Juggling

It’s not a new concept. I am sure every parent across the country feels like a top circus act, the amount of juggling involved with raising a modern family.

The question is how do we know we are getting it right? When we choose one thing over another are we making the right choice? Is the grass ever really greener?

Recently I was talking to a few friends about juggling the work life balance. I work from home, mostly around the children. Spending a few hours a day on my laptop, when I have a chance and the children are happily occupied. So, in reality, I load my computer 50 times a day and spend approximately 20 minutes doing any real work. My friends all do a variety of working patterns. Some work evenings, some weekends, some daytime and the children are in childcare, some are stay at home parents. All of us, without exception, worry about our choices….

To read more go to the new blog page

http://www.rootsandwingsparenting.com/2017/05/22/juggling/

 

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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.

Today I didn’t enjoy being a mum

not-a-good-day

That sounds awful doesn’t it! But it’s true.

The moment I opened my eyes my daughter was asking the same thing she asks every day and suddenly it felt like Groundhog Day. I immediately felt irritated that every single morning we have the same moany requests.

The morning was filled with meltdowns and tantrums about the slightest thing (the children, not me, although I would have liked to join in). We had a playdate with my friend but the children decided to take it in turns in clinging on to me and crying or fussing about everything. They want the “blue plate”, or “2 yogurts”, or lunch 10 minutes ago, or no lunch. Nothing I was doing was right. Not helped by the fact that I don’t feel 100% myself after a few days of having the flu. I couldn’t talk to my friend at all, and could tell you nothing about what she has been doing in the last few weeks because I couldn’t think straight with all the crying and moaning.

Cleaning the floor for the sixth time in 4 hours; I felt trapped in my own life. Is this it? What am I doing? Why did I think staying home with my children is a good idea? There seems no escape and I’m not sure I even like doing it. If I was offered an ‘exit card’, would I take it? Right in that moment maybe I would have.

I envied those at work and wondered if working outside of the house (more than the few hours I run baby massage sessions) was the way forward. The ticket to time away and time to breathe without being clung on to, cried at, moaned at, demanded to.

What could I do? Scream maybe? Shout perhaps? I chose cry. I say chose, that’s not really true, crying chose me and I had no choice. I sat and sobbed. My children were stunned. My nearly 3-year-old climbed onto my lap and said “why are you sad mummy?”. I explained that I had had enough and she just sat and hugged me. She hugged me like a comforting adult, and then dried my tears with a wet wipe.

My daughter comforted me, whilst my baby son tried playing peekaboo. Right then I remembered! That was it, that was why I love being a mum. In that moment, the love she was able to show me reminded me why I do it and why I love it. However, upset, infuriated, cross or overwhelmed I feel we have an unconditional love, we are a family and we look after each other. Those we love are the ones that can push us to the edge, yet they are also the ones that can pull us back as quickly.

*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 thoughts and experiences so pop by and say hi🙂

This Mum's Life
3 Little Buttons

Baby 2 – Reality verses imagined

20160918_214831When I fell pregnant with my second child, I wavered between excitement and fear. I now knew how wonderful life can be with a baby. Yet at moments I questioned my sanity! What on earth were we thinking planning number 2 just 10 months after our first? This pendulum of emotions took me though my pregnancy. Thankfully the birth of my son was a positive experience and instead of my love being divided, as I’d feared, it doubled!

The early days alone with them both were daunting and a matter of trial and error. I learnt quickly that my imagined view on something was often very different to the reality….

Imagined… I will take my son in the sling whilst pushing my daughter in her pushchair to the park. An idyllic day and postcard for juggling 2.

Reality… My daughter screamed as she didn’t want to be in the pushchair, she wanted to walk and be carried (simultaneously). Which meant holding her, pushing an empty pushchair and sweating whilst my son was strapped to me. Or putting her down, bending over with the sling which nearly sent my son toppling out.

Imagined…. Taking both children to multi roomed playgroup. A great way for both to have fun experiences and age appropriate toys and stimulation.

Reality… it turns out being in 2 places at once is pretty difficult. And when my daughter was brought back to me (by another mum that I didn’t know), soaking wet because she fell in the water play whilst I was feeding my son, it makes you feel pretty useless.

Imagined…my daughter would coo over her brother and gently kiss and cuddle him

Reality… my daughter adores her brother, so much so that laying her full body weight over his, and often his head, became her way of showing him. Me screaming things that I never thought I’d say ‘no, don’t sit on his head’ or our favourite ‘That doesn’t go in his ear!’

Yet on the other hand the reality was better than the imagined. Having 2 is obviously exhausting, but also lovely. Most surprisingly I found the jump from 1 to 2 was an easier transition then becoming first time parent.

*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 thoughts and experiences so pop by and say hi 🙂

* *I originally wrote this post when I was a guest blogger on fabulous Snot on my Jumper – https://snotonmyjumper.wordpress.com/

 

3 Little Buttons

 

World’s Best Mum

 

I used to be a wonderful mum. Honestly, really brilliant. I had all the answers. I knew what to do in any given situation. I tried to see everything through children’s eyes to see why they would respond in certain ways. I had so many ideas of fun things we could do together. I had energy and time. I could offer advice and support to friends with any parenting issue they may have. I rocked.

What changed I hear you cry…?

I had children of my own!

I know this is a common thing, we are all experts until we live the reality.

Now I’m filled with indecision, second guessing, exhaustion and bright ideas that actually weren’t so bright after all. i.e. fill the outdoor water tray with flour and water. Turns out that just makes a thick paste that is very hard to get off of walls and sofas! I used to think I would be a ‘pintrest mum’ you know the one, who does loads of crafty, baking, fun things with their children. I’m not! Although I have actually made my first batch of biscuits, admittedly they were burnt and my children didn’t actually want to them, but it’s a start.

I now meet parenting experts all the time, those who don’t have children. They too have the same enthusiasm, ideas, patience and answers I once had. I miss those self-assured, excellent parenting days!

It turns out that I am the muddling through, getting it wrong, getting it right, not always knowing what to do, easily distracted, spend too much time on my phone, try my best, kind of parent. I am as good a parent as any other. Unfortunately I’m not that perfect mum, but I am the only mum my children have and hopefully to them I am good enough.

 

That guilty feeling

20160619_175938Before having children, I never realised that guilt and motherhood fit together like Gin and Tonic, one just isn’t right without the other. Pre children guilt was not part of my daily thoughts. In fact, unless I had clearly done something wrong I never felt guilty at all. Now guilt is such a common feeling I can’t remember not feeling it.

It began the moment I got pregnant. Had I had too much caffeine? Was I too late in taking folic acid and causing harm to my unborn child? Then in labour, would pain relief have a lasting impact on my child? This continued in the early weeks, the guilt I felt when my children cried because I hadn’t realised quickly enough that they were hungry, or overtired. In toddlerhood I’d feel guilty for losing the plot when my child had selective hearing and didn’t do as they were told.

I imagine this feeling to continue well beyond their childhood. My sister recently confided that she felt guilty that her oldest son has laryngitis as she worries it is linked to their argument the week before. She also said that after a recent visit to her dentist with her 8-year-old son the reason that one of his teeth is slightly discolored could have been defect from the womb! How did she feel about this? Guilty, of course.

So I say stop! We cannot and should not feel guilty for everything. We are doing our best and do you know what; it really is good enough. Indeed, the very fact that you ever feel guilty suggests that you are reflective enough to care and see the world through your child’s eyes. No one is super woman. We are people and people are infallible. Making mistakes makes us who we are and teaches our children that it’s ok to make mistakes and not always get things right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, we can always look back and berate ourselves for what we did or didn’t do. But at the time we can only act on the information we have to hand and in a way that feels right at the time.

Perhaps we need to take note from our male counterparts, I have never heard my husband or any other father I know for that matter, ever even mention guilt in relation to parenthood. When I told my husband about this blog he seemed surprised that was an issue. So let’s find a new coupling with motherhood, hopefully one day motherhood and confidence will be the link we make rather than guilt.