Taboo Topics: Parents of young children – Meet Geraldine Walsh
i am so grateful to my friend Geraldine Walsh, who recently joined the @AFrikkinHashtag Hashtagging team on Twittter for sharing such a vulnerable story about her time as a new mom as well as letting me link this to her post on post-natal depression. Make sure that you sign up to follow her blog after reading this:
Today is B’s birthday. Instead of it being a lovely family day with nice surprises for Daddy along the way, he sits in a coffee shop somewhere while I have just about managed to stop myself from crying because I was almost at the point of hyperventilating. Why? Because A wouldn’t eat her breakfast or her lunch or listen to a single word we said. Because frustration had reached a pinnacle and B and I bounced off each other making our anger and desperation worse. A is now fast asleep, down for a nap, while I sit in her room focusing my thoughts on this blog post. Today, this is what parenting looks like for me.
My eyes are sore from crying so much and my chest is tight. I haven’t cried so hard in years.
I’ve cried so hard because I’m tired, I’m hormonal and because I feel horrendously guilty for shouting and letting my frustrations take over.
We don’t have many days like this but frustration is my biggest hatred when it comes to parenting. We rarely give ourselves credit for still being new parents. Every new thing A learns, we’re learning too. She’s learning how to deal with the world around her and we’re learning to deal with her. We finding our feet being Momma and Papa Bear and some days are fricking hard. So hard that we forget to give each other credit for how good we actually are.
‘She’s only three,’ tends to be my go to line when I try to reign in my frustration and feelings of parental inadequacy but how many times can we play the same old tune before one or two chords snap.
I’ll admit that both B and myself have dealt with our fair share of frustration today and I often wondered if we’d get to a stage where we can’t take it anymore. I’ve been approved for a year maternity leave from my job and B admitted today that he’s worried about how I’ll cope with A and a baby when he sees my frustration levels rise like they have today.
Well, I have to admit that that felt like the biggest punch in the throat. Do I come across like a completely incapable parent? Am I prone to days like this? Lord knows I’m not. But I’m not going to say that it’ll never happen again. Today is one of those days when no one has listened to anyone. A ignores us and we fail to notice what she needs or wants. Does that make us bad parents or A a bad child? Hell no, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling like shit.
Shit for shouting at my daughter. Shit for trying (and failing) a timeout with her. Shit for questioning whether I’m a good mum or not. Shit for blaming myself for ruining B’s birthday.
It doesn’t stop me from feeling like some days are harder than others. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to run away and wish that I was in a coffee shop somewhere sipping a Dark Mocha (to be fair he’s picking up his mother who’s coming out with us for dinner for B’s birthday but left a smidge early. If it was me I’d get a coffee too).
So, here I am sitting in the semi dark while my daughter, who I hope is too young to understand my frustrations and anger, dreams of Shining Armour and Twilight Sparkle.
All I can really say, is that some days are F**king hard. Frustration is such a f**ker but I’m not going to berate myself for feeling it or not yet knowing how to deal with it.
Today has started out that way. So, I’ll go clean up my face, wipe away these tears.
When A wakes up, we’ll start again and forget this morning.
Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.