Updated: Apr 14
I don't know if I'm alone here, I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say not. You know those little things that just make you go "grrr". My frustration about one thing can build so easily into frustration about all things and to everyone. I'll let you in on a little snippet of what led to my big "Grr" this time.
At the beginning of the lockdown I said to my partner that each week my goal is to complete one thing from my list of 4 never-get-around-to house tasks. They were:
1. Wash the windows and windowsills
2. Wipe out the kitchen cupboards and tidy the kitchen table
3. Clean the oven
4. Reorganise the spare room
They were to be done in no particular order and could take the entire week. Last week the windows were done which I felt so good about. It took 3 days of here-and-there effort, as everything does with a 6 month old hungry boy, but they were done.This weeks task was meant to be the kitchen cupboards and table. So far, I haven't made a start. The further we get through the week the worse I feel about that. When I start to feel a lack of accomplishment I tend to let the little things frustrate me more than usual. This was just the beginning of the lead up to my "grr". The lockdown period was bound to bring some extra stresses and I knew that. Add in a rough week sleeping wise and a few extra little things and we have a recipe for disaster.
Yesterday we were all surviving on what sleep we could manage between our 2-hourly shifts from the night before as we held, rocked, shushed, and fed to sleep only to be smacked with a brutal screaming wake-up within seconds of laying our son into his cot. Nobody mentioned that full-blown tantrum squeals started before your pēpi can actually talk by the way. Our shifts slowly faded out through the day as I seemed to be the only one to be able to silence the screams with a boob. The cot was moved into his own room and we only had 2 wake-ups which was great. By today I was exhausted from those 2 wake-ups that each lasted 1.5hours and 2 feeds so I elected to stay in bed a little longer to rest while Dad took the first shift (a luxury that I am grateful to have). Despite that, by lunchtime I was letting my frustration get the better of me. Here is a quick list of things to get me to that point. I had put my breakfast down to tend to my little tangiweto which then went soggy - fine and normal on a non-lockdown day, frustrating on a lockdown day when dad had eaten and was on his phone while the crying took place. I had a zoom call for a mums-bubs programme - technology didn't work, they couldn't hear me, baby got noisy, call ended early, no benefit of expensive programme (I know I'm being slightly dramatic but that's how I felt). It was finally my turn to have lunch at 2pm and there were no clean bowls and baby started crying again. You get the gist of it by now, needless to say there was some slamming of the cupboards while lunch was prepared. To make matters worse we have also figured out hitting, scratching and pinching, mostly of Māmā while having a kai so in between each of these tasks I'm feeding, sometimes several times and being abused by my favourite human in the world.
If you're like me then before having a pēpi of your own you likely thought that the source of any tears was a need that hadn't been met yet and meeting it would instantly stop the crying. If that were true we would not have just endured 2 full days of almost non-stop tears. We have definitely entered a teething phase, there is no doubt about that. Even so, no teething cure has managed to keep the tears at bay for longer than 20 minutes and no teeth have cut through. Teething is a frustrating time for everyone involved, being in lockdown with bad weather has made that worse for sure. My poor neighbours must be wondering what the heck is going on by now.
No matter how frustrated we all get at each other and no matter what your triggers are, make sure to come back at the end and check in on one another, baby included. If you're in my same waka, give your pēpi an extra kihi, tell them you love them, and everything will be alright. Go easy on yourself, we are all still learning. You got this Māmā!