I have recently read a few brilliant posts that circle around the #rockingmotherhood tag, originally started up by Patricia at White Camelias, where Mums are writing 10 reasons that they are rocking motherhood. I have really enjoyed reading such uplifting and heart warming entries, so when the lovely Claire over at The Pramshed kindly tagged me to take part, I was more than pleased to do so. I don’t know about you – but I am my own worst critic, and motherhood has been a life adventure that has had me mainly berating myself from the get go. Most likely because the majority of us are simply winging it and hoping for the best. However, as a naturally glass-half-empty-kind-of-girl anyway, a shove in a more positive and affirming direction is always welcome, and this post is a perfect way to go.
After much pondering and reflection, here are my top 10 reasons that I have come up with to show exactly why I am #RockingMotherhood:
The Sunshine Kid
*gushing parent alert!*
Our son is regularly described as a ray of sunshine. He literally beams his smile all the time. So much so that it becomes infectious and, as a result, he makes us smile and laugh every single day. To see so much innocence and gentleness of nature punctuated with just the right amount of cheekiness and outright goofball quality makes my heart swell with love and pride. Don’t get me wrong, the sunshine can give way to a thunderous temper if a nap or a meal is late, but on the whole we have constant warmth and happiness from our Baby Bear, which helps me feel reassured that we are doing a good job as his parents.
No Previous Experience at Being Mummy
I am the youngest in my family. I never had any younger siblings to help around the house with, I was the youngest in my school year and even when my niece and nephew were born, my older sister was such an organised and efficient Mum herself that if I ever baby sat, the kiddies would be fed, changed, watered and usually even napping when I arrived so all I needed to do was sit and watch telly (slightly misleading?!). So, when I became pregnant and myself and PB mused about our impending parenthood, all I could see were rose tinted views of snuggly baby time and the fun (ha!) of wheeling a buggy proudly through the park. The reality, as we all know, is completely different and I feel I have hit the ground running and (as far as I know) not stumbled too much along the way. Motherhood is so consuming and immense! The responsibility, intensity and sheer relentless pressure were things I couldn’t have prepared myself for, and I am proud for managing them and for all I have come through and achieved in the past 20+months.
I am currently the only Mummy within my close circle of friends. At first I was so worried about how dynamics would change and that my friends would gravitate towards doing things that didn’t involve having a little person in tow. I worried they would find us tiresome and limiting to social occasions. But, I am lucky to have such flexible, loving and supportive people in my life. They have embraced our boy into ‘the group’ and love him without question. They have considered him whenever we have made plans to do something, taking into account pram access, baby changing, high chairs and children’s menus. They’ve cut up my food whilst I was breast feeding, held him for me when my arms were tired and been there for every Christmas and Birthday. They put up with my rants on the down days and my gushing pride on the up days. They celebrated when he first smiled, laughed, rolled over, sat up and walked. In turn, we have included them in all of it. We passed him over for cuddles without hesitation from Day 1. We get them to check on him whilst he’s sleeping and we encourage them to play with him all the time. True friends are like family, and I love mine to bits.
BB has started regular weekly sessions at nursery! At the moment it is just a half day a week (all we can currently afford with the new baby coming and all) but he absolutely loves it and we’ve loved having 5 hours to ourselves. Thanks to irrational instinct, I felt guilty on the first day, a bit like I was abandoning him. But luckily PB’s rationality put me in check and pointed out just how much BB enjoyed time with other kids and after just one afternoon he seemed so much more grown up after watching his peers and having a change of scenery. I’m proud of him for embracing the change, and for myself for overcoming the separation anxiety. In fact…
I am an anxious person and come from a long line of over thinkers. BB was born 5 weeks early and whisked away from me mere minutes after his birth due to breathing problems. We spent 8 days in neonatal, with myself being discharged from the hospital on the 5th day and having to deal with leaving our baby in hospital whilst we went home alone. It was hard. Every time I think about it I well up. From experiencing such separation anxiety in that moment of leaving the hospital, I decided I would try to do my best to not let him feel it himself. So, I have strived to face and control all my fears linked with anxiety in order to set a good example. At first, I had anxiety about going out alone with him. I overcame that. Then it was going to play groups and mingling with other mums. I overcame that. Then I went back to work and overcame the anxiety of leaving him for long work days. And, as I have mentioned, I am now over the anxiety of leaving him in nursery. And, even when I was choked with anxiety in these situations, I never once showed it or projected it onto him. As a result, he is laid back, cool, calm and collected when I exit the room or leave him with other people. He’s never seen my fears and worries and I am so pleased about that. He isn’t afraid of me not coming back, and for that I am super proud.
Myself and PB are a team. From day one, I have always referred to BB as ‘our’ son and said that ‘we’ do this and ‘we’ do that. I am not the Mummy who berates her OH to other people. I resent it when people refer to him as if he is a mere babysitter and the one thing that provided me solace when I had to stop breastfeeding was the lovely sight of watching PB bonding through giving BB a bottle. I am BB’s Mummy. Brilliant job, love it. But, equally, PB is his Daddy. Without the two of us there would be no BB, and I never EVER under value PB as a parent. We are partners and a team. I would be lost without him and am so grateful for the fact he is a hands on Dad, who has shared the night feeds (even when I breast fed, he would sit up and cheer me on… literally), changed the nappies, hovered over the cot during the fretful nights and thrown himself around soft play on many an afternoon. He has supported me when I have felt I was doing things all wrong and has made me a better mother than I ever thought I could be. I may be listing these reasons for rocking motherhood, but we rock parenthood together.
I never had a routine before motherhood. EVER. I hated the idea of being dictated to, and of course had all the freedom to just please myself and waft about the place without any purpose. I was a professional wafter. Now, I thrive on routine. If I don’t stick with routine, I lose all track on the day, things go horribly wrong and I feel unhinged. I couldn’t waft about now if I tried!
Akin to Routine, but fairly new in concept as only around New Year did I really start making an effort to be organised. I obviously already had routine in place and a degree of organisation was used to follow it, but it was the bare minimum that was needed to maintain the routine if that makes sense? Nowadays, I have a planner for myself, an online calendar for work, a blogging diary and a family wall planner. It has saved so much time and stress for us so far and even though PB was jesting about how he no longer needed to speak to me because everything he needed to know was ‘on the planner!’, he has actually noticed the difference it has made to family life and to how I am on the whole. Pregnant mums do not need excessive stress!
Managing with Pregnancy AND a Toddler
Being Mummy has been a (rewarding) challenge of a lifetime so far. Being Mummy, to a toddler, whilst pregnant? Beyond. Hard. From the first trimester where I had severe sickness and vertigo, through the second trimester and what I believe was a strong tinge of prenatal depression into this third trimester with the chronic gnarling from pelvic girdle pain, I have had a pretty miserable time of things this pregnancy. But, I have (and still am) managing to be Mummy to BB and take care of my body and the little love it holds inside. I may have had to make adjustments (see my post How to Cope During Pregnancy with A Toddler for more on that) but things are working out and I am super excited to meet our new addition in early March and to see how BB develops as a big brother. All hard work pays off the richest rewards!
Which brings me to my final reason, which is my passion for my little blog and blogging as a whole. I pour time, love and a lot of late nights into this blog. Me, Being Mummy is my place to reflect on what is happening in my experiences and to document memories for the boys and myself to look back upon in the future. It has connected me with some lovely people and their blogs, who provide me with the reassurance and comfort that I can also hopefully provide to anyone who may read (or be reading) mine. It keeps the brain cogs turning when Cbeebies has rendered it to an overcooked sprout-like consistency and it gives me a little slice of time to myself, where I can let my creativity flow and distract my mind from the worry of day to day life. It forces me to take stock of what I have, who I am and where I am going with my quest of Being Mummy in the midst of Motherhood. And, on the whole, I can tentatively say that I am, indeed, rocking it.
What are the reasons you would give for why you are #RockingMotherhood? I’ve tagged some lovely fellow bloggers below, but by all means feel free to join in even if you aren’t mentioned. It’s about time we all gave ourselves a pat on the back instead of a kick in the shin!