not fitting into motherhood but letting it fit in with me

Not fitting into motherhood, but letting it fit in with me

As a young girl all I wanted was to become a mother. I had these dreams of how I would embrace motherhood and become this perfect little mummy and house wife to my little family. When I was carrying Miss J I looked up to my own mother, looked at what the latest trends were for changing bags and pushchairs, I read countless articles and aspired to be this perfect mummy that I had imagined in my head.

I tried this motherhood on managed to get it work for the most part. I was pretty good at it and had a child growing up to be the most perfect little girl. When baby number 2 was cooking things started to get a bit messy. I wasn’t so good at getting out, doing the toddler groups, I didn’t have the energy to dress you up perfectly coordinated, I didn’t have time to do all the messy play and baking cakes. Things started to unravel when Mr T arrived into this big wide world and I had a big shock of what it was to look after two small humans.

The realisation of postnatal depression arrived and exposed me like nothing had before. I was feeling, weak, lonely and empty inside and I was no longer the mother I wanted to be. I beat myself up for failing my children and made myself  feel so guilty. I wasn’t fitting into motherhood anymore and I wasn’t sure how to do it again. Things eventually came to a head and I couldn’t look after either of my children in the way they needed.

I had to take a step back and start focusing on myself. I read self-help books, took medication and I got help. Eventually I started to rebuild myself again, but I still wasn’t fitting into motherhood like I did before. My perception had changed and I realised that the mother I was trying to be before wasn’t me.

One day things just clicked, I was a little older, a smidge wiser and a tad more confident. I realised that I didn’t need to fit into motherhood and it needed to fit into me. Why should I pretend to be someone I wasn’t, just to please others and why did I feel I had to do things in a certain way so others didn’t judge.

Things have changed and I’m now a happy mother, which I can now positively say that I’m telling the truth. Mummy now takes more time for herself and she doesn’t try to impress others or care for their opinions. My children are none the wiser and are just happy to see that I am happy. It took some time, but I learnt to own motherhood and make it my own. Don’t ever be anyone, but yourself.

 

 

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Lazy parenting

Let me lazy parent today

After new years eve last night and having a slightly fuzzy head from drinking a bottle of prosecco, I’m in much need for a lazy day. Mr T went to bed at 8 (very late for him) and Miss J passed out on my lap at 11pm, after desperately trying her best to stay up and see the new year in. Obviously because I let them stay up they got up earlier than they would any other day (sods law or kids law) and tumbled into bed with me, demanding that they are fed right away. Mummy consumed a whole bottle of prosecco and stayed up until 1am so I’m feeling pretty poo right now and in no mood to parent today. The children are passed off with biscuits for breakfast and Disney Junior is quickly turned on whilst I make a hot tea. I also have biscuits for breakfast and I snuggle down in my dressing gown to catch up on the outside world through Facebook.

After not getting my few hours child free to myself like I do every other night and watching my own programs I am feeling pretty frazzled. Obviously the weather is crap and the kids are pissing each other off. The cat got poo stuck to its bum and dragged its bum over the kitchen (that was steamed the day before), Mr T has thrown a wooden brick at Miss J’s head and the kids are turning the light on and off as we speak. Why won’t they just let mummy have a nice relaxing morning to myself and let her drink her cup of tea hot. Mr T has now done a poo and is ripping out Miss J’s hair.

These children have been fed, watered, cleaned and have half of Toys ‘R’ Us in their living room (I would say mine, but it’s basically theirs these days). Why can’t they just let mummy be lazy, just for today. I’m sure it’s more stressful attempting to have a lazy day than it is taking them out for the day.

Its amazing the mess they create.

Miss J is now 4 1/2 and Mr T is 19 months and has just learnt the art of hitting his sister, pulling her hair and throwing random objects at her head. I think he’s showing sign of being a fantastic rugby player in years to come, which I know his football mad daddy won’t be too pleased about. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with fighting siblings and I can only assume this is just the start and I have many years ahead. I am unsure on whether to discipline or just leave them too it. Miss J is a bit of a wimp and probably deserves a few of those whacks her brother gives her. Giving Miss J a gift of a brother is probably the best thing she could have given her, otherwise I’m sure she would have been even more of a diva by now.

Society tells us we should feel guilty when we stick the children in front of the TV (electric babysitter), give them biscuits to keep them quiet and we are not spending every waking moment interacting and nurturing them. Well I have no guilt, my children are happy between fighting, fed and I am not doing any lasting damage by ignoring them when I have spent every day solid for over a week in their company. Sometimes you need to do what you’ve got to do to get through the day.

I think it’s time to admit defeat and actually parent today. It’s going to be difficult and will probably involve tears from all three of us. I don’t think we can get lazy days as parents, but at least I got a blog post out of it. Roll on the usual bedtime this evenings so I can catch up on Greys Anatomy and not have to share the chocolate with them.

 

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I'm not the perfect mum and that's ok

I’m not a perfect mum and that’s ok

I used to always visualise myself as the perfect Stepford wife and mother. I would imagine my life to be filled with baking, perfectly behaved children, play dates and walks around the park. The reality has been a bit different and even though I wouldn’t change my children for the world I wish I could have changed my expectations earlier on to save myself from so much guilt.

Aww wasn't I cute
Aww wasn’t I cute

Since I was a child myself all I’ve ever wanted is to be married and a mummy, I used to play getting married to my cat (lol) and used to always be playing with my dolls. My baby doll was called Hannah and I took her everywhere with me, but sometimes my cat Dinkey would get dressed in one of my old baby grows and get pushed around the house. I remember actually counting down the years as a child until I would be able to have a child, which I always figured would be 29 like my mother. I fell in love at 20 and went on to be married at 23 and pregnant with my child a few weeks later, so I didn’t manage to stick to plan like my intentions.

Dinkey being spoon fed. Poor cat.
Dinkey being spoon fed. Poor cat.

My own mother has always made it look so effortless and I just assumed my expectations of life would be the same. My mum even told me her labour pains had been like period pains and being constipated, didn’t last long and she didn’t need the gas and air. My mum was either lying or has an amazing pain threshold, as my labour couldn’t have been more different.  We grew up in a big house down a private road in Biddenham,Bedfordshire, my dad worked from home and my mum worked for my dad, our house was like a showhome and we had every toy we could have imagined. My childhood at home with my mum and sister was perfect in my eyes, but I’m sure I don’t remember the struggles my mum had gone through to keep a house that size clean, the financial side of my parents having to sell the home which they had built together to downsize. My parents hid everything for us and we were blissfully unaware.

For the first two years of parenting I kept it all in check and lived out my dream as I had planned, we did long walks in the park, we baked, we did play dates and we even got out the bastard play doh. The thing is one child is a lot easier than two and is 100% twice the work and Miss J was an exceptional easier baby and toddler than her brother. Once I was pregnant I started to find it tough, I didn’t have the energy to keep up with my daughter as much especially with SPD, but I told myself once the baby was here it would be nice and lovely and easy again. I can’t believe how naive and stupid I was. Mr T had reflux, didn’t sleep and was generally a hard baby and I had a toddler who resented him for taking so much of her mummy’s time away.

My real life doll.
My real life doll.

It’s been a long 18 months, but eventually my daughter bonded with her baby brother and I’m learning to let go of the guilt. I know I’m far from perfect and I know I never will be, but at the end of my day my children our mostly happy, they are clean, they have full tummies, too many bloody toys and a rather messy house to live in. My expectations have had to be lowered so the mummy guilt doesn’t consume me and add to my postnatal depression. My house will not be tidy for years to come and no one gives a rats ass if my windows are covered in finger prints. I am doing my best even if we are just surviving from day-to-day at times. This stage will not last forever and these children won’t always be small, but the house can wait and I will appreciate them whilst they are still young enough to need me so much. Play doh may come out on the odd occasion, we will bake together if its someones birthday and we will go for walks in the park when we have the energy and patience. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve everything I have had planned I will praise myself for what we did manage.

I am not the perfect mum and I never will be and I will not punish myself anymore for this.

Read embracing the rubbish parent

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Embracing the rubbish parent inside us all.

Since having postnatal depression and thinking I was the worst mother in the world something amazing has happened. I’ve actually for the first time in my life stopped caring about what others think of me. I am so liberated that I am finally at a stage in my life where I am comfortable in my own decisions as a parent. I have stopped judging others by their parenting choices and am very much in the mind set that you do what ever you have to do to get through the day and be happy.

I felt so much pressure as a parent to be the perfect parent, but by trying that I was unhappy, alone and failing in every aspect. Having to revaluate my whole beliefs and ideas after making the change to be more consious of my mind, I know have this freedom that I once didn’t. When  I go to the school playground I know some people will not like me and I honestly no longer care. I do not live in a big house and have a fancy car and I’m no longer ashamed of that. I have so much more of value than material things and every day I feel blessed to be married to my soul mate and have two beautiful children with him, but believe me when I say that he and the kids can be right idiots at times.

I love facebook and Instagram but now I’ve realised how I too crop a picture so it looks it’s most perfect. Who’s bribed an older child with sweets to take the perfect picture with their sibling? Who has chucked a dirty nappy in the corner so it doesn’t ruin a perfect photo opportunity? No one’s life is perfect as soon as we remember that we realise how much better ours really is.

 

A great example of a picture where sweet bribes have been exchanged.

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