Okay, I'm going to come out and say it, being Harry's Mum is easy. Harry is 11 weeks old today and he is easy. His needs are simple; I know (now!) how to breastfeed him, nappy changes are easy, albeit sometimes unpleasant, messy, time consuming events involving multiple outfit changes for him and me. He needs love (check!), cuddles (check!), communication (check!) and appropriate stimulation - I've learned the words to the wheels on the bus and bought some sensory toys, so, check! And of course lots of sleep. In very basic terms that's what Harry needs and I can provide all of them.
Please don't get me wrong, it is tiring and at times frustrating. I wish I could have 5 minutes a day where Harry could talk and we could just iron a few things out - what does that cry really mean? Does he prefer the rainforest or the teddy bear play mat? He is demanding, he is 24/7, but what he actually needs is easy and takes little brain power.
This is where I'm finding being Harry's Mum, on maternity leave, hard. The honest and difficult truth is that I'm bored.
I realised this yesterday. After my partner, (fiancé, actually) announced he was taking his car to the garage and I skipped washing my hair to be able to collect him, I felt frustrated and fed up. I cried and then decided I would go to bed and Scott would take the kids (I have two step children aged 11 and 9) out for a couple of hours. With Scott prepared with expressed milk and the change bag I went to bed and cried some more. Partly because I didn't want to be in bed; I wasn't actually tired! Harry has been sleeping for 6 hours in the night so I'm getting as much sleep as when I was working full-time.
My Mum came round to see me and once I'd cried it out, I was able to see that I was bored and felt a bit trapped. I don't have the freedom that Scott does to just go to the garage when he decides to. And I'm not using my brain enough to feel intellectually challenged.
I can't stress enough how much I love Harry, love being his Mum, love every feed, love every smile and coo and enjoy watching him change everyday. I even love singing the wheels on the bus!! I'm fortunate that I can be off with Harry for a year, and intend on doing so, this isn't about not wanting to be with Harry or leaving him or not loving every second of being with him. I just need something more.
Looking back on the few entries I wrote when I started maternity leave I've realised how therapeutic and helpful writing is for me so I'm going to dedicate some time every (day/week...?!) to writing this blog and exploring the different feelings I have around loving being Harry's Mummy but also needing something more....