Matilda is already growing up so fast, trying to stand up, skipping out crawling completely. Teething, or the beginnings of, by drooling everywhere and being a lot more fussy than usual, and her gums getting the little teeth beds ready.
In all this, someone said something to me the other day that, at first, i took offence to, but now I realise his good intentions… “You can’t drop everything you’re doing for your baby all the time”.
Now as I said, I took offence to this at first. Isn’t that what you’re meant to do as a parent? Drop everything for them? Well, I guess not, as when it comes to work/schooling, you need time to do it. Yes, that might mean relying on someone else to watch the baby while you work, but that doesn’t all of a sudden make you a bad parent 9as I was lead to think).
The first few weeks of Matilda’s life, I was incredibly sick. Not just with physical problems, but mental also, being told it’s “quite possible” I have post-natal depression from a few doctors I saw. Though as I had depression and anxiety before I was pregnant, I guess I should’ve seen that coming. Everyone tells you that once you have your baby put in your arms, you change and fall in love, and you’ll just “get it”, but what they don’t tell you is, that doesn’t always happen. That terrified me, that I just felt like I’d given birth, but she wasn’t mine, and holding her, I was babysitting someone else’s baby. I couldn’t breastfeed, so that just alienated me from her even more. I do have issues with it, but I’m trying to battle through, and find some balance.
That’s easier said than done without depression, let alone on the days when you don’t want to be out of bed, or can’t stand to hold your baby in fear of hurting them, or even because you don’t think you’ll actually do anything to help. For this, my parents have been complete saviours. To think of being a single mother, in a flat in the middle of a city, on my own, I would not have coped. My parents have not only saved me, but her too, for being torn apart. She’s fully looked after and got everyone she meets wrapped around her tiny fingers.
I love my daughter with all my heart, and hope I can be the Mother she needs not just now, but in the future. Getting the balance right between looking after her, and getting back on track with university and work on the other hand has been a very big challenge.
I’m fighting to get through UCAS applications to change university, as the one I was at is a bit far away from home, making it impossible to commute, and moving that far away from my family, for obvious reasons, is just not an option. Online courses don’t support the ‘Fine Art’ route I want to take, and well, the application deadlines are running away from me.
However, in all of this, there are good days. Days where I dance around the living room with my daughter, us both smiling and laughing, gurgling funny noises at each other. Days where if I put her down, I feel like large empty space that I just want to fill with her for more cudddles. I don’t know who is more anxious of being separated some days, me or her. Sometimes I’m convinced she’ll start calling her Nana, Mommy, and I’ll be forgotten in the background somewhere.
Even with all those thoughts, doubts, self-loathing, and procrastination, I’m somehow determined. I’ll show her that not only can I get through this, but so can she. I can get the job I’ve always wanted, and still be the good mother I hope to be. It might take me a bit longer to get there than some mothers, but I will. For her, as she deserves the best I can offer, no less.
Hoping to get back to making art as soon as possible, but first things first, I need a good long sleep. Fingers crossed for a full night 🙂