My son, Noah, was born over 12 months ago, this threw me into a life that I was unfamiliar with, completely new to and experiencing more emotions than I thought possible. It is genuinely the best thing that has ever happened in my life, but don’t be mistaken - I have my ‘bad’ days - but who doesn’t?
Along with all the wonderful highs follows minor lows which, at times, can be hard to shift.
A stronger presence which looms 24/7: guilt.
I believe it is referred to as ‘mum guilt’ – it is so well recognised amongst us - it even comes with its own name.
But why do I suffer with this trepidation on a regular basis?
Noah is more than happy to run around, playing with his favourite ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ train or his ‘Hey Duggee’ characters. I sometimes sit back and observe and admire his imagination as his smile reaches from ear to ear to reinforce that he is having fun.
But still, my mind wonders, and I fester in the criminality, that I’m leaving him ‘playing on his own.’
I could spend every second of every day with my son and I would still feel the exact same way.
I also think the added pressure has developed since the global pandemic. My journey through motherhood has been completely different to what I ever imagined and Noah’s start to his own life has been affected through no fault of his own.
I’m mindful that he isn’t doing the ‘normal’ things a baby would usually participate in. Seeing him around others when it has just been him and I for so long brings a lump to my throat. His confused expression soon becomes upset and uncomfortable around ‘strangers’ and a ‘different’ environment. But I have learned to accept that this is the ‘norm', at least for now.
But I continue to ask myself: “why do I feel like this?” “Is this normal?”
To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer to those questions. I take it as part of motherhood and only wanting the best for my son.
I guess there is some comfort to know that it is very common amongst the parent community and truth be told, we as mums and dads put far too much pressure on ourselves.
I feel we need to voice our true emotions and feelings when it comes to raising children – it’s not always easy, but my gosh, it’s worth every obstacle we encounter.