Looking back, it was quite simply hell. Yup, I’m putting my hands up and admitting that I went into being a parent with my eyes completely closed. It’s seriously hard work. I completely under estimated what it would be like and it is relentless.
The first 6 weeks were the worst. Mr G and I felt we were in a war zone and we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only were we experiencing being parents for the first time and finding our feet but we also had 2 babies to deal with. We would get through the day in a complete blur. We didn’t shower or change out of our PJs for days. Eating was a luxury and it was done quickly, one handed most of the time, and whenever we remembered.
At the beginning, I thought OK we can put them to bed and we can all get some rest and start the next day fresh……uh, no! Babies do not know the difference from day or night, they have to be taught. So on went the zombie feeling from lack of sleep, exhaustion and repetition through the night and into the next day, and the day after that and the day after that…….
On one particularly tough day, Mr G and I decided some colic medicine would be worth a try. It was 9pm and Mr G and I were still in our PJs and covered in milky vomit. Mr G put on some flip flops and went to walk out of the door. I asked him if he was going to change into other clothes before going to the late night chemist and he just turned to me with an exhausted look on his face and said, “Erin, I just don’t care any more”. Priorities in life definitely change after having children. And in my opinion colic medicine doesn’t work. I think it’s meant to placate the parent and make them feel that they are doing something to help their child.
I found the days when Mr G went back to work leaving me outnumbered with two screaming babies extremely exhausting. I didn’t know who had spent the day crying more – me or the girls. The hardest bit was hearing one cry whilst I was dealing with the other with a nappy change or something. I told them over and over I wasn’t ignoring them, I just had their sister to deal with first. Of course they didn’t understand or know what was going on – all they knew was that they were not being comforted or made to feel secure. I felt awful, I felt a bad mum. I was not able to provide and comfort both my babies at the same time. But logistically you can’t, so it took a long while but I hardened up and you realise you just have to deal with the most important thing at the time and let the other one cry. It sounds awful I know, but I went through it and there is never any lasting damage and no baby has died from crying. Horrible to say but it’s the truth. I got to them as fast as I could but when one has more important needs, then the other takes a back seat. I think from this experience I can confidently say that I can change a nappy with lightening speed!
But in all honesty there was light at the end of the tunnel at 6 weeks. Things changed. They became more aware of you and their environment and then things changed again at the 12 week mark and its been getting better and better every day since.