Before you feel like I’m attacking you simply because I have a child and you don’t, it’s honestly not my intention. I’m so happy that you like Squidge as much as you do and that you want to spent time playing with him and cuddling him; there was a time when I thought that very few of my friendships would survive the dramatic and unexpected turn my life had taken.
Please don’t take this the wrong way but there’s a few things that I’d really like to ask you
Please don’t tell me how broody you are and then go straight on to say how much you enjoy being able to go on last minute holidays/work extra hours for some spare cash/sleep. At the moment I can’t do any of those things and in the last few months it’s become apparent how much I miss them. At some time in your life you probably are going to want to give these things up to have a baby but right now that’s not what you want so please stop saying that it.
Equally, if I say how much I miss things such as being able to go out for a meal without having to make plans several weeks in advance please don’t tell me that because I have a child things ike that really don’t matter. I’m sure you’re only trying to be nice and trying to make me feel better but they do matter to me. There are times when I feel like I’ve given up a lot to have Squidge and it would be really helpful it you could appreciate this instead of expecting things not to matter to me anymore.
I’m well aware that it was my decision to have a child but please try to remember that Squidge wasn’t actually planned. One I found out I was pregnant I made the decision to continue with the pregnancy but it was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I in no way regret my decision but I also remember what my life was like before Squidge and there are days that I miss it so much that it actually hurts.
If I tell you I’m really tired because I’ve had a run of nights where Squidge hasn’t slept well, please don’t tell me how cute he is as though that somehow makes everything better. I’m well aware that he’s usually the most adorable creature on the planet but when he’s been awake between 0200 and 0400 for three nights on the trot, all the cuteness in the world doesn’t change the fact that I’m exhausted. If you tell me that you’re tired because your job is really demanding I don’t respond by telling you that your job is amazing, so please don’t do the same to me.
Please don’t tell me how much I ‘must’ do things; how much I ‘must’ love him and how much I ‘must’ enjoy being his mum. I love him to the ends of the earth but at the moment I’m finding being his mum very difficult and telling me that I ‘must’ feel certain things just makes me feel like a worse mum than I already do. I know that it’s not your fault that I’m having problems and I feel this way but equally it’s not up to you to dictate how I should feel.
If I tell him not to do something, please don’t tell me/him that it’s fine. It’s very tolerant of you, especially if it’s something of yours he’s trying to reach/explore/destroy but I’m trying to teach him that he can’t just do whatever he wants. There will come a day in the not too distant future where I ask him not to do something, you say it’s fine and he comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t have to do what boring mummy says.
I’m so pleased that you think Squidge is lovely and that you want to talk about him but please try and remember that he’s not the only thing in my life. I do love taking about him; about the new things he’s learned to do and how he’s getting on at nursery but my life is more than just my son and being a mum. I have a job that I love, I blog, I’m writing a book; all things that I’d love to talk about if I get the opportunity but often I don’t. It’s one thing for my parents to only really be interested in Squidge but when you don’t want to talk about anything else either it’s actually quite hurtful.
If I tell you that I’m exhausted/sad/struggling please don’t try to brush things aside by telling me how wonderful Squidge is. If you don’t want to talk about how hard I’m finding things then that’s OK; I understand that it can be a difficult topic and not everyone feels comfortable with those type of conversations. But quite a lot of the time I find things difficult because I have a child and things like my career, my hobbies and even my mental health have to come second to the needs of my child.
Lastly, please try and remember that I’m still the same person I was before I became a mum. I am a mum in addition to, not instead of being myself. These days I spend a lot of time focused on Squidge; trying to bring him up to be a kind, tolerant, open minded person who knows who he is and what he wants to be.
There are days when I almost forget who I am because I’m concentrating so hard on trying to do everything right for him. There are times that I rely on you to remind me of who and what I used to be before the I fell into the almost all consuming role of being a mum. I love the fact that you want to be Auntie and Uncle to Squidge but I need you much more than he does.
Please try to remember that.