Tag Archives: Mum

Finding Mummy

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I feel more like myself now than I ever have. Before I had Nancy,  I worried that I would lose myself, but to be honest I feel like by having Nancy, I found myself.

I feel more confident, more sure of my decisions and I am not afraid to express them. I think the first initial months with Nancy taught me that no-one has the “right” answer and that you need to go with your own gut instinct.

I like how I look like now. Yes I could lose a few pounds but I actually like what I wear and I’m confident in what I choose to wear. I wear the make-up I want to, and when I wear lipstick,  I don’t feel stupid.

I’m starting to explore hobbies, interests, things that I can learn and grow and develop. Things I never did before. What did I used to do before? I had so much time yet I never did anything remotely satisfying with it. Now I’m crocheting, reading, gardening. I’m getting interested in politics and I’m interested in learning sewing, knitting and whatever else pops into my head.

And now, things are going to change. I’m pregnant and due in August. Now the ground will shift and we have to adjust to “normal” again.

Will I have to find myself again?

Maybe it won’t be as bad this time. Things won’t change as much, but things will shift. Being a mother to 2 will be different to 1. I will have to devote myself to another for as long as needed. I will have to forgo sleep and put my life on hold.

A part of me doesn’t want to do that. A part of me wants to just be me. The me I have found these past 3 years.

But this time, I will be in control. I will know what to expect. I don’t have to let go so much. I am looking forward to this time, I really am. Focusing on my family, a baby to love and be a sibling for Nancy. Completing my family and just taking time out to live in that delicious postnatal bubble.

The unknown is worrying, unsettling. But I have to see the positive in this situation and remember that I am stronger, more confident and more sure of myself than I ever have been in my life so far. Right now.

This baby is lucky in many ways because I know who I am now. Me and Nancy had to work that out together. We had to figure out what it was that made me a mother. It was tough, but what a journey we’ve had, and are still having and I’m looking forward to sharing that with someone else too.

Questions I often ask myself now that I’m a Mum

Questions that go around and around in my head now that I’m a Mum. Can you add any to the list? Let me know! 
How long can I leave her staring at that stranger sitting behind us before it gets uncomfortable? 

Can they tell that she’s just wet through her nappy and now it’s all over me?

Where’s a baby change? Can I get away with changing her nappy here?

Did she just swear? 

If I cut this sandwich into the shape of a horse will she eat it? 

What am I doing?

Do I have enough nappies? Wipes? Change of clothing? Juice? Toys?

Can I bear to listen to If You’re Happy and You Know it again?

Is she going to hit him/her?

When will she go to sleep? Will she go to sleep? What if she is awake ALL NIGHT?

How does that Mum get her kid to stay in the trolley?

When did I stop caring about the stains on my carpet?

Did I just fall asleep?

Why are people so fricking LOUD?

Is it normal for her to stick pretend money down her nappy?

Is it bad that she doesn’t drink water? Unless it’s bath water?

When did I stop wearing proper (not pyjamas) trousers? 

When did I last shave my legs? This year???

Has she eaten enough?

Is she teething or just miserable?

Is it too early to drink Gin? 

Mother’s Day: ceramic chickens and sentiments

OK – I’m going to say it. I am not a fan of Mothers Day. Yes, I know, I’m a mum. But why should I or my child feel compelled to celebrate me on a specific day? The fact that it is coming up this week – well I don’t feel anything about it. I’m not excited, I don’t expect anything. If anything it just annoys me that I’m here wondering if I should be feeling something about it at all.

Where did Mothers Day come from? What is there to celebrate? I’m a mum, yes, but I don’t know if I feel the need to have a day dedicated to it. I get that it is to give mums a ‘day off’ but I find that a little condescending to be honest and most of all it is actually a lie. You don’t get a day off when you’re a parent.

All I’d want to do is sleep all day anyway if I was given the option. In reality you’re forced out for a roast dinner (and you know not that that’s a bad thing mind) and then there are the dubious presents – most of which look very pink and often useless. I remember buying my mum a ceramic chicken one Mother’s day. She did a great job of looking like she actually wanted it. I’d only bought it as I was in a rush and couldn’t go home without something.

But that’s it you see. For me, It just feels false. I really struggle with this outpouring of emotion that we are supposed to give out on days such as this. Valentine’s is another example. I’d rather not do anything on the same day everyone else is. Just like my ceramic chicken, why am I buying this crap just because someone (I’m going to guess a card company) wanted to make more money. It feels like you must do this or else your mum will never know you loved her because it’s done only on this day.

I’m not a really cold hearted idiot. I know that it is a nice opportunity to meet up with family and I know my mum appreciates the sentiment. I wouldn’t not ‘do’ Mother’s day for my mum as I know she enjoys it (although I stopped buying random presents a few years ago). I know other people use it as a day to remember their Mums too so I know that for many people the day serves a purpose.

I just have an issue with the fact you feel you have to do something.

I also find the fact that it’s a Sunday is difficult. I find Sundays very boring and the fact I’m working the next day means you can’t really let your hair down (i.e. drink a few G&Ts).There are many other days in the year for us both to show appreciation of each other in a more personal and fun way. Maybe we just need to reinvent Mothers Day and start doing things differently. Like doing it on a Saturday when the shops are all open or go zorbing or having an uninterrupted shower.

Last Mothers Day, my first, I was in a bad place. I was struggling to feed Bubs and I couldn’t really function. I did get a lovely framed photo though and it is only now I appreciate it, looking back. It was a lovely thought from the person who gave it to me. I think if you make it what you want, it’s not so bad. Just don’t feel you have to do this or buy that. It was a lot better than a ceramic chicken. Sorry Mum.

A Year as a Mum: In Review

One year I have been a Mum.

How do I feel? I feel relieved that everything feels like its falling into place at last. That I have something called ‘Normal’ that I can relate to again, a baseline upon which to base my days.

Normal just went out the window when Bubs was born. I know they tell you that ‘Everything Changes’ and I was like ‘yeah yeah, of course it does’ but it does. It really does. My life turned upside down, and I had no fricking clue what was going on for a bit. But now, it feels OK.

Anyway so whilst the prosecco was working its way through my veins, after her little family get together, I thought of a few highs and low of the last year, to sort of recap what has happened so far. Sometimes writing things down like that can make you see things differently.

Highlights of the last year:

mastering the art of one handed-ness

being able to change a nappy on any surface (or lack of one)

being able to sleep sitting up and not let go of the baby

being able to string a sentence together after lack of sleep

that cup of tea and toast after giving birth – it’ll never be beaten

being able to do up a sleep suit in under 30 second whilst singing and doing the actions to ‘wind the bobbin up’

feeding bubs food that didn’t come out of a packet

talking to other Mums’ at a group and not dying of boredom

not crying as my house is overrun with toys

singing the entire theme tune of ‘cloud babies’ in one take

teaching Bubs to high-five

Lows of the last year:

booby milk leakages in public places

flashing my boob at the postman

eating food out of packets

eating Bubs’ leftovers from the mat on the floor

washing the bath with wet wipes

soft play centres – hell on earth

going to work with baby snot all over my trousers

singing the entire theme tune of ‘cloud babies’ in one take

my hair falling out and now growing back in ‘tufts’

not shaving my legs for 10 months

In Summary:

I think I’ve done a brilliant job. Just need to change my clothes more often and try to eat some vegetables (me, not the baby). I’d love to feel the elation that the tea and toast gave me, but without the birth bit, if that’s possible.

Here’s to another yummy mummy year!

What are your Mum highlights or lows? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Near or Far, Wherever You Are, Mum

I’ve spent most of my life trying to get away from my Mum, my Dad. Getting away from my family. Is it something innate that makes us want to break away when we are young, to repel what we have been brought up with, with what we know. Is it something that eventually goes full circle?

I have spent a lot of the last 10 years away from my close family. A lot of time just speaking on the phone, seeing them when I can, but usually not very often. I’ve spent a lot of time being selfish, finding myself, being drunk, hungover, changing plans at the last minute. I’ve been at university, I’ve been working, I’ve been making my life. I know my parents are very proud of what I have achieved. I have enjoyed what I have done.

My parents annoy me. They give me advice I don’t want, or just make me cringe with what they say or do. I don’t always agree with decisions they make. I have to hassle them to look after themselves, and I have been disappointed with things they have done. Yet at the same time, they make me smile laugh, I enjoy their company and I know they love me. When I really need them, they are there for me. I don’t live near my mum and dad, but not really by choice. My parents moved around in my childhood and now live in a house that I have no connection with. I’ve never really felt like I needed to be near them. I was quite happy being over an hour away from them. It was a good arrangement for me.

Recently, however, I feel I have wasted a lot of time. I wish I was near my mum. I worry that if anything happens, or they need me, I am too far away from them. I worry that Bubs won’t know them as well as she might if we lived closer. I know my Mums not that far away, but I wish I could pop in for a cup of tea, a quick chat. I wish she was near me to see the baby, to babysit at a moments notice. I wish I could be there, in an instant, when she needs some help or a shoulder to cry on.

I feel a sense of panic rising. I feel scared, and vulnerable. For the first time, in a long time, I feel I need my Mum.

That home bird instinct has kicked in a last. Do we all suddenly feel this way? I never thought I would. I am very independent, and my parents can irritate me. I know if I did live nearer, I’d probably be writing the opposite. At the moment though, I wish so much I could be there for my mum, without having to drive for an hour. Because that hour can be a very long time indeed, sometimes.

I just want to make sure that I spend as much time with my Mum as I can, because I feel I’ve wasted so much time already.

Mum and Me: changing roles when a baby is born

As I was driving home from my parents yesterday, I was thinking back about my relationship with my Mum. I thought about all the times I had taken her for granted, had been annoyed with her, had said horrible things to her, when I was a child and a terrible teenager. My Mum has always been there for me despite all of these things. And now I have my little girl, I am thinking about all of these things that I will have to experience too. I will need to be prepared for my little girl to love me, hate me, make fun of me, be annoyed at me. It is only now I can appreciate my Mum, and everything she has ever done for me. I feel terribly guilty that I used to be so blase, that I used to treat my Mum so indifferently. When I was pregnant, my Mum was very excited, too excited some may say, and it really, really annoyed me. I know I upset my Mum at this time, and I now feel very bad about it indeed. The fact was I was too scared something would go wrong to enjoy my pregnancy the way my Mum wanted to, and I took it out on her. Despite all of these things, My Mum is always there at the end of the phone, and would come and see me whatever time of the day, if I really needed her. She is a great support to me.

Throughout my life, there have been things that have happened in my family, like all families, and we have our ups and downs, fallouts and make-ups, mistakes made and repercussions faced. Some of these things over the years I have found hard to let go and forget. I held onto some things for so long, and felt so bitter about them, that one day I wondered why I was doing this. I love my Mum and Dad, and we have a very good relationship nowadays. I think a part of growing up is learning to accept people’s faults, and not holding it against them forever. I still have a few things I think I need to let go, but I am working on this. However I realise this is the past, and I don’t let this cloud the way I feel about certain people now and in the future. I certainly wouldn’t let it affect their relationship with Nancy, for example.

I think it takes a long time to realise your parents are not infallible, they don’t know everything and they are figuring it out as they go along, just as you are.

I have also been thinking of my little girl’s relationship with my parents. This is the week of the 2 year anniversary of my Nan’s death, and it made me think of how I think about my Nan (someone I adored, and loved, and was very close to). Nancy will think this way of my parents, I hope. I hope they have the same close bond that I had with my Nan and Grandad. My parents have made mistakes, they have done strange things, there have been highs and lows in my life and my relationship with them – but none of that will matter to Nancy. She will love them for who they are today, she is not burdened with the knowledge of the past, as I wasn’t with my grandparents. My Mum and Dad adore Nancy, and they are falling over themselves to do things for her, to make her smile, to be the grandparents. They live an hour away from me, and so I have been going down there to stay for a bit so that they can get to know Nancy. To start with, when Nancy was born, I felt like they should come to me, and I waited for them to come, and wouldn’t go down to them.  They visited a few times, and I was pleased about this. Hopefully they will visit us again soon, but my Mum is not well, and can’t travel well due to mobility issues, and so in the end I went down to them. It wasn’t fair to hold them to ransom like that. My Mum and Dad, are my Mum and Dad, and they may not be very good at visiting me, but if I go down to them, they are very happy, and Nancy gets to see them, and build a relationship with them. I can’t stop that from happening just because we live apart.

A friend once told me that your relationship with a Grandparent is very different to that of a parent, the issues you have with parents are removed, and you have a relationship of conspiratorially eating of chocolates, staying up late, watching things on TV that your Mum would never let you. It’s a relationship free from the stresses and strains of parenthood. In my eyes, my Nan could do no wrong. She was a confidante, a conspirator, and most importantly, a friend. I know my Mum probably had a very different relationship with her, especially growing up. I know my Mum will be the same as my Nan was to me, and I will do all I can to support her, and Nancy, to have this, despite the distance between us.

For me, I realise my Mum has sacrificed a lot for me, put up with a lot from me, and relies on me as a daughter and as a friend. I love her more now I see what she sacrificed for me, now I am a Mum too. All the things I scoffed at, and pooh-poohed, and dismissed, I now realise she was right. All the things she instinctively knew and I used to scowl at her for knowing, all the times I ignored her advice, or just got annoyed at her. And I want to say now that Mum, I am sorry I did that to you. But you knew that I would, and you knew I would realise this in the end. Because that’s what Mums do. x