10 Things Motherhood has taught me

10 things aren’t enough! After reading this I want to add these too!

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10 things motherhood has taught me

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When becoming a parent your whole life is turned upside down. Every part of your life is about to change. Some bits you may miss (pert boobies, flat tum, SLEEP!) some bits you will be glad are long behind you.
These are the 10 things that motherhood has taught me.
Friendship change– Before having a baby you are out with friends of a weekend, meeting for coffee, shopping or chatting on the phone. When you have a baby things change. If you have friends that already have children, it is nearly impossible to arrange to meet up when you are both free, you may as well just schedule something for 2020 as that is the next time you will both be free at the same time. if you have friends that don’t have children, they are not interested if your child slept through…

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10 things Motherhood has taught me

10 things motherhood has taught me.

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A lovely mum blogger called MumAmie.com challenged a few of us mummy bloggers to write about things we have learnt since becoming a mum. Here’s mine;

1. To accept myself
ditch the guilt and doubt, it’s okay not to be perfect. This is definitely the first thing that I would advise even though it’s probably the last thing I’ve done. I’ve learnt to accept my stretch marks, my parental imperfections, the fact that I parent differently to my friends yet can still be friends, and that I have gained some amazing friends on my journey as a mum. The fact that I make mistakes and say sorry, often. I shout and give lots of hugs afterwards. I mop up tears and spend most of the time feeling like I’m the worst mum in the world. But I know deep down I’m not and its the harsher judgements of my own mind which are set to send me into a guilt trip. Most of the time I can quash these thoughts, only sometimes does that doubt seep through.

2. To have patience, and some more!
Oh gosh if I told you that you needed to stock up on a whole lot of patience and then some more just for good measure then you’d think I was joking. Being a new mummy challenges you to say the least. Negotiating two families from you and your partner to the approaches of random strangers and their well meaning advice. Stock up and then get some more for when you get to the next milestone of weaning, walking, the “why?” Question and then moving into toddlers, Tweenies and teenagers it’s enough to test the patience of a saint!

3. Having postnatal illness does not define me
I used hate feeling so different to other mums not knowing that each and everyone mum that I meet is going through their own journey. Each stage can be difficult or all of it can be hard. I found it particularly so and talking about it helped. At first I thought it was me and then I discovered that it was a part of my journey but having had postnatal
Illness, it does not define me but has helped to create who I am now.

4. Enjoy the moments but don’t strive to enjoy every moment.
So many cliches. A random stranger in a Supermarket, your mother or well meaning friend. Motherhood is bloody hard work. You do not have to enjoy every moment. But do take the time to be real and even if you did have a really hard “bad mum” day. Try and see a positive in that day too. Even if you can’t there’s always tomorrow.

5. Be prepared to cry, lots
Tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of exhaustion, tears of laughter, tears of frustration. I’m pretty sure I’ve shed them all. Always have tissues on hand because if you’re not crying your friend probably is, and that will make you cry!

6. Sharing is caring
There is no such thing as TMI (too much information) in the life of a mother. From the moment you divulge the horrific internal examinations to discussing your own and your baby’s bowl habits you will find a new high and/or a new low of conversation. But believe me it bonds you to your friends. If you can talk about the nitty gritty of real
Mothering then you will pretty much have a friend for life.
Sharing your life with a tiny human is epic but it’s also a challenge, sharing your body, mind, time, bed and food. There are sacrifices to be made but without doubt the best thing about sharing is that you never have too much love to share around.

7. To feel love like no other
It may not happen instantly, it may take time but this little human loves you unconditionally. Sometimes it will creep up on you, for others it’s a gushing waterfall. Sometimes you only notice the feeling after a sense of danger has occurred or perhaps a protective mummy bear and her cub moment. Even a proud mama moment knowing that the baby smiled because they were copying you. However you feel it, whenever you feel it hold on to it as it is the best feeling in the world. It is also okay to only feel this when they are asleep at the end of another exhausting day.
8. To laugh and gain those laughter lines and be proud of them.
It is only when you get accosted by the perfume girls in the department store spaying yardley lavender spray or offering you the latest cream for the mature face that you realise that you may need to accept that we grow old so you might as well do it gracefully. I know that there’s times when during a poo-nami moment in the basement toilets of a restaurant in London with no baby change facilities if I didn’t laugh about it afterwards I would cry (see above!) or that I may have sniffed a stain on my shoulder to check if it was passable to go out the door in that if I didn’t laugh I would’ve cried. But the best thing is sharing those moments with friends and knowing that we have all been there and have got stories to tell.

9. It’s good to Talk;
Talking is good, I don’t just mean the niceties but really get below the surface. Once you open up then others will too. Mums hide behind the Cliche phrase ” it’s hard” [eyes roll and smile]. Be honest and say “yes it’s bloody hard work” or words to that effect. To share that with another mum who might be thinking it’s just her that is feeling this way and everyone else seems to be able to handle being a mum just fine. Could be the lifeline they need and you never know you could just find a friend for life. I know I did just that with a random mum in the local park.

10. To know that our great, great grandmothers probably felt the same at one point in their lives as you do now.
Take away the new technology and inventions of today’s world and just think about the nitty gritty of a mum and her child and family. Not much has really changed. The internal worries and thoughts your great great grandmother had were the same as what you have now. Remember your gut instinct is your best form of parenting. Just like you are doing now. She did the best she could and now you are doing the best you can.

This isn’t an exhaustive or comprehensive list, it isn’t ordered or set out in preference, it’s just some of the things I’ve learnt along the way. I’m also still learning and probably always will be. I hope so. Being a mum is challenging in so many ways and life has a fine way of stopping you in your tracks. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time that sometimes my mind can’t comprehend it. Would I change it? No because even though I’ve sometimes wanted to get off the roller coaster of parenting. It’s my roller coaster, so in the words of Ronan Keating Life is a roller coaster and I’m going to ride it.
Here’s the other lovely mum bloggers I have been tagged alongside, step over to their blogs to see what becoming a mum has taught them.
Emma from Mummy Em Blog
Rachel from Our Rach
Emma from The Non Perfect Parent
Rosie from Life Through Rosie’s Lens
Emma from The Mini Mes and Me
Laura from Mumma & Co
Gem from Life with Katie and Pip
Karen from The Mad House of Cats and Babies
Charlotte from It’s a Mum’s Life 2016
Cassandra from Lily’s Little Learners
Hannah from The Simple Things
Jenna from Chic Geek Diary
Samantha from Stressed Mum
Sarah from Run, Jump, Scrap!
Melissa from Fruity Flamingo

Why I don’t say the f-word in front of my children and it’s not the word f*#k!

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I’m going to talk about “fat” and body image, one thing that since turning 40 I’ve started to feel more comfortable within myself and actually have found that with not worrying about it I’ve actually maintained my size without dieting or restricting what I eat or increasing exercise. Maybe it will be the new diet trend; not to diet!

I’ve never been good at restricting what I do especially when it comes down to food. I do love food and was blessed when I was younger to have very skinny limbs and be quite lean. I was quite sporty and loved roller skating, synchronised swimming, horse riding and long distance running. When I stopped attending compulsory PE lessons at school my exercise choices went to zero. I did attempt some forms of step aerobics but realised that my co-ordination had a lot to be desired. However as my Nana always said. “What you eat now you’ll see it on your body in 2 yrs time”. Soon my midnight chips shop visits to have my chips and gravy fix caught up with me. I’m a northern lass from Manchester so chips n gravy is a staple. Don’t judge!!

I’m not one for faddy diets I never stick to them and end up craving food more. When I was getting married in the run up to the wedding I thought I had developed a food intolerance. IBS symptoms and feeling bloated and unwell after I ate something indicated to me in my naivety that I should cut things out of my diet. It made me so unhappy to look at menus in restaurants and realise I couldn’t have something. Strangely it sorted itself out when I was on honeymoon. I didn’t think about it until I got the same symptoms when I had postnatal depression and the symptoms started again. I then realised that this was a direct cause of ANXIETY. I lost my baby weight very quickly after my second baby which was when my anxiety was at its worst. Friends would comment “you look amazing” little did they know I felt utterly miserable inside.

When I started to recover to be a well mummy from my Pnd, I started attending a slimming group but ended up hating those Monday nights and the restrictions I felt being on a diet forced on me. I felt that as a mum I constantly think about food. It’s another one of my anxieties; are my children eating enough? Am I providing the right food for my family?
What’s for breakfast, dinner or tea constantly whirrs in my mind so adding my own diet to that as well only sought to increase those miserable thoughts and added to my anxieties surrounding food. I soon stopped attending the group for that reason.

Last year I turned 40 and with that comes a little self analysing. I also read lots online from other bloggers and articles regarding “staying in the pictures”. Showing off your body so that your children see the natural you. I totally agree with this and therefore made myself get in the photos with the children. No worry too much about wearing certain clothes and being photographed in them. And generally feeling more comfortable in my own body. I am alway acutely aware that raising 2 girls they will see the influence the media has on women and their bodies and I won’t have them being ashamed of theirs.

It’s so important that when they are growing up the rules don’t diddle change when you’re a grown up. Already They notice my razor in the bathroom but equally notice my “spiky” legs or hairy pits. My daughter asked me why I shave my legs and why I sometimes don’t. I replied that “it’s a bit like sometimes I like to wear make up and other times I don’t”. Some people like to do it all the time and other people don’t do it at all. I don’t want her thinking that it’s a compulsory thing to do.

I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin now and even though I have my lumps, bumps and spiky areas, other may deem them to be “fat, wobbly and hairy” but you know that’s okay too.

I might not be the perfect mummy and yes I may say f*#k in front of the kids but I won’t be saying the other f-word; fat.

The honesty of Selfies

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It’s interesting to note how many different friends of mine like or don’t like selfies. Some have selfies of themselves at every event or place they are and post them on Facebook, whilst others don’t take them and don’t like others taking them with them in it.

I love taking selfies with me and my children and often as I’m a blogger and admin on different groups and pages I like to take them to show something of interest but prefer not to have my children featured.

Sometimes trends go around social media such as the no make up selfie etc or post the last/twelfth photo taken on your phone. I thought what if there was a “last 8 selfies” taken what would mine look like.

Just like a good photographer who likes to use their best photo, a selfie can be the result of several photos at varying angles taken of yourself or a group of you. You are extremely critical of all of these. Oh my god why is it I have 3 chins? change angle. Now why does my nose look like a beak? Change angle. Damn it I blinked! Oh now I look like I’m in a police mug shot! Okay I like this one.
So choosing the last 8 self accepting selfies I collated them together.
Then I decided to look through the ones I had dismissed; a no make up one, a crying one, a pissed off one, an it’s too hot for working one, a don’t mess with me one, the I’m giving my cat a cuddle one and the fed up one.

All taken because I wanted to show that my internal feelings do slip through the mask that I wear for the school run, work, seeing family or friends. All are real and just as valid to capture as the fun ones, sexy ones, silly ones, family ones and blurry ones. Yet the good photos and bad photos are indicative of the journey of my life. It is not all smiles and happy moments but sometimes it’s having those bad moments that make the better ones sweeter.