They say babies give you the first smile at around 6 weeks to stop you from throwing them out the window, to make you fall in love with them all over again. Unfortunately this little family is still waiting for our babies first smile, 7.5 weeks in and the closest I have had is a slight grimace that out of love and desperation I am calling an attempt, a test run, perhaps an upside down frown.
I saw my neighbour from over the road today, she came by and asked how baby was doing. I said 'Don't you hear her?' to which she replied 'Yes, yes I do, the poor little thing'.... What? Her? What about me? But that got me thinking, how even though it seems this 5 kilo screaming machine has entered my life to cause me pain and distress and change me from the easygoing happy soul I used to be...that probably she is feeling a hell of a lot more pain and distress and confusion than her selfish mother is and my job is to love and get her through it.
I have read many many baby rearing books in the past few weeks, one of the theories that stood out was a Doctor who wrote that babies are born 3 months too early, that essentially they are still fetus's for that first 12 weeks and need to be close to Mum and rocked and jiggled and shushed and held. Which by the way I am doing for about 8 hours out of every day, so I'm giving it a red hot go, it's just my daughter seems to think I'm getting it wrong. The definition of frustration is walking & rocking & shushing your baby to sleep for 30 minutes only to have those little eyes pop wide open the moment you set her down, not to mention the wail that erupts from those precious lips. Repeatedly throughout the day, so you end up have expended far more time and energy in trying to get the baby to sleep than she actually spends sleeping. Good for the upper body though, these arms are looking tight!
I met up with some Mum friends the other day, all of whom have at least 2 children. Upon erupting in tears as soon as I sat down they each offered some of their own experiences of mothering more than one child, each having their own horror stories of unsettled babies. "I hated her for the first year" said one. "I used to think of ways she would die and what songs I would play at her funeral" said another. "I threw mine down in the cot one day and she bounced up and dented the wall" admitted another.
So suddenly I feel almost free from the guilt that has been eating away at me, the negative thoughts that pulsate through my tired brain telling me I'm hopeless, I'm doing something wrong, There must be something wrong with her, I'm a bad person... Dare I say it but it turns out I'm normal?
So the advice? Plenty of it. Took 2 things away with me. It will get better. It better. And get a housecleaner. I'm in.