Sunday, 20 November 2016

Vulnerable Months

Wow, it's been a while and of course a lot has happened. James is now 9 months and Nathaniel is nearly 3. There has been several changes, challenges and really hard moments.

When you become a parent, you definitely become vulnerable. Whether it is people's opinions, finances, circumstances you cannot control, development and so on, you will feel vulnerable and in some respects helpless.

Around September time, we decided to enrol Nathaniel in a local nursery for 2 mornings a week. At the time, we thought he would benefit his speech after we feared he had hearing problems, he would also have time to interact with children and have some fun. It just didn't work. I've seen countless of parents send their children to nursery and love it but it wasn't working for him. I've never seen him not want to be warm with people, he felt super distant from us and every time we dropped him off I was so anxious the entire time. Nathaniel absolutely loves people, strangers, family, and our friends, he is all over them and loves them. I just had a gut feeling something wasn't right when he really wasn't bonding with staff. To cut a long story short, in October we decided it was best to give it another 6 months once he is able to communicate even more and hopefully it'll make him feel more comfortable. I don't regret trying him in nursery as much as I don't regret taking him out. I felt happy with our decision as yesterday we drove pass it on a drive and he bawled as he thought we were going there. We are lucky enough where we don't have to send him to nursery and as a family, we are more than happy to have him at home.

A huge personal change for me in September was I enrolled to finish my degree. I've finally felt ready to finish it. I needed to do something for me and work on myself. I am still really happy with my decision to go back and it will benefit our family on the long term. It has been hard so far due to the kids falling ill with infections, sleepless nights, early mornings and rushing to get ready. It has also been hard because I am not the same student I used to be. I can't go out on student nights and roll up the next day hung over. I can't just go home and write my notes up, read every single extra reading in my spare time. I try to do everything when the kids are sleeping or when I'm not with them. Ben is super understanding as he's been there too. I just feel like we are juggling work, studying, parenting, a relationship and very, VERY occasionally maybe some time to see friends.

With all this, there's been some amazing changes. I cannot remember baby James anymore. He is an absolute wild child; eats everything, climbs everything, speed crawls everywhere and you cannot turn around for 2 minutes as he might pull your hair. Sleep is, well..... not really there. It's not fully his fault after illnesses and disturbances but, James - YOU DO NOT NEED TO PLAY BUILDERS WHEN YOU WAKE UP EVERY SINGLE TIME, (but you're cute and funny so you do get away with it).  Nathaniel is super chatty too! I cannot tell you the relief we have that he is talking to us, copying us all the time. It melted my heart when I took the boys from a walk and he said, 'bye bye Daddy, see you'. I know he is nearly three, but for a long time we didn't know how much or what he could hear. This is a huge milestone for us. I know sometimes I see parents complain they are being talked to death by their toddler; cherish it. Honestly, it's been a hard year having a barrier of communication with a two year old. I am just so proud how much progress he's making. This morning he said all the shapes and half the colours of a rainbow. Like I said, so, SO proud. Of course too, Ben. Another year older and a complete partner in crime. I have been awful in the last few months at breaking down, saying I cannot take all the pressure and as a young couple with two children with no parent friends, we rely on each other a lot. He is hands down the best rock you'll find and definitely can pull me together.

This is where I talk about feeling vulnerable. I was reading a page at a time of the Unmumsy Mum, trying to put the boys to bed without a toddler dancing out of his bed and a baby building in to next doors lounge, and I felt so much relief of the feelings of helplessness and vulnerable moments I've felt as Mum recently. I've cried so much, felt like I cannot do this, I am too young to do this. Being a parent, there are super hard moments, breaking point moments. It's a job you can never quit, take holy or sick leave. You are a constant. You have moments you forget who you are and you want to make everyone happy, but you feel like you're drowning in stress and desperate for sleep. We have such highs and such lows it is hard to describe. Most of this has probably come from lack of sleep in the last 3 years. I just haven't felt good enough lately. It really did hit me seeing people I started university with graduate because that could have been me. I love my children, I do, more than anything. However, I am still so angry how the situation was handled by the NHS and everything that has come because of that. I'm not sure what I'll do about it, even if I will, it just hasn't been an easy thing to look over even after these three years.

This post is an extreme ramble. I just felt like I needed to write and I miss blogging so much. It's my hobby and my outlet.

To conclude this post, (high five if you've made it this far), I am just staying strong and trying to feel positive because I know I can do this and I know I want to.

Love S x

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