The blog has moved!

moving

Thank you to all you lovely lot who have followed my blog so far. I would like to let you know that my blog has now moved and will be on www.rootsandwingsparenitng.com

Please do come across and continue to follow the blog as I love having your comments and opinions.

See you soon 🙂

Letter to new mums

new-mummyDear new mummy,

First let me start by saying congratulations! You have a baby! How does it feel being someone’s mummy? What a massive change. You are now on life’s longest and most important apprentice and so far, you are doing a wonderful job. You have brought a life into the world!! You are bloody superwomen and don’t forget that. If you have had a baby, there is nothing you can’t do!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any words of wisdom, tips or advice, but you may be sick of all that already right?

This is just to say that some days you will cry and you know what, that’s ok!! This is the WORLDS HARDEST job and at times when your baby is crying, or unsettled, or you are exhausted, or your boobs hurt. Or you resent the freedom your partner has being able to leave the house without having someone permanently attached to them, or just because your hormones are all over the place, you will cry. Don’t you beat yourself up about that!

You cry, eat cake and know you may feel like you are getting it wrong, but your tears show you are getting it absolutely right! You care so much that you want to be doing the best job you can, and do you know what, you are.

There will be highs and lows, probably within each hour.

Things change all the time and when they do it is nothing you have done ‘wrong’, babies know their own minds early on. If they decide they don’t like sleep that day, there is probably little you can do to change it. If they want to spend the day eating, they will eat. It has nothing to do with your ability as a parent.

It is easy to compare ourselves, or our babies to others. The truth is no one has all the answers. In fact, no one really has any answers. We all learn on the job, and it’s trial and error.

For anyone struggling, or sleep deprived, or generally feeling guilt or worried about your ability as a parent, I set you this challenge…

Name one thing that you are proud of today? Anything; it could be getting dressed, making it to that group, popping to the shop for milk, making a new mum friend, conquering the world (aka getting your baby to nap). Then hold on to that, and keep reminding yourself that you are doing a wonderful job!

*If you enjoyed reading this please do share it with your friends, and check out my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/rootsandwingsparenting/ I would love to hear your what you are proud of today so please comment or tell me via Facebook.

Love is…

love

Well it is Valentines, and whilst I wait for my lorry full of cards from secret admirers to appear on my door step, I can’t help reflecting on love itself. Since becoming a parent I have experienced a love like no other, but the thing that surprises me the most about love is that it’s not only its many forms, but its many stages depending on where you are in your life and age.

As a teenager love was often painful, embarrassing, unrequited and full of self-doubt; ‘would Craig Smith look at me on the bus to school today?’, ‘oh my goodness Sam Bell just asked me for the time, that means he loves me, right?’. As a teenager the concept of love was completely confusing. It was so all consuming and intense. I might love someone so completely one day, yet a month later the object of my affection may be someone entirely different, and still feel like the real thing. Sadly, many of these experiences were imagined (it turns out I was never destined to marry Macaulay Culkin) or at least a little embellished by my imagination. My first date was such an event, I had built it up and imagined a scene not unlike one of my favourite romantic films. Unfortunately, it was more comedy than anything else.

My date invited me to MacDonald’s, then proceeded to buy two ice creams. I, of course, imagined one was for me, but I was wrong. He went from one to the other, alternating eating his 2 ice creams! He didn’t even ask if I wanted some. We then went to play football at the local park with his friends. Not what I was expecting when I had carefully chosen my first date outfit and new shoes! It certainly changed my views of dating for a while.

As an adult, my experiences of love have grown and changed, as have I. I have been surprised by this. I assumed love was static but it isn’t. Each new connection is a new way of loving someone. In my 20s love was giddy, fun, up and down and frivolous. By my 30s in was committed partnership, long term, more respectful and calm.

The way I love other members of my family has also changed, since becoming a parent I have deeper respect and understanding for my mum. Before I loved her, but as a child, the women who could make everything better and knew all the answers. Now I see her as a woman who sacrificed and worked so hard to be that to me, strengthening the love I feel for her.

Most surprising to me has been the unconditional and complete love that I feel for my children. From the day they arrived I loved them. I never imagined you could love someone so completely who you have never even met before, but I did. I don’t only love them when they are kind or say the right thing. I don’t love them because of what they give me or how they make me feel. I love them for everything they are. No questions, no expectations, no conditions. The purest love I have ever felt.

So whilst my lorry of cards from admirers may not appear, I have learnt a lot about love in its many forms and hope that it will continue to grow and change throughout my life. So far, I have found it to be like a fine wine, it gets better and I appreciate it more with age.

  • I wrote this piece for my etc column, Horsham and Mid Sussex Edition. Feb 2017.
  • What are your thought on love? Has it changed for you? I would love to hear from you over on my Facebook page 🙂

How dirty is too dirty?

too-dirty

This is not what you think… I’m talking about clothes.

Since becoming a mum my standards, when it comes to dirty clothes, have certainly gone down. And not just a bit. Long gone are the days I would whip off an outfit at the mere hint of a mark (by whip off, I mean at home or in private). I would have been mortified at the thought of going out in public in anything less than pristine. These were the same days I would change my bra daily.

Now I live in dirty clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I wash them. It feels like all I do is wash clothes, yet still I can’t seem to spend an entire day in clean clothes. Scrap that, I can’t spend 10 minutes in clean clothes with my children! It started in pregnancy and has escalated ever since. By the third trimester I was so big that I would regularly get stains under my bump, which I of course didn’t see or notice until I changed for bed. I couldn’t believe I had spent the day with food below my bump, or on my trousers and I hadn’t noticed. Now I can’t believe it if I don’t have some kind of stain on me.

Regular marks I am now sporting, or as I prefer to think of it, rocking…

          Snot (not mine) on my shoulders, legs, arms  – how does this stuff get everywhere? I am a human tissue!

          Mud at the tops of my legs from carrying my children with wellies on. I don’t seem to learn and never notice the mud right away.

          Dribble on my lower calves, shoulders and arms (not mine) Bloody teething!

          Food stains. Everywhere. The other day my friend pointed out some dried Weetabix on my back! How?? Probably because my children seem to mistake me on all fours cleaning the floor, for a horse ride and climb on top of me every time I am cleaning.

          Sick. Thank goodness this is now extremely rare but for the first year of my son’s life I had at least some sick on me, often so much that I would carry a spare pair of clothes.

Now, here is the challenge…am I alone? Do you know go out ‘rocking’ some bodily fluid or dirt that a small person created? And how dirty is too dirty? Did you used to go home and change at the first sign of dirt, do you now relax that? Share photos or stories on my Facebook. I’d love to know I’m not the only mummy in dirty clothes.

 

New mum super powers

supermum-2

Being a mum for the first time is incredible. In my experience, nothing changes your life more. It is terrifying, exciting, momentous and emotional. Not only are you learning to take care of tiny human, a job so huge you wouldn’t imagine you would have time to learn anything else. You are suddenly super women! And as such, will have developed some unique mum super powers….

  • The ability to think of 100 things at the same time and still get on with what you are doing. For example, making sure the change bag is packed and replenished, whilst thinking about baby’s nap, whilst remembering it’s your dad’s birthday, whilst thinking about baby’s next feed, whilst wondering what you might have for dinner. Wow!! It’s amazing, and tiring just thinking about it. We may get ‘baby brain’, but we also get ‘multiple tasking at its best brain’.
  • The ability to not only think all the above, but also hold a conversation whilst doing all of this.
  • Suddenly you can do all the things you used to need 2 hands for, with just one!! You become skilled at doing everything, and I mean everything with one hand, whilst the other is holding baby. You name it, you can do it. Eat, make a drink, go for a wee, hoover, order online shopping, find paperwork, type, call a friend, push a pushchair. Who knew you could do all that one handed?
  • You can eat quicker than you have ever eaten in your life, knowing you may not have long to finish this precious hot meal before you are needed again.
  • You can and are, surviving on less sleep then you probably ever had in your life, and you are still managing to look after your baby! You rock!
  • You can sit for ages looking intently at your baby whilst listening to your friend telling you about her day. You may have lost the ability to maintain eye contact through conversation, but you are still listening and able to respond, whilst meeting your baby’s needs.
  • You have developed a 6th sense, usually at night, you can pre-empt a feed or disturbance even before baby has shown you, just from the quietest noise or tiniest movement.
  • Your reactions are lightning quick, you think something is about to hurt your baby you sweep in immediately – suddenly you have inspector gadget arms and an inbuilt radar for danger. Usually this includes a raider for spotting a toddler who is likely to come a bit too close to your little one.

Basically, new mummy, you are amazing!!

So, when you think that you aren’t doing a great job, or the lack of sleep makes you cry, or you don’t know which way is up, remember you are doing these things EVERYDAY! And probably didn’t even realise it!! Give yourself the credit you deserve, you are doing the most important job of your life 🙂