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  • Niamh

Today, I'm A Shit Mum

Today, I’m having a bad day.

In fact, I’ve had a bad week. 

Today, I’m the shit mum who’s got panda eyes, crying like an ejit, writing this when I should be working. 

I’ve talked many times about my experiences with PND after my son was born and in truth, I’ve only really felt 100% in the last few months. 

And it’s been lovely. I’ve sort of been afraid to say those words out loud for fear it will all crash down around me. But the last few months have been lovely. 

I’ve felt like a whole person again. I’ve felt like I’m really here. As though I’m back in my life again. 

It’s been lovely to have my career come back into focus, to be able to engage in creative thoughts, deliver projects and work under deadlines again.

It’s been lovely to see my baby suddenly become a boy, who runs around, jabbering and interacting with me like the little person he is. We go places and do things. He tells me what he wants. We laugh. We go on lots of walks. We know each other inside out. 

It’s been lovely to have a more solid routine in place so that I can know what I’m doing day to day, it helps me feel focused and calm. 

It would be fair to say, I’ve even found myself getting, dare I say, comfortable with things?

But then I have a bad week and I’m sitting here on the floor, crying. Feeling knocked back to square one. Telling myself I’m a shit mum that I’m not cut out for this, that I’m no good. That becoming mum was the biggest mistake of my life. That my gorgeous little boy deserves a mum who is good, who knows what she’s doing, a mum he can rely on. Not this quivering ball of nerves he’s been lumped with.

Because he is so very, very good. He’s so beautiful in every facet of his being. From his big blue eyes, to the soles of his feet that I love to kiss, to his kind heart and inquisitive nature. 

He’s a pure soul

And then there’s me. 

His shit mum. 

Who the hell did I think I was? Going around feeling slightly confident in myself and my ability to be a mum, when in an instant it can all come crashing down, stripping every shred of self-assurance from my bones?

The week started out fine. Normal. 

Wednesday I burned the lasagne. No big deal. 

Thursday he managed to throw the toilet duck in the bath and get the lid off that I obviously hadn’t put back on fully. It spilled into the bath and we had to refill. No big deal… but what if he had drunk some? It was my fault. I hadn’t put the lid back on properly. 

Friday. He rolled down the stairs. This was a big deal. 

I watched in horror as I stood right behind him as his little body rolled down the stairs, stopping halfway down. 

I was standing two steps behind him and he fell. 

How could I let this happen? He walks up and down the stairs multiple times everyday. What was wrong with me? I was right behind him! 

I ran down to grab him and held him tight. His little body clutching on to me for dear life. We sat together for what seemed like hours. In this embrace. I didn’t want to let go. I whispered velvet in his ears and rocked him back and forth until he stopped crying. 

Finally, we detached and I checked him over. No bruises or cuts. All his limbs were intact. He could move everything. 

He was smiling, such good natured little dude. 

But inside I was panicking, thinking all sorts of things. Internal bleeding, concussion. I ran to the doctor, fretting the entire time we were in the waiting room, despite him running around playing with the toys as if he hadn’t a care in the world.

The doctor gave him the once over. 

I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum 

‘He’s fine, he seems absolutely fine. I've checked his neck, looked into his eyes and his ears, there's no signs of anything being wrong' he said. 

I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum, I’m a shit mum 

'Look at him playing, he’s fine. I know it's scary. The other day I turned around for a second and my daughter went, daddy look at me and she was up on the table,' the doctor smiled at me, trying to give me solace with his calm eyes. 

And he was fine. And I knew he was fine. 

So why am I sitting here crying? 

Logical me, would say, sometimes you can’t stop them falling. These things happen. Kids fall. Don’t beat yourself up. Those are the things I’d say to another mum in my situation, and yet I can’t seem to apply the same logic to myself. Why are we so happy to support other mums, but we rarely give ourselves the same kindness?

Today, I’m a shit mum and no one will convince me otherwise.

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