Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Having A Leg Up Just Means You Fall Farther

People often say to me, "Oh, parenthood should be easy for you, since you've raised so many kids already."

It's true, to a degree, that I have a leg up on most first time parents, if only because I've been in the diapers, vomiting, fevers, how-the-hell-do-I-do-that trenches before.

I am a first child, with a solid six year lead on my baby brother (who is, incidentally, a happily married father of two in southern PA - anyone need a landscaper with imagination to burn? He's your guy!). I am a classic of the genre. Academic achiever, largely self-driven, responsible, a total mother hen.

I am an Aries. Not so much stubborn as willful. Benignly self-involved (hello, Blog!). Independent to a fault. Bossy, too.

What happens to a seasoned nanny, who's also an Aries and a first born child, when she's faced with first time parenting dilemmas? Well, she calls her mom. That's what.

But I also find myself unable to talk about the dilemmas because people have such expectations of my parenting skills. When I can't figure something out, I feel like I've failed myself, my son, and all the kids I'm raising, too. It weighs heavily.

Take the last two weeks. My eight month old cherub, who has been coming along nicely since birth, if I do say so myself, has fallen apart at the seams. He doesn't want solid food so much, he wants to nurse constantly, he can't sleep through the night anymore. It's pure misery. He's still my happy, healthy little guy when the world isn't falling apart, but oooh, when he's off, he's really off!

The side of me that's seen all the poop before knows that this too shall pass, but the unwashed, exhausted, working a 55 hour week side of me wants to cry. Because I should have it all together, right? I should be able to keep my dishes washed and my child asleep between the hours of two and four AM, right? Because I should not only be able to identify that manky smell in my kitchen, but solve it, too, right? I should know better than to put so much pressure on myself, right?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie, you are a fine mum and I admire you. I wonder if your cherub is teething and wakeful and only wanting to nurse because his mouth is sore. I can understand your feelings that others think you can do anything, but no mum is perfect, even a seasoned one with nine kids. Kids are always throwing us for a loop in one way or other. Maybe the munchkin will fall asleep tonight and stay that way..... I hope so! Everything feels harder when you haven't enough sleep. Wishing you sleep!!! samm

7/11/08, 5:45 PM  
Blogger fibby said...

Hugs to you. You are awesome.

7/13/08, 1:33 AM  

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