Before you become a parent, there really is no way to understand what it feels like.
Yes you may have family members or friends’ babies who you are close too. But that bond of holding YOUR baby in your arms is like no other feeling in the world.
It sounds patronising for others to tell you that you don’t know what it’s really like until they are here. But once your little one is born, you find yourself saying it!
It’s amazing how many news stories suddenly stand out to you and terrify you to the point you can’t sleep, films and TV shows will make you cry where they wouldn’t have before, you can be so incredibly frustrated by this little person who has caused you physical pain by being born, kept you awake all night and turned your house in to a bomb-site, yet you idolise them above anyone else in your life.
You quickly realise your brain hasn’t switched off since the moment they were born, this isn’t to discourage that pregnancy isn’t equally as enjoyable yet terrifying, but once they are here it is a whole other ball game.
So how do you find your switch off button?
Your child is fed, bathed, in clean clothes and laid on fresh bedding. Their nappy is clean, the house is clean and so are you! There’s nothing left for you to do…but switch off! So you sit there, with all this time on your hands, what do you feel? Joy? Peace? Relaxation? NO! You feel guilt (you don’t know why) you feel worry (about everything and anything that could possibly ever happen, including the end of the world!) and you feel stress (about why you have got nothing to do!). You’re listening to your child breathing (making sure they are) and looking at them full of love, but the worry still doesn’t go away, you can see them, hear them, feel them and you know they are safe, so why can’t you settle?! Maybe you need a night off?!
You’ve finally bucked up the courage to let Grandma have your precious baby for the night, you and the hubby have some free time, so what do you do? Let your hair down? Relax? Have some care-free fun? NO?! You do nothing but worry about your little one, check your phone constantly and ring/text for updates. Even if you’re not saying it, the back of your mind is doing overtime!
Maybe you need a break from your little on to relax, but not be too far away? Your hubby tells you to go and enjoy a bath and he’ll watch bubs! Bingo! So you’re laid there in the bath, soaking up the bubbles, then you hear a gurgle?! you shout down to see if your little one needs anything,but of course he’s fine! A cry?! He’s fine, Daddy can handle it, but you still need to check. Nothing?! That’s right you hear nothing, you should be enjoying the peace, but no you need to find out why you can’t hear your little monkey.
So where is Mummy’s switch off button and why is it so difficult to find?! I have the answer….
It doesn’t exist!
Now if I have just rained on your parade, hold that thought! Ask yourself this….
We can’t switch off, why? Because these vulnerable little people who lived inside us for 9 months, need us to protect them no matter what, they need all the awful thoughts of what could happen to go through our minds so we can protect them from it, they need us to NOT switch off, because they need us to be there for them no matter what, day or night.
So if the above describes you, if you can’t switch off, it’s because you are everything a mother should be, you are your little one(s) everything and that is because you never ever…switch offf