Our Biggest Parenting Challenge Yet

In the past, both on this blog and in general conversation with people we know, we have often talked about how Jesse is a really cruisy baby. And about how lucky we have been because he’s such a happy baby.

“Nah, he hardly ever cries”, we would say. “He’s a pretty chilled baby”.

Well, all that has changed. Our once chilled, happy, easy going baby has turned into a restless, upset, cranky, screaming bubba that is often hard to settle. The culprit? Based on all the evidence we have and research we’ve undertaken, the most likely explanation is that he is starting to go through teething.

So with that, I would like to say that this past week of parenting for us, has been hard. Hard because after becoming accustomed to having such a happy, well behaved baby for the better part of the past 6 months, it has been a little difficult coming to terms with and adjusting to a baby that is cranky and unsettled a lot of the time.

But while it has been hard for us both, it has been especially hard for Renee. When you are a stay-at-home mum and have a baby that demands your full attention for so much of the day and night, it can start to take its toll. But Renee has soldiered on. Being a pillar of support for Jesse and also being a rock for me when I get stressed. And for this reason, words can’t even begin to express my gratitude toward Renee for this.

That said, there is one (huge) thing that both Renee and I need to consider and reflect on. And that is that Jesse is not doing this just for the hell of it. He is not putting us through our paces as parents just because he feels like it. Jesse is genuinely upset, unhappy, and in pain.

When he is uncontrollably crying and just won’t settle down no matter what we try. It’s because he is in discomfort and in pain.

When he keeps waking up every couple of hours during the night because he is unsettled. It’s because he just wants a cuddle and to be comforted.

When he won’t settle in my arms no matter what I do, but will stop crying when he gets his mummy. I need to realise that it’s not that he doesn’t like me. It’s just that he wants his mummy at that moment. Mostly I think, because mummy has the boobs.

And when he won’t take his bottle no matter how many different ways we try to give it to him. It’s because his gums are sensitive and hurt. But taking comfort in knowing that he is still getting nourishment through puree’s and mummy’s boobs.

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We know that babies have limited communication skills. So when it comes to communicating with mums and dads, the only thing babies can really do is cry. And for this reason, we do know that for the moment, the constant crying and unsettled nature is just his way of communicating that something is just not quite right.

I will at this point say this. We aren’t naive about the struggles of having a newborn. We are well aware that there will be parents out there that have had unsettled babies since they were born. Babies with colic. Babies with reflux. The fact that we are going through this rough patch isn’t even a blip compared to what some parents go through with their own babies.

And these parents in our eyes, deserve to be commended. We can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to have a baby that cries all the time. You must be super parents to be able to navigate your way through the days with a constantly unsettled bubba.

I hereby dub you ‘Super Mum’ and ‘Super Dad’! High five!

I know that the mere fact we have had such a happy and healthy baby leading up to this dreaded teething period has been an absolute blessing. And really, in the grand scheme of things, we really don’t have anything to complain about. And despite the fact that he is going through an unsettled period, he still does give us glimpses of his usual self (happy go lucky Jesse), he is healthy, and he is still bloody cute.

But it’s still tough… Being first time parents and never experiencing this before, ever, and trying to get a grasp of and work through this rough period with Jesse is tough. But I have absolute faith that together, as a unit, we are strong and will work through it and come out the other side with an even happier baby than we had before.

And to all my fellow mums and dads out there (especially the first timers)… we got this! We can do this! And if there is only one thing that you get from this post, I hope it’s that you are not alone in your struggles! Everyone goes through rough patches.

So let’s support each other and get through this together!

We got this!

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