Sorry for the impromptu leave of absence I seem to have taken over the last wee while! No excuse really, except, as always, life is very busy! This is now over a week late and I considered not posting it after all, but it was already written, so hey ho, here we are!
This has been a strange week. A hard week, but one which has helped me to remember a few important things.
On Monday, LB and I went swimming. There were loads of babies at the pool, having varying degrees of fun and LB was mostly pretty tolerant, but on taking her out and trying to dress her, she shrieked like a banshee and wouldn't stop until she was in the sling heading home. On Tuesday, we went over to a friend's house for coffee and a play, and LB cried. She cried and cried. My friend's son didn't cry. He played nicely with his toys, took a bottle and fell asleep for his 4pm nap like a champ. Wednesday only brought more tears and on Thursday LB had about 10 minutes of awake time where she wasn't crying. Nothing would console her. She didn't want cuddles, she wasn't hungry, tired, bored or ill. She didn't want to be left to her own devices and she didn't want attention. She just cried. All day. By the time Papa Bear got home, I was crying too. Disaster. I handed him the baby and went to bed, not exactly feeling like a contender for mother of the year. I wanted to be all alone with my misery and crappy parenting skills.
But then PB put Little Bear to bed and he stayed in her room all night so I could sleep. I cancelled a planned trip into town the next morning to see friends, informing them that LB was 'being quite challenging' (ha!), and they came to me instead, bringing cake and lunch and cuddles for me and LB. Another friend came over on Friday night to babysit so Papa Bear and I could go out for dinner and then at the weekend yet another of our friends presented us with a few days' worth of home cooked meals for the freezer.
And I felt revived.
I remembered that they say it takes a village to raise a child, and we do have a village of friends around us who want to help. They are actually really pleased to help in small ways that are, in fact, huge- making a meal, picking up the baby when she cries, washing the dishes, bringing cake. These things are game changers, and people really are delighted to do them for us. It's so tempting to withdraw when things are hard, to reject the things that make you happy and the people who want to take care of you, because you feel like you aren't worth it (or I do anyway). It's silly to do that though, because writing this on Saturday night, I can hardly even remember why I felt so low two nights ago. A few acts of kindness and a good night's sleep and I'm a new woman.
So what about you? What acts of kindness have made your week? What has happened that has made you feel lucky to be who you are?