Today was my moment of not coping when pregnancy and parenting gets tough and I ended up bursting into tears in the middle of Morrison’s. Not my finest moment.
The thing is, I couldn’t be more grateful that I have the blessings of Toby and his unborn sister, I genuinely don’t know how I managed to get so lucky in life. That doesn’t stop it being hard though, and with Toby going through a very clingy phase that involves him screaming blue murder if he not physically attached to me for the majority of his waking hours – not to mention those waking hours coming within what should be sleeping hours – alongside increasingly painful back, hip and pelvic problems, today was my brick wall today.
You know the irony? Toby barely gave two hoots about my presence in his life for over a year. He’s always been a daddy’s boy and whenever he went to nursery, playgroup, my parents’ or anywhere really, he didn’t come running to me when I picked him up, I was merely a facilitator to him. Now, he suddenly calls me ‘mummy’, he comes to me for kisses and cuddles, he comes to me for comfort when he hurts himself; it matters so much to me and I love hearing his little voice calling for “Mum-mee”.
This week, however, the loving behaviour has stepped up to complete clinginess to the point where our independent little dude wouldn’t leave my side for most of his usually favourite toddler group yesterday, he has screamed if I leave him to walk across our living room, he’s clung to my legs when I’ve been trying to cook and well, let’s not even talk about the difficulties of me having a shower on my own!
I am now 27 weeks pregnant and since about 20 weeks I have been experiencing back and hip pains. They began straight after the migraines stopped and the migraines had rocked up on the back of 16 weeks of throwing up daily. Let’s just say I’ve not been breezing through this pregnancy the way I did Toby’s, during which I could still run up to about 26 weeks and could walk for a good couple of miles or so until well into my third trimester.
Add those two things together – Toby’s absolute insistence of either being carried by me and me only, or of throwing himself on the floor screaming, plus increasing levels of pain from my pregnancy – then put them in a supermarket. What’s the result? Well, it’s me. In tears. I hit my brick wall.
Thankfully, my mum is an absolute superstar and when Phil is at work, she’s always there to rescue me, including finishing and bagging up the shopping I deserted when I hobbled with Toby to the loo for a good cry. Toby just asked for some paper towels and giggled about the whole thing.
I adore my life. I have the greatest husband and son, who along with our baby girl mean the world to me. I have supportive parents and friends, a job I love. Having a bad pregnancy and a clingy toddler is exponentially better than no pregnancy and no toddler but does being grateful for our blessings mean that we can’t admit when we’re struggling? Sometimes, when pregnancy and parenting gets tough, we need to cry, to rant, to eat all the chocolate, to just throw ourselves on the sofa with some junk TV on and admit that today is not the day for trying to be all things to all people.
I am a loving wife and mother, a faithful friend, a hard worker, a trustworthy human being but superwoman I am not and that is absolutely okay. Yes, I had a meltdown in Morrison’s but no it’s not the end of the world. My mum took Toby back to hers and I continued crying a bit at home, ate some flapjack, drank a decaf mocha and got on with my work. Next week I will be seeing my midwife and I will stay in that room until I’m given some help for my SPD (or whatever the pain counts as being). I will accept all help that comes my way, I will get home deliveries for the food shops and I will devote as much time as possible to being by Toby’s side even more than normal if that’s what he needs.
If your toddler is clingy, if you have pregnancy pains that you’re struggling with, if you cry in the middle of the supermarket, if child refuses to do anything without some hefty bribery, if you’re exhausted by 7pm, if you don’t have the healthiest eating habits 100% of the time… It doesn’t matter, it’s okay, you’ve got this.