The things I didn’t know I wouldn’t know.

Miss Veggie Baby has been sick this week. Snotty, dribbly, incredibly out of sorts and not sleeping.

Two nights ago she screamed inconsolably for ages, which is incredibly out of character for her, and I found myself wondering… is it something I did?

And I realised this has been quite a running theme throughout the last six months… is her behaviour from something I’ve done? Something I haven’t done? Are the choices I’ve made the right ones? Why is she crying like that? Why hasn’t she pooped today? Does she hate my cooking? What if?

Given that they can’t tell you what is wrong, one is reduced to insane guesswork, leaping further and further into assumptions and musings and plain old guilt.

Was she crying because she was teething? She was immunised the day before, could that have been it? Was she reacting to the eggplant puree she’d had for dinner for the first time? Did her stomach hurt? Was she tired? Was she hungry? Would going for a walk in the fresh air help? Was it because I ate that English mustard when I was 8 months pregnant with her?

Did I put enough sunscreen on her? Is the water too cold for her feet? Should we sit more in the shade? Is it ok if she eats the sand?
That thing hasn’t been sterilised, should she put it in her mouth?
Should I really let the cat sleep with her? They love each other so much and he has never hurt her. He just curls up at her feet. They need to co-exist in the same house, should I let them be friends right from the start? Should I lock him in the other room?
Should she be eating a rusk and lying down? She seems to like it. Should she even be eating a rusk at this age? Did I start solids too early? Should I really be buying her pink things? Is she watching too much TV? Should I not have turned the TV on until she was two?
It’s been strange for me, as I love researching and I love knowing and I love being in control. I love knowing what to expect, and what to do when it happens. Nobody ever told me I’d spend the rest of my highly-educated life staring at a crying baby and knowing nothing concrete, just going with my gut.
But what if my gut is wrong?
Augh!
  • http://twitter.com/mums_word Maria Tedeschi

    4 kids later I can tell you that your gut is never wrong. Your gut is your best friend, never doubt it.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  • designermamas

    Ahh the good old guess work of motherhood!  I'm still guessing with my 4th so I can assure you it never ends!  x

  • http://www.wheresmyglow.com Glowless

    1. Immunizations can affect the day after
    2. Teething is a bitch (even with amber beads)
    3. You're an awesome mama

  • http://www.singularinsanity.com/ Dorothy @ Singular Insanity

    You are gorgeous, Stacey.  You so aptly describe what every first time mum feels and thinks.  It is such a hugely unchartered territory, because each baby is different and each mother is different and nobody can really give you the answers.  You have to work them out yourself, so I'd say read the books, do your research, ask the questions and then go with your gut!

  • http://www.theimperfectmum.com.au/ The Imperfect Mum

    Your gut is never wrong.. I always go with my gut.. Although sometimes I don't know what it's saying… Generally when I'm tired and stressed.. Good post!! Very true I found motherhood quite overwhelming especially when you don't know what's going on.. Xx

  • http://www.stuffwiththing.com Marita

    Oh wow that is so how I felt with both my babies, even now they can talk i still question everything I thought I knew.

  • http://goodgoog.com Zoey @ Good Goog

    I have really crap intuition when it comes to my babies. You know how people can tell a hungry cry from a tired cry from a dirty nappy cry from a teething cry. I can't. I'm trial and error all the way.

    I definitely had no concept of the depth and scale of my worries before they were born. Right now I'm trying to make a preschool decision and the worry around it is almost paralysing. Because it seems like such an important one, one that will affect so many other things and I need it to be the right one. It doesn't help that my own time at school was traumatic. It feeds into my decision way too much.

    Not that you asked, but I love that you let the cat sleep with her. I couldn't do that with Riley because the cat was a little obsessed with sleeping on or near heads, but I think it's lovely. And they will be such great friends for such a long time.

    You are an awesome mama.

  • Bree

    I'm no mama, but she looks like a pretty happy, healthy baby to me. You must be doing a great job :)

  • Alyce Ismail

    Ooh, I had the I-don't-know-why crying tonight too… I blame the Deep Heat I had just put on coz she did not want one bar of me :( This is the girl who never wants anyone BUT me!
    PS – I havn't even started solids yet because I can't be bothered… does THAT make me a bad mummy?! No excuses soon though… 6 months this week :S

  • Nathalie

    I read your post this morning and it made me cry (It's OK lack of sleep makes me emotional) . I cried because You stated what every mother feels, although I work with children day in and day out, when it came to my own I was exactly like you. What I've learnt is that a mother's gut instinct is there for a reason and it works. Babies cry, toddlers cry, children cry, adults cry. Your Miss Veggie baby looks like one ver happy content darling angel. Nx

  • Lidian

    You are doing an awesome job and not knowing what to do – and going through all those possibilities so beautifully – just proves it all over again :) I remember thinking the same kinds of things – with my second one, too – and they both turned out just fine. The gorgeous photos made me misty – my girls are teenagers now and I wish I could have them back as babies just for an afternoon, sometimes!

  • veggiemama

    I had a feeling that would be the case…!

  • veggiemama

    Thank you gorgeous. I'm not sure these beads are doing anything!

  • veggiemama

    Now this is advice I can use! <3

  • veggiemama

    I don't like guessing, even educated guessing… but I'm getting used to the fact it's what you have to do xx

  • veggiemama

    I had no idea I was going to be so clueless. Crazy.

  • veggiemama

    Thank you darling. I wonder how I'll feel when I have to make bigger decisions than just pumpkin vs carrot for dinner! You're right – everything affects everything else, and you just have to pick something and go with it, changing it if you realise you've made the wrong choice. We're trial and error all the way here!

  • veggiemama

    Thank you beautiful… I think I'm doing all right… I'm sure once she gets to 16 she'll tell me I ruined her life! I think we all do that :)

  • veggiemama

    If you're feeding your kid, then you can't be a bad mum! I love Deep Heat…

  • veggiemama

    You're right… crying is such a normal part of human behaviour. I'm so fortunate she rarely does it, but when she does I immediately think it's pain-related! I think my instinct is pretty spot on, but those doubts creep in… I'm sure they always will. Thanks for stopping by with such a beautiful comment x

  • veggiemama

    I try to remember it will all be ok in the end! Thank you so much x

  • http://twitter.com/MeganBlandford Megan Blandford

    I hear you – that guilt keeps going, but you learn to get used to it. I remember saying to someone very early on, when they asked me how I was going – “I'm just making it up as I go along!” and they said, “Well, that's parenting, so you're doing it right”.

    You're doing everything you instinctually know to be the best for your gorgeous girl. Keep doing that, and everything will be wonderful. (Oh, and sometimes it's just about what gets you through the day, too – and that's OK.) x

  • http://bigwordsblog.blogspot.com bigwords

    You are a great Mum. You need to remember to trust your gut and remember that cute little squishy veggie baby of yours is a little person with her own thoughts – sometimes she might just be grumpy or sad or cheeky. Oh, and did I say you are a FAB mum!  xx

  • http://www.mummyautobiography.blogspot.com Miss Pink

    Follow your gut.
    In the end we all have teenagers that scream “I HATE YOU” for something or other, and adults who come running home because they need their mum at some point. Do what you think is right in the moment, do whatever the heck works in the moment, and know that your child will love you in the end, no matter what.

  • http://www.goodgollyholly.com Holly Homemaker

    I'm with Zoey, trial and error all the way! Remember, you're learning and Veggie Baby is learning. Maternal instincts are ace, but don't beat yourself up when if you don't get it right the first time x

  • Madam Bipolar

    You are a great Mum.
    Alas I have no answers to your questions.

  • http://twitter.com/Pretty_Fluffy Serena Faber Nelson

    Awww the picture of her with the cat is adorable….She looks very happy, give yourself a gold star x

  • seraphimsp

    Great questions. Eight years in and I am still very hit and miss at parenting. But I've gotten better at knowing that I am doing my best and spending less time second guessing myself. Except for when I get it wrong. Which is a lot! you're a gorgeous mama and the fact that you are thinking it all through like this is testament to what a great parent your are xxx

  • MummyK

    You're doing fine :) I know we usually don't believe that but it is true.

  • Honey Holden

    Aww..this post is so sweet!  It's so tough when we don't know EXACTLY what to do to help our babies and provide the best!  You are doing such a great job…seriously, the most important thing you can do for children is smother them with love.  And THAT you are doing perfectly!!  Lord knows how often  I was clueless of stuff when my girls were little and by His grace….they survived my many mistakes!  You got this girl!  :)

  • http://magnetoboldtoo.com Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo

    I love you.

    My oldest baby turns TWENTY next month and I still feel the same way.

    x

  • veggiemama

    Hahah I definitely am making it up as I go along! That's perfect! But without a manual, how else are you supposed to if you've never done it before? Thank you x

  • veggiemama

    You're so right, I do forget that – what if she's just feeling a bit blah? You're too sweet, thank you x

  • veggiemama

    I have thought about this myself… nobody is more important to a kid than their mum, no matter what happens. It will all even out in the end, I guess x

  • veggiemama

    You are awesome :)

  • veggiemama

    Thank you… and that cat is just too sweet around her!

  • veggiemama

    Thank you… it's kind of like “I think, therefore I am”… I worry, therefore I am a mum. I do want to get it right, but I all I can do is my best. And when I'm wrong, learn from it and do better next time. I think it will always be a work in progress x

  • veggiemama

    Surely she will survive mine! Your girls are just beautiful, inside and out, as you know. If that's where love gets you, then Veggie Baby will be fine! <3

  • veggiemama

    I actually think it would be harder at that age… hell it's hard at any age. Let's just stick together, huh? xxx

  • http://magnetoboldtoo.com Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo

    that we will, my lovely.

  • Amycakes107

    Love this post.  I think the fact that you are worrying about getting it right, means that you are most likely getting it right 99.9% of the time! They are tricky little things aren't they?!?!  We have a long road of being unsure ahead I suspect.  I bought my mum a fridge magnet that said “the first 40 years of parenthood is the hardest”!  She agrees!
    In my brief 3 years experience, I think that overall, things get so much easier as time goes on. Especially once they can talk.  Although, I think overall it's my instincts that have gotten more settled in to the mama job as time has gone on.
    Looks like you're an awesome mama.
    Amy xoxo

  • veggiemama

    Hahah 40 years? Oh lordy! but I totally understand… I'm surprised how well I've done so far, but that doubt does creep in when things don't go as you expect :)

  • sarahbraaksma

    sounds like me worrying about every choice and what you did wrong.. just trust your gut~ I don't think a mums gut will lead them wrong! there's nothing about motherhood that concrete its all about working it out as you go along.. scary stuff! xx

  • http://www.maidinaustralia.com maidinaustralia

    Just – go with your gut girl. A mother's gut is rarely wrong!

  • http://www.theparentingfiles.com.au the parenting files – tahlia

    Hate not knowing! The questions, more questions and more. Teething is such a bitch! And we will never know the answer. We just have to go with our gut and a bit of guess work! Your doing great!

  • veggiemama

    yep, it's the working it out as I go along that has been the most interesting thing… you just can't know in advance! 

  • veggiemama

    Thank you! I'm better about it than I thought I'd be, but it's still crazy having to make an educated guess..

  • Mia’s Mum

    Go with the gut I say! 
    Your stream of questions there could have been pulled directly from my brain…have you been stealing my thoughts?
    I'm not a person that is ok with the “not knowing” either, but as I say, “All you can do is do your best and hope for the best!”
    Visiting you from Digi Parents featured posts

  • veggiemama

    Best advice ever. Really. xxxxx

  • Lisa Lou

    If your gut is wrong that is because it belongs to a human being, and that's ok :)

  • http://www.theveggiemama.com Veggie Mama

    That definitely makes me feel better! Thank you x

  • http://www.theveggiemama.com Veggie Mama

    It's very possible! What with the no sleeping and stuff, I need to steal thoughts in order to look and sound like a functioning human being :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by x