Teething, self doubts and the rest

Teething, self doubts and the rest

 

 

I wanted to write this post for so long. I have tried to find the moment so many times and meanwhile the ideas passed by, the topics I wanted to talk about came and went, stopped to be accurate or just got forgotten. I was trying to hold on to my life really badly for past two months.

Before Little L was born I was sure that first weeksor months are the toughest of all. If we make it through first 3 months without any major loss on sanity we ‘r safe. And than things are only gonna get easier up to the point where it will be like eating bread with honey. OH my, how I was wrong. Last month and a half was really hard. We came back from Malta to Warsaw where we stayed exactly for one day. Half of it I was waiting for my lost suitcase and second half was unpacking and packing again. In the night we hit the road and drove to Klodzko to stay for couple of days, than we moved to Dusseldorf where my sister lives. Little L, Mr.T and I stayed there for 3 weeks while Mr.B was flying to work. Short trip to Amsterdam and than on the way to Slovakia we stopped at Klodzko again, stayed in Kraliky drove to Vienna came back to Kraliky. I feel like my whole life is packed in suitcases and all I do is unpack and pack. And during this whole time Little L was teething.

I thought first three months are the toughest, oh my how I was wrong. First three months were not easy for many reasons, I was not feeling well physically, my hormones were going crazy, Little L did not know what the hell is going on, he was shocked from where he landed, but I have to say he was coping with us – two strangers – his parents for rest of his live pretty well. Everything was new for him and for us. But that was nothing compared to teething phase. Teething means that Little man does not like anything for longer than 5 minutes, OK he likes to watch baby einstein puppets for about 30 minutes when he has a good day, scream like a hurt animal for quite some time every day but what he loves most of all is my breast, all day and all night. It also means that I carry his proud 12 kilos in carrier most of the days, we cook together, iron together, vacuum together, walk together, take photos together and that might be a lot of fun for him, but don’t ask me about my back. He started to move a lot lately as well so I can’t practically leave him out of my sight cause he is able to change his location quickly and without any prior notice.

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot from older women – older women meaning my mom and her generation of mothers – that we are raising him wrong. That it is wrong that he is used to being carried, that he sleeps with us in one bed and that he is vegan just as we are. And I have been going through a lot of self doubts. How does one know if she is a good mother ?

During my last month of pregnancy when I grew into monstrous proportions, I was all swollen and could hardly move and breath at the same time I had a lot qualms that I don’t work enough. Mr.B used to tell me all the time that I should not worry about it, because women have some magic ability and they manage to do much more after they give birth. Well I was waiting for that moment, imagining myself as a super woman who gets as extra a package of super powers during the delivery and does everything she was doing before plus much more with a baby stuck under her arm. And guess what I was terribly terribly wrong. I am not a super women, I am not a super wife and I am probably not a super mother even thought I try to be at least one of it at a time.
Little L is almost eight months old and there are still days when I am happy to find time for a shower, days that are better, days that are worse. But I am by far not doing what I was doing before and more. I am not drawing and I miss it intensely. I am not doing all those new things that I was expecting to do. No explosion of energy, no explosion of new ideas, no super powers. I did not sleep through one whole night since Little man was born, actually I have not slept longer than 3 hours for eight months. I am often tired and I have a lot of self doubts. I compare myself to other women and sometimes I even compare Leo to other babies and I hate that. But I kind of feel like I failed, like I disappointed somebody, don’t know exactly whom, but when it comes to the point it does not matter. I simply feel like a looser almost every evening when I go to bed and look back at my day.
I thought when baby is eight months I simply put her to some “safe area” – whatever that is – and she is gonna play by herself for hours, than eat and sleep and I can start doing my things. OK I really knew shit about babies until we made one. There is no such as safe area unless I don’t want to put Little L into some cage. He also does not play by himself for hours and he has two very short naps a day, if he has a good day :).
So I really really wander how those super women out there do it. What is the secret of their time management. How come they look great, feel great, they go to gym, take care of a baby, work and in the evening when their little treasures fall asleep they feel sexy enough to seduce their men and whats more they even have enough energy to have a wild sex. And they have my respect if they manage just half of it.

I’m not joking here. I really am in a HUGE self doubts phase. But at the same time I am as happy as I never was before. I am happy at night when I feel his hands reaching for me in the dark and his face with closed eyes trying to find my breast – for the 5th time in three hours – looking for comfort. When I see him calming down and falling back to sleep while he nurses and while I am lying in a terrible inhuman position just not to wake him up again.

I feel happiness that can not be described when he looks at me and smiles looking already so aware of word around him. When his eyes search for me in the room after he looses me from sight. When he laughs and giggles laud on my attempts to be funny.

When he hugs me and snuggles his head somewhere between my breast and arm as if he wanted to be a part of my body for a while again. When I see him being curious and so eager to be discovering and learning. When he explores my face with his hand and always finishes with squeezing my nose for five minutes.

I love that he gives me a chance to have a look at the world that already got usual for me. I feel like blind who was given new eyes. I love his facial expressions when he experiences something new, when he feels new tastes, when he hears weird sounds, I love how his emotions are so pure and intense. I loved his toothless smile and now I love those two tiny teeth sticking out and even those two new upper monsters that are giving him such a hard time. Its a bitter sweet feeling to watch him grow and change every single day, but what it brings along is overwhelming.

I remember my mother always using a phrase “U will understand THIS only once you have a child of your own” which I of course hated from the bottom of my heart. Oh my, how right she was. Only now through him I can understand what is fear, what is happiness, what is humbleness, what is unconditional love. Becoming a mother is such valuable thing, it changes the perception of the world, it is a chance to be reborn and it is definitely a source of extreme emotions. So I guess self doubts are simply part of the journey and I have to learn how to live with them.

 

 

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22 Comments
  • Maybe the magic is… a nunny / helper? It might be good for you and Mr. L. at the same time ;)

    • silviapogoda says:

      :) yes I know, we just have not been in one place long enough to get one. But we ll sure try to find some help once we r in Warszaw. And that is probably gonna be a long story as I ve heard from other mothers who were in search for a nunny.
      Greetings :)

  • Aife says:

    You’re a GREAT mum, really. It is easy to say ‘don’t compare’ but I know that sometimes it just comes naturaly. My boy is 4,5 months now and I was surrounded by happy mums who was telling me that theirs babies slept whole night when I was in ‘mummy you don’t need sleep’ phase. Now it’s hetting better but he’s not teething yet (I pretty scared how it’s going to be). Someone told me that no one is more judgemental for mum than the other mother. I think it’s sad but true. You work hard, I mean really HARD with little L but it will get better, it has to. Every kid is different and some mothers get an ‘easy card’ that allows them to do all this superwoman things. You are on master hard level and you just don’t have time for that.

    You’re doing it right. Only you are little L. mum and only you can understand how it is. You don’t have to be perfect, no one is! Just try to survive and love him and everything will be ok :)

    • silviapogoda says:

      Thank you Aife. Yes you are right, mothers are very judgemental and they even seem to be unhealthy sure about their own methods. I hate general truths and generalising whatsoever. Every baby, every mother every house is different and has different flow. People should do what they feel is the best for those whom it concerned – we r not speaking about leaving babies locked in car here of course. I just don’t want to pretend that everything is great and easy because it is not. There are hard days and hard nights but it is all damn worth it and gone with one single smile :)
      Good luck to your little boy with teething :)

  • Magda says:

    Silvia, a great post and so true… Self doubt is a part of motherhood / fatherhood but only of conscious parenthoood, I think… so you are on a good journey :) And this self doubt makes you compare yourself and Leo with others, I also do that sometimes and I hate myself for that, but I only do that in times of weakness, times of doubt and self pity, which all come when I am tired, when my son seems sad or I feel I fail as a mother, wife or woman. So welcome to the club ;) But then acceptance comes, strength, certainty and happiness… and then I do not care about anything or anybody but my family, our health and well-being. And deep in my heart I know that there are no super women, no super wives and no super mothers, we are all human, failing this way or the other… or else are pretensions, appearances or creations of our imaginations. That’s what I think. And I am a more stationary mother than you but I feel similar quite often, I think it must be quite hard for you when you travel so often, move from one place to other frequently, pack and unpack so much (!!!)…so to me you seem like a well-organized mother/wife/woman anyway :) All the best to you and your guys :)

    • silviapogoda says:

      Thank you Magda. Yes I know that we all have those feeling sometimes, I just found it important to share them. That its not all just nice, cool, happy, pink and sweet. That those moments come and they are real and they are paint in the ass and they have to be fought. I am not an exception. I know there is no super heroes out there – sorry to those who are :) – but thinking they exist is always result of exhaustion. Little L is a great little man, very happy and funny in those moments when he forgets he has his teeth growing. And I know that one day sooner or later he will sleep through whole night. Just hope I don’t have to wait next eight months for it :)

      PS: U have never seen our car when we travel from place to place – it is everything but not organised…actually it looks like the worse mess you can imagine :)

      Greetings

  • Claudia says:

    oh wow Silvia… i don’t know you at all and i just started coming here not too long ago but he first thing i would like to say is, give yourself a break and give yourself some love. being a mother is hard work! i am going to sound like a cliche but motherhood is the hardest job i have ever had. our daughter is 4.5 years old and we still have moments of self doubt. is the school we are putting her in the right one? are we raising her in the right place? are we doing things right? there is always that and i think there will always be.
    people are always eager to offer advice. even when you don’t want to hear it. especially our mothers who think they know best. one day that will be us. lol
    if there is one thing i have learned from parenting is, do what is and feels right for you and your family. what works for you may not work for others. and vice versa. but, if something is not working for you, change it, there is always changing. it’s often harder for us than it is for the little ones.
    moving around is tiresome. so is packing and unpacking. maybe it’s time to go back home and settle into your peace for a while? and remember, our little ones feed off of our energy so maybe little L is feeling your anxiety and uneasiness…
    give yourself time. he is not even 1 year old yet. your body is not yet your body. it is his still. when you get it back you will find yourself sexy again and then you can have wild sex again ;)
    one thing is for sure, you are still an artist with your photography. your pictures are amazing!!!
    Claudia

    • silviapogoda says:

      Claudia thank you for your comment. I can imagine that having doubts about all sorts of decisions I will have to make along the way will only increase, and that is just the way it is. Of course I have days when I am really tired and I feel low on energy and than there are better days, but I am always a happy person, happy to be mother. Just fell like talking about it openly might be important also for other mothers out there. People generally often don’t speak about feeling down or about problems. I think its because they don’t want to bother, or they feel like it makes no sense because it’s not gonna help them anyway. And that creates sort of artificial reality. I know many mothers feel like me sometimes and its good to talk about it, not feel ashamed of it and share it because than we all know its not just us.
      Up to this point I was doing everything concerning Little L the way I felt its the best for him. But then when he wakes up so often in the night for so long I start to question if it really not connected to something that I might be doing wrong. Its a result of me being exhausted and of the fact that its my first child and everybody around me seems to know best :). But I truly love my life, love being mother, love even our often travels. I get really bored when we stay somewhere longer than one month, I m just used to be on the move all the time. It stimulates my senses :).
      Thank you once again for nice supportive msg. Warm greetings Silvia

  • Natalia says:

    You are very, very smart. Now I have doubts too, but because of my depression. I know how terrible it is. But you know what? What cheers me up? Just living. Beeing happy because os of fresh air smell or good dinner. When you have doubts you are better than half of mothers. Really. I`m sending you good energy. You are stronger than you think.
    Love.

    • silviapogoda says:

      Thank you so much Natalia. I always had doubts about everything but having doubts if you are not doing something worn while raising a baby – meaning influencing his forming personality – is really a different level.
      But as you said I find my peace just by looking at the mountains around, breath it through and than everything gets different perspective.
      Thanks once again and hope u’ll get enough good dinners to get you through hard times once they come :)

      • Natalia says:

        Yes, raising a new human being scares me, because I am so messed up and the responsibility for other, small individual person can be horrifying. But… You can make mistakes because you are learning everything for the first time. I think the most important thing is to be present. My mother sometimes makes mistakes too, but I think that she is the best person in the whole world, because she IS. I don`t know how to write it. Just be with your son, give him a freedom but also a presence feeling. That he is important to you. That you don`t ignore his thoughts, plans (maybe not now yet:D), dreams. My mother is my best friend. I think this is the greatest feeling. I hope you will find the same path with your son :)! Hey, and you know what? :) I think motherhood and parenthood is sexy! :) Try to think about it in this way :).
        xxx

        • Natalia says:

          And try to listen your heart. There are always a lot of people with advices, but at the end, you are alone with your decisions. So don`t listen perfect mothers (maybe they are perfect just in public, who knows?) and just try do it.
          Love.

  • I got one good advise some time ago – don’t listen to others when it comes to rising your child, or being pregnant. I was already criticised for riding a bike, doing yoga, cleaning my apartment, traveling with a backpack (no idea how to do it without one), drinking milk and many more. I am also afraid that future Greber may be nameless, since there is always someone hating my name idea. Hard times.
    But it also looks like you need a rest, like 1 day off.
    And of course you’re a great mum, little Leo is already a happy little boy, so you must be.

    • silviapogoda says:

      :))) well when it comes down to the point we r not listening to anybody about how to raise Little L, just as I was not listening to all good advices when I was pregnant. But when u really feel exhausted and in desperate need of some support all the smart ass opinions about how u should not do it or should do it don’t help. They don’t help me and don’t help poor L who is in pain. And when it comes from the closest if feels even more bitter. At least they stopped bothering me for not drinking milk :)))). OMG and name!! That was hell. I had a name chosen that I loved but my mom saying just one sentence caused that I could not even give it to fish in fish tank. If Leo stayed without teeth he would be the happiest little guy I ve seen :). Hope u r doing well. Warm hugs from us

  • Kala says:

    Dziękuję za ten post. Szczerze :) dajesz radę!

  • m&m says:

    hey there,
    it is a little akward and long story how i got to your website, but i’m so glad i did. you are a super talented photographer, you write beautifully and honestly and i can just tell you have a pure heart and are a GREAT mom. i am also a mom myself and had the same thoughts “ah i will not sleep for the first 3 months then it will get easier” -haha! my daughter is 9,5 months now and since she is here i have not slept more than 4 hours at a stretch (and HATE others telling me their babies slept through the night at age 5 months!!!) I am a single mom and even though this was my decision and i am 100% sure it was correct, still at times it is VERY hard. am grateful i have parents to help me and my lovely dog as daily support and comfort. i am not vegan but veggie and am also getting comments, such as that i am being an egoist etc. here in Poland especially it is not very common and people still think it weird and wrong instead of compassionate and healthy. so, i understand this bit very well. i believe in listening to your conscience…..doubts come from other people not from your inner self. that knows what is right.
    best wishes to you and your whole family xxx
    PS- also, i have to say your little man looks like the male version of my daughter – totally! almost creepy!

    • silviapogoda says:

      Thank you so much for taking time and writing this comment. I especially loved the part that doubts come from other people not from ourselves. I have so MUCH respect for single parents, anybody who raises a child alone has my admiration. Great that you have parents to help thou cause we can’t count on grandparents help very much when it comes to dealing with daily situations. And I also love the combination of baby and dogs family :)
      Wish you a lot of energy and some more energy :)
      Greetings to your pack

  • kamilaaa says:

    Przez 10 miesięcy macierzyństwa przeżyłam jak dotąd najlepsze i najgorsze chwile w życiu. Śmiałam się i płakałam często jak nigdy. Też wkońcu zrozumiałam mamę, też zastanawiam się czasem jak oni wszyscy dają radę. Przeplatanka, ale tak chyba jest u wszystkich, nawet tych wszechwiedzących i super zadbanych, takiej nabieram pewności:) Mocno kochać i cieszyć się z tych pięknych chwil, na nich sie skupiac i o nich dużo myśleć.
    dzięki za ten post. piekne zdjęcia. Duzo cierpliwości i pozytywnych wibracji

  • Vanessa Benarroch says:

    Silvia, what a wonderful post. I could not write it better. I feel reflected in every single word and emotions you write here. Girl, you are doing AMAZING! You have the most tender, incredible little human out there. I have also one little lovely girl who is turned now 10 month old… Also 12 kilos!!!! And I also have the bigger backpain of my entire life… She is all day in our arms as well and you are SO TRUE when you said there is no SAFE PLACE to put them… She just start to walk, so… You know. She never ever ever want to be one minute (actually, seconds!!!!) alone. And she also sleep with us in our bed. We love everithing of that, more than nothing else!!! And yes, we are also been attack by other people all the time saying that we are doing worng! And also (I smiling now, becouse all you said…. I feel the same!!) I usually catch myself comparing to others (instagram, real life…….) and I alwais said the same: how they do it?? The answer its easy… Less time with their babies! There is no secret out there. And of course, those mums do not sleep with there babies, (babies sleeps alone in their own “perfect” room) they do not carried them all the day, usually they do not have 12 kilos at the stage of 10 month, and you can go on with a long etc ( when I first see your videos and I saw you carried little L with you almost everiwhere I though: maybe he is not as heavy aa mine, this is why she can… But Then I read this post… 12 kilos!! Yap… Idem as mine!!)

    And, hehehe…. I also love drawing and painting and taking photos… And yes!!!! Oh my how much I miss it!!! But there is gonna be a time where we are going to reconect with us in a lonely room to paint again, the pencils are always going to be there in the same way, but our little ones are growing so freaking fast, and one day in a few years, there is going to be a “safe place” to put them for some (extremely-long) hours, and them have some time for us again…..

    I am happy to have “meet you” and find your blog and know there is another mother that feel and have the same exactly fears as I have…

    And I will tell you something extra: this incredible effort you put on your baby Its shows up in all your incredible pictures and videos you make!!

    Greetings from Spain!!

  • agata says:

    Czytając Twoje posty mam wrażenie jakbyś wyjęła te wszystkie swoje przemyślenia, stany emocjonalne, wątpliwości i radości z mojej głowy. Dobrze jest czasem się dowiedzieć, że człowiek nie jest osamotniony w tym swoim postrzeganiu świata i że gdzieś tam jest inna nieIDEALNA matka, która kocha swoje dziecko najlepiej jak potrafi. Dziękuję.


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I don't want my life to be a reason for other's life to be a suffering that is why I am vegan and that is how I want to raise my son. I love my little family, birds, rainy days and life on the road. I believe in life before death :).


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