Reflections on year one

When I woke up (was woken up) prematurely this morning we went through our usual wake up routine of “I’ll pour the milk, you go and get her”. I took her downstairs and I checked my phone and looked at an app which reminded me that exactly one year ago my husband and I had a huge argument about responsibility and how hard it is looking after a baby. I remember that argument well; I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours for 2 months, my boobs were full and sore, our house was a chaotic mess of baby and boxes (we’d recently moved in) and my daughter wouldn’t stop crying. I can even remember thinking that there was no way that our marriage would last……well I am happy to say that it’s a little over a year since our tiny bundle of joy entered the world and we are still very much together, and very happy. Other things which have surprised me:

1. I have discovered a new kind of tiredness. Bad news- the tiredness never ends; you just learn to cope with it. Actually, you just find a new kind of tiredness.

2. Babies fart. I didn’t realise this (I know I’m stupid) and it came as a big shock when she did her first blow off. I have also regressed and joined my daughter in finding farts funny again.

3. I don’t feel guilty about going to work. I know some mothers do, but I dont. I adore my girl and I wish that I could spend more time with her, but I’ve got used to sending her to nursery and get a huge rush every day when I pick her up. It’s wonderful knowing that she has had a great day of playing and learning with people who are more experienced in child development than me, and I enjoy my dual role of pen pusher and mother again. I even don’t mind that my daughter has a girl crush on one of the nursery nurses – Zaneta that’s you- because I know that Mummy is number 1.

4. Work is better. I work because I have to. When I went back, I went back to the same job. It’s satisfying and rewarding to me, and I make more of an effort than I did before- mainly because I want to, whereas before I felt that it was just sort of expected. However, as I explained to my manager just before my mid year appraisal I don’t really care anymore, which makes my decision making more rational. Or something like that.

5. I am not heartbroken when my baby cries. I find it quite annoying sometimes. It’s heart breaking when she is hurt or in pain, and I want to make it all better for her, but when it’s a case of “I want the remote control” or something like that, it’s irritating.

6. I am superwoman. I don’t think that my husband realised this when he married me, and I certainly didn’t reveal my powers to him until I gave birth. I have the power to reproduce. The power to comfort a screaming baby. The power to put a baby to sleep. The power to maintain a clean(ish) house, a full time job, a full-up husband, and a baby that is still alive after 13 months of being assigned to us.

7. How amazing she is. I thought that would die down a bit, but every time I look at her she has a new expression, or does something that I didn’t know she could do, or when she responds to something I didn’t think she’d understand, I get a huge rush of love and just want to pick her up and cuddle and kiss her. This happens practically on a second by second basis.

I love my new life. It’s totally weird and different, and there is plenty I would change, but I love it. Thank you my little miracle baby.

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I’ve become one of THOSE mothers!

I would NEVER give my child a dummy/soother.

I would NEVER feed my child from a jar or pouch.

I would NEVER let my child cry.

I would NEVER let my child leave the house in her sleeper.

I would NEVER leave the house with messy hair and no makeup just because I have a baby.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Prior to having Izzie I had a million preconceived notions of what I would be like as a mother. In my mind it was all wonderful  and I never had a stray hair or a bad day. I was just happy because I was going to have a baby and to do anything wrong would mean I was ungrateful for that gift I was being given and it would mean that I was not a “perfect” mother (inconceivable!). I would find myself walking in public actually judging other mothers in my mind for all the things they were doing “wrong”, I would NEVER become one of THOSE mothers. I was even guilty of doing this with my nearest and dearest and thinking back now the fact that I ever had those judgmental thoughts is really shameful and frankly quite naïve and pathetic.

Becoming a mother for the first time is daunting to say the least. You are on the steepest roller coaster and learning curve of your life and no matter how much advice people give you, ultimately you end up just having to figure it out on your own. You end up doing what works for you and usually those are the things that make life easier – “anything for an easy life” I can hear my husband saying. After all, why complicate matters. Isn’t it about doing the very best for your children and having a lot of fun doing it?!

The thing is, I know for a fact that I am not alone in this. I have had numerous very honest conversations with other new mums who have openly admitted to having been just as judgmental. I’m sure that some of you reading this will be internally acknowledging that this was or still is you. The lesson we ‘judgers’ all need to learn is that being a mum is hard work. Judging each other is so counterproductive. We should be each other’s biggest fans! I’ve never been able to completely understand why we as woman always seem to have an opinion about what others are doing wrong. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a primal instinct in that we are all innately fighting to be the most “perfect” woman, but perhaps it’s a simple as jealousy and envy as so many say it is. Whatever the reason behind this judgmental nature we seem to possess, we really need to work to change it. Why shouldn’t we be each other’s biggest fans?!

Since having Izzie my perspective has definitely changed. I feel I have in fact become enlightened to the trials of motherhood and it’s almost never easy! I have found my mummy friends to be my biggest supporters, I absolutely adore listening to their differing opinions and approaches to every aspect of child rearing. They have helped me to be confident in establishing a routine that works for our family and I know I always have them to bounce ideas off of. I am definitely their biggest fan and I can honestly say that in becoming a mother, I no longer look at another woman and judge her for how she chooses to raise her children. Instead I think about the things she is doing which I should perhaps try. Guess what?!? Sometimes, she’s right! I for one have proudly and quite intentionally become one of THOSE mothers.

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© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Who knew that 20 minutes at the dentist could feel like a week’s vacation!? (There’s a new boss in town!)

DSCF1151Being a mother has been a dream come true! From the moment Izzie was born I’ve felt like “this is why I am here, to be her mummy”. As a newborn Izzie was amazing, she was so chilled out and relaxed, I felt so lucky. But if there was ever a time for the expression ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’, the time is now.

These days my little angel has become a terror who screams every time I leave the room or walk two feet away. She screams every time I try to hug another person (holding another baby is a horrific crime where Izzie is concerned) and squawks every time I pay attention to something that is not HER.

Oh yes! There’s a new boss in my house and she has me wrapped around all 10 of her fingers and all 10 of her toes. She knows what she wants and how she intends to get it all the while driving mummy insane! 24 hours, 7 days a week, this has become a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby and I am forever grateful for her but as of late, I find myself praying and willing the stormy days of this so called “5th leap” away. Am I the only one who feels this way?!

The other day I had a dentist appointment. If you know me, you know I hate the dentist and I was ever so tempted to cancel. My husband happened to be working from home that day and was happy to keep an eye on the baby while I went to my appointment. So reluctantly, I went.

As I walked out the door into the gorgeous sunlight, towards the evil dentist, the strangest thing happened… my shoulders dropped, my body relaxed and I could hear birds!!! I WAS FREEEEEE!!! All of a sudden I had the time to stop and LITERALLY smell the roses. I had time to walk leisurely and notice my surroundings, grab a coffee and think about what I needed to do for me. I found myself wishing for a lounger and mojito to appear at the side of the road. I mean it’s not the beach but it was sure beginning to feel like a vacation – a girl can dream! But compared to the week I’d had, the 20 minute dentist appointment was a treat! I got to lay on a recliner, under a bright light, wear shades AND fall asleep! I mean, come on how good does that sound right now?!?!

When I finished my appointment I took the leisurely 5 minute walk home, taking the long route (shhhhh!) just to prolong my ‘vacation’ a wee bit. Wow! What a difference 20 minutes can make. As I slowly (VERY VERY SLOWLY) approached my front door, I took one last deep breath of the fresh air and opened the door back in to my reality feeling rejuvenated and alive. I mean who knew 20 minutes at the dentist could feel like a week’s vacation!?

So as much as I love my new ‘boss’, I am reminded that we all need a little holiday every once and awhile, even if it’s just a teeth cleaning.

 

References:

The Wonder Weeks – http://www.thewonderweeks.com/gb/

 

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

She’s the boss (living with a baby lead routine)

“Sleeping through”, that ever elusive holy grail and maybe the foremost reason people are so vehemently in favour of “routines” whether baby-lead or “parent enforced”. We’ve achieved it in our house – but at what cost?

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Month 1 “The Zombie Apocalypse”

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The best way I can describe month 1 is “surreal”. One of my friends was onto something when she said “Month 1 was like waking up from an accident where you’d got run over by a love lorry; you feel the most love you’ve ever felt before but absolutely dreadful at the same time” Continue reading