I used to be that person who would be unfortunate enough to sit in the ear shot of a screaming baby and roll my eyes, complain about the parents not being able to ‘shut the kid up’. I never wanted kids, never planned to have them.
Now, I’m a Mum to an eight month old. Yes, he was a surprise, but regardless of that, we chose to keep the little dork and give this whole parenting thing a whirl.
It’s tough. It’s really fucking tough. Surprisingly, most days are awesome but there are times, like today, where I’ve sat on the floor of my baby’s bedroom sobbing. He’s screaming in his bed, I’m crying on the floor. It’s a mess. A bloody train wreck of emotions from both of us. It’s sometimes terrifying how such a tiny person can render me feeling absolutely useless, make me lose all confidence, and cause me to doubt myself so much.
I had no idea how to get him to stop screaming. His face was bright red and his throat sounded like it was going to make him choke to death. Non of the ‘tricks’ worked, he had everything he needed so I just gave up. I gave up trying because I didn’t know what else to try and I didn’t know if I wanted to keep trying. I was as frustrated with him as I was myself, which was incredibly unfair and selfish of me because he’s just a baby. It’s not his fault.
I’ve come to learn that this is what being a parent is—confidence shattering moments that feel like hours followed by the most immense feelings of love and pride. When they aren’t being tiny banshees, laying on the floor screaming bloody murder when you’ve removed the seventh book from their tiny hands, along with the subsequent ripped out pages, they’re doing a massive, loud fart, then laughing at themselves. Which, although it sounds kinda gross, is pretty hilarious.
Most days this sort of enlightenment comes from some parenting related breakdown or other, the type I never (for obvious reasons) had when I was sans little human. Sometimes I feel as though friends without kids don’t understand the upheaval involved in becoming a carer, a teacher, and a selfless person (most of the time) to someone who’s learning to get all kinds of shit done for themselves (here’s lookin’ at you, Shrimp, you’re smashing it). So, I say to my wonderful, childless friends, before you turn into the person I was, rolling my eyes at that poor, godforsaken parent with a screaming baby on the bus, be kind to your fellow humans, they’ve probably had a breakdown on the floor of their kid’s bedroom that week too.