Two days ago my one year old fell off his highchair onto the marble floor. At least three feet. Three whole feet. I had put him in for a minute without strapping him. I feel awful. He landed on his head and face and THANK GOD there is minimum possible damage, a tiny bruise under his right eye. I was close enough to break his fall, somewhat. I have never heard him cry like that. I was right next to him and it is due to my negligence that this happened. Try as I may I can’t get the image of the fall out of my head. Even though I am desperately grateful he is fine.
Children fall and get hurt and it’s a regular part of childhood. It’s how they explore their surroundings. In this situation my little one explored gravity, albeit the very tough way. As a parent I am tough on myself, in that my guilt lingers. It gnaws at me. I admonish myself. Every time I look at the bruise under his eye I cringe. My baby needs my attention every second of every day. It’s fairly common and nothing new; all the mothers I know go through this. We all resent our babies and of course our husbands when we can’t take a leak alone. Even when my baby is deeply engrossed in his books and toys, as soon as he sees me at the table with my laptop, he scurries over and starts squealing.
Being a Stay-at-home-mum requires endless energy and truckloads of patience. The former I can summon, the latter is not in my list of virtues. Not even in the top fifty-six in my list. So, yes, I’m into this gig, but it’s quite exasperating most days. To top it all off, the nursing-to-sleep doesn’t really help matters. In comes the ingenious solution: the BOTTLE. Now I know, all you lactivists are shaking your heads at me and yelling an earth-shattering Noooooooo. Kindly sit down, put up your feet, breathe deep, relax. And hear me out: I ain’t listenin to you! I’ve nursed my child for a year and he’s nearly thirteen months and I’m still at it all night, I would like to take my leave now. I don’t want to resent my child. At the start of all this I decided I was going to breastfeed till I enjoyed it, till I am comfortable. I’m done now. I’m there for my child all day, for hugs and kisses and cuddles. I woke up with the worst backache this morning because of all night nursing. I just can’t continue doing this. It takes a physical toll and eventually an emotional one. So thank you and bye bye.
I have been trying since a month to get him used to the bottle and it’s after a lot of wheedling and wasted milk that he finally deigns to finish an ounce at a time. But this is only during the daytime naps so far. At night it’s all the same. I’m going ridiculously slow but I will persevere and get there.
You have to remember, there will always be someone disagreeing with your particular brand of parenting. Most days it will be everyone. They will disagree. That’s what people do best. You will read a hundred contradictory articles online. It’s mind-boggling. Remember the answer lies within you. You have to sally forth. Follow your parental instinct. Live your life by your own rules, learn to say ‘no’ and everything will fall into place.