Whenever people have children they are bound to feel guilty over something at some point in their children’s lives. I don’t think I have ever spoken to or met a parent that has had a completely guilt free parenting journey. I know over my time of being a mum to two I have had so many moments where I had felt guilty. I remember with Dexy shortly after his birth/death I would be riddled with guilt if I caught myself laughing or being happy over something. I would feel guilty if I went on a night out because I always pictured a grieving parent never being able to leave the house again and if they ever did I just assumed their life would stop. I was so wrong now when I look back because I think a grieving parent has more life than most people. I know in my time of being Dexy’s mum I have realised that life is so short and I don’t want to waste it. I don’t want to make my life meaningless because I live to keep him alive. I want to do everything just so I can take him along and he can do it too. Loosing my child has made my life guilty. That isn’t his fault, it is completely mine. It is my ideas and my thoughts that make me feel that because I know if he is anything like Phil and I he would be so happy to see us carrying on and taking him every step of the way with us.
When we agreed to try for River I was always caught up with this idea that Dexy would be forgotten or less if we had an alive child. That people would obsess over our living child and forget about the one they can’t see. I worried in my whole pregnancy over this and it came true. Not true because the people who matter will never put Dexy second or forget about him but you see who is real and who is a waste of time. I felt personally guilty that this would happen but why should I? Was I forgetting him? Was it my responsibility to make sure people are not idiots? No. That was their problem, it still is. I can’t make people talk about him, love him and keep him alive can I? As long as I’m doing it then I know that I don’t need to feel guilty over it.
Wanting a break, sleep and finding it extremely hard is currently where I am punishing myself. I denied myself to feel everything I needed too. I denied myself to feel what every other mum on this planet feels. I remember when Dexy died I used to hate seeing people moan about being a parent, how they just wanted 10 minutes to themselves and how they missed the old them. I used to think you ungrateful fucks. I still do. I find it so hard to see parents that have never gone through any form of loss moan and I feel guilty over feeling like that but I can’t help it. When Phil went back to work after River was born I found being his mum so hard. I had bottled up how I had been feeling about his birth, his time in NICU, coming home, the fear of loosing him. I was so caught up in the thought that I have wanted an alive child for so long how could I find it hard? How could I be so ungrateful and feel like it is okay to struggle? How could I need help when I have a dead child as well and would give anything to have this with him? If I loved him so much why did I want to have 10 minutes to myself and get so upset over it? I was battling with all of this inside and not letting it out. Honestly, you know when you are trying not to cry and you get that pain in your throat and you can feel every word you say shake as it is spoken… That was me 24/7 from the moment River was born. I was struggling but I didn’t want to admit it, let alone speak to anyone about it. I hated that I was feeling this way. I felt guilty over feeling this way. I just couldn’t understand after everything I had been through why was I wanting to have a break or admit I was feeling guilty over loving him and getting attached to him. I will talk about this more on another blog post because I think I need to talk about his birth and the first week of his life in order for you to understand why I was struggling.
Even now I still feel guilty over wanting a break or wanting to sleep for a solid night. I don’t think there is anything wrong now with wanting that. After speaking to my therapist she has made me realise that feeling like that is okay. I’m exhausted, I can’t even begin to explain how tired I am. Some night I get maybe 2 hours of solid sleep and then a 20/30 minute nap here and there. I know the saying to sleep when he sleeps but during the day I can’t. I have emails that need answering, I’m working on so really exciting projects that I can’t announce yet, I need to shower, eat, get all his bits ready, washing, taking the dog out, playing with the dog and spending time with him and more importantly I need time to myself. When he sleeps it is the only time I can actually get things done that I need too. I feel guilty for just wanting one night where I can sleep and not be woken up but then I don’t at the same time. Nights are lonely. You feel like you are the only one awake in the world and I wish I could just sleep. Sleep, what is that?
What I’m trying to say is everything you feel guilty over is okay. I have been working so hard on that the last week or so. I’ve been trying to let myself know that I only feel guilty because I am letting myself, in fact I actually have nothing to be guilty over. Guilt free love for your child doesn’t exist, I think. If I’m worrying about the small things then I know I’m doing something right because I want to do everything perfectly for them both.