I’m writing this whilst Rosalie naps, and whilst the house is peaceful and I’m looking through my photos, it’s hard to imagine that she can be anything other than angelic. But she can. The truth is, I am weary, I want to wave my white flag and say ‘I surrender’. But you don’t get to do that with parenting.
I never expected motherhood to be all jolly japes, smiling faces and magic moments; I always knew there would be challenging times, but what I didn’t realise was how sometimes every minute of Rosalie’s waking day would feel like a battle.
She’s nearly 16 months old now, and is going through a phase (I hope it’s just a phase…) of wanting to do everything herself, and also wanting to always do the opposite of what mummy wants her to do.
So from the minute I pick her out of her cot in the morning, to the moment I pull her door ajar at night, it’s just one battle after another. Nappy changes, going downstairs, getting into the highchair, eating food, getting dressed, brushing teeth, going in the pushchair, more nappy changes… the list goes on. My life has become a battlefield, peppered with only brief moments of calm and happiness.
I never imagined I would be one of those mothers who breathes a sigh of relief when the baby is in bed, but that’s what it’s been like for the last few weeks.
I feel like I’ve failed somehow, that I’ve let Rosalie break me.
It was such a relief to have the long bank holiday weekend with Jim home to soak up some of Rosalie’s grumps, but it hit us hard when he went back to work on Tuesday.
Anyone that knows me personally will tell you that patience is not my strong point, and you need it by the bucket-load to be a parent. I feel like I’ve done fairly well (for me) at keeping my cool with these latest challenges, but singing is the only tool in my arsenal. If singing or action rhymes don’t distract Rosalie from her mood, then I’ve got nothing. I think I need some new coping mechanisms, otherwise the next few months (years?) are going to be tough.
It’s lucky she’s so damn cute, that’s all I can say.