A question I’ve asked myself for as long as I can remember. I’m no saint but im definitely not a bad person. Ive always lived my life trying to please everyone and trying to make people happy and yet I still ask.
As a kid I was bullied throughout school, it still haunts me now. It wasnt what you would call serious bullying just the typical name calling, horrible stuff kids come out with that most people have probably endured during their lives but for me it hit a nerve and its never gone away. I always wondered what I had done to deserve that; I was good, okay maybe a bit too good and I always wanted to learn (a bit of a square for the 90s kids reading) but I had a good group of friends and I was happy yet I remember the bullying so clearly. Does ANYONE deserve to have something like that stay with them for as long as I have?
I began asking myself the same question when I met Luke. I didnt feel like I deserved to be so loved by someone else. I found it bizarre that someone older than me wanted to spend time with me; wanted to marry me. 12 years later I still find it a mystery why he hasn’t left me for someone better. I love that man with all my heart and ive always tried to give him everything he deserved and yet I still think he deserves better. I tormented myself with that thought when Jason died. If I had truly given him everything then I should have his Son with me too. I failed him as a wife and I know deep down there is someone in this world that wouldn’t and yet he is still here.
Jasons death brought a whole new meaning to “do I deserve this?” For once I wasnt questioning anything other than what I had done wrong. I convinced myself something as awful as your baby dieing must only happen to the worst kinds of people. Unfortunately, I know too many amazing people who have also lost their child and none of them deserved it! Nobody does! It doesnt matter who you are or what youve done, baby loss can happen to anyone.
Now Ellie is here I feel like I am losing my confidence in being a mum. Mothering Jason was so different to what I expected and I had to find ways to be his mum even though he wasnt here. I didnt get to dress him or feed him, I didnt get to mother him in the conventional way. I cuddled him and talked to him, I cried on him and I begged him to wake up; when Ellie was born I was suddenly thrown into a whole new world of motherhood. One where I could dress her and hear her cry. I play with her, I cuddle her, I take thousands of pictures, all this is normal yet I feel like I dont deserve to be her mum. Once again I feel like there is someone who could do a better job. Ellie is such a clingy toddler and she needs me 24/7 when she wakes in the night she cries for Mama, when she wakes in the morning she shouts for mama, she is there all the time and at risk of sounding ungrateful for her (which I can assure you is definitely not the case) I know the constant neediness is draining me. I feel myself lose my patience more than i want to. I don’t spend as much time playing because I just need 5 minutes alone. We watch far too much cBeebies and Ellie eats way more fish fingers and chicken nuggets than I like to admit too. More than anything in the world I wanted to be a mum, now I have it and it really is such an amazing gift that I cherish every day but it still remains that I find being a mum hard. Ive never been selfish, ive always put everyone else first but now I feel so selfish for wanting a bit of time to myself which in turn makes the mum guilt appear too. Its a vicious circle and I dont know if I will ever break it.
Even though at times I feel like the worst mum ever when I sit and rationalise everything I have been through to get to this moment I kknowI deserve this and I want this and I love being a Mum. I dont know what triggers this doubt; grief, PND, birth trauma, previous experiences, a general lack of confidence but I do know that I am successful at getting through those bad days and we are all battling this parenting job in one way or another.
Be kind to yourself; you may not believe it but you are doing an amazing job!