Am I a good mum?

It is about 10 pm and I am done for the day. Baby has been fed, she had a bath and now sleeping like a little angel; I finished all I wanted around the house and I even made pancakes. I am waiting for my fiance and obviously I just poured myself a glass of wine so I can celebrate my success (104 days of being a mum). I just finished a conversation with one of my oldest friends. We know each other for more than 10 years and only when I think how long it seems like forever. We worked together a lot and we both moved countries at some stage in our lives. It is funny how we got pregnant in about the same time and how we chose to tell each other that we are expecting (it was the same day we decided to brake the news). It is only a month difference between our babies. Mine is in April and her little boy in May so we have lots to share. We shared our frustrations as we got bigger and bigger while expecting to give birth and now we are sharing our frustrations regarding how we learn on the spot how to raise our children. To be honest, just one day before I had Ruby I was watching a YouTube video about how to dress your newborn and how to bathe your newborn. My family is back in Romania. I only have my fiancee and my little Ruby here with me. They are now my family. Needless to say my mum or my sister in law or my aunties didn’t come to help me like everyone was expecting. I told my mum not to as it would have been more of an inconvenience plus I am too stubborn so I was determined to make it on my own. Who knew being a mum is such a challenge? I definitely didn’t. I came home from the hospital and I was still under the influence of adrenaline from the day before. All I wanted was to stare at my baby. Kris was just the same. Everyone was giving me advice about sleep: do it whenever baby is asleep. Yeah, right. I couldn’t so I got to be so behind with my sleep and I suffered from depression. I was brave enough to breastfeed my baby up to the day when I hit the brick wall and I couldn’t cope with myself anymore. My baby only wanted to be by the breast. Not cause she was hungry but for comfort. Every day I had to wait for Kris to come from work so I can eat, shower and sometimes go pee. I couldn’t leave my baby by herself not even for a minute. There were times when I actually couldn’t and times when I was too scared to do it. Many were the days when I would get in the shower and I could hear her cry as she wanted me like crazy (not me but my boobs). Every single second I was questioning myself. Am I a good mother? Am I a terrible mother? I wanted to hear it from anyone but these words weren’t coming. I remember we went to see the health visitor one day and she told me I am doing a good job. My God! The way I felt cannot be described in words. I forgot all my pain and sorrow instantly. I was smiling like a lunatic and feeling so proud. We left and I kept telling Kris: “Did you hear that? She said I am doing a good job”. He was saying of course I am. He knows. Look at Ruby, She is amazing. That was the day I told him that I crave those words. I feel the need to hear them so I can believe it. Maybe it sounds silly but I did need the reassurance and I still do. Every day. I was talking with my friend about things we read, about how we wake up and check if the baby is breathing, about how we try and guess what problems little ones have. And we both do the same things. We read, we check if the baby is hungry, sleepy, needs changing, she is cold or hot and after all these are done we just stare at the wall trying to find a solution. Sometimes I take my baby in my arms, I look at her and ask her what is wrong. She is 15 weeks tomorrow so all she does is look at me and smile with no care in the world. So I smile too and I think maybe I am a good mother now. She seems happy so I must do something good. And a second later she starts crying and here we go again. What am I doing wrong? Am I that bad that I can’t figure out a baby? And the days when she just doesn’t want to eat much. I count every ounce of milk, I try giving it to her every 3 hours and she just doesn’t take it. The drama! I feel helpless and I get worried about what is wrong. Why isn’t she eating? I had to learn everything on the go. And I still do but I have no regrets whatsoever. I would do it all over again. I would stay up reading forums about how much milk my baby needs, how does she sleep, is it normal if she cringes during her sleep, what shall I give her for colic, how to sooth her, what does a newborn need and so on up to the millionth question. I question myself every second of my life now. I am fully responsible for my baby’s life and this is huge. So I wonder at all times if I am a good or a bad mother? I keep reassuring my friends who have babies. I tell them they are amazing mothers and that they are doing a wonderful job but in the same I am so questioning myself. When do you actually know how good or bad you are? Will I ever find out? In moments like this I realize I should tell my own mum that she is a good mother even though we fight sometimes, we almost never agree on anything as we have different ways of thinking but she raised me and I see that was not an easy job.

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