No. We are all struggling one way or another, every single one of us. I don't know if anyone does bother to read this or not and its entirely possible that it is just a lunch-hour catharsis but if only 1 person reads this and finds some solace then I won't have wasted my time. The main message of today is : Parenting Is Fucking Hard.
I could sit here and wax lyrical about the wonder of watching a life develop and the amazing bond and all that. Yes, that's all true and it's awesome but if you want to read more of that go and hang out in some hippy caffe. For me, when I'm out of bed at 3am with a baby screaming at me with nothing appearing to be wrong other than she fancies screaming at me, it doesn't feel so fucking magical. The main emotions are anger and guilt (as is often the case these days). I am angry, because she is screaming and nothing i do helps. I am angry because its 3am and i have to get up for work at 5, and I am angry because it's been like this for days and days and days and I'm angry because I have no outlet, of course I'm not going to shout at my baby, she's a beautiful little girl just unsure of what's going on in the world.
Then I hate myself, less than half an instant later because I'm the worst person in the world. Who could be cross at a little beautiful girl like the Lizzyface? It's not her fault she can't communicate any other way and i'm sure she's not having a great time either so I hold back the tears of self-hatred an apologize cuddling the Lizzy just begging her quietly to please go to sleep. And then the cycle starts again. Stalin couldn't have devised a torture so effective.
This morning, about 1:30ish I found fergatron sitting on the floor in LizzyFaces room crying. She hasn't slept for days. A double whammy of punishing herself for being a terrible mother not being able to stop the incessant crying that she should be able to handle along with the belief that she must stay up and deal with this as its not fair to expect me to stay up because i have to go to work in the morning have sent her to the edge of despair. She has slept even less than me, and I've had little enough. I put her to bed and demanded that she sleep. She didn't want to and tried to tell me she should be able to cope.
We shouldn't be able to cope. Or rather, by not cracking and not loosing it in front of the baby we do cope. We take it out on each other at times instead, which has it's own risks. Sitting at half past one in the morning, holding your partner and trying to make her believe that you are amazed every day that she hasn't cracked, that she is an amazing mum and that her being able to function and cope with our testing daughter is much more important than any arbitrary job, that is the reality of being a modern father.
I know not everyone will admit to this, and in public people pretend that everything is ok all the time. I think these people cheapen everyone's struggle, and the cracks eventually begin to show. If you read this and you are pretending everything is ok, take it from me you are doing an amazing job and being honest about how difficult it is doesn't take anything away from you. You should feel empowered to stand up and say, yes i love my baby, no i'd never hurt them but sometimes, some days I am fucking struggling.
Fergotron had some sleep, I stayed up for a while with Lizzyface and eventuality got a couple of hours on the sofa. I went into work late - luckily I have an understanding manager. We are luckier than some.
Oh and Lizzyface? She woke up in a fantastic mood. Naturally.