Saturday, December 30, 2006
The last time I went on a family holiday with my sister and parents was 1997, when we all went to Bali. I swore then never to go on a family holiday like that again. Unfortunately, I forgot about that. Not that mum really gave us any input into the arrangements for Melbourne, but with them paying for it all, I wasn't really in a position to argue. Since Amber & Damian returned earlier than the rest of us, Marcos and I stayed in an apartment with my parents. Which meant we were around my mother a LOT. Which also meant she was constantly giving us advice about how to care for Ariana... and it wasn't just advice, but commentary on how poor a job we were doing at parenting, and how she was much more experienced and should look after Ariana more, and we would get the hang of it, eventually... After hearing for the past year how great a job Amber and Damian were doing as parents to Tameka, it was quite a blow to be constantly told I had no idea what I was doing, when I had felt the opposite.
To compound the problem, apparently a variety of other family members agreed with mum, and talked about it a lot (never to me or Marcos though), with the result that Amber on a few occasions took me aside with conversations along the lines of "We can't help noticing that you do..." or "everyone has commented about...". And a few members gave conflicting advice, especially in relation to feeding Ariana, and it got to the point where I no longer felt like I knew what I was doing. Whenever Ariana cried, I no longer knew what to do about it, as I was starting to believe that I didn't know what I was doing, and I started spiralling down into depression.
About halfway through the trip, I wished I was home again, and started counting down the days until we returned. I also started trying to avoid mum as much as possible, going out for meals if they were going to be eating in at the apartment, and declining offers to go on day trips with them. I was also resenting having to take Ariana out so much, which made feeding and changing her much more difficult, and completely threw her out of her normal routine. It also didn't help that I was still recovering from the Caesarian, and as well as being sleep deprived, was also in quite a bit of pain from the operation still, and walking around Melbourne a lot was a little tricky.
It was nice to catch up with family and friends, don't get me wrong... I just think my parents were being overly ambitious in planning for me to travel 3 weeks after having a baby. It's not something I would do again. Ariana was perfect on the place - she just slept through everything - but it's difficult enough adjusting to a new baby without throwing in being in a totally alien environment as well.
It's somewhat of a relief to be back home again. We've been able to get back into some sort of routine, and without the constant comments about my parenting skills, I'm feeling more confident again about raising Ariana. After all, if she isn't complaining, why should everyone else do so? It would be different if she was ill or unhappy, but as my father commented the other day, she is thriving.
The depression hasn't lifted though... I don't know whether it's just hormones, or a combination of other things that makes me cry when the smallest thing goes wrong. I know it's reasonably normal to have the 'baby blues' - but I guess like everyone else, I never thought it would happen to me!