Sunday, 19 February 2012

When being a mum is tough

We have had some struggles this week.

The day after I wrote my post about Mayana’s kindy lunches and how happy I was that they seemed to be working well, it all went downhill. For a few days in a row, more and more food came home in her lunchbox, then we started having fights every breakfast and dinner time. We basically had to force-feed her dinner for about three nights in a row, and then we had one day where she ate no breakfast, no Kindy food and no dinner, aside from the one mouthful she held in her mouth for almost half an hour before finally swallowing. That night ended in many many tears… from both of us.

I know in my head that she won’t starve herself… I know all of those arguments. But, I also know that for her entire three years of life, pretty much every person I have ever met has commented about how small she is. I know how crap it was to be told she had ‘Failure to Thrive’ when she was a baby, and that if she contracted any kind of significant illness, her size would mean that she possibly wouldn’t survive it. I remember weighing nappies, and weekly disappointing weigh-ins and fortnightly urine tests. And those memories kind of come flooding back when we go through phases like this, and make me a bit crazy and paranoid.

Of course, the day after I lost the plot about her lack of eating, she ate an entire bowl of bircher muesli for breakfast, came home with an empty lunchbox and had seconds at dinner… leaving me feeling like a complete idiot.

She has also been a little trying in other ways these past few weeks… just frustrating little things and bad behaviours that are made more frustrating by the fact that she knows better. ‘Listening Ears’ and ‘Good Choices’ are the buzz words in our house at the moment. I have no doubt that it is not coincidence that her behaviour has changed so drastically at the same time as she’s started going to Kindy practically full-time. It’s definitely not an ideal situation, and I’m really glad that we only have to do it for a few more weeks.

The Kindy days are huge, and added to that is the fact that she is in her Papa’s Kindy room, and has to share him with 20+ other kids, when he’s been all hers for the past 12 months. A friend of mine suggested that the food thing might be more of a control issue – in that it is one thing that at the moment she can control amidst all this change in her life. I’m inclined to think this might be the case.

It’s been an interesting week trying to sort through all of this in my head. This process for me I think has been made much harder with my pregnancy-hormone-charged emotions, and I also think that is making my fuse that much shorter and wearing my patience with her thin far more quickly than it should.  Mayana is an absolute delight, and even at her worst she’s really never a naughty kid. It’s tricky finding a balance between where to give her a bit of leeway, understanding that she is just trying to process how much her life has changed in the past few weeks, and not wanting to let her get away with too much and create bad habits. I just adore her so much, and on our bad days, when I know that I’ve snapped at her too much, my heart hurts so bad when I go in at night to kiss her while she’s sleeping. She’s so gorgeous and smart and brave and I am so blessed to be her Mama and I want to be the Mama that she deserves.

I love being a Mum, and most days I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job. But this week has definitely been tough.


  1. Oh Zoey,
    I wish that a) I could somehoow help, and that b) you didn't have to deal with this at all.
    Praying for wisdom for you & Pete to know how much leway to give her, and when to put your foot down.
    Hopefully things get back to normal a bit once you're on maternity leave!

  2. What a week.
    I hope this week feels much calmer.
    I think you've said it all.
    Your gorgeous little girl is just making sense of everything in ways that often don't make sense to us.
    It's so, so hard not to get sucked into negative cycles.
    Been there, done that at the dinner table and it's awful - especially when we haven't seen them all day..
    Wishing you all a happier week.
    :-) xx


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