t play, you go make dinner mummy, daddy play’, it eventually builds up to. ‘I love my daddy, he’s my best friend, not you’. OWCH OWCH OWCH. That kind of rejection when you’re emotional, exhausted and heavily pregnant is a killer.
I have to remind myself I am the adult, not to take it personally, not to get jealous, not to resent or be cross with her. She doesn’t know what she is saying, and at a time like this, I need to make more effort, hold her closer. Get down on my hand and knees even if it hurts me. Take each knock back and show her it won’t change my love for her. Even though she is clearly cross with mummy right now – Mummy will always be here.
But it’s taking every ounce of patience I have, and the guilty hurt tears roll down my cheeks at 4am when I can’t sleep and I’m trying to work it all out in my head.
What scares me the most, is that baby isn’t even here yet.
What is to come? How will I cope? Will I be big enough to overlook my toddlers naughty behaviour and see it for what it really is, (just cries for attention from a confused little person), or will it make me want to cuddle baby closer for being the easier one who shows me nothing but love. Will my daughter hate me, will we lose our special bond. Will Daddy become her everything and Mummy be unnecessary? What will it do to mine and hubbies relationship? All of it scares me. All of it, caused by the emotions of a little 3 year old.
I need to muster all my inner strength over the next few months and ride the waves ahead. But if anyone has any advice or has been through similar, please give me all the tips and wisdom you have. I need it, big time.
Stressed and worried,