I have been having a mummy crisis this week.
Nothing has actually gone wrong, I’ve just been stressing about lots of bits and pieces and whether I’m doing the right thing or enough of the right thing.
It started last Saturday with a family meal out. We were discussing teething and the fact that Penny has been seemingly teething non-stop for the past three weeks or so. She doesn’t show huge amounts of symptoms. There is not really any significant dribbling and she is a bit snotty but her nose isn’t constantly running (although please don’t talk to me about bogies). But 16 months of being her mum has meant I just know when she has sore gums. It makes her really clingy, restless and unhappy and affects her sleep. Teething powders possibly give a bit of short term relief (although I think it may have more to do with the dummy I put them on to get them in her mouth), but really the only things that seem to offer any real relief for her are paracetamol and ibuprofen. It seems that she has had at least one dose of one or the other most days since this bout of teething started and when I mentioned this I got a reaction of disapproval. Cue days of guilt and self criticism. I have tried to avoid giving her any since but a couple of times over the last two days she has been really uncomfortable again, and when it’s stopping her from sleeping I don’t know what else to do. I have been reassuring myself that if they could do any harm in the doses I have been giving her they wouldn’t be licenced for toddlers, and it’s better than putting whisky on her gums like people used to do.
Then on Monday I faced the realisation and disappointment that a beloved weekly activity will no longer be part of our routine. We have been going to a weekly ‘bounce and rhyme’ session at a local library for the best part of a year. It has been great fun and I’ve learnt lots of new action songs which we also now sing at home. Sadly, local government cutbacks meant that they combined two groups into one, and it has just got busier and busier to the point where it is ridiculous and no longer enjoyable. A library boss spoke at the session this week to say that they knew there were too many people and it was a safety hazard (in fact there were twice as many people as there should be) but they did not have a solution. I made the decision that it just wasn’t enjoyable any more and we would no longer go. But I then felt bad that I’m not socialising her enough. She goes to one other weekly class, but that’s it for regularly meeting other children compared to children who go to nursery and play with other children every day. I plan to take her to Tumbletots soon (once she eventually starts walking), but in the mean time I will have to think about what else I can take her to to get her playing with other children.
My third crisis was actually prompted by something good. As my husband and I are both musical we thoroughly expect Penny to show some enthusiasm for music. But we have both found it exciting that she is now attempting to copy tunes and rhythms. She sings along with the tittifers on In The Night Garden and has started singing lines of the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star back at me. I started researching how to nurture musical talent at an early age and came across this great article. But I’m struggling to find live music to take her to during the day even though I live within easy access of two cities. I know that in reality she is getting plenty of exposure to music and I don’t need to sit her in front of an orchestra before the age of 18 months or I’ve wasted her potential talent! But it left my brain racing about all the experiences I could be introducing her to and haven’t done yet.
All in all these things have left my mind racing and given me terrible insomnia, which doesn’t help me in my attempts to become my idea of a ‘perfect’ mum. Nobody said being a mum was easy, and I know that really I am doing my best as I muddle along. But I do wish I could do better AND be much more relaxed about the whole thing!