Bonjour mon amis how are you all? Yes I know I’ve been gone for quite a while again but that’s because I’ve been super busy what with the owners putting the house on the market and getting no sleep as bub is teething again. Which leads me to todays topic…..I’ve been sitting on this post for a couple of weeks now unsure about whether or not to write it as it’s quite personal but I’ve come to realise that many of you mums out there will more than likely relate and I feel it’s something we should be able to discuss but I’ve never heard alot of women talk about it, if ever actually.
We have our babies and we love them to bits (to death actually) and most of us cope very well in the first few months of them being born and then teething sets in and even less sleep and sitting up with them for hours on end while we try everything in our power to settle and comfort them while trying not to wake the whole house up…..from bonjela, to panadol, to top up feeds, some nights it just seems like nothing works. And while we sit up alone and tired the frustration starts to kick in, not with our precious bundle no, as we feel their pain and know that while they’re teething there really is very little we can do for them except comfort, console and love them. No, the frustration comes from not being able to take the pain away from them, to relieve their pain and carry it for them but it’s just not a possibility and in a strange way it probably makes them stronger to deal with other things that will come their way.
In the last couple of weeks I have found myself sitting up at least every second night with my beautiful boy who I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world and admist the tears, pain, groaning, wriggling around in my arms trying to get comfortable, a voice in my head pops up and says ‘what?? what is the problem? I’ve given you panadol, bonjela, boob, I’m holding you for over an hour now…..what is wrong?!’ This is the silent scream that I’m sure many, many mums have said to themselves in the middle of the night while settling a baby who doesn’t have an easy time of teething and is trying to keep him/her as quiet as possible so the husband who has to get up at 4:30am for work isn’t disturbed and so the little sister who needs her sleep for schoo lthe next day isn’t woken at 3am to her crying baby brother. And really we know what the problem is, it’s those damn teeth causing so much pain that our beautiful bubs are doing everything in their own little amount of power to cope with.
As a mum of four babies now some things from my older kids have come back to me. I don’t remember James and Lauren having a lot of trouble with teething but I do remember Luke cutting 4 molars in three days and I was lucky to get any sleep over that short period of time and that seemed to be the worst trouble he had. Also James, Luke and Lauren also got teeth alot sooner than Francis has and I’m wondering if that plays a part in the struggle they have. Francis started teething at 12 weeks old and is still teething but so far there are still just the six teeth. Where as the other kids all had top and bottom front teeth by 5 and 6 months old then the rest just seemed to follow. Who really know how it works…? The other thing that strikes me from 23yrs ago o fbeing a mum is I can remember having the same silent scream in my head at different stages with all the kids but what I want to know is why doens’t anyone talk about this??? I know I cannot be the only mum sitting up thinking this to myself……is it because we feel like we shouldn’t get frustrated with the situation, as somehow it makes us a horrible mum if we get overtired, cranky and agitated from days of not enough sleep…?? Is it because we are too harsh on ourselves and feel we don’t have the right to be a little upset as it’s really bub who’s suffering not us? Or is it we fear being judged by those who don’t understand and have no idea what it’s like to go night after night getting up every hour or two to settle an unsettled baby and just surviving on 3 to4 hrs sleep a night if we’re lucky…?? Whatever the reasoning behind mums not talking about it, I’d like to start a line of communication about silent screaming with no judgement.
We are not bad mothers if we want hubby to take bub for a while once he’s home from work, we are not bad mothers if we beg our little ones to go to sleep so we can get some sleep, we are not bad mothers if we snap at others in our family due to lack of sleep and we are not bad mothers if we feel like everything we’re doing is wrong. It’s not that we’re doing anything wrong, it’s that we are coping with a situation that once we have given the pandaol, bonjela, boob or bottle and are nursing our precious babies to sleep it really is beyond our control so all we can really do is help our bubs through, ask for help if it’s needed and attempt to get as many zzz’s as possible. I think the main thing to remember too once the night is done and the sleep hasn’t been had and the sun is up to start another day is that when we go in to get our little ones up we give them the biggest hug and tell them how much we love them. They may not be able to say it back but they can feel from our voice and body language how we are doing….and although they don’t have the words they have the actions by resting their head on our shoulders and giving a hug or a big smile in the morning that really you know says ‘sorry I kept you up again mummy…’ we need to focus on these positive things and not how much sleep we didn’t get….if we focus on the positive we’ll do better getting through the day like zombies…..