From the day that I found out that I was pregnant with Daniel, I envisaged what he would look like, what kind of nature he would have. Would he take after me or Julian? After he was born, I was so exhausted I don’t think that I even had time to think about taking a shower let alone planning my son’s future. But slowly the baby mist started to clear and we found our rhythm, which was not the easiest of tasks, between our breastfeed woes and my total inexperience which left me feeling totally clueless most of the time. I remember one moment of complete despair and saying to myself, come on you read all those books, you watched the DVDs and you went to the classes, you should be better than this! I then realized that there is a lot of pressure on first time parents to be perfect, when in actual fact, every first time parent needs as much help as possible.
Before Daniel was born we told our In Laws that we didn’t want any one to fly to Dubai to help us until after Daniel was born because we wanted to have some time to get to know the little guy and to get him into a routine. We were praised for being so independent and mature, and I had no idea what the hell I was thinking! After 2 days in hospital we were allowed home, I had a natural birth (with all the meds possible) and hubby went back to work the next morning. But midday I was a complete mess, I phoned Julian to come home immediately because I had no idea what I was doing at all! How in the name of anything sane did I think that I was going to be able to cope on my own? By the time hubby got home I was a complete mess, I handed Daniel over to him and I escaped into the bathroom for a good old sob! 10 days later my mom in law arrived, and she brought with her a semblance of sanity. For the first time in days, I actually got a bit of sleep because she helped with the night shifts, as much as Julian wanted to help, he had to be at work at sparrow fart in the mornings and was often off to work before the sun came up.
Yesterday I read a blog posting by a fellow South African mom who had a list of questions or points about raising a new born that no one had told her and her question was why? Why new moms or even second time around moms or parents in general not talk about how hard it actually is to be a parent. It is, after all, on of the hardest jobs in the world and does not come with a manual even though it is probably one of the most rewarding experiences as well. Yes, it is an experience that I would not forgo but it is also an experience that I am reluctant to repeat. Daniel is now 3 and although we don’t want him to be an only child we are very hesitant to have another. My hesitation stems from the fact that I was lucky enough that Daniel became a sleeper after about 6 weeks, and it is often something that we take for granted now. As I mentioned before breastfeeding was a complete disaster for the first few weeks and my poor child was just constantly hungry and that is not an experience that I want to subject myself or a newborn to again.
I wouldn’t swop a moment with Daniel, he is a kind, sweet and rudely healthy little guy who has made both my hubby and I enormously happy.
But even after all that, there is that little voice in the back of my head which is starting to get a little bit louder each day, and it is saying that I am being selfish for not providing our son with a sibling and I’m actually starting to listen to it. Does that make me a little crazy? In all honesty I think so!