It’s 2:25am, I’ve just fed Jasmine and got her settled back to sleep. If only all it took was some milk, a rub on the back and Barney Gumble style burp to get myself back to sleep. Alas no, my mind is buzzing tonight. I’m suddenly overwhelmed with sadness and cry silently into Jasmine’s muslin cloth, desperate not to wake my sleeping other half. I’d hate to have to try and explain “what’s wrong?” as the truth is, I have no idea.
OK, that’s not true, I have SOME idea.
It could be down to the fact that my baby girl turns 1 month old in a few days time and not a single member of my family has met her. Not a single one and it hurts. Now, any new mum will know that when you have a child, even if you’ve never felt that proud of anything you’ve ever done in your life before – the moment that baby is lifted on to your chest at birth; you know they are your greatest achievement. You want to show them off to the world. Forget everything else, I’ve finally (with help from the person I love) created something perfect.
I always knew that for me the hardest thing about having a baby would be the lack of support. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing fiancé in Stephen. I am so lucky to have him. And I have a new found respect for single mums who do this on their own. But for me, after Stephen, the support stops there.
My mum is great but she’s 1,147 miles away living in New Zealand and has been for the last 6 years! My dad’s 4 hours away and has a young family of his own and hasn’t managed to get up to see me yet. I get a phone call from him every 3 months or so if I’m lucky so it’s no huge surprise he hasn’t made the time to visit. Oh and my younger brother is in and out of prison and barely sees his own kids let alone mine.
Stephen and I moved to Suffolk in July last year due to the relocation of his work and other than a handful of work colleagues, I don’t really know anybody here. I’ve found that being in your mid-twenties is an awkward age to make new friends. You can’t meet people naturally like you would at college or university; you have to put yourself ‘out there’ a bit more. I remember turning up to Italian lessons at the community centre in the hope of meeting some new friends (learning Italian would just be an added bonus) and feeling a tad disheartened to find out that there wasn’t another classmate who was under the age of 92 (or there abouts). I’m not ageist and they were some lovely people but um, not quite what I had in mind!
When I found out that I was pregnant again (after a miscarriage nine months previously) I was overjoyed. As the first of my friends (back home in Bristol) to become pregnant, I found myself turning to mummy bloggers for advice and support. In the last few months I have met some lovely people online through their blogs and Twitter. Many of them will never know what a lifeline they have been for me. It’s amazing how much a ‘how’s it going?’ tweet can make all the difference when you’re having a tough day, especially when I can’t just pop round my mum’s for a cuppa and chat.
Although I love the idea of having my own blog, I’m always able to talk myself out of it. “There’s so many out there already”, “nobody’s interested in what I have to say” or “it won’t be as good as X’s or Y’s blogs”.
We women are terrible when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. It’s a bad habit that intensifies two fold when you become a new mum. It starts when you’re pregnant, secretly comparing bump sizes at antenatal class and then continues once baby’s here. “She’s had better success at breastfeeding her baby” or “Wow, she’s so slim again already” etc. etc.
My point is, whilst I know that starting a blog has the potential to change my life in a positive way I also worry that it could be my undoing. As someone who has suffered with depression in the past, I worry about these relatively harmless comparisons spiraling into something more sinister. I could become the first person in human history to literally compare myself to death! I’m a perfectionist and the fact that my photos won’t be that great or the layout won’t look so good will drive me potty. But do you know what? I’m finally going to give it a go. If I find it’s making me unhappy, I can just stop, right?
I’m not looking for sympathy; I know everybody has their own problems to deal with. However, I want to be able to reach out to people instead of just living vicariously through them and y’all just have to humour me in the meantime.
I’m currently brimming with more emotions and feelings than I know what to do with and I finally feel like this could be the right time to do something bold. Just writing this has made me feel a lot happier than I did 30 minutes ago. Writing has helped me get through some of my darkest days. So this is me asking the world of parent bloggers “room for a little one?” I promise it won’t always be doom and gloom!