It’s pretty much a given, in any other job in the world, that once in a while you get a day off. Whether you get the standard Saturday & Sunday every week, or you get a random couple of days depending on your work rota, you expect a couple of days off, and you expect a certain amount of holiday time, to take a week or two off to totally unwind.
Motherhood is the exception. I realised the other day that since The Boy was born, I hadn’t been away from him overnight, I haven’t had any real amount of time where I’m not responsible for his wellbeing, I haven’t had any real time to spend with The Hubby, and when I do get the opportunity to relax while The Boy is asleep, I end up working so I don’t really get to unwind.
Recently I’m realising that isn’t a good thing; That needing a break every now and then maybe doesn’t mean I’m not doing a good job, it maybe doesn’t mean that I’m rubbish at being a mum; It just means maybe I’m human, and I need a break every now and then.
When The Hubby does loose his job (still no further date than the 17th July, so that’s only a couple of weeks away) we’re going to leave my mum here to take care of our dogs, and The Hubby, The Boy and myself will go to her holiday home, for a long weekend, to chill and have some proper family time. After that, I’m hoping to maybe get my mum or mum-in-law to take The Boy for a weekend, so that The Hubby and I can have some proper couple time; It’s been a very long time since we spent an evening together relaxing, and I think we could both do with it.
I just wish I didn’t feel so damn guilty about it. What is it about leaving your baby with someone else that makes you so nervous, even when that someone else is a family member; your own mother for heavens sake – what do I expect her to do? What hasn’t she dealt with before when looking after kids? My brother used to have febrile convulsions when he was younger, sometimes his breathing would stop afterwards, and between her and my dad they coped with that (admittedly my dad’s job – as a frontline ambulance technician – probably did help them cope with that a little better than many couples would have!) I had a mystery virus as a baby myself, and was in hospital for a few days with a raging fever, but they coped. What makes me think they won’t be able to cope taking care of The Boy overnight, or for a weekend? Yet still I worry!
Having said that, the level of concern I feel about leaving The Boy with my own mother is nothing in comparison with leaving him with my mum-in-law. I don’t really know why it worries me so much; I think maybe because she has to make everything into such a huge deal and effort and there’s always an analysis and a breakdown and everything afterwards, that it makes me worried she’d be like that before making any decision about The Boys wellbeing, and in that time of faffing about he’s got bored and roamed off somewhere, or fallen asleep, or eaten the dog biscuits from the bowl on the floor in the front room.
It’s my bone of contention about my in-laws. They’re a lovely couple; they raised a great couple of kids, but their obsession with their dog annoys the hell out of me. It’s a West Highland Terrier and it’s about three years old now, and it rules their life. They’ve had it since he was a pup, and now he’s got them so under the thumb if they go out without him he’ll tear wallpaper off the walls, chew the skirting boards around the house, howl and bark and tear up bits of cardboard and paper, scattering it like confetti around the place. My response is, “Put him in a cage”. Make it a big cage, in the cool of the utility room now the weather is warmer, with his bed, a blanket, a toy or two and a bowl of water and that’s where he goes while you’re out, if you can’t trust him. Their response is that he won’t like it. My argument is, He is your dog, tough shit if he doesn’t like it! We have to lock our girlie dog away in a cage while we’re out, as she’s never got properly housetrained; It sounds awful I know, but we rescued her a couple of years ago, we don’t know her history at all, but we’ve tried every method we’ve found to housetrain, and it doesn’t work. While she’s in the cage overnight and if we’re out, she’s clean; I have no idea where the logic there is, but that’s why the cage works for us with her.
The in-laws won’t do that with their dog. Neither can mum in law go out and leave dad in law in bed (he works nights) with the dog downstairs, as the dog will make such a fuss he’ll wake dad in law. When my sister in law gave birth to her baby a couple of weeks ago, the only way they’d both go and visit was if I went and stayed at their house for the day with the dog.
When we’re at their house with them and the dog, the dog can be a pain in the backside. It barks a lot for attention, as well as climbing up you, licking you and generally being a bit of a pain. I can’t talk; My dogs behave the same way with visitors. The difference being, I’ll get up and get the animal off the visitor and tell it no in a firm voice; If they continue, they end up in the garden. My in laws simper at the dog not to do it in a voice that wouldn’t make a daffodil stand to attention and it goes on for ages and ages before they do anything about it, and when they do something it doesn’t make a difference because the dog runs back and continues anyway, and it starts again.
While I was there on my own, all day (with The Boy obviously) the dog was fine. He played nicely, he slept a lot, he had a couple of treats for doing what he was told, he ate his dinner fine and we had no issues despite a raging thunderstorm and the fact that The Boy has just learned to crawl, so the dog had a baby all over his stuff, in his dinner, playing with his toys.
My point is that my mum in law thinks more about the dog than she does about her grandson; and now my sister in laws husband has said the same thing to The Hubby and myself, and it’s quite obvious he isn’t pleased about it either. Why should you be? You’ve got these gorgeous kids – one almost a year old, one newborn – in your family, and she’s more concerned about leaving the dog behind overnight than she is about a newborn child travelling in a car for over two hours. Its like, Get your priorities straight, yeah? But you can never say it to her, because of her depression, and she’d take it wrongly and then you’d be the one in the wrong, because she’s ill, she doesn’t mean it, it’s just the way she is, she’s always been like this, she’ll never be any different … So what are we meant to do in the meantime? I don’t particularly want her looking after The Boy, given that one of her main concerns about a pushchair was one that she could push one handed so that she can smoke a cigarette at the same time, and whether she could tie the dog lead to the pushchair! But what choice do I get? It’s more logical; She lives much closer than my mum – It’s practical; Because she lives closer – and plus it provides her with some valuable Grandson time – As she won’t come and visit our house because she would have to leave her dog at home alone, and he gets funny when she’s been round here because she goes home smelling of our dogs. And The Hubby wonders why I find her frustrating!! So we end up always going to their house, leaving our dogs home alone, and having to cart The Boy and a pile of stuff in my little car, and hoping that the little car will survive the journey there and back, because it hasn’t been very well recently and it doesn’t seem to be feeling much better!!
Anyway, The Boy wants my attention … He is teething, poor thing, and I think it’s his molars coming through judging by the fuss. I’m seriously considering an amber teething anklet or bracelet (I don’t like the idea of a necklace on him) my friend swears by them but I’m not convinced, and while £10 may not be a lot to fork out if it works in comparison to paying out for Teetha granules or Calpol, it is a lot to fork out if it doesn’t work, especially with The Hubby about to be made unemployed.
The depression of a boring Sunday when you’re overtired and desperate for a rest! Such a long day yesterday; And The Boy didn’t sleep well, so neither did we, and then The Hubby was up and out early this morning for work, so it’s just been me and The Boy and the dogs (who haven’t been too bad today, but still doing my head in on a minor level)
Bye for now x