Letting Go

As a new first time mom I really battled with the notion of letting go.  Throw in seven years of infertility and the idea of letting go was an absolute no-no in my mind.  I wanted to be able to do EVERYTHING for my son.  I so badly wanted to prove that I DESERVED to be his mother.  In my mind that meant that I had to do everything for him myself and I had to do it perfectly.  I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to be the perfect mother.  Throw in some sleep deprivation and a refluxy baby, lets just say things were not always perfect… that meant that the guilt set in.   That useless emotion that gets us no where.

Guilt that I wasn’t doing everything perfectly.  Guilt that I would sit on the bed and hold my son tight,tight, tight in my arms and literally BEG him to go to sleeeeep.  Guilt that I craved sleep more than I craved the desire to care for him.  So I put more pressure on myself.  I battled to allow Cliff to help me.  Cos I had to do it all myself.  In not allowing Cliff to help me, he happily toddled off to bed to sleep most nights and boy then did the resentment set in.  How DARE HE SLEEP WHEN I CANT?? More guilt.  For being a shit wife.  A wife who begrudges her husband his sleep.  Useless, useless, non productive guilt.

On and on and on the circle of pressure on myself and guilt went.  Until one Sunday when Kade was about 3 weeks old my mother came to visit and found me in Kade’s room in a state.  I was overtired, cluster feeding my child and so overwhelmed with this thing called motherhood.  Battling to figure out how to manage it all.  Still trying to figure out this little person who was my child.  She told Cliff to pack a bag for Kade and told me that she was taking my son to the shops for the afternoon.  That I needed a break.  I burst out crying and told her to just take my child away from me cos I wasn’t deserving of being his mother cos I couldn’t cope!  Talk about drama queen!

That afternoon was the first lesson I got in allowing myself to let go.  To allow myself some help and to give myself a break.  I started accepting offers from my family to come over and watch Kade for a few hours so I could sleep.  I started allowing my husband to do more than just change nappies and wash bottles.  I started allowing myself to think that altho no-one could care for Kade like I could (cos lets face it Mom’s always do it best *wink wink*) that maybe their way of caring for him was not so bad after all.

It was not an easy process, and it took some time for the notion of letting go to sink into my stubborn mind.  But I have to admit that allowing myself that “break” made life a lot easier for everyone involved.

I still battle to let go sometimes, but overall think I’ve managed to balance the act of wanting to be everything to my child and allowing myself to remember that in order to do that I too need a break.  It’s still a work in progress, one I’m sure that I’ll never truly master.  All I can hope for is that in allowing myself to let go, that I become a better mother to my son.




10 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. You’re lucky that you got that help after 3 weeks … after almost 3 MONTHS of me doing exactly what you described above with Luca, Dave came home to find me in my little bubble of selfishness with MY baby. He told me that “enough was enough” and that he also needed to have his wife. At first I was gobsmacked, “How dare you!” I screamed at him, and we fought … so, so much. I want to go back to that time and KICK myself. He just wanted to help and he just wanted to know that the old Nicki, his wife, was still in there somewhere. It’s a hard task, letting go. I can only imagine how much harder it was for you, with the years of IF. I think that my main issue (still is actually) was that I didn’t (don’t) have MY mom around to talk to. To ask questions … oy. It’s ALWAYS so damn hard! xxx


  2. Thank goodness for mom’s! Mine arrived from Durban when Dylan was 3 days old and left when he was 3 weeks old. She would come every afternoon, and take him so I could get some sleep. When the tears and exhaustion got too much, she arrived with a bottle of rescue remedy, and of course all her advice really helped. I have not had a real problem “letting go”, and insisted Doug bath Dylan form day 1, so that they could have special bonding time too. Initially I helped and hovered a lot, not because I couldn’t let go, but lets face it, bathing a new born baby is not easy. However being a SAHM, I am Dylan’s world, and so that is why at the end of last year I made the decision to take some me time, and start running, and set myself the 2 Oceans Half Marathon goal. Now when my DH gets home from work, he supervises Dylans supper, and I go running.


  3. The post is very relevant. And I have had my fair share of moments when I have asked my family to please please please look after the baby while I go to the loo, just take a break and walk around or hit the sack…

    It’s a valuable lesson.


  4. I had lots of help from my mom and it was so valuable. I remember one particulatr afternoon where we were both exhausted. My mom poped over with take aways and then sent us both for a nap. It helped soooo much.

    I definately battled with letting go.And I think I still do. I think that a lot of my probems with my nanny involve letting go.


  5. This is something I have really battled with and with twins it was ridiculous to think I could ever do everything. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t feed them both and change them both and do everything for them both at the same time. I hated that I needed help and I have to admit to resenting the help I got. In fact the help made me feel less and less competent. I am still battling this one and had to force myself to go out and buy some jars of baby food just in case I can’t cook it all myself and need some emergency supplies. I know when I open those jars the guilt will set in again.


  6. Letting go is so important, but so difficult. I struggled big time and still do because being a perfectionist I wanted/want things to be perfect. And not being able to ‘cope’ with a baby/toddler or both gives me an inferiority complex. I feel useless. I won’t even start on how useless I feel as a wife!

    I wish I had my Mom close by. But even so, she can’t always help out. I guess because I’m such an introvert, I tend to live my life that way as well – the boys just have to be part of it. I can’t let go even now because I’m a SAHM and while I work from home its very little stress, hubby has to get up and go work in the mornings too and I just take on as many duties as I can – especially the night drills because he needs his sleep (as if I don’t)? I have to try make sure the rest of the house sleeps while Memphis wakes – not an easy task and very tiring some nights.

    So I still struggle to let go. Even after 2 years with Xavier!


  7. Your mom sounds awesome Sam! Who better to show us to let go than our own mom.

    I hope you can look back at that day and realize you were far from any kind of failure 🙂


  8. Letting go is SO challenging to people who want to give it all to the ones they love. Your mom is a blessing to anyone who knows her and she is a huge blessing to you! I am proud of you that you let go for a bit! I am SOOOO proud to see how loved K is. You can see it in his eyes in every picture I see! I love your Mommy heart, I love your sweet profound words, I love you!


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