I Am A Frustrated Parent

This isn’t a post about how my life is ruled by the typical parenting frustrations: not being able to wee alone; lack of sleep; poonamis and projectile vomit and the like.

I would love to be writing about these things.

Yes, really.

I am a frustrated parent, but not for the reason you may imagine.

I am an empty-armed mother. A parent, but with no child to parent.

One of the dictionary definitions of ‘frustrated’ is “a feeling or expressing distress and annoyance resulting from an inability to change or achieve something“.

Yep, with bells on.

There’s nothing I can change about Hugo not being in my arms. If there was, I would be doing it. The inability I have to change the situation is a constant source of distress and annoyance, to put it mildly.

And the inability to achieve: Hugo was a much-wanted baby. I was so looking forward to watching my baby grow and develop. The flip side to not having poonamis and projectile vomit to clean up is not having the wonderful moments to enjoy. No milestones, no first smiles, giggles, crawling, first steps. Or anything else.

When you lose a child you also lose your future with that child. Hopes, dreams, aspirations, the future you had planned with them is all gone. I miss what I should have been doing with Hugo. I am always Hugo’s mummy, of course, but I miss being his mummy. Doing the normal, routine, mundane yet special mummy things for him every day.

I am of the age where the majority of my friends have at least one child. I share an important thing in common with the other mothers: our babies grew in our wombs, we felt their kicks, we looked forward to their birth.

That is where the similarity ends. Their lives are full of all the usual parenting trials and tribulations. Social media is often full of parenting chatter. I don’t mind admitting I am jealous of the chatter. It would probably be more noteworthy if I wasn’t jealous.

I am a mummy. I am a proud member of the mummy/parenting blog community. I am so grateful for all my wonderful, loving, supportive friends, blogging and non-blogging alike. Not being able to get involved in the parenting chatter can feel a little isolating, though. I have nothing to contribute to those conversations.

Believe it or not, I would love to have a poonami to tweet about. Or sick to clear up.

More than anything, I would love to be talking about my seven month old (the age Hugo would be if he was born on his due date) and all the cute things he is doing. How quickly he is growing up.

Hugo lived for 35 precious days. I did all the mummy things I was able to do for him: expressed my breast milk, changed his nappy, helped wash him, read to him, sang to him, cuddled him as much as I was able. I am grateful for all of these moments. I am grateful especially as there was a 50% chance that Hugo would have died during or shortly after birth.

Those memories, that knowledge does not diminish the pain, or the longing though. They do not stop me thinking how bloody unfair it all is.

I am bereft.

While I am jealous of the chatter, (I know they are usually observations, statements of fact, not complaints) I am not begrudging it, nor am I trying to make other parents feel guilty or bad. I am saying how it feels to be an empty-armed mother. And for me that involves being jealous of mothers who have been up in the night cleaning up sick and poo.

Crazy world, isn’t it?

Hugo enjoying a cuddle

Hugo enjoying a cuddle




14 Comments on I Am A Frustrated Parent

  1. mummyshambles
    February 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm (5 years ago)

    I think we all have a moan now and then – as an outlet – certainly not to upset people and but it must be hard to hear it when you’ve suffered loss as you have. With all my heart, I wish that you were writing posts of a different kind…
    These posts touch my heart and do remind me how fortunate I am. Sending much love X

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you, lovely. It’s about me saying how it is, rather than about what anyone else does…thanks for your kind comment xxx

  2. Alyssa @ Mum to a monster
    February 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm (5 years ago)

    I do moan sometimes but I would hate to think I upset people. I wouldn’t change J for the world. I can honesty say Hugo lives on, as everything you have wrote in this blog to raise awareness has been read by several people. I know your story has personally brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm (5 years ago)

      No one’s comments have upset me lovely, as I say in the post I don’t begrudge or want anyone to feel bad, I’m just saying how it feels. Thank you for reading about Hugo xx

  3. Hannah Budding Smiles
    February 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm (5 years ago)

    I wish you did have the poo and sick and dribble, I know without a shadow of a doubt that you would never take having so as anything but the blessing that it is. I’ve been really reflective lately and have been thinking about you, Martin and Hugo a lot. Sending hugs darling lady, as always xxx

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 3, 2015 at 9:06 am (5 years ago)

      Bless you Hannah, that’s very kind of you. Sending hugs back at you lovely Hannah xxx

  4. thereadingresidence
    February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm (5 years ago)

    I am so very aware of how fortunate I am to have my children. We didn’t struggle to have them, though my son threatened to miscarry for 5 months, but with friends around me, such as yourself, who would give anything to have their child in their arms, I cannot complain about my pair getting me up in the night and the like as it seems so trivial. I have them and they’re healthy, and for that I’m very thankful. This is a beautiful post, so open and hopefully thought-provoking, too xx

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 3, 2015 at 9:05 am (5 years ago)

      Oh my goodness Jocelyn, those five months must have been so stressful. I’m glad your son is ok. Thanks so much for your kind comment xxx

  5. Mummy Writes
    February 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm (5 years ago)

    There is so much that people take for granted. With Abi we miss the future her as much as the present her. We see her friends growing up, we listen to their parents complain about the sulks, hormones and attitude. I’d give anything to have a row with my teen girl, how daft is that? It’s a big big part of grief only we can work out how we live with. A beautiful post Leigh which speaks for so many x

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 3, 2015 at 9:04 am (5 years ago)

      Oh yes – it is a crazy world isn’t it. I’d love to be cleaning up poo and sick, while you would do anything for tempestuous rows with a teenage girl. So much of grief is missing what we had, but also what we should have now. You’re right, it is a part of grief we have to figure out how to live with. Thank you lovely xxx

  6. Tara
    February 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm (5 years ago)

    A thoughtful post, as always. I certainly censor what I think/post because I know I am just lucky to have her. Sometimes though, I think holding stuff back, mostly about things I struggle with, is not particularly healthy or helpful to me or her.

    • Leigh Kendall
      February 3, 2015 at 9:02 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you Tara. It’s certainly healthy and cathartic to have a moan every so often – don’t hold it in! xx


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