I’m going to get honest here. Sometimes being a mum is just so very hard you feel like putting your baby down and packing up shop.

Just leaving the house so our babies can scream to themselves for a while. Of course, we don’t, but isn’t it tempting sometimes?

We have had a rather difficult week with the little koala; between her growth spurt and development leap along with the emergence of her first tooth. I may have averaged three hours sleep a night and have barely put her down all day.

This is probably the most challenging my little koala has been. Teething is not fun!

It was Monday when I first noticed the little spot on her gum. A little tooth trying to break through. It was all downhill from there!

She hadn’t slept more than 15 minutes all day!

She wasn’t too cranky on Monday, but by the evening she hadn’t slept more than 15 minutes all day. Yet she refused to go to sleep until after midnight! My husband and I spent a good four hours pacing the floor carrying our little screamer.

The next day she was a little clingy mess. Moaning and groaning, refusing sleep and crying if she left my arms for more than 10 seconds.

By today, I was a mess!

Three nights of very little sleep and four days of trying to entertain a very cranky, very clingy koala. It was torturous! I couldn’t get her to sleep at all, nothing I did was keeping her happy. I’d sung every song, walked a good 10km carrying her, administered baby Panadol, shoved every teething toy we had in her mouth; but it was no good and I was pulling my hair out!

So what do you do when you feel like just packing it in and hiding in bed for the next 2 months?

Well I wish I had some answers, but I don’t. Nothing will magically make it all better. There’s only so much baby Panadol you can administer, pulling faces and singing songs will only calm them for so long.

But as they say, these days too shall pass. Not such comforting words when you’ve had a total of 9 hours sleep in four days.

It’s hard to get through these days, but somehow you just do. It might be the way your baby laughs and giggles when daddy gets home from work. Or that feeling when you finally get your baby to sleep (albeit in your arms) and she snuggles into your shoulder. Whatever it is, that precious little face, the musical sound of her giggles or beautiful smiles that just light up the world, you will again look at your baby with marvelled joy. That little human is still the most wonderful creature in the world.

Here are some tips to hopefully help you through the hard times:

  • Remember that while it’s hard for you, it must be so much worse for her. That tooth ripping through her gums, the world she knows suddenly changing, realising that mum can just put her down and walk away, or meeting a bunch of strangers who all want to pull at her and squeeze her cheeks. These things can be scary and sometimes painful for a little baby.
  • The cliched ‘these days too shall pass’ is actually true. The tough time may only last a day, or a week, or a month. But your sweet little baby will return or if you’ve had a rough time with colic or reflux they will grow out of it. Just repeat it over and over in your head and it might just come true!
  • My baby carrier was my best friend today! When nothing else would put her to sleep, at the very least I didn’t have to struggle to hold her as she wriggled and screamed. Eventually, she did fall asleep in there too! Even if only for 40 minutes.
  • Call a friend or relative to come and help you out. Even if they can only stay for half an hour, that might be all you need to have a shower a cup of coffee and a hug.
  • If all else fails, there is coffee, wine and the knowledge they’ll grow up one day!

And remember, if these days do not pass, you might be suffering Post-Natal Depression. If you think this might be you, please talk to your GP, call PANDA Post and Ante Natal Depression Australia or talk to a friend! It will help.

How did/do you get through the tough days? Please share in the comments below.

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  • It’s a tough gig, and can be even tougher if you have a disability and do it alone without help. I’ve had great days and utterly terrible days which I always feel guilty about, but I know it will get easier as they get older and life is precious, as they are. They’re what keeps me going, even when I’m exhausted, stressed and depressed.


  • In times like these, it is important to have some me time, perhaps get someone to babysit briefly as suggested and then sleep, catch up with a loved one etc so you can relax somewhat again.


  • Parenting is the hardest, most challenging job you will ever do. You must lean on someone, anyone. A break is needed for everyone Just to step away from the situation for whatever time you can grab. My Mum used to arrive and send my hubby and I out for a coffee break so she could sit with our child who screamed 24/7 for the entire first year. It wasn’t his fault, it wasn’t ours, but there were certainly days when I felt I could leave him at the front door of a hospital. I felt that’s what was best for him. BUT, I never did it and I told the people close to me that those were the feelings I was having. We got through it. And those memories have now faded.


  • This is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had — it’s 24/7 mentally and physically, with no end in sight — and I have the most amazing husband who does so much around the home to help keep everything up to date despite being exhausted from working in a job he despises. Our Punks fight a LOT, which is totally foreign to me as my siblings and I have never really fought, and I find it really hard to cope with at times, especially when one has a particularly short fuse (which she gets from her Daddy hahaha) and the other one knows it and goads her. I don’t really have anyone to give me a time out apart from when husband gets home from work so I’m stuck with it — and I’m still waiting for it to get easier like so many people have said it does! I’ve found when I’m having a rough day with them I just need to lock myself in the bathroom and cry for a good 10 minutes before getting back into it all. Part of me wishes I had gone back to work even part time, just to get some time to myself and some good headspace. Grocery shopping after they’ve gone to bed doesn’t qualify!


  • It really is not easy to be a mother sometimes. Especially when you don’t have a support network in your parents and your partner. You just have to do the best you can, and love your kids unconditionally.


  • I have vowed to try my very best to be available for my daughters if they need me once they have babies. I have no idea how i coped. I have a very unsupportive partner and I was very much on my own. I phoned a few of the Mums from my antenatal group and I felt so jealous when they all announced that they had their Mums staying with them. I heard stories of how washing was being done and meals cooked, etc and I was alone at home trying to cope with everything on my own and a baby that just screamed all day. I honestly have no idea how I managed. Yet I did….Mums are amazing.


  • I’m yet to have my baby and very thankful not to be doing it all alone. I’ve fostered babies and did that alone – it was tough at times but very rewarding


  • Life can be so tough at times and so much tougher when you have little ones depending on you. I am lucky to have a fabulous support network, I think it makes all the difference.


  • I was lucky that I could call on my mum in those few desperate times! I honestly don’t know how anyone does it on their own. My husband is a shift worker and did his best to help but he needed his sleep too as it was a bit dangerous for him to be going to work tired! Thank goodness for mums!


  • So true, I think we’ve all been there. Sleep deprived, hungry, sad and emotional thanks to our little bundle of joy but we somehow find the strength and soldier on. It’s umpirtant to talk about feelings abc ask for help.


  • You just have to soldier on. A lot of times as mums we don’t get a choice. When I felt like I simply couldn’t take another moment, my partner or mother in law took over for a little while


  • Some good advice here, nice article.


  • Parenting, the only thing without an instruction manual, be the best you can be for the kids.


  • Some great advice here. Keep on being great mums!


  • Reaching out to others is so very important. If you have moved to a new area and don’t know anyone yet (especially if partner works) you would be amazed and encouraged how supportive strangers can be – try coffe shops, libraries and the local park. I made some good long term friends this way and would never have thought that possible.


  • Every day is a winding day in the world of parenting


  • I agree with the words that it will pass. It does even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.


  • Support. Letting people in. Letting family give you a break so you can either sleep, get some fresh air, or whatever works for you.

    • Support is so important. Even if it only gives you a 5 minute break, that can be enough to regather yourself and feel better :)


  • Before they’ve grown and gone, there’s the “don’t hug me Mum” faze, especially with friends around. That got me through a few long nights, knowing how precious and fleeting baby hugs are.

    • oh yes it is so bittersweet how quick children grow up.

      • definitely! They grow so quickly. I’ll be a little sad when they no longer want mummy hugs, trying to stay in the moment and remember how you’ll never have these moments again can help get through rough times.


  • I thank this mother for her comments. I read this article after a tough day with my grandson, he too is teething and not sleeping very much. I congratulate her on her obvious love and caring comments on her baby. I just walked with him, cuddled him, offered him some solids and water of which he didn’t really want any. After I walked with him and sat on a seat out my mothers nursing home in the breeze he eventually settled after his monstrous screaming episode that I am sure all the residents heard. My 91 year old mother closed the door to her room as she did not want to disturb the other residents and she felt bad that it was her talking to him that made him cry. I reassured her that he had cried at 3 people who had wanted to talk and admire her great grandson prior to him coming into her room. She phoned me tonight to make sure both he and I had managed to settle down. I was pleased to comment that eventually he had some solids and a bottle and an hour sleep before his mother collected him with a smile al round and a breast feed (as he is still having morning and night breast feeds). Hope she has a good night with him tonight.

    • thanks so much for reading and your kind words. I am so happy this could reach people and let them know they aren’t alone on the bad days. I hope your daughter appreciates her wonderful mother as well. The teething passes. The happy times return. Support means so much to mums on the hard days.


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