Keep On Keeping On

Today I mopped the floor. That might’d seem especially exciting but as someone who is highly enthusiastic in my ability to avoid doing household stuff that I deem ‘not 100% necessary’ this was a biggie. It was a nappy change that drove me to it. Well that and an aching pelvis (oh HEY there baby with the clearly enormous head who enjoys pummelling my inner lady parts), a  puppy that managed to eschew all restraints and take off for a jaunt down the middle of the road in hot pursuit of a courtesy bus (whose driver felt the need to wind down the window and chastise me for my irresponsible dog ownership, because chasing a renegade dog down a hill while 8.5 months pregnant and holding a toddler was EXACTLY how I had planned to spend the time between 8.30-8.45am on a Tuesday) and a general feeling of ‘blah-ness’ that’s engulfed me since this morning. Mainly though, it was the nappy change.

I don’t know whether it’s just my son but his current hatred of having his nappy changed alternates between being funny and driving me to the brink of complete despair. Today, I went down the despair route and found myself sitting on the floor, sobbing into a toddler sized (clean) BabyLove with ‘Wags The Dog’ emblazoned on the front, while my son danced around, in his (dirty) shoes, on his (clean) sheets in a (dirty) nappy. I had tried reasoning, cajoling, bribing, hell, at one point I held both his bears AND Scout The Singing Dog hostage yet somehow he still managed to evade me (not hard with my enormous belly and aching pelvis) and refuse, point blank to be changed. In the end, I wrestled him to the floor and physically held him down to get the job done. He cried. I continued to cry. We both may have snotted all over our respective t-shirts. It wasn’t pretty. It was ‘in the trenches’ parenting at its finest and it made me wonder where, as parents, we continue to draw the strength from to keep moving forward, even when things are going spectacularly pear shaped and we feel like crawling under the covers and turning out all the lights.I’m yet to work out where this strength comes from. I’m dubious that I actually possess it at all yet somehow, I must do as I keep on keeping on, even when i don’t feel like it or want to. My husband texted me today to say that his new classes at school had gone really well and I replied by saying that I was sure they had and that he had no doubt done a far better job today teaching than I had done mothering. Because some days it feels as if mothering is my ‘job’ and a job that I’m not doing well. A job that I somehow have all the skills for but that I struggle to connect the dots with.

While I’ve learnt not to beat myself up about feeling that way sometimes, I do still feel a surge of guilt when struck with the sensation of ‘motherhood disconnect’, a term I use to describe the separation between what I feel and do and what I wish I was feeling and doing. I long ago farewelled the myth of the ‘perfect mother’ from my perceptions of parenting but that sense of disconnect still sometimes remains.

And so I mopped. Something about the mechanics of doing something that didn’t require any thought was soothing. And while I mopped, I thought about the morning we’d had and while I initially found myself dwelling on the less than stellar moments (pinning a small child to the ground with my knees isn’t exactly something I’m proud of doing), my mind eventually drifted to the funnier, better aspects. Filling up diggers and dump trucks with pebbles together before being issued with instructions to ‘dump mama, dump!’. Little hands ‘helping’ me to wash up. An out of the blue cuddle at the park, complete with neck nuzzle (my favourite part of toddler cuddles). In a way, I’m thinking that it’s these little sparks that keep the momentum going and keep me keeping on.

What keeps YOU keeping on when you’re down in the parenting trenches? Where do you pull that energy to keep moving forward from? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Linking up with Jess at Essentially Jess for IBOT

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14 Comments on Keep On Keeping On

  1. Anissa
    April 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm (5 years ago)

    I remember having a similar meltdown when I was heavily pregnant and my 2 year old didn’t want his nappy changed. In the end I took it off and he ran around with a bare bottom!

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm (5 years ago)

      What is it about nappies Anissa? I’ve given my son the option of going in the potty or the toilet but he seems to think it might jump up and attack him and so insists on a nappy. Just use the loo child! Lol

      • Anissa
        April 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm (5 years ago)

        I think it’s a boy thing. My oldest is 3 now and he’d still wear nappies if I let him.

        We all have moments of self doubt, you are doing a wonderful job.

  2. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    April 29, 2014 at 8:17 pm (5 years ago)

    Don’t beat yourself up… sounds like you’re doing a great job!! xx

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm (5 years ago)

      Nawww thanks lovely. Sometimes I do wonder but I don’t think I’m alone in that and sure everyone doubts their skills when it comes to their ‘jobs’ every now and then!

  3. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    April 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm (5 years ago)

    What a day! I sat nodding along whilst reading this. I know the nappy struggle all too well. My youngest boy is 11mths old, and has a brother just 16mths older and I struggle with either one or both of them EVERY SINGLE DAY! You are certainly not alone having these feeling or days like this. It really is the little things that keep us going, the knee hugs, the beautiful smiles and the delicious sound of their laughter xx

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 30, 2014 at 8:32 pm (5 years ago)

      It truly is delicious isn’t it Lauren? The giggles get me every time.. and the smiles. So infectious! I seriously don’t get WHY you wouldn’t want a wet/smelly/disgusting nappy taken off ASAP.. It blows my mind that my son would quite happily sit around in the same nappy alllll day if I let him. I must say that I’m counting down the days till he’s toilet trained!

  4. Kate
    April 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm (5 years ago)

    I think it’s a horrible stage that will pass soon. We’ve just come out the other side I think, but it was truly awful there for a while trying to get that nappy changed! I also did a pin-down and cry on one occasion, it was bad. Henry has just turned 28 months and we’ve been ok for a few weeks now.
    Hang in there!

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Kate! Good to know that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve just hit the 27 month mark so maybe next month will be the golden time when all things start to come together again. Lol. If only we could leave em’ nude and nappy free all day long 🙂

  5. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    April 30, 2014 at 6:55 pm (5 years ago)

    I sat outside this morning and had a blub after my boys 2.5 and 4 refused to play outside so I could get just a big of paid work done!!! When we picked up their big sister from school they were all out there so easily!! It’s tough, 2s suck badly. Hang in there, a good cry is good for the soul! xx

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh ABSOLUTELY Emily! It’s like an instant pressure release. Lol. I will never understand the crazy mind of the two year old.. NEVER!

  6. Jess
    May 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm (5 years ago)

    It truely feels like fate that I have read this post tonight as I experienced all of the above today minus the crazy dog chasing 😉 and was feeling just like you were. Two year olds certainly are an uphill battle some days however that little snuggle & peck on the cheek makes your heart just melt xx

  7. EssentiallyJess
    May 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm (5 years ago)

    I think we have all been there, and can I just say that pinning a child down to change his nappy, IS good mothering! It needed to be done, and you showed him that you’re the boss, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
    Hope the week got better for you. xxx

    • Not Just A Mummy
      May 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Jess! Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do! Thankfully the week DID improve and I’ve managed to implement a number of nappy changing strategies to prevent things ending in tears again.. So far, so good!


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