Friday, March 26, 2010

Reasons to be Cheerful

I don't know whether it's the after-effects of work, or the fact that I've barely seen any of my friends for weeks, or the constant rain, but I've been struggling to keep my head above water lately, where 'water' refers to 'the deep, dark and dangerous pool where post-natal depression lies dormant, waiting to pounce on me the moment I stop paddling'.

Today I got close to not going swimming (literally, not metaphorically), and when I stop doing things (especially things I've paid in advance for) then it's a swift fall into not leaving the house, not talking to anyone, and sitting on the sofa crying all day. I desperately didn't want to go: I didn't want to talk to anyone, I didn't want to dance around a swimming pool merrily singing "Splish, splash, splish, splash, aroooooouuunnndd aaaaand UP in the air!", I didn't want all the effort of undressing and drying and dressing an over-tired, hungry baby. But I managed to go, I managed to avoid talking to anyone (it's very easy, you just don't talk to anyone), and it was a bit shit as J-cub was not at all in the mood and I felt like an awful mother for putting my needs (to push myself to go) over his (to stay home and have a nap).

After we got home and J-cub had had his long-awaited nap, he woke up like an angel, happy and fun and full of the joys of spring. So I thought I'd better try and perk myself the hell up, and think about the things that have made me happy this week. And I might even get around to contributing to the 'What are your strengths as a Mum' thread on the BLW forum, which I've been avoiding like the plague as my brain just laughs at me every time I look at it. (See? I can't stop it. I AM A GOOD MUM. And I'm trying very hard to be a happy Mum).

Reasons to be Cheerful:

#1 - Giant Cookies
I made giant cookies. Giant cookies are the reason why I haven't lost my baby-weight yet - quite frankly, the Tesco Finest cookies are the best cookies I've ever tasted and I therefore find it impossible to pass them by, just in case they stop making them. And they're £1.something for 4, and they just make me happy. I found this recipe, and gleefully set to making them. The ended up HUGE, as I misread the recipe slightly and dropped half cups on the baking sheet, rather than quarter-cups. They were too sugary for my taste, but still yummy. Sadly, not a patch on the Tesco ones.

#2 - Teddy Bear's Picnic
Jacob and his Daddy had a teddy bear's picnic. This was one of the post-sickness-and-diarrhoea, not-quite-keen-on-eating-yet, and don't-you-dare-take-me-anywhere-near-the-highchair-or-I'll-have-a-massive-tantrum days. We sat on the floor with plates of appetising foods (toast, yoghurt, clementine, rice cake) and nibbled them whilst making yummy noises. J-cub, unable to resist such temptation, started joining in. And so did his teddies.

#3 - Stir-fry for lunch
This was the first full meal since his birthday party, and he tucked in with relish. During his absence from meals he seems to have been secretly practising how to use a spoon and fork in combination to eat noodles - he coped admirably, and wolfed down the Quorn pieces. It was lovely to see him eating again, although we were at the table for well over an hour and I had got a bit bored by the end of it. I need to learn not to eat my portion in less than 5 minutes.

#4 - Cloth nappies
The new nappies arrived today, and have spent most of the day being pre-washed ready for use tomorrow. I can't wait. Prepare yourselves for lots of photos of J-cub's bum, clad in various cheery colours.

#5 - Jacob
Really, when I'm being an idiot like I am at the moment, I just need to stop and look at him. What more reason is there? How ridiculous is it that I have spent more than half my adult life trying to have a baby, distraught at the thought that it won't happen, and then when it does, my body rebels against me and makes me feel unhappier than I ever have? I am so lucky to have him, he is so absolutely perfect, and so funny. At the moment, he's learnt how to 'hide' behind one of his hands (so half his face is completely exposed), and will happily play 'Peepo!' for hours (substituting his hand for whatever he's got in his hand, like a plate, or a book, or a hat, or his shoe...), giggling like a maniac when you 'find' him.

He's learnt what "I'm coming to get you!" means, and will shriek with delight and crawl off at top speed (for a couple of steps, before he stops to make sure you're following him) before collapsing in hysterical laughter when you catch him. And after Jemaine (his bestest friend, the giraffe in the picture) had to be dishwashered to remove any residual sickness germs (he said surface wash only so I was scared to put him in the washing machine), then took ages to dry so J-cub was without him for more than 24 hours, he's loved him all the more. He's taken to carrying him around in his mouth like a kitten. It's the cutest thing in the world.


Heartful said...

Big hugs Beth. I can relate, except that instead of sitting on the sofa crying, I stomp around the house muttering under my breath and banging cupboards. If it weren't for Jake I'd be an utter misery. It does get easier though. I remember how hard everything still felt at 12 months. I remember that feeling of knowing I was a good Mummy but wanting to be a happy Mummy. Now I think I'm a happy Mummy, but not a particularly happy person (I'm a downright grump with Paul). When does that balance come back?!

isadori said...

Haven't got time to write much but just wanted to say thanks for that post - I've been bawling my eyes out for the last hour due to lack of sleep but now I've caught some of your positivity so thank you! Hope you can continue to look on the bright side xx

skippedydoodah said...

{{{{{{{{big fat hugs}}}}}}}}

Well done you for pushing yourself out of the deep dark water. I know too well what you mean - and it's bloody tough so I'm in major awe of your attitude. Jacob is indeed a major frickin' cutie - so glad he keeps you happy.

Keep on truckin' lady. X

Beth said...

Thanks ladies for your lovely words and support.

Still struggling a bit but trying to look for some reasons to be cheerful everyday.

Oh and sorry for the late appearance of the comments, I turned on comment moderation and it doesn't email me to let me know. I'll go and turn it off now ;)