Taste of Life Before

I don’t tend to post much now because generally, life’s quite good. There is enough smug in social without me contributing. We’re out of the intense young baby days, I’m long free of breastfeeding, RB is in nursery a few days and I’ve got baby life balance with my MA. Or so I thought.

Last week I did a residential writing course. For four nights I had my own bedroom. Only a single bed but once I closed my room door, no one was entitled to come in. I read, drank tea, and ate biscuits in bed. I sorted MA notes, I painted my nails, moisturised my entire body daily. I slept without interruption. Read when I woke up before heading down to breakfast. Walked in the forest, listening to music through my headphones. I left my room in minutes, with a small bag it took me minutes to put together. In short, I tasted pre-baby life again, and it was heaven. I wasn’t entirely free of parent obligations, I did a seven hour round trip home for RB’s helmet fitting. But once back in the writing sanctuary, I was me. I felt buoyant.

That taste of life has made this week harder. I come second again. RB snaps his fingers and I jump. And that’s his prerogative. He’s a baby and relies on me for care. He’s my child and I love him dearly, but it doesn’t make always coming second easier. He’s my child and I love him dearly, but it doesn’t make his whining less annoying. For the second time I’ve reminded him that when he’s constantly crying, I wouldn’t mind crying too. But I don’t, I pick myself up and get on with helping him or whatever other thing is coming before my needs at that moment.

And this isn’t a cry for help, or a woe is me. It isn’t me needing to be told to put myself first more or ask my husband to help more. Those things happen already. I have it easy compared to a lot of parents. But still, parenting is hard. Coming second is hard. Needing to be prepared all the time is hard. Kidlife is tiring, not just physically, but mentally. Kidlife is mentally draining.

Right now, a second child isn’t a long way off, it’s a no thank you very much.

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