Louisa Claire


I seem to have lost my cruisy-parenting-mojo and I’m not sure how to get it back…

When Bliss was born I had my parenting books at the ready and of course, every second person came armed with advice too! I’ve probably only touched the surface of the books that have been written and while some of them have been great it has often made me wonder if that’s where our confidence is meant to come from? It often feels like there’s just too much information out there for parents and most of the time the ‘experts’ contradict each other!

There was one mum I was friends with who became my “go to” person. She had 4 kids and I liked them, and her, and the way there were with each other. I figured that was a good place to start. I think I chose well because every time I would ring with a question she’d ask me what I thought. She was happy to tell me what it had been like for her and how she’d approach certain things with her own kids but she always empowered me to work out what I thought by reminding me that no one knew Bliss the way I did. She was the only person who did this; mostly people just want to tell you what they did and why you should do it to.

Now that I’ve had three children myself I’ve realised that just because something worlds for one child doesn’t mean it will work for another and so her advice has stood me in really good stead. You can read as many books as you like but at the end of the day no one knows your child as well as you do and you’ve got to trust your own instincts.

But something’s changed.

A few months ago Bluey got sick and I missed it. Badly. We’d had a virus going through the family and when he got it I didn’t think much of it. One night he got quite worked up and The Architect and I considered taking him to hospital. Once we got some panadol into him and he settled in to sleep in my arms, I lay awake in bed for a while wondering if I should be waking him up and taking him in but ultimately I didn’t want to overreact and so let him sleep. I got him to our local doctor early the next day and he did a few obs and then told me we needed to go to the hospital. I casually replied, no worries – I’ll swing by home and grab a few things and then we’ll head in. That wasn’t quite what the doctor had in mind though; a few minutes later he had an ambulance and a fire engine en route to us – whoever got to us first would be taking us in. We spent the next six days in RCH with a few of those nights spent in ICU. Bluey’s oxygen levels had been down in the 60s and his breath/min rate was up in the 80s. If you’ve never had a child with bronchial issues these numbers will mean nothing to you. If you have then you’ll understand why he was where he was. (Oxygen should be 100 and breaths/min should be between 20-40, more than 60 and you’re in trouble).

I didn’t post about it at the time because, well, I was a bit distracted and even now some of the photos feel too personal to share. They probably don’t look like much but they fill me with emotion…

in the ambulance

bluey ambulance

in short stay, waiting to see which way he’d go
bluey sick 2

in ICU
bluey ICU

I was pretty calm that week; level headed enough to realise how lucky we were that it wasn’t more serious, to know that we were in an amazing hospital and that we would be going home soon enough.

But it’s really shaken my confidence.

I don’t trust my intuition anymore. I second guess myself and regularly unsure about whether I’m ‘missing’ things/signs/symptoms.

With three kids to look after a bit of extra caution doesn’t go astray but I don’t like how this feels.

We were back at RCH at the weekend and I ran into one of the nurses who had looked after us when Bluey was admitted. Amazingly she remembered me and we had a lovely chat (gosh the staff there are incredible!) As I walked away I heart her talking talking to another nurse about how calm I had been when a Bluey was in and they had called the MET to have him transferred to ICU. (MET stands for ‘medical emergency team.’ This is when they press a button and at least 15 medical staff come running – literally running – with carts, trolleys and machines to assess the child. Personally, I think the reason I didn’t panic was because the RCH staff had done such a great job at preparing us for it and we knew it was going to be the best thing for Blue). It was delivered as a compliment and I appreciated it – I like that I’m not an overly anxious person in these circumstances – but now I find myself constantly second guessing this trait, and I really don’t like it.

It seems I’ve lost my “they’ll be right” parenting mojo and I’m not really sure how to get it back.







Thoughts on “I seem to have lost my cruisy-parenting-mojo and I’m not sure how to get it back…

  1. I understand, I really do. I had a similar experience with Sebastian when he was in hospital getting big enough to come home. I was so hung up on my emotions about him still being in hospital, that I had completely missed that he had taken a turn for the worse and would have to be returned to a specialist childrens hospital. I am so frustrated that I could have missed what should have been obvious, that I didn’t sense it in some way and respond, that whenever something happens to my kids now I stress and worry about what action to take. Over react? Under react? These days we call a 24 hour house visit doctor. We’ve had them out 6+ times since Seb was born, because I feel so much more relived knowing that a doctor has seen them NOW not in the morning and I don’t feel like a goose dragging them out of bed in the middle of the night for something that may only need antibiotics. It’s horrible feeling like you’ve lost your intuition. Your photo’s are beautiful, but must be so hard to look at. Thank you for sharing xx
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    • Oh Elise, so many thoughts in response to your comment. WOW, what a huge journey you’ve been on – thank you so much for sharing. It’s a tough gig this parenting business, hey?! much love x

  2. Hi louise,
    Its hard to be honest with these situations but I think how you feel happens to a lot of us. Despite my ivf miracle turning 18 this week, I constantly fight with myself to believe this is real and that my infertility is over. I’ve always been intense with all three children and have never been a cruisy mum. I’m scared if I stuff up the dream will be snatched away. Yet when my husband and I first started dreaming and trying, I was so much more laid back and just assumed parenthood was a walk in the park. In fact, we spent so much with other people’s kids we were constantly told what great fun parents we would be. Having to guess at and justify why I wanted children for nine years changed me. But here’s the thing – having children does change you and the changes come depending on how many children you have, their personalities, how others around you respond to your children, how your partner loves and parents your children and whatever else life wants to throw in the mix. And ALL families are different in how they cope and respond. Maybe you aren’t as cruisy and maybe I can’t see if my intensity has lessoned but then all these experiences allow us to bring different choices to the table. No such thing as perfect – just perfect for our families. When criticised for allowing her daughter to have a ride on her dad’s motorbike, Pink replied with “If you don’t like it, then I wouldn’t recommend it for your family’. As a wise woman said “what do you think?”

  3. Hospitals are really weird places. No one visits them just to have a good time, no one just gets up and says – “So, I might take a stroll to the hospital today and have a coffee and see who is around’. So, we all act very differently when we are there and when children are in a mini crisis there is no space for parents to be ‘out of control’. Total calm, deep breathing, careful listening, keeping your wits about you – that is what is needed by parents and that is exactly what you did.

    Bluey is still little. Give yourself some more time and you will find your full confidence again.

    Keep away from those books.

  4. Oh Louisa – this is so normal because when stuff happens to us, stuff that reminds us how quickly life changes, how vulnerable our hold on it all is we begin to look at the world with a different lens. For some it only changes for a while – it flips back when the dust settles – for others to changes for a long time. Be gentle with yourself and maybe even think about talking to someone – normalising that fear and talking about what it meant for you might help you breathe out x
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  5. Oh Louisa, so sorry you all had to go through all of that xx

    None of us would have known what to do. I’m often told I’m overly cautious, but I would have done the same, went to the Dr in the morning if my baby had settled that night.

    You may find yourself extra cautious for a while now, or unsure of your decisions, but trust your instincts and In time you’ll get that cruisy feeling back again.

    You’re an excellent mum xx
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