The truth about parenting

Gosh parenting is hard.  Everyone talks about the good stuff but today I would like to acknowledge some of the harder stuff.  The stuff that we don’t really talk about.  So here we go:

The fourth trimester.  It’s hard.  That first three months after a baby enters your world are hard.  Not just on you, but on your family, relationship and friendships.  As a mother you disappear for a while, you forget to take the time you need for you as your whole life revolves around this small infant who is 100% relying on you to meet its every need.  This of course is what we sign up for, but mama’s try and make some time for you.  This makes you a better parent.

 

 Hair loss.  Oh my gosh.  After you have your baby your hair will fall out.  Not just small amounts of it.  Lots of it.  For a long time.  However, don’t stress this is normal. Although it may not feel that way, as you brush out what feels like almost all the hair on your head, it really is.  Eventually it will stop and your long luscious locks will return but don’t expect it straight away.

People without children don’t understand anything of what you are dealing with.  Be it with a baby, toddler or teenager.  They don’t get it. They may say they do but they don’t.  Until there life is altered by the arrival of their own squealing, little miracle they won’t understand.  Don’t feel like you have to justify your decisions and parenting choices to them.  You don’t.  If people don’t like how you parent, that’s too bad for them really.

When your gorgeous, polite pre-teen becomes more and more unpredictable and you become unsure of what mood or behaviour she will display next.  Pre-teen years are like the forgotten in between times.  While your baby is trying to figure out who he or she is, you suddenly are confronted with the fact they are no longer your baby.  It is like you are both starting a new stage of a journey and neither of you quite no what is going to happen next!

Judgement.  The amount of judgement that gets passed onto parents by onlookers every day simply because a child has a tantrum, speaks out of turn or is crying in a public place.  Rather than judging and being a judgy, McJudgy pants, why not ask if there is anything you can do to help.  Believe me, the parents are already stressed and embarrassed enough without some stranger glaring at them from afar.

Time – there isn’t enough of it.  Your days fly by and the list of things you had to do gets longer not shorter. No matter how hard you try to get everything done, it is impossible.  Some days, I look at my list of things to do and just choose to have a nap instead.  For my sanity.  The list will still be there when I wake up.

Breastfeeding/Formual Feeding/Mixed Feeding – if you aren’t directly impacted by how a mother is feeding (by this I mean you aren’t the mother or father of the child) you don’t get an opinion.  You don’t get to judge – believe me when I say, mother’s give themselves a hard enough time over this area of parenting without said onlooker having an opinion also.  Fed is best.

Tiredness – the tiredness, while expected can be overwhelming.  As a baby they don’t sleep so you are up and then when they are teens, when they do sleep you are thankful you are not waiting up for them.  I have accepted this and have learnt to ask for help when I need it.  It truly takes a village to raise children.  We have moved away from this a bit and I truly believe we need to bring it back. Support each other, compliment each other, be there for each other.

Yet every time one of my girls smiles at me, or tells me they love me, no matter how hard it has been, I know it has been worth it and I would do it again in a second.  Their first steps, first giggles, first day of school, first crush, first boyfriend, first dance and more help to make it worth the hard stuff.  My children have made me a better person and I hope that when they look back in their lives they will remember me as a happy mama, who smiled through the hard stuff because they are and will always be worth it.

12 weeks ago…

So 12 weeks ago, I gave birth to my second girl.  Towards the end of my third trimester I stopped writing as I had so much going on in my life personally finding time to write was just not possible.  Twelve weeks in – I am finally finding my feet, feeling more like me again.

I spent weeks 34 to 38 of my pregnancy in and out of hospital appointments, scans and of all things breast clinics.  On top of my gestational diabetes, my baby decided to stop growing and I discovered a lump in my right breast.  Of all the things I had been through the lump was the worst.  I couldn’t find it in me to write without bursting into tears and what my life had become – I was a ball of anxiety and fear.

In week 37, I got my lump biopsied and luckily it was a fibroadenoma which is a non – malignant lump.  This horrible lump will be getting removed when I stop feeding my baby as I hate it with a passion.  It needs to go.

In week 38, I got induced as my girl’s weight according to scans plummeted from the 90th percentile, to the 50th – in reality she was born in the 20th percentile which is all the more horrifying because how could all those scans be so so wrong?!

The labour was 2 hours long from start to finish once it started but my girls heart beat kept dropping to below safe levels.  There was no calm labour for this small girl.  She was pulled into this world as quickly as possible.  She was not breathing when she arrived – I saw her for 30 seconds max, before they took her away.  It was 15 – 20 minutes before they brought her back to me.

But my girl is here.  She is safe.  We are 12 weeks in, that’s right, 3 months and how that time has flown.  For all the stress, anxiety and health problems I faced – we made it.  Through the 4 days in hospital due to small miss having low blood sugar, the jaundice which nearly saw us hospitalised again, the anxiety around would I be able to breast feed or not and the many sleepless nights.  We made it.

So to all the mama’s to be out there and, well, to the all the mama’s in general facing their very own battles – I hear you.  I have your back.  We have to stick together.  Pregnancy, birthing, motherhood – what a journey it takes us on.

Oh and welcome to the world Isla Dawn – You are very much loved and adored.

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The First Time

Today, I have taken the plunge into blogging for the first time.  I am sitting by myself, in my house and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I am alone.  My husband is away and my daughter is at camp.  For the first time, in years I will be by myself not just during the day but for the night as well.

So I figured why not take the plunge and get started.  This is my first post ever.

I have contemplated the idea of writing a blog for a long time but for I found it a very daunting task.  The idea of putting who I am and what I believe on certain topics onto the world wide web for others to comment on was something I struggled with but moving on from the fear, I feel that a lot of women struggle with trying to find balance in their lives.

Through sharing my thoughts, feeling and ideas on where I am at with my identity as a wife and mother but also as an employee, a friend, a student and an individual with needs of my own I am hoping to create a supportive, encouraging forum for women of all ages to be themselves and discuss the challenges they may face themselves.

I am well aware of the struggles that come with keeping balance in life to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed and allowing yourself time for you in this hectic world.  I know first hand the guilt that can come when you have hefty decisions to make, and how sometimes just making simple day-to-day decisions can feel too much.

But I also know the fun and amazement of when it goes right.  When everything comes together and you sit back and smile, or look on in wonder as the people you love make you so proud you could burst.  It’s why we stick at it right? To see the end results.

I am intending this blog to be an open, honest account of my successes and failures as a mother and wife.  I want to share with you the good, the bad and the ugly and believe me there are times when life gets ugly!

The other side to the blog, the “Martinis” as such, gives me a chance to encourage and write about making sure that fun is apart of life also.  Fun without kids and husbands occasionally.  Making time for friends and yourself.  I truly believe that putting yourself first occasionally, is a good thing for everyone that is in your life long term.

Putting yourself first makes you a happier person – this is something from experience I know to be true.  I am a better parent, wife and friend after having some time for me and it is an area that I think we all forget about sometimes in the busy nature of our lives.

You may be asking what makes me qualified to speak about this stuff, well to be honest

  • I am a wife
  • I am a mother (of an almost teen and a baby due in June)
  • I am a teacher.
  • I am a woman trying to balance her life

I feel this makes me, like many of you, qualified to talk about life from our perspective.

So here are to first times around the world, whatever they may be and a positive future for my posts to come.