Thursday, 12 November 2009

Time to put away the books

About a year ago I was pregnant with Little Legs and convinced I was going to be Super Mum. It was in that optimistic madness that I signed up to do an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Psychology via distance learning. I remember colleagues and friends with children looking at me like I had three heads but I thought I knew better. When you've read every leaflet, article and book containing the word "baby" during your pregnancy you're perfectly equipped. Aren't you?

Then Little Legs arrived and my world was turned upside down. She was a beautiful little bundle but she was totally dependent on me and I didn't have a clue. You see she didn't do what it said in the books. My attempts at breastfeeding looked nothing like the pictures in the book, I couldn't even hold her properly. She didn't fit into the times in the Gina Ford book even The Baby Whisperers renowned Eat, Activity, Sleep and You time didn't work. The only activity I managed was looking at Little Legs in my sleep deprived haze, apologising for the fact I was a crap Mum.

My pre reads arrived in August. Of three huge books I managed three chapters. One in each actually. After reading a chapter in one I would put it to one side hoping the next book would be easier, or at least have more pictures.

I had to start interacting via discussion groups with my fellow students. It was then I realised I was completely and utterly out of my depth. Debates about 'crime genes' and 'psychopathy' went way over my head. No one wanted to discuss whether Dr Browns bottles really helped with wind, or bedtime routines or the pros and cons of baby led weaning. But I did. I struggled on but last week had to admit that it was time to call it a day. Today I received an email confirming I have been officially withdrawn from the course.

At first I felt sad, like I'd failed but now as I put the books away I feel a sense of relief. My baby brain may have replaced my academic one temporarily, but I'm happy with that. Over 6 months I've learnt to be a Mum and I'm not brilliant but I'm not bad either. Right now I can look Little Legs in the eye and I've got nothing to apologise for because we're doing okay.

One day I'll dust the books off and dive straight back into my studies but for now I'm delighted with my lot, she's gorgeous.


  1. I know that feeling. the baby brian stage will pass and you'll be back to your almost old self. in the mean time take advantage of it and take time to rest, relax and spend it with baby rather than beating yourself up for all you are not acheiving.

  2. Well done - its hard admitting that we can't do everything like we used to, I've recently quit work to be a full time Mum and while it drives me nuts to think that I could be working, trying to get a pay rise or promotion and learning new skills I would rather be at home with the kids for a few years.

    You'll pick up the books in a year or so and realise you understand it all perfectly (but then you'll probably decide to have another baby and the baby brain thing will start again!)

  3. Thank you so much for the comments. Its been a bit of a weight off just admitting and accepting that I can't do everything x