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Articles tagged with: Emotions

The Baby Things.

on Thursday, 29 August 2013.

Since LL arrived just six short months ago, I have had a real feeling of contentment.  It's almost like she filled a hole that we didn't even know existed, or that she was a missing piece in the jigsaw.  She's completed our family, and I am so proud of our two little ladies.

I sometimes feel sad that she is growing so quickly, already I cannot imagine her as a newborn or the baby who used to snuggle up on my chest, yet at the same time I love the age she is at now, and I know of all the exciting stages we have to come.

stanwickaug3

But there is something hanging over our happy little family.

'The Baby Things.'

LL has obviously grown out of her newborn clothes, and her 3-6 month clothes will soon be on the way out too.  They currently are in plastic boxes under her cot.  She has finished with her moses basket, and soon she will be finished with her crib too- ready to go in her big cot in her own room.   The time is going so quickly, and our time with them as babies is so fleeting.    

With Mads there was no doubt that we would keep these baby things, so as soon as she grew out of one set of clothes, they would all get put in bags up in the loft ready for a new baby.  We knew that we wanted to give her a sibling and while I felt a little sad as I packed away the tiny items in place of slightly bigger ones, I knew that one day we would hopefully have another little person getting use out of them.

But LL growing out of her things is playing with my emotions more than I thought possible.

I thought we were finished having our babies.  I thought our family was complete. But those tiny newborn outfits are completely pulling on my heart strings.

I always wanted two children.  When I imagined our family, I could see us with two little girls, I don't know whether that was because I grew up with a sister.  Two just seemed like a good number.  One for each hand, one for each of us, not needing to upgrade our car, or our house straight away.  A nice even number.

I want to be able to treat my girls, take them on foreign holidays, not have to watch the pennies in the future.  I want to show them the world, and take them on nice days out, and help them fulfill their dreams.  Don't get me wrong, I know you can do that with three, four or even more children, but two always just seemed like a good number for us and our family.

stanwickaug2

Yet I cannot get myself to get rid of those baby clothes.  I can't bring myself to take the moses basket to the charity shop, or to bag up those tiny outfits.  Our loft is full of stuff and we could do with a clear out but the thought of giving them away makes me sad.

It just seems so final.

 One of my friends just recently had her second child and has already given away all of his bits- she knows completely and utterly that her family is complete.

Does this mean that I don't think ours is?

I feel so incredibly blessed to have my two little girls.  As far as I can tell, they are happy and they are healthy.  I have had easy straightforward pregnancies, and reasonably easy c-sections. I haven't had to deal with trying for a baby for a long time, or experience the pain of a miscarriage.  I truly know how lucky that makes me.  

I can't imagine not experiencing those exhausting, exhiliarating newborn days again yet I don't yearn for three children particularly, nor do I feel particularly broody at the moment, although I am sure I will as LL is still young.  Yet giving away our baby things is almost like drawing a line under our baby days.  Accepting that we are finished and moving forward as a family with our two little ladies.  Accepting that we are lucky and blessed and that it is time for someone else to make use of our well loved items.

Accepting we don't need them anymore.  And in my heart I deep down know we don't.

That we are complete as a family of four.

So why is that so hard to do?!

stanwickaug1

 

 

Not Always Getting It Right.

on Monday, 19 August 2013.

I like to think I am a good Mummy.  

I love my girls with all my heart, like all parents do, and I would do absolutely anything for them.  Until you have children, you kind of guess what the love will feel like, but it is hard to explain until they are here- until you hold them and feel their little heart beating against you- it is pure, unconditional love.

I like to think that I am a fun Mummy.  I take my girls out and about most days, we go to our singing group, out with friends, to gymnastics and out to lunch.  We go on long walks, we giggle all day long and we snuggle on the sofa and do a jigsaw, watch TV or read a book.  We go on day trips, weekends away and have lots of adventures.

I like to think I am an affectionate Mummy.  I am naturally a soppy and affectionate person and I lose count of the amount of times a day I give them a kiss or a cuddle, or tell them I love them.  I want them to grow up in a house full of love and affection, just like I did.

madsandmummyaug2

Of course I have days where I breathe a sigh of relief when they are in bed, and I think to myself that perhaps I haven't been the best Mum I could have been that day.  Perhaps the TV stayed on that little bit longer that it should have done, or I lost my patience a bit too easily.  I think thats part and parcel of being a parent- some days are harder than others.

Last week I took Mads to the cinema for the first time.  It had been planned for a while and we were going with another friend and her son.  Right at the last minute my Mum had to stay home from work for a delivery so she offered to have LL for me- the first time she has done so for a longish period of time.  I was so excited to have a date with my Mads and to spend some quality time with her.

We dropped LL off at my Mum's and drove to the cinema.  I got her a small bag of popcorn, some juice and some Magic Stars and we went into the film.  She looked adorable sat there on the booster seat and I was certain she was going to love it as she loves watching films at home.  The adverts came on and there was an advert with a robot with demonic eyes, and it frightened her so she started to cry.  She sat on my lap and I tried to calm her down but she got hysterical so I took her outside.

We sat outside for a few minutes and I told her there was nothing to be frightened of, that none of the other little boys and little girls were scared.  She didn't want to go and sit back down so after about ten minutes she agreed to go and stand just inside the door to see if she wanted to watch it. Typically we timed it just as a dragon came on the screen at the start of a screen and she got hysterical again.  She was clinging to me and crying and saying she wanted to go home.  I haven't seen her so upset in a long time.

I am ashamed to say I got cross with her.  Not really cross but I told her she was being silly and that I was cross as everyone else was enjoying the film and weren't scared.  We left the cinema and got in the car and she was still upset but was calming down.  I was so frustrated with her because I so desperatly wanted to enjoy our time together just the two of us.  

As we drove off she said to me 'I am sorry I didn't like the film Mummy, I want you to be happy.'

I could not have felt more awful if I tried.  So awful that I cried.  I cannot believe that I got cross with her for being frightened about something.  She is two and a half.  All was ok in the end and we went home, snuggled on the sofa and watched television while eating our treats, but the way I was with her has stayed with me since then.  

madsandmummyaug1

There's no instruction booklet for being a parent, and there's no way of controlling what is going to happen.  A lot of the time I trust my instincts and I get it right, but there are times, like last Thursday when I get it totally wrong.  I make mistakes.    

I am relatively new to this parenting malarky.  I am learning, growing and developing along with my lovely little girls.

I like to think I am a good Mummy.  And part of that is learning from my mistakes.  Admitting when I get it wrong.  

I am not a perfect Mummy.

But I am trying to be the best I can possibly be.

madsandmummyaug3

What They Don't Tell You...

on Monday, 24 June 2013.

When I was pregnant with my second little lady, people were quick to offer advice or little snippets of their lives as a family with more than one child.  

Tales of how my body would not be the same after having two children (it isn't), tales of how tired I would be (I am), and tales of how it is hard work but totally worth it (it is).

I was worried about whether my heart had enough space to accomodate and love another little person so unconditionally, and many people assured me that indeed you would love your new baby just as much.  That I shouldn't worry and that you would fall head over heels in love, just like you did with the first.  

I found that thought quite unfathomable at first, intriguing almost, but when LL arrived in the world, it hit me.  Just like that.  In fact perhaps more so because I was more confident as a mother, and less scared of this tiny, seconds old baby that had been placed in my arms.  

These women who had walked that journey before me, the journey of a mother to more than one were right about a lot of things.

But there was one thing nobody told me.

Something happened that nobody mentioned, and it hit me like a ton of bricks from the second I heard the little pitter patter of footsteps running down the hospital corridor to meet their new baby sister.  The way she ran in, looked straight into the plastic hospital cot and said her sister's name.

I fell even harder in love with my biggest daughter.

I don't know what it is.  Maybe it is the fact that having a new baby has made Mads seem much older.  She is like a little friend to me now, communicating and interacting, and seeming much wiser than her two and a half years.  She's funny, and she makes me laugh every day.

Perhaps it is the presence of a new baby that has made me realise just how special the past two years have been, and how lucky I was to have her all to myself for such a long time.  How lucky I have been to have been able to find my feet as a Mama with a really chilled out, happy baby.

Perhaps it is because LL has made me realise how babies are such a blank canvas, ready to be shaped and moulded into tiny little people- and how much my first born daughter is turning into a incredibly kind, caring, affectionate and happy girl.

Perhaps it is just because of the way she is with her little sister, never once being jealous, unkind or out of turn.  The way she holds her hand, strokes her ear, asks to go next to her in bed in the mornings, and includes her in everything she does.  The way she declares 'You are my best baby ever', and 'I love my little sister'.

junesisters

 

Or perhaps it is just because she is Mads.

My first born little lady.

Whatever it is, no one told me I would feel this way.  The love I have for her has deepened even further, magnified, and grown all over again since having LL.

I'm more proud of her than ever before and at least once a day she makes me turn to jelly with something she comes out with, says or does. 

She's a cheeky monkey, she can have tremendous tantrums, and she leaves mucky handprints all over my cream sofas, but my god I love her.

And that said cheeky monkey has been with us for 2.5 years today.  A funny old milestone- still very little, but at the same time careering at a fast pace towards three.  

mads2andahalf

 

 It's been a fabulous 2 and a half years Mads.  Thanks for being you.

We all love you very much. xxx

 

Exhausting. But Intoxicating.

on Tuesday, 18 June 2013.

I sat down on my sofa, diet coke in one hand, chocolate buttons in the other, to write a post about how tired I am.  Seriously tired.  Exhausted even.  My lovely LL, the one I bragged about on this blog, saying what a good sleeper she was and how she was sleeping through?  That same baby has now decided sleep is for the weak.  That same baby has decided she likes to party in the evenings...and the only guest she wants to party with is her Mama.

But as I sat down to write this 'woe is me, I am so tired' post, I decided actually I am kind of over it.  Yes I am tired.  Yes I look like crap.  Too many late nights, night waking and bad eating habits has meant that it is really catching up on me.  When I look in a mirror- all I see is sunken eyes, dark circles and seriously dehydrated skin.  I see wrinkles beginning to form. I look down at my tummy and see a flabby belly that I don't have the motivation or the inclination to get rid of.  

Does it matter?

There is truth in aknowledging feelings and yes I do feel a bit overtired, emotional and bleugh with myself occasionally at the moment.  There are some mornings when I wake up and I just think 'my god this is going to be a long day.'  There are some afternoons where I literally scoop Mads up and run her upstairs for her nap, just so I can get some peace.  Or I feed LL so much more than I probably should because I just want her to go.to.sleep.  

I don't feel like I ever get a moment to myself, and I don't remember the last time I actually cared about getting dressed up or making an effort.  Sometimes I want to just hide indoors rather than face the effort of getting them in and out of the car.  

Sometimes I feel like I want to have a good old cry for no reason in particular.  Tiredness maybe?  Feeling a bit bleugh and not having much confidence in myself from time to time?  Worrying about money while on maternity leave?  Who knows?  But I think having a good cry is like an emotional clear out.  It makes me feel refreshed and rejuvinated.

And if you don't ever feel a little emptiness from time to time, for whatever reason, then you wouldn't ever know the satisfaction of feeling full again.

And I have a huge amount to feel full about.  

My heart is so full for my small people.

Yes motherhood can be exhausting.  But it is also completely and utterly intoxicating.

I lay in the bath with my children tonight.  LL was sitting on my tummy- my flabby, doughy tummy that is still numb from my section; on the red, raised, slightly purple scar that is the constant visual reminder of the two most important and happy days of my life.  

I looked down at it, and then I looked up at her.  The way the water was dripping down her back, past the little tuft of languno hair just above her bottom that hasn't quite disappeared yet.  The way her eyes lit up and she visibly shook with excitement when her sister was splashing.

And I looked at my big girl, who was giggling because I kept pretending to jump when she dropped a bottle of shampoo off the side into the bath.  The way she threw back her head and laughed, her beautiful blue eyes dancing from side to side.

And I realised something.

It's ok.  

It's ok to have tough days as without the tough ones we wouldn't treasure the good ones.  It's ok to look at the dark circles under my eyes and feel a bit crap about it, because those dark circles signify night time snuggles with a little lady who one day won't need them anymore.  It's ok to feel a bit rubbish about my tummy, as that tummy gave birth to these amazing little girls who I am thankful for every day.  

It's ok to look at my house, with its windows that are smeared with toddler dirt and think 'Crap they need a clean.'  Because those smears mean that my toddler is having fun, exploring and growing.  It's ok if Mads has a horrific meltdown occasionally, because it makes me feel proud  when shes a little angel. It's ok to have days where you seem to suck at this parenting malarky, because it makes you appreciate the days that you feel like a superhero.  

It's ok to make the odd mistake, because then you get to learn from them.  

It's ok to take time to recognize these things from time to time.  To feel a bit sorry for yourself, just for a minute.  Because then you take a step back and realise just how lucky you are.

That life might not be perfect, but it is your perfectly imperfect life.

 And that there may be challenging moments....

But for all those challenging moments?

There are are a million amazing ones.

And that's more than ok.

On this exhausting, intoxicating journey that is parenthood.

 

usgirlsmay

 A rubbish quality iPhone snap, but it kind of illustrates our days together.  Me and my little ladies.

 

 

 

 

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