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Parenthood’s a Contradiction, but That’s Okay

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Motherhood is somehow simultaneously more straightforward and more difficult than I thought it could be.

Caring for my baby is a joy, and I’m lucky enough that, despite the complications of his premature arrival into the world, it’s a pretty easy cycle to handle so far: change him, feed him, burp him, entertain him, soothe him. We’ve settled into family life pretty easily. But just like the conflicting emotions we all face every day (like really wanting those chocolates but also really enjoying your favourite, well-fitting jeans), parenthood

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is hardest, at least for me, for its contradictions.

I didn’t, for instance, anticipate feeling guilty about overdue housework alongside guilt over “neglecting” my child (postponing that extra story) when finally doing those jobs. I never thought I’d feel like we’re winging it but that we also know best. I wasn’t expecting to spend my well-earned baby-free time wanting to have him back, even when I know he’s in his father’s capable hands and all I’m missing is an afternoon of nappies and milky sick.

I’m reasonably rational and

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diplomatic, and we put a lot of thought into becoming parents, so I’m surprised by this kind of “greener grass” mentality. But some of my lovely new mummy and daddy friends have bewilderedly confessed they feel the same, so maybe we’re all just adjusting (and parenthood does take some adjusting to).

Maybe the solution is to accept each second for what it is, relax and enjoy the now. Maybe with some wine tea. And that’s okay.

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- 31 May 16

Motherhood is somehow simultaneously more straightforward and more difficult than I thought it could be.

Caring for my baby is a joy, and I’m lucky enough that, despite the complications of his premature arrival into the world, it’s a pretty easy cycle to handle so far: change him, feed him, burp him, entertain him, soothe him. We’ve settled into family life pretty easily. But just like the conflicting emotions we all face every day (like really wanting those chocolates but also really enjoying your favourite, well-fitting jeans), parenthood is hardest, at least for me, for its contradictions.

I didn’t, for instance, anticipate feeling guilty about overdue housework alongside guilt over “neglecting” my child (postponing that extra story) when finally doing those jobs. I never thought I’d feel like we’re winging it but that we also know best. I wasn’t expecting to spend my well-earned baby-free time wanting to have him back, even when I know he’s in his father’s capable hands and all I’m missing is an afternoon of nappies and milky sick.

I’m reasonably rational and diplomatic, and we put a lot of thought into becoming parents, so I’m surprised by this kind of “greener grass” mentality. But some of my lovely new mummy and daddy friends have bewilderedly confessed they feel the same, so maybe we’re all just adjusting (and parenthood does take some adjusting to).

Maybe the solution is to accept each second for what it is, relax and enjoy the now. Maybe with some wine tea. And that’s okay.

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Biology graduate, business editor, master's student, lasagne addict. Berkshire mumma to a very dribbly son.

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