When every day is a bad day
No parent ‘does it well’ all of the time. All parents have bad days and most go through times when one bad day seems to follow another. Since you can’t resign and hand in your notice or take a week off, you have to find a way of making life work.
When you are tired, sleep deprived or in a bad mood, or when your child is cranky from reflux symptoms, it can be hard to get on together to get through the day. You can end up arguing with people around you, even the smallest things will seem like a ‘huge deal’. If you go out to work some of the time, it can be disappointing spending the time with your child, in a bad mood too and this can bring on feelings of guilt, aswell as low mood.
Sometimes knowing what makes you cross or upset makes things seem harder to overcome and tension and anxiety escalates, while you reprimand yourself ‘you shouldn’t be feeling like this’. My words of comfort: STOP! START AGAIN!
When you are in a bad patch, a small change in routine or the way you do things can make a difference. When reflux symptoms become cyclical, regular occurrences you can be difficult to control or change.
Do things at different times – Do difficult things with your child when they are least tired. Perhaps dress them after a feed, rather than before.
Find things that you both enjoy – It’s important that your child feeds off your happiness and doing things together that make you both happy, is a good way to achieve this. Half the battle coping with baby reflux is the way it makes the parents feel, which is often projected to the baby unwittingly. If nap time feels good for you both, take a nap together.
Ask yourself – is the thing you are getting upset about really worth it? Can it be left for another time when you are less tired?
Don’t expect too much – Take each and everything in your day at a level pace and don’t over stretch yourself.
Talk – It does help to talk with others about how you feel. It’s often said that ‘only parents understand’. A lot look very calm and capable from the outside, but alone at home with baby, most get frustrated too. Look out for parental forums and groups where the conversation is moderated.