Being a mother………

Being a mother is one of the best things I’ve ever done but it’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You know that it will be tiring as you have a little human depending on you for everything but no one tells you how isolating and lonely it can be. I’m not writing this to complain as I’m aware I have been very blessed with my children (one 2 year old, one in heaven and one due next week).

As a young mum I’ve chosen that I want to be at home to look after my children until they are older as I don’t want to miss precious time with them but also I don’t see the point in spending my wage on childcare (I do one day a week as an agency neonatal nurse). But as a stay at home mum for the rest of the week it is completely a full time job but is often viewed as a job where you just laze around at home, so why haven’t you don’t the dishes or cleaned the house completely. Looking after a little person is exhausting, great fun, time consuming, and at times lonely and isolating. If you do not have friends who have children or don’t engage in groups you can often spend the day alone with only a toddler for conversation which is enough to drive anyone insane. I am so thankful for my friends and their children and the groups I attend as they keep me sane and give me adult company that I desperately need. We may never finish a conversation or have an uninterrupted chat but they are my lifeline.

As a stay at home mum you can also feel like you lose you’re identity. Suddenly you are just so and so’s mum and everything you were before seems like a distant memory. Doing my one day a week at work has helped keep me in touch with my identity as a nurse but at times I even forget this. Recently since starting the bible in a year I’ve been reminded as my identity of a daughter in Christ! This helps remind me of my purpose and that my current role as a mum is the most important one I can do as I shape minds of the future. There is no job more important that I can do at the moment and soon enough I will regain my identity as other than a mother when my children are grown and no longer need me as much.

So for you stay at home mums you are amazing and doing a brilliant job! For those who choose to work you are also amazing and doing a brilliant job! No matter how you choose to raise your kids you are wonderful.

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Ch-ch-ch changes

It has been absolutely ages since of posted on here and in that time a lot of things have changed and continuing to.

We’re still working on the house and trying to get it sorted. Ian decided to get started on ripping out our fireplace so our front room currently looks like this:

Thankfully on Monday the guy who is coming to finish it all will start so only one more week of mess from that source. I can’t guarantee from the toddler though.

I’ve been busy making clothes for the little one and having a great time doing so all the while trying to manage in this glorious heat. We’ve got a huge change coming in August as we welcome an addition to the family. I’m almost 32 weeks pregnant and although very happy to be am finding the heat a bit much.

And finally something I’ve not mentioned much is the vegetable patch. It is going strong even with the hot weather. We have 7 foot sunflowers, tons of potatos and my pumpkins are loving the dry weather.

And thankfully we have a very willing helper in our 2 year old although she does tend to eat a lot of the crop before it even reaches our kitchen.

Be kind to yourself

This week is one I was dreading. We had a poorly child and after a 12 hour shift on Monday being up through the night with a screaming toddler was not a welcome experience. Luckily my amazing husband took over initially, particularly after having me throw the crackers Bea had asked for at her (not a moment I’m proud of). Fast forward a few hours and our roles had reversed and suddenly I had the patience of an angel (tag teaming works wonders, no point you both being awake all night). Upon waking Tuesday morning we discovered the blisters of hand, foot and mouth and suddenly my carefully made plans to get through the week disappeared. I was looking at long days of just my child and I. Thankfully the week was great and Beatrice and I had a wonderful time together and by the end of the week she was back to her old self and no longer needing quarantine, and thankfully this time I didn’t catch it either.

As a parent it’s easy to feel like you have to perfect or you’ll be judged. Well all I can say is who cares, as long as everyone is alive and happy do what you need to survive. This week we’ve watched lots of television, Bea has had days of mostly surviving on milk as eating hurt too much and upon getting her appetite back ate cheerios stood in her high chair with one foot on the table (I was not going to risk her tantruming and refusing to eat by telling her off).

And even when they aren’t poorly you won’t be perfect. I tried arts and crafts with Bea and it took every ounce of my strength to let her make her pig with his legs above his eyes, I made a putting hole for us to roll balls into and she just threw them around the room and today playing with her water table I found her playing with a dead fly (I thought I’d scooped them all out). We can’t all be Pinterest perfect and who would want to be. These little moments of imperfection I find are the ones that make the best memories. And your child will never care that it wasn’t exactly as you’d hoped. All they care is that you’re there. So give yourself a break. Forget who may be watching and judging and get lost in the moment. You won’t regret it.

Toddler tantrums

We appear to have now entered the phase of toddler tantrums. And although they can be funny to watch they can also be terrifying. The intensity and passion that a tiny little person suddenly has erupting from them is a sight to behold.

Some days we get by with none but other days everything I do or even don’t do is a reason to lie screaming on the floor. It may be I put her shoes and then take them off when she gets mad which is even worse or give her teddy cat but she doesn’t want him so I take him away but suddenly she does want him. Today it was going into an area that was out of bounds for little people at a toddler group. I was pretty amazed she’d managed to get herself and a pushchair into the space but rules are rules and upon attempting to move her she became a rag doll and screamed. When I put her down she proceeded to throw herself on the floor and cry and then push over the pushchair and throw the doll. It was her longest ever tantrum by far. I just sat by her and reassured her and when she was ready gave her a hug, a drink and some cheese (because cheese fixes everything!).

It’s easy to forget that tantrums are a toddlers way of expressing emotions and that although they may be frustrating and difficult to manage there really isn’t anything wrong with them. Allowing them to express their emotions is the best thing you can do for them. I don’t want Beatrice to grow up ashamed of how she feels and like she has to squash her feelings. That helps no one; but as she grows holding her through her upset and anger and telling her it’s okay and eventually helping her to express her emotions in better ways will hopefully help her to become a well rounded young person and adult. I hate seeing her upset but if that’s how she communicates how can I stop her. Once she’s bigger and can talk she’ll move on to other ways of expressing herself (hopefully).

The magic of toddlers

At this time of year we’ve been hearing all about the magic of Christmas which is great. I love Christmas (and my birthday 3 days later) but it’s never been quite the same as when I was a child. It’s not had the magic it once held for me, which is fine because now instead of father Christmas and presents my priority is just being with those I love. But having a child has suddenly brought that magic back. Now Beatrice is older she gets it a bit more and I love seeing the amazement and excitement in her eyes. She still doesn’t fully understand it but the childlike innocence she has is amazing to watch and it begins to rub off on you again. Therefore I say the reason Christmas is magic is because of toddlers/ children.

Over this Christmastime filled with toddler magic we have learnt some new things that as a parent I wish I’d known before.

1) Just don’t bother with chocolate advent calendars, they won’t miss it if they’ve never had one before and it will save you a lot of tantrums as they don’t understand why you can’t eat it all at once.

2) They may learn new words as you go through the Christmas season which is wonderful. Beatrice learnt ‘star’ and they are now her favourite thing.

3) Toddlers don’t care if it’s the most delicious meal they will ever come across they will probably still tantrum and refuse to eat a Christmas dinner so save your stress and give them pasta.

4) At this young age of 18 months Beatrice actually slept longer than anyone else on Christmas morning and we were all waiting for her to open stockings. I know in years to come I’ll wish she still did this but we were so excited to see her open her stocking.

5) Christmas day will be planned around your toddlers naps. No present opening is worth a grouchy, tired toddler, it’s better too wait.

6) You will never be able to open a present without your toddlers help. They don’t understand that it isn’t for them.

7) And finally if you hear Beatrice say ‘ready, steady, go ‘ and you can’t see her run as fast as you can to find her as she will be flinging herself backwards or forwards and expecting someone to catch her.

We hope your Christmas was as magical as ours and a Happy New Year!