I wonder as mothers why we struggle so hard to put ourselves first? Is it for fear of being accused as ‘selfish’? Is it a warped kind of guilt that if we’re not busting our arse for our family all of the time that we’re failing them? Is it that lingering societal pressure that women have to keep a perfect house, perfect children and be perfect themselves?
It’s probably a combination of all of these factors. All I know is that since becoming a mother that I’ve put a tonne of pressure on myself to live up to some impossible ideal. And it wasn’t making me a better mother – not by a long shot. The truth was, I was angry, frustrated, sad and unbelievably busy. Maybe you feel that way too?
It was almost a year ago that I got the biggest wake up call of my life – my family that I was working so hard for was falling apart. Dramatic, yes. And I could hear the whisperings in the wind that I should never have shared that story with the world, that it was my job to put up, shut up and leave my dirty laundry hidden at the bottom of the pile with the hand washing I never get time to do.
But the biggest revelation that came from that horrible time was that deep inside there was a little voice that came out clear as a bell and sat on my lips for the very first time – “I am worthy of happiness and love”. At the time I didn’t know what form it would come to me in, whether my marriage would survive or I’d be doing it alone – but that one revelation gave me strength to start creating a happier future for myself. Continue reading
Wouldn’t this be nice? Do you think it’s possible, or am I having one of my hippy idealistic episodes (of which I have many!). I don’t think any of us are immune from getting a visit from Judgey McJudgey occasionally, but I actively try not to indulge him when he comes a knocking.
Afterall, we don’t know what is happening in other people’s lives. Behind their closed doors. Inside their minds. The things they struggle with. Where they’ve been. I remind myself of that constantly, that things are not always what they seem.
I think the celebration starts with being honest, really honest. With ourselves and with other mothers. Not just playing lip service to the parenting cliches.
Let’s own our parenting decisions, so if someone does try to judge them they won’t get very far. And if we struggle to own them, let’s find the strength to ask ourselves why so we can try and fix what doesn’t feel right.
There is no right way to parent, we all find our own way through by loving and nurturing and doing what feels right to us.
I am still finding my way. I’m a work in motherhood progress, yet aren’t we all?
How are you progressing? What words of wisdom have helped you on your parenting journey?
My boy turned two last Friday. Watching him tear into his day with the same wild abandon he used to rip open his presents at 6am in the morning brought such a joy to my heart.
Alot of posts here about my boy have been filled with worry about what the future holds, this appointment or that appointment or why he was late at meeting his milestones.
So caught up in my worry, I haven’t always expressed what amazes me about my boy. And he amazes me everyday – the way he interacts with the world and the people in it tells me this boy will be okay. More than okay.
So, here it is – About a boy age 2 Continue reading
I’ve never been too good at finding my middle ground. A place safe from extremes. The middle always seemed such a boring place to be, so I would swing wildly between over indulgence and self-deprivation, reigning myself in completely when I had realised I’d swung too far. Without even realising what I was doing.
One extreme to the other.
All or nothing. Continue reading
Oh what a year it has been! A year ago I had just been through the most exhilarating, yet challenging experience: giving birth to my baby. When the midwife passed him through to me via my husband who proclaimed ‘it’s a boy’, I cried tears of relief, exhaustion, happiness and love.
It was a 33 hour journey to that point. Of labouring at home for a night and most of a day, of labouring in my birth centre room in water, on balls, in shower, while lunging, swaying, kneeling, squatting: every position under the sun. Of continual vomiting, when I thought there mustn’t be anything left. Of fleeting urges to push that disappeared, leaving me feeling like my baby would never arrive. That I would be pregnant forever. Of transferring up to the birth suites to get things sped up with a syntoxin drip and some much needed fluid. A decelerating heart beat and suspected distress, that had me put into a gown for theatre only for my baby to get the all clear just before they could wheel me off. Of finally feeling that real urge to push, and pushing for 1 hr 40 minutes to meet him. He was strong and muscular with a loud cry and a head of dark hair. It was instant. I was besotted. Continue reading
Here I am finally able to blog for the first time in more than a week. I feel like I have so much to say – all on divergent themes and topics, the things that have been rattling around in my head during the week that saw me nursing a sick and clingy boy, trying to juggle two busy days at work following disturbed sleep, spending time with my mum who was visiting and finally escaping the nest for two whole nights for a work trip to Townsville. My first two nights away from Jarvis since he arrived. There is a blog post there particularly. But it will have to wait as nostalgia takes precedence here tonight. To get there, we have to go back to the beginning.
The night that labour began. It was a stormy and rainy Monday, it felt just like tonight. The stretch and sweep of that afternoon did its job and the pain started in earnest. I would glance up at the clock each time it started. 10 minutes turned into 5 minutes in a matter of hours and I thought that maybe just maybe, I would meet my baby tonight. Tonight, one year ago. Continue reading
Yesterday, I read this lovely piece on pregnancy by Lori over at Random Rantings of a Stay at Home Mum. By the end I was a bawling mess, on the couch in front of my laptop.
I had to comment. In my comment I referenced the above pregnant pic of me that hangs on Jarvis’s bedroom wall.
I love this photo, it was one of many taken by my talented friend Leonie Clark when I was about 34 weeks. A little over a year ago. For a while, when Jarvis was younger and I was struggling to make sense of his facial palsy diagnosis and trying to reach a point of acceptance, I would sit feeding him in a dim light on the sofa bed beneath this picture and I would cry. I would look up at this picture and wish I was still that innocent. That hopeful. That I could still hold him within me and protect him from what else the world might throw at him. Continue reading