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Articles tagged with: Parenting

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #14 The End Of A Journey...

on Sunday, 06 April 2014.

ourbreastfeedingjourney

I became a Mummy thirty-nine (ish) months ago.  And for almost twenty-four of those months I have shared a very special journey with my two little girls.  That journey is breastfeeding.  

I had no idea whether I wanted to breastfeed before Mads came along, but after doing NCT classes I decided that I may as well give it a go.  Those first few days were horrendous and I had bottles of formula sitting there waiting for me to use, but after a short stay in hospital and a scare from Mads, I became determined to breastfeed my newborn baby.  I think I was exhausted, scared and some how thought in my head that breastfeeding would help protect her from germs and illness.  (You can read about all that here)  Luckily after a couple of weeks it got easier and I ended up feeding Mads for 11 months before stopping.

This time around with LL it hurt like hell again for the first week, but I had the benefit of hindsight on my side and I knew it would get easier.  So I perservered and I have really enjoyed my breastfeeding journey with her.  It got to 12 months and I told everyone, including myself, that I was going to stop, but here we are at nearly 14 months and I am still feeding her a morning and evening feed.  

The thing is, I deep down don't know if I am ready to stop, I am still clinging on to the fact that she is most likely our last baby and that I will never share this bond again.  It isn't hurting us continuing, she only feeds for about five minutes and then it's over.  But I have to stop at some point, and so this weekend is the time. I am in Bath for a hen do and I have decided that I will feed her before I leave and then as she is with Mr E for a couple of days it will be a perfect time to stop.  I will come back after two nights away and then we will just have to try and distract her from the idea when I am home.  

It has been the most wonderful journey with my babies.  Those early days, when it was just us against the world in the middle of the night snuggled close together.  The way they both used to play with my hair, and gently stroke my skin.  Those snatched moments of eye contact and the way they used to stare up at me with such love in their eyes.  The times they would fall asleep on me and I would sit for ages just marvelling at how I managed to have a part in creating these amazing little people.  It's a bittersweet memory of those newborn days, a constant reminder about just how quickly the time goes and how each and every moment is so fleeting.

I recently wrote an article for The Motherhood about breastfeeding and how I really don't have an opinion on how other people choose to feed their babies.  If I hadn't been able to breastfeed or hadn't wanted to then I know I would be sat here writing the same thing about weaning my babies off a bottle.  It's more just the fact that it is the end of an era, and it's about letting go of that last little bit of babyhood.  Of milk being the thing they need to grow and thrive the most.  

That said, breastfeeding has been a huge part of my life as a Mummy and I asked Mr E to take a photo of my little LL and I sharing what potentially was our second to last feed together.  It's a grainy iPhone image but it is hugely sentimental for me.  

It's been a very ordinary moment for the last 13 and a half months.  But it's been an extraordinary story I will never ever forget.  

My little ladies are growing up so damn quickly.  And it is oh so bittersweet.

 

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It's The Middle Of The Night...

on Monday, 20 January 2014.

It's currently 1.04am and I am lying in the darkness of our bedroom, the only light coming from the screen of my phone which I am typing on.  This isn't a normal evening, my husband is downstairs sleeping on the sofa and in his place I am snuggled up closely to a three year old little person.

I was having a bath earlier this evening when I heard Mads crying from her bedroom.  After a few minutes she stopped so I left her, assuming that she was whimpering in her sleep which occasionally she does.  When I went to kiss her goodnight I realised she had been sick.  Not just sick, but really sick- all over her toys, bed covers, chair and carpet.  We scooped her up, got her washed and put her in our bed while we attempted to sort out the carnage, which took nearly 45 minutes.  

Mr E decided to sleep downstairs as we didn't want to leave her and soon it was just myself and my big girl. She was sick once more, and we had to change our sheets as well, but soon we turned the light out and lay there together in the darkness.  She was excited to be in the bed with me, it very rarely happens as she is such a good sleeper.  Her sickness was forgotten, and she kept trying to chat.  She told me over and over again that 'I was her best friend' and she wriggled and fidgeted and pushed her body so far against mine that we couldn't have got any closer.  It was like we were moulded together as one.

At one point I had my arm wrapped around her and I moved it away as I couldn't get comfy.  A little voice piped up 'Mummy' and tapped my arm.  'Put your arm back, cuddle me' she whispered, and gently moved my arm so it was back holding her tight.  I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her so much, and she put her little hands on my face and kissed me back hard on the lips.  Every now and again I thought she was asleep but then she would kiss me randomly again. Her way of showing affection.  

She started to relax and lay there sucking her fingers and playing with my ear constantly, and eventually her breathing became slower and she fell asleep.  Myself meanwhile just cannot fall asleep, partly due to her continuely flicking my ear.

I am lying here in the dark, cuddling my first born daughter and I am crying.  Silent tears are falling down my cheeks and I am holding my girl even closer.  Breathing in every single bit of her, stroking her face and feeling her little chest rise and fall.  I can just about see her long eyelashes framing her face in the dark and she is definitely now asleep. It sounds strange but I have just so many emotions running through my head.

I'm not crying because I am sad or worried for her, it's just a bug which will hopefully be forgotten about tomorrow.  I am crying for I feel privileged.  Privileged to be able to be the one who gets to look after this girl when she is poorly.  It's such an honour to be the one she wants, the one she needs, and the one who at this moment can make it all better.  

It's these kind of moments, the ordinary motherhood moments that are supposed to be hard, that I actually find the sweetest.  It's motherhood at it's rawest, at it's most powerful, and it's actually a little bit addictive.  That feeling of being the one to fix things.

But yet the thing with motherhood is the sobering reality that you won't always be able to fix it.  That one day cuddles from Mummy might not always make the situation better.  That we can't always control everything.  It makes me sad to think one day she will be grown and I won't be able to do this anymore.  To lie in the dark and feel like it is just us against the world.  

I have a tendency to over think and over analyse.  I constantly worry about the what if's.  I fear the things I can't control. I question myself a lot.  If I am doing it right.  If I am being a good mother.  There is such a stark contrast between the person I was then and the person I am now.  These little people have turned our world upside down.  They make me prouder, happier and more content than I ever have been before, yet they also make me more frustrated, contemplative and fearful.   They have taught me that ordinary moments are one's to treasure, that material possessions aren't always important and that the simple things are often the sweetest.   

But the main thing they have taught me is to be thankful.  And as I lie here in the middle of the night stroking my poorly girl's beautiful curls and feeling her little chest rise and fall, I am so thankful that I am the one who gets to be her Mummy.

To experience the good, the bad, the hard and the difficult times that inevitably come with motherhood.  

To be able to experience this very special night with my daughter, sickness bug and all.

madsandmummyjan14

 

 

{The Ordinary Moments} #18- In Memory Of Kerry.

on Saturday, 14 December 2013.

ormo18

(very grainy iphone after nap snuggle!)

Ordinary life can be a little mundane- a blur of meal times, cleaning up, countless loads of washing, and day to day jobs.  But between the mundanity, there are those special moments that we have with our children.  Not necessarily the days out, or the exciting times, but the ordinary ones.  The cuddles on the sofa, the giggling and dancing around the room to Mister Maker, the big beaming smiles as they splash in the bath.  That's exactly why I started this little project- to record those moments that I can guarantee I will want to remember when they are all grown up.  

We all have our little routines or structures that define our day to day life.  Being a stay at home Mum, or a Mum on maternity leave, can be tedious.  Constant tidying, clearing away toys, or being a human climbing frame.  Never getting a moment to yourself.  But inbetween these moments, are those little snippets that make ordinary life so special.  That make being a Mummy the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done.

A year ago today three children lost their Mummy.  Kerry from Multiple Mummy was one of my first blogging friends, and she was an inspiration.  Always smiling, always happy and always thinking of others.  Having been fortunate enough to meet Kerry a fair few times, she was one of those people who just made you feel comfortable.  In June 2012 I went to Brit Mums Live, a blogging conference, and just days before we had found out a secret- that I was about 5 weeks pregnant with LL.  Kerry bizarrely figured it out, she often said she had a sixth sense, and I told her that I was pregnant before I told some of my closest family.  I would have loved for her to have met LL.

Kerry passing away changed me.  It sounds dramatic but it did.  I was heavily pregnant with LL at the time, and I just couldn't fathom that three young children could lose their Mum just before Christmas. As with any sad thing you hear about, it all seemed so incredibly cruel.  And then just a few weeks later to hear of the absolutely tragic death of Matilda Mae.  I have never written about either on my blog before, feeling like it was not my place to write about another family's devastation.

But they have changed me as a parent more than I ever thought it would.

Time is so sacred and so so special.  I have always been a soppy, wear my heart on my sleeve type of person, and I have always been a very anxious person, worrying about the what if's, but hearing of Kerry's death impacted me as a Mummy.  I constantly tell Mr E how lucky we are for our simple life, and I treasure these times with my girls just that little bit more.  I used to worry about silly things a lot more- money stresses, and just day to day life stresses but I try not too as much anymore.  It is a privilege to be able to watch my girls grow up.  I hope that I will always be able to do that.  Life isn't perfect, and I am not a perfect mother but I am here.  I tell my children I love them at least a ten times a day, and I kiss them even more.  Of course, we have days where our children drive us mad, where we can't wait for them to be in bed, where we lose our patience, or where we don't give them our full attention as much as we should have done.  But we are lucky.

I am lucky.

Lucky that I get to watch these beautiful girls grow up.  To change an ever ending supply of dirty nappies, to have my hair pulled all day long, and to never get a second to myself.  To experience these milestones, these kisses, and the way my heart beats just that little bit faster when my children snuggle up in my arms.

 To witness these ordinary moments.

 

I am so incredibly thankful for that.

theordinarymomentsbadge

 

*****

I am posting this weeks Ordinary Moments a day early as I wanted to join in with some other bloggers who are remembering Kerry.  Do take part and share your Ordinary Moments, you can link up all week.  

 

 

 

 

 

Needy.

on Wednesday, 20 November 2013.

When Mads was a baby we prided ourselves on such an independent little person.  From day one, she was always so confident, always the one off on her own in soft play, or not crying when I left the room.  Never really needy, happy to play on her own, and holding out her hands to anyone who wanted a cuddle. 

Of course, as she has got bigger, she has lost her fearlessness a little, she now is a little shy before she gets to know people, and takes a while to warm up to new situations.  But for the most part she still is a really independent little girl.  She is affectionate and loves to cuddle and kiss constantly, but she has never really been clingy.

From around six months old she has been a Daddy's girl.  She is utterly obsessed with him, and they are as thick as thieves.  There are some days when only Mummy will do, and now she is older she does have days where one of us is the favourite.  But for the most part her Daddy is the apple of her eye.  When she was a baby I was slightly envious of the relationship they shared. 

LL on the other hand is completely different.  

The baby of our family is so different to her big sister.  I can't completely tell what kind of personality she is going to have yet, after all she is only young.  But she seems quieter, not quite as confident, but with a cheeky glint in her eye and a smile that lights up the room.

She is a Mummy's girl through and through.  If she goes to someone else for a cuddle, she looks to me for reassurance and to check I am still there.  Depending on her mood she may cry and hold out her hands to me, and then once she feels safe will look back at the person and want them to talk to her.  It's as if she wants to interact but from my arms where she feels comfortable.

She always has to be touching me constantly, and always has to be near me, even if she is just resting her head on my leg.  She climbs all over me and buries her head in my neck and nuzzles in.  If she is sad, or tired, then only Mummy will do.  Coming back to me will instantly stop her tears.

She loves her Daddy and you can tell that by the way she looks at him, but she is yet to have that bond with him that Mads does.  Her heart completely belongs to Mummy.  If I am in the room she will whinge to come to me, but if I go out or upstairs then she loves being with him.   It can be a little suffocating sometimes, but for the most part I love the fact she is a Mummy's girl.

I don't know what it is.  Mads was the first baby in our family and friendship groups so as such she was passed around constantly for cuddles and play time.  As such, I don't know if that is what has made her more sociable and independent, and now a lot of the time people will chat to Mads as she is older rather than LL.  We also went to groups and classes that were catered for her age group, whereas with LL she often has to muck in with Mads and her social life- therefore a lot of time she is with me rather than interacting with babies her own age.

Maybe it is because when the four or us are together, Mr E tends to deal with Mads because she is older and I deal with LL because of feeding her.  I do remember that Mads became even more attached to her Daddy when I stopped breast feeding, so perhaps that will make LL become less clingy towards me.

Perhaps though, she is just a Mummy's girl.  Perhaps she can feel the connection I have to her.  The fact that she is more than likely going to be our last baby.  The fact I am finding her growing up so quickly all a little too bittersweet.  The fact that I am relishing every single minute of her baby days.

Perhaps it's just because she needs me just as much as I need her.

needy

 

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