My two (and a half) year old started at a new daycare this week.
It made me realise how much I dislike starting from scratch with people now.
It’s such a minor issue, but I’m so tired of explaining myself, and worrying about the impression I’m giving off. I also worry that if I don’t explain myself I’ll give off a much worse impression.. so I basically stand there like an idiot weighing up each option until too much time has passed and whoever I’m with feels awkward.
It happened when I mentioned that N had started at daycare at 6 months; I wanted to explain that we have no family over here and I hadn’t slept since he was born.. he went for a few hours once a week so I could have a shower and he could be held by someone other than his dad and I. I went back in to breastfeed him whenever he was hungry because he refused a bottle, plus I didn’t want him to feel abandoned.. please don’t think I’m a bad mum.
But it’s a daycare centre and I didn’t want to act like there was anything wrong with a kid starting at 6 months, so I got confused and said nothing.
It happened when I asked about putting N in for one extra day a week for a month or so. I wanted to explain that I’m studying and hoping to finish ASAP so I can start to work from home; then we can save some money and maybe actually buy a house. I also feel like he’s so bored at home, but he scares the shit out of me when we go anywhere; he’s mostly really good, but he’s strong willed, and two, and I can’t always chase him while holding/feeding the baby. I wanted to explain that I also feel like I’m missing out on the tiny baby stage his brother is at, the one that I barely remember with him because he never slept and I was a zombie. I do love him though, please don’t think I’m a bad mum.
But I felt like the more I made excuses the crazier I’d look, so I kind of mumbled: ‘I’m studying, plus the baby..’ followed by an awkward silence.
It literally happens every time I’m around new mums, because I have this laid-back squish now, but N was so different, so I want to make suggestions if they are questioning themselves and their parenting, but I also want to add some sort of disclaimer every single time, like:
‘but that’s just what eventually worked for me, and I have two completely different kids, so I’m not trying to tell you I know everything, because I definitely don’t, and it only worked for one of them anyway, and please don’t think I’ll be offended if you don’t try it, I definitely won’t. Also sorry if you’re bored of me mentioning the never-sleeping-with-my-first thing, but I feel like I should explain that I don’t think I’m the best mum because this kid sleeps like an angel, I just got lucky and I know it. I’m still confused, but maybe just a bit less, because I’m aware of it getting easier? Anyway, you can tell me to shut up, I’m not easily offended. Please still be my friend?’
Some sort of shortened version usually comes out, or I just stick to my awkward silence. Winner.
At this point I’m not even sure what I come across as anymore. I’m not even sure how to explain that I start off caring what people think, but then I get tangled up and come out not caring at all, occasionally blaming my silence on being tired, but mostly just hoping to skip being awkward and assume that you already know me.
Maybe you do, and I’m just being paranoid?
*Insert awkward silence*