Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: All by myself

Thursday, January 31, 2013

All by myself

Photo: youthvoices.net
Daughter has come to an age when she wants to do everything by herself. Eating, putting her clothes on, climbing to her cot and brushing her teeth among other tasks take ages nowadays. She's constantly acting beyond her skills which I actually greatly admire. My thoughts started wondering and I ended up thinking why our society values such individualism that it does. Because in Finland you have to be able to do everything by yourself, otherwise you're considered to be weak. The individualistic thinking of today hits especially hard families with small children. Because taking care of small kids all by yourself is bloody tough.

I know what I'm talking about here. I needed to break down before I got any help with the kids. After Son and Daughter were born Husband was around during his paternity leave, three weeks. After that he vanished back to work and continued his life relatively the same that it used to be before the baby was born. I could never expect him to come home before 8 PM. So I was left home with a newborn baby and all housework and cooking. After Daughter was born I naturally also had a toddler to look after. The first time, when Son was born, I somehow managed although I was extremely tired and regretted having a baby in the first place. The second time I could do it for about three months before I collapsed.

When I had no power left to manage through the days by myself I started crying. Spontaneously, anywhere, without a specific reason. Most often alone or with the kids though. I stayed up during the night with Daughter and got up in the morning with Son. At last I was too tired to get out of bed in the morning. I yelled at Son and just hated my life in general. I told Husband how tired I was. He immediately responded with telling how extremely tired he was because of work. I stopped telling him because he obviously had it tougher than me. I told Mother but she was too busy with watching TV and surfing with her computer to really care. At last I broke down in front of Husband and the kids when we were supposed to leave on a trip. That woke Husband up. But instead of supporting or trying to help he started to blame me and considered himself as a victim. Still today I'm unable to understand his logic and if we will divorce one of these days this will be a major reason. For me it's really hard to accept that Husband gave me zero sympathy when I was having the toughest time of my life.

At the end it was both my and Husband's parents who saved us. They took care of Son so that I was able to concentrate on Daughter who was just a couple of months old. Husband continued blaming me and told me repeatedly how Son will suffer from this arrangement. I still disagree with him.

An Australian-Thai couple, friends of ours living in Australia, had a baby. When the baby was born, several relatives flew from Thailand to help the new family for a couple of months. When I heard about it I couldn't help thinking that we would have needed support just like that. But that's out of question in Finland. Here families are supposed to make it by themselves. It's considered inappropriate to put one's nose in anyone else's lives. In my opinion that's simply wrong. This culture of endless individualism will destroy families more than cancer.

For a new family there's nothing more important than practical help from friends and family. I was too proud or weak to cry loud enough to get help when I needed it. You others - don't make the same mistake. I won't do it this time either.

2 comments:

  1. I found your blog by accident, and am a first time visitor here. It feels a bit odd to say this to a complete stranger over the internet, but reading the things you've written here lately, I felt the need to tell you that you are in my thoughts. If such a thing is at all possible to achieve, I am doing my very best to send all good and positive thoughts, as well as courage and empathy, to your general direction. Because you sound like you could use it, and I wish I could be of help.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for commenting! Believe me, you've just helped me to achieve what I've always wanted from this blog: peer support. It's unbelievably great to see that people find my posts interesting. I'd like to generate discussion about these things and hear how others do or don't cope with them.

      And I don't think I'm alone here either, there are others who are worse off. If my posts are of any help to anyone I'm more than happy. That's why I've chosen to allow anonymous comments as well. So spread the word and thanks for stopping by!

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