Little Monster, hubs and I are embarking on a new adventure in a few weeks when LM becomes a big brother. Yes I'm really excited. :) But I've been here before and there's more than a little apprehension too. So I got to thinking about how to get through the next weeks and months with my sanity intact. I know I'm going to need the friends I made last time and hopefully the new friends I'm making this time. And I hope that they're going to show me support and not judge my choices.
The thing is that sometimes motherhood feels like it has become a competition. It's not so much the mums that tell you their little cherub was sleeping through the night at 2 weeks, crawled at 5 months and was speaking sentences at a year. I know what it is to be so proud of your child that you wish everyone else could see them through your eyes. We've all been there, we're programmed to feel that way. The mums I have trouble understanding are the ones that seem intent on telling you how hard the next part of the journey is going to be or that seem to want to let you know that their journey is harder or even disparage you from the start which unbelievably has happened to a friend recently.
When I was pregnant with Little Monster, people were constantly reminding me to enjoy my last few weeks of freedom and chuckling about how little sleep I was going to get in the near future. Now its "enjoy just having one while you can", "just wait until you've got TWO to deal with" and my personal favourite "make the most of the pregnancy, that's the easy bit!".
You know, becoming a parent is hands down the toughest thing I've ever taken on. Sleep deprivation, frustration, despair, anxiety... All of those things have gone hand in hand with the love, joy, pride, laughter and fun that have coloured my world in the last two years. I became a parent consciously. Sure, you don't know what specific challenges will come your way but you know it'll be tough, tough enough to feel like you're broken some days. I've been around people who have experienced everything on the scale when it comes to parenting challenges and they get through those times by leaning on the love and support of a great network of people. Whether you have the worst sleeper, a child who is ill or issues with behaviour, everyone needs that support and other parents should be the first in line to listen and empathise and encourage.
This time round hasn't been the most straightforward pregnancy. We've made it to 35 weeks and I'm feeling really positive about that but there are a few hurdles to get over before we know how things will pan out. It's fear and not naivety that are making me impatient for this pregnancy to be over.
When Little Monster's sibling is born, I truly hope that whatever challenges we are thrown, our friends and family are going to help, love and support us.