We can’t help it, we all judge. Nowhere is there a more judgey community than the mum community…not always big judgements, just little ‘shouldn’t that baby we wearing a sun hat’ style kind of judgements. Even I judge. I don’t mean to….I just do it. And I by no means am in a position to judge.
I just can’t help myself sometimes….. I’m not sure if there’s a parent out there who doesn’t have a little judgement or opinion now and again….And the thing that makes me laugh is I am the least qualified person to judge. In fact I hate the way parents compare their babies…’My Hugo is reading Twelfth Night’ boasts Sadie, I blush recalling Jasmines delight in ‘Peppa pigs sailboat adventure ‘… And comparing looks… we’ve all done it, and I know all babies are beautiful blah blah blah but sometimes I see an ugly baby in the street and note how much better looking my baby is….it’s true I’m lucky she’s a looker – that’s not an opinion.
But REAL judgements. Although Jasmine is hitting all her ‘milestones’ there’s areas which send me in to a frenzied panic. Such as ‘the bedtime routine’. Jasmine has a lovely bedtime routine…. she has a bath at 5.30pm with expensive bubble bath (which promises to help her to sleep), she then has a massage with music and candles, with expensive baby foot oil sourced from jellyfish saliva (or something special) which also promises to help her sleep. She then has a lovely feed in our darkened room with a very expensive oil with reed infusers designed especially for babies, which promises to help her sleep….then I feed her to the sound of ocean waves in her white noise machine which, you know promises to help her sleep. And then she falls in to a deep sleep, as I gently put her in her crib and look at her beautiful face it make all the hard work worth it. So sleep she does… for thirty bloody minutes. Then she’s awake like I haven’t spent the best part of two hours on wind down.
So I feed her again and put her down, a maximum of 45 minutes this time….this charade goes on all night…although sometimes it gets more fun and she won’t go down in her crib at all and would rather I held her and swayed. I dread being asked the question about the ‘bedtime routine’ I try I really do, so hard. I feel so envious of mums who can put the baby down at 6.30pm and enjoy an evening downstairs…this is still just a dream for me. Is my baby broken? Why are the 2 or 3 months old babies settled in to a routine and my baby barely last half an hour at a time.
I’ve had mums ask me if I give Jasmine a ‘dream feed’ – around 10pm when the baby is still asleep you give them a feed while they sleep, to help them sleep longer. I can only fantasise Jasmine sleeping until 10pm let alone feeding while she was asleep still. The more I heard about these babies who slept for 12 hours waking up once, maybe twice for a feed and change, the more I panicked.
Is my baby broken? I’m trying so hard but she just doesn’t want to sleep, I feel I’ve exhausted all options. I fear the impending day when she’s going in to her big cot in a couple of weeks….will she even sleep those 30 minutes…I don’t know. All I know is some parents seem to do this with ease but I’m so worried of this step as I feel my nights are currently one big fail. If I was being judged…. not to mention the fact she won’t go to anyone other than my partner or I. She goes nuts and I’ve no idea why…..All these people on ‘date nights’ while Sally from next door looks after their baby, I honestly don’t think Jasmine could last me going to the loo without an epic meltdown. Again I thought I’d done everything right but I can’t help but envy those who can still have a life and be themselves other than just mummy, especially if like me you’re breastfeeding and can only be gone a certain amount of time before a hungry baby goes crazy.
These are a few things I really worry about, especially as she’s five months old and it seems every other mum has it sussed? And their babies are younger…Do they? Am I missing something? Although when I look at her beautiful happy face I can help but feel I’m doing something right.
‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ William Shakespeare Act 1 Scene 1 – A midsummer nights dream.