Last night I had my first real feeling of ‘I am not very good at this’ and I didn’t like it one bit. Mads was fine during the day and then around 6pm she started getting a little grouchy. I went off for a bath and Mr E was downstairs with her, he was cooking dinner while she was sitting in her bouncy chair. I could hear her getting more and more grumpy so I went downstairs to look after her.<
She suddenly started screaming and screaming and there was nothing we could do to stop her. It was a cry unlike I have ever heard before. It was a high pitch shriek, followed by a brief pause, followed by more shrieks. I could tell she was in pain but I didn’t know where or why.
I tried rocking her and this didn’t work. I tried cuddling her, stroking her, singing to her, putting her on the floor and rubbing her tummy, I took her nappy off and moved her legs, I tried feeding her, both from a bottle and then from me. Nothing. She just was screaming more and more and nothing I could do would stop her.
This carried on for about half an hour, but it felt like an eternity. She was getting more and more worked up and her little face was streaming with tears. She was looking at me, her eyes looked so unhappy and I felt dreadful that there was nothing I could do. Eventually she stopped for all of ten minutes before starting again, this time more ferociously than the first. In desperation I rang the emergency doctors but was left on hold for ten minutes- by this time she had stopped again. We managed to feed her and get her to sleep in the end because I think she was so exhausted.
After she went to bed I just got so upset and Mr E didn’t understand why.
What kind of Mum can’t stop her daughter from crying? Was it something I had done? Had she got tummy ache from something I had eaten?
I then got panicked that she was going to be poorly in the night and I wouldn’t know. What if she got a temperature and a rash and I wasn’t aware because I was asleep?
I have had situations with her where I have been worried before but it was the first time that I felt like there was nothing that I could do and it was horrible that I couldn’t help her. I felt like I couldn’t comfort my own baby.
There are going to be a lot more occasions where I am going to question my parenting skills and I do know this.
The realisation dawned on me that myself and Mr E are going to mould our daughter into the child/teenager/adult she is going to become. Her destiny in a way is in our hands. We need to provide for her, give her a good home, a happy home life, and the emotional and physical support she will need in order to thrive.
We will need to pick her up and give her a hug when she falls off her bike, let her snuggle in our bed when she has had a bad dream, kiss away her tears when she has had a fight with her friends at school, try and make her smile when she has her heart broken by her first boyfriend. We will have to discipline her if she doesn’t do well at school, or have stern words if she upsets someone, I will go shopping with her to buy her first prom dress and have tears of joy running down my face when she walks up the aisle.
When I look into her tiny little eyes I don’t look to the future, I just look to the here and now and how remarkable and amazing she is. It’s only when I stop to think about it, I realise what exciting, tough and downright scary times I have ahead of me.
No one said being a parent is easy, but at the same time it’s the most incredibly rewarding job in the world.
And although I will have my wobbles, all I know is that I am going to love my daughter unconditionally for the rest of my life.