19 Nov 2012

Congratulations. You suck.

The title says it all really. This post is going to demonstrate all the ridiculous bullshit that's out there regarding the raising of children.  And that I'm crap at it.  Already. 4 weeks in.

Today I received my weekly email from the trusty babycentre that lets me know what developments/milestones/problems the Mushroom may be facing at this particular time.  Mushroom is 4 weeks old today. And due to my lack of parenting skills, he may as well be 4 hours old.

Here's what I'm doing right: breastfeeding, changing his nappy, keeping him alive.

Here's what I'm doing wrong:

No tummy time
Mushroom hates tummy time.  He screams blue murder and I think he hates me because I try and make him do it.  Like you're supposed to. And he cries.  A lot.  And I keep persisting with it, even though leaving a newborn to cry is cruel. That's ridiculous conflicting information number one.  I have tried and tried and TRIED to get Mushroom to like tummy time.  I lay on the floor with him, sing songs, poke faces, stick toys/rattles etc near his face so he can be 'stimulated'.  Nothing words.  He cries and cries and cries.  Persist obviously but I just feel like a huge bitch.

Watching TV whilst breastfeeding
Yes.  I'm breastfeeding.  That's fantastic.  But.... I'm supposed to be 'bonding' with my child whilst breastfeeding.  Not watching Modern Family or Parks and Recreation.  Bonding through breastfeeding involves staring lovingly into your child's eyes whilst feeding, stroking and touching your child, talking to him and generally being a bit intense and hippyfied.  I mean I get it.  Sometimes we have really touching moments but from about 5 to 8pm the Mushroom feeds non-stop.  So I have to sit there and stare into my child's eyes for three consecutive hours.  Really?!

Having the TV on in general
So too much TV is bad.  We get it.  As much as I'd love to say that my kid is never going to watch TV that's obviously bullshit.  I read somewhere recently that your child should have zero 'screen time' before they're 3.  3!!!  That's because TV is the devil and it can shorten your child's attention span, amongst other things.  I can't see myself doing that at all.  I mean, yes, limited TV watching, but not no TV until they're 3, how the hell would you get tea on the table?

Singing, nursery rhymes, game playing
I don't know many nursery rhymes, or age appropriate songs or age appropriate games for that matter, for a 4 week old baby.  I'm pretty sure the Mushroom can't handle texas hold em poker as yet.  The other night when Mushroom was crying at 2am I sang him 'Under the Bridge' by the chili peppers.  It's one of the only songs that I know all the words too without having the actual song on.  I'm not sure that he liked it, but that was probably because my singing voice ain't exactly awesome.

Rocking/feeding/cuddling baby to sleep
All of these are bad.  And I do all of them.  Because otherwise, the Mushroom would never go to sleep.  And I would die.  Apparently I'm getting him used to these things and when he's older, he'll be used to all this stuff, and it will make it harder to break him out of that cycle.  I feed him, he gets drowsy, I put him in the hammock, he cries.  I take him out of the hammock, I cuddle him.  He falls asleep, I put him in the hammock, he cries. I take him out of the hammock, I check his nappy. I cuddle him, he falls asleep, I put him in the hammock.  He stirs and grunts and carry's on, I rock the hammock until he goes to sleep. Do you see my  problem here?!  Besides, you're not supposed to leave a newborn to cry...

There's more stuff that I'm not doing either but I just can't be bothered listing all of my failings as a parent for all to see.  It's just depressing.  Where does one find the time to spend all this quality fun time with their baby?  There's so many things your supposed to do, that I just lose track.  How can you be an awesome, attentive mother, a great partner and lover to your other half and take time for yourself as well? It seems impossible!  I have so much respect for those women who have toddlers and other children and look after a newborn too.  I don't think I could cope with that at all!!

I guess I'm over thinking everything.  I just got really jacked off whilst reading that stupid email because it made me feel like a failure.  And I've only been doing this for 4 fucking weeks.  Mushroom is not smiling or laughing, or 'gurgling with pleasure', he's not holding his head up during tummy time, because it's such a chore that I don't make him do it everyday, and I don't see any recognition when he looks at my face or hears my voice. He does like my smell, and my cuddles, but I'm pretty sure it's just the milk he can smell on me that he likes!  

I mean he seems fine..... for a baby, I guess. Who am I kidding, I have no fucking idea?!  I've never done this before! And the internet sucks.  I think that I may have to go on a self imposed Google ban because it's not helping my sanity at all.  Nor is this damn heat.  For the first time in a long time, I feel like a cigarette.  Heaven help me.

"Damn you woman!  I hate the tummy time!"
Next time:  I promise I won't smoke, I won't be negative and I won't disparage Google, because Google is everything.