A mothers unconditional love for her baby

The day I met you, my darling baby, everything changed. I would never be able to just think about me anymore as my actions would directly affect you. I will be the role model to you and I will be the first person in this world that will show you what love is. There has never been anyone like you in my world before and I still can’t believe how instantly I fell in love with you. When someone says they don’t believe in love at first sight they must not have been lucky enough to become a parent like me.

I will never forget the way you smelt as you were laid on my chest for the first time. I felt exhausted, relieved , overwhelming emotions of love and fear of how I was now responsible for this tiny person for the rest of my life. From that day I became a mother which is something I will cherish dearly until my dying day. I had to learn quickly how to wash a baby, dress a baby and how to feed, which was hard to begin with and nothing like when I had played with dolls as a child. You needed me and were relentless with your needs, but I sacrificed it all as I wanted to do it all for you.

I cherished my time feeding you, taking you for walks and rocking you to sleep, as you are not just my child, but also my friend. I would sometimes get you out of your cot, still asleep and sit with you in a chair rocking you and stroking your face, desperately trying to remember the way you felt in my arms. You soon grew, much quicker than I had anticipated and were soon toddling around my house, causing destruction. We started going for walks to the park, just us two, to feed the ducks and I can honestly say I was so happy in your company. We spent many a day cuddled on the sofa, playing dolls and painting together, then the day came where you had to leave me.

You ran off without a second look back through your classroom doors and began a life away from me. I wasn’t there all day to help, guide or teach you right from wrong and I missed you terribly. I still had your baby brother at home, but I missed having my darling little girl with me. When I collect you from school my heart fills with love and I’m so happy to hear your stories and what you have learnt today, but I’m secretly jealous that someone else gets you. I loved the day you told me about the dinosaurs and how they were ‘stinct’ and then asked if I knew any of them.

The days we have together are not as often now and when I reach for your hand to hold, you soon let go to be free, ready to explore the world on your own. I know at bedtime no one does bedtime stories as well as me and that you will make any excuse to keep me in your bed just one more minuet longer. I will hold you as long as you let me, kiss you on the forehead, stroke your hair and breath you in. You will never stop being my little girl and the promises I made to you when you were born will be forever. You are my love, my darling, my baby and I will be with you forever.

 

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Loving myself and happiness that I deserve

Something that I’ve really struggled with all my teenage and adult life is loving myself. I have always had a low opinion of my self and lacked confidence, but with postnatal-depression my self-esteem really took a bash. Not only did I not like the person I was, I was also doubting myself as a mother and how good of a parent I actually was. I am currently trying to build my self-esteem and confidence to become the person I want to be. It’s all about believing and knowing what you deserve and I know I deserve happiness. I know some days will be hard and some days I will struggle to believe in myself, but it’s all about picking yourself back up and not letting those feelings linger and not letting them work their way in so you believe them.

I’m finally feeling well enough to enjoy parenting again and am able to appreciate my children. I can now feel emotions of love and happiness and not just pain and sadness. My children are my main focus through this and I need to get better for them not just myself. I need to love myself so they can grow up knowing how to love themselves. I need to be the role model my children deserve and the support for them when they need encouragement.

I am taking this time to focus on myself and putting my needs first. I am no longer doing things just to make others happy. I am looking after myself, I am taking the time for long baths in peace so I can unwind and relax after a day, going to the gym so I can feel healthier and doing something for myself, writing my blog as its therapeutic and puts things in perspective, taking time to do my make up and hair so I can feel more like me and occasionally treating myself to something I want and not just need. I have dedicated 18 months of the last five years growing humans and 2 1/2 years breastfeeding them and it’s my turn to be a little selfish and start focusing on myself. I have given everything I have to my children and can no longer give as much, unless I start looking after myself. I am Michelle and not just mum and need to focus on what makes me happy from time to time.

These last 18 months have been extremely hard on myself, but they have also been enlightening. I have learnt so much about myself and why I am, the way I am and what makes me act in certain ways. I know I will never been perfect and I am letting go unrealistic expectations and starting my life as a new blank page. I am fortunate that I feel love everyday from the family that I have helped create and I am rich in so many ways besides wealth. Life is good and my happiness is reachable.

 

 

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The last year of my twenties and reflection

So on the 3rd of December I entered the last year of my twenties, eeekkk! I am now a year away from being a fully fledged grown up in the eyes of my ten-year old self. I always assumed that at thirty I would be married and starting a family and at 29 I have managed to be married for over five years with two children. My twenties have had their ups and downs and I have learnt so much in this time, but I am happy in myself to say goodbye to them next year and move on to the next chapter of my life. Will I feel any differently turning thirty? probably not. Will I have some grey hair? most probably.

I welcomed my twenties in true 2007 style by hosting a ‘Moulin Rouge’ themed birthday bash in good old’ Bedford town centre. We graced the presence of the sticky floored Litten Tree and then moved onto the crappy club over the road. Looking back at pictures on Facebook (I still can’t believe I’ve documented my drunken pictures for almost a decade) I can still see lots of familiar faces which makes me feel so happy that a decent amount of my friendships have lasted the test of time and the test of parenthood. At twenty I was carefree, single, living at home, at college and working in my now local pub The Fox and Hounds. I was single for a whole three months of my twenties until I met my darling husband, but that is a whole different story to blog about.

Welcoming in my twenties 'Moulin Rouge' style 2007
Welcoming in my twenties ‘Moulin Rouge’ style 2007

At 23 I got to marry my soul mate and love of my life. I may have been too young in some eyes, but for us we were just killing time until we said ‘I do’. Six weeks after getting married we found out we were expecting Miss J and we quickly had to grow up and become parents. It really has been such an amazing adventure making our own little family and becoming ‘The Goodwins’. I never would have believe at twenty, that I had all this to look forward to and that I would get excited about making our own Christmas cards and staying in every weekend whilst exchanging foot rubs.

The day I became a 'Goodwin'
The day I became a ‘Goodwin’

My twenties have taught me the value of friendship and how important the ones who have lasted the last decade are to me. My friends are basically my extra sisters and we’ve been through marriage, divorce, plenty of babies, breastfeeding, drunk nights out, miscarriage, depression, mental breakdown, loss of friends and loss of family. We have all stepped up for each other and supported one another when we’ve needed it. We have cried together, laughed together and cried laughing together. I have also learnt that it is never to old to make great friendships with new friends and to make friends with your friends, friends. I really am so luckily to have the most amazing ladies around me who will always have my back.

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Me and my babies

I spent my 29th birthday a bit more low-key to my 20th. I was on holiday in Fuerteventura, had a lovely meal out with my husband and a slight hangover the next morning. On my actual birthday we flew back to England and it was written off until the following day where we spent the day in pj’s and watched Disney. It was a perfect birthday as I had my family with me and a box of Lindor Chocolate Truffles.

We may have gained a few pounds and one of of us has lost most his hair, but we are still in love
We may have gained a few pounds and one of of us has lost most his hair, but we are still in love

The last 18 months haven’t been the best for me, obviously I am so happy and grateful to have Mr T in my life, but I’ve struggled so bad with anxiety and postnatal depression, that it has tarnished the memory. It has honestly been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with and something that has pushed me right to the very edge, but I survived it and fought it. I plan to make 29 a really great send off of my twenties and will embrace everything it throws at me. Not everyday will be perfect, not everyday will be easy, but I know I can find my happiness. I plan to keep blogging and giving it everything I can, as it really has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life.

Bring on the next year of my life, my journey, my family, my friends and my thirties.

 

 

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Why I love CIO – Cuddle it out

If you read my blog you may have noticed that my recent posts have been a bit on the depressive side and you might think that I’m not actually enjoying parenting much right now. I going to write a series of posts on stuff that I love about parenting which I hope will be uplifting for me and you.

The first of the series is about why I love CIO and I don’t mean cry it out, I mean cuddle it out. I’m a firm believer in cuddling babies and not to let them cry it out to sleep. This is a personal choice for me and something I have read a lot into and I think it works best for all of us in our family. I completely respect parents choice to either do cry it out or controlled crying as I know it isn’t a choice you have made lightly and every child and family is different. What works for one doesn’t work for all.

For me when my baby has cried it has been my job to comfort him, I will feed him, cuddle him and let him fall asleep in my arms before placing him in his cot. I can’t listen to him cry as I become agitated and can feel my stress levels rising which is not good for my mental state of for my child. Now he’s 18 months he will sometimes have a little winge, but will settle himself in a couple of minuets. I am strict with our bedtime routine and we always have a story in his room, his milk in the dark and music cuddles before I transfer him to his cot. I did the same with his older sister and for us it has worked most of the time. We have had times with teething or sickness when things have been a little harder, but if I’m honest I have enjoyed the extra cuddles those times have brought and we have gradually phased in the old bedtime routine until he is settled enough to fall asleep.

There isn’t much I’m organised with, but my children’s bedtime is something I am strict with as for my own mental wellbeing I need to have my own time to unwind. We always have the battle at bedtime especially with oldest, but if we stay firm and consistent she accepts it, eventually. I find that bedtime is one of my favourite times of day in our house as Mr T goes up at 7 and has his milkie cuddles then it Miss J’s turn for a story and cuddles in her bed whilst she tells me about her day. These are the only times in the day where I get proper one on one time with both of my children and I love it. I want to enjoy the moment with then both and enjoy the hour it takes me every night to get them to sleep.

I personally think that CIO is conditioning a child to sleep who’s emotional needs are not met. research has shown that this is damaging. I’m very aware that I have anxiety issues which I think have stemmed from my own childhood relationship with my dad. See my dad isn’t a bad person but the way he acted around me has made me extremely anxious. The reason he is that way he is probably from the way that he was parented and so on. I am trying to break the cycle by gentle parenting my children and I want them to grow up feeling confident, reassured and content.

It has been proven that children who’s needs are always met are more confident whilst some people still think it’s the opposite and makes a clingy child. Miss J was a shy baby and toddler and wanted lots of reassurance, she wanted me close and was often clingy, I refused to leave her with people unless I knew she was comfortable and I never pushed her into a situation she wasn’t happy with. Even now when she’s a little shy she still stuffs her hands down my top as its a reassurance thing to her that she did as a baby. Miss J on her first day of school looked around, cuddled and kissed me and walked off on her own. Everyday she has been happy and confident to go out into the big wide world without me so I’m certain all those cuddles haven’t done her any harm to become an independent little girl.

Mr T is a pretty confident toddler and is more than happy to be left with anyone. He’s much easier to get to sleep as a toddler than his sister and will happily lay down in his cot awake with some music and fall asleep. Sometimes I wish he would want cuddles more, as I love them so much, but his sister is still the cuddlier out of the two. Mr T is still breastfed and shockingly still confident and not attached to my nipple every second of the day. I think a lot of it is down to personalities as Miss J is very sensitive and like me which is fine.

I’m not the perfect mummy but I give the best mummy cuddles in the world according to Miss J and her opinion is one a care deeply about. I love to cuddle it out with both of them.

Read about cry it out here

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Fighting depression with unconditional love

Today has been one of those days. I have struggled from the moment I got up this morning with my anxiety and depression. I have felt fragile, like I could break any second. I have been questioning myself as a mother, questioning how much I actually love my children. Do they deserve better? Am I just hopeless? Do I not deserve joy and happiness?

Postnatal depression has reared its ugly head and has tried to crumble any kind of confidence I had gained, self-esteem, self-worth and has tried to plague me full of self-doubt, negative thoughts and guilt. I let it come in gradually and started to believe again what a terrible mother I am and how my children deserve better. I hate feeling like this and always having to battle every single day for my happiness or lack of it. I don’t want to be this person and I don’t want it to consume me and have control over me.

I forced myself like I do every day to go through my blog posts comments and started to feel an ounce of happiness again. For someone to say my writing resonates with them or it has helped them feels amazing and is a huge boost to my confidence. I’ve got to keep going and keep on writing as it really does help me so much.

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As I was finishing replying to my last comment Mr T awoke and started to cry, so I went straight into his room and picked him up out of his cot and settled into the nursing chair. I could smell the smell of his warm dribble and stroked his messy hair, whilst I let him have his milkies. As he lay in my arms, latched on to me, eyes rolling back, I felt at peace, I felt like I had a purpose, I knew this is where I should be and what I am worth.

The fact that I have two beautiful children that love me unconditionally is amazing and my biggest weapon in fighting this horrible thing. These two people hang on to my every word, they cry for me, they want my cuddles, my kisses and my bedtime stories. I am everything to them as well as there dad and they are everything to me. I have a family who loves together, plays together and cries together. We unconditionally love each other and we always will, as we our bound together by our strong foundations as a family.

I love unconditionally. I am unconditionally loved.

Powers of positive affirmations

 

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