4 articles Tag mother

Parenthood Is…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about parenthood and how different people feel about it. Some people love a good moan while others wax lyrical about how their lives have changed for the better – one thing’s for certain though, and that’s that parenthood is one topic on which its really easy to engage a lot of people and get them thinking.

I decided to turn to my lovely blogging mates and ask them what “Parenting Is…” to them. Here are their responses:

Kate from Kate Takes 5 said “Parenthood is…99% a pain in the arse and 1% so magical that you forget the other 99%.”

Helen from Actually Mummy said “Parenthood is… like a long hard slog up a mountain. Tough, rocky and it makes your bones ache, but Oh My God the view from the top is incredible!”

Marianne from Mari’s World said “Parenthood is…surviving the unknown!”

Cat from Cat’s Yellow Days said “Parenthood is… realising you’ll never be alone again…not even on the loo. Parenthood is… talking about Sid, Alex and Katie like they are actually your friends. Parenthood is… having stickers on everything you own. Parenthood is… realising the silence isn’t golden, it’s worrying!”

Ruth from DorkyMum said “Parenting…is a walk in the park. Too bad that walk usually takes place at 3am with a crying baby.”

Stacey from Five’s a Fellowship said “Parenthood is…a big slap in the face and a hug for good measure.”

Sandy from Baby Baby said “Parenthood is…hard work, it’s smelly, dirty, unrelenting, tiring and emotional, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Annie from Mammasaurus said “Parenthood is…a complete breeze *throws bread on the floor for the imaginary disco squirrels*”

Sonia from The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock and Roll Mum said “Parenthood is…over-worked, underpaid and overjoyed! 90% guilt, 10% pleasure? exhausting?”

Carolin from Mummy Alarm said “Parenthood is…smiling about baby sick in your mouth or poo in your bath when pre-baby this would have sent you over the edge”

Kathryn from Crystal Jigsaw said “Parenthood is…raising awareness of your own children’s issues”

Aly from Plus 2 Point 4 said “Parenthood is…lonely when you’re single”

So, from the realistic to the sentimental to the downright potty (I’m looking at you, ‘Saurus…!) we all view parenthood differently. Parenthood and our views on it can unite and divide. If there’s one thing that the past (almost) five years has taught me, it’s that having a sense of humour is absolutely vital when it comes to being a Mum, unless you want to go grey and mad in equal measure in a very short space of time.

If you have any “Parenthood is…” quotes to add, email me at jayne@mumstheword.me with your quote and blog URL , if you have one, and I’ll do a follow up post containing them all.

International Women’s Day – A Letter to My Daughter

To My Darling Daughter,

It seems only fitting to me that on International Women’s Day I should write to you, the single most important female in my life. You will, one day, be a woman and I hope that you have daughters too, for having a daughter has been the single most rewarding experience of my life.

You are my world.

I cannot express my gratitude at being blessed with a daughter who has the kindest heart of anyone I have ever met, a daughter who carries the weight of the world with her and wants to make it all better. Seeing the sadness in your eyes when you think of those less fortunate than yourself breaks my heart and mends it all at once when I see your determination to make a difference to the world. Quite remarkable for someone of less than five years old.

You have filled my world with laughter, happiness, dancing, art, singing, stubbornness, worry, frustration, wonder, joy, sadness. You make me feel in a world that is so often numbed by external forcesand for that I cannot thank you enough.

It’s my job, as a mother and a woman to make sure that you know certain things and while I may not know everything just yet, my 28 years of life have taught me the following:

Never allow yourself to feel owned by anyone or anything. You belong to you and you alone. Always take the time to find joy in the smallest things. The light of the moon, the miracles of nature, a smutty joke. It’s all good. You can be anything you want to be. Your Dad and I will always be here for you. We’re your biggest fans and you are our single greatest love. Beauty is whatever you want it to be and you can see it everywhere if you only look hard enough. Friends are important. Never take anything for granted. Be happy. 

As a woman, you may find that you’re underestimated of overlooked. Being underestimated is just fine. Enjoy the look on people’s faces when it dawns on them that you are SO much more than they expected you to be. Being overlooked is not good. Kick and scream until you get the recognition you deserve.

Forget the labels. Be it the ones in your dress or the ones people put on you. They don’t matter. All that matters is that you have total agency over yourself and your body. Keep it that way.

There are no ifs and buts when it comes to love. Your Dad and and I met and married within 6 months, despite everyone’s objections. Our mantra is “when you know, you just know”. It’s a good thing to remember.

I can only hope, as a woman speaking to someone who will one day be one, that I’ve done a good job, raised you with confidence, intelligence, empathy and grace.

Trust me kid, you’re going to need those things to make it in this world.

Love, Ma xxxx

 

The Age My Mother Was Then.

I’ve had this post brewing in my head for a while now but I had to get my Mum’s permission to splash her private life around my little corner of the internet.

When my mother was 35, after a lifetime of gynecological problems, she was given a full hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, the lot. My sister was around five and I was about 13 and as far as I was concerned, my Mum had kids and she didn’t need her reproductive bits anymore so it was best to get them gone. She had endometriosis and her insides were so badly fused together that she had to have tissue removed from her bowel and spine and was told that this could mean, in a worst case scenario, she could also lose a portion of her bowel and have a colostomy bag, so when she came out of surgery and they’d managed to save her bowel, all we could feel was relief.

In the years since, I’ve heard my Mum talk about her grief at losing her ability to reproduce at such a young age, but it’s barely registered. Until yesterday, when I was sat on the bus on the way home from work. I’ve been having some gynae problems of my own, pain that the Doctors cannot explain and wouldn’t investigate (I was told a couple of years ago that they wouldn’t do a laparoscopy because I was too fat. My GP has since sent a strongly worded letter about how ridiculous this is).

I was sitting on the bus, going through the worst thoughts that were whizzing around my head, and it suddenly occurred to me how awful it must have been for my Mum. I’m almost 28, not quite the same age, but somewhere in the ballpark and the thought of having the decision to have more kids taken out of my hands in the next 7 years is devastating. Genuinely scary.

I rang my Mum last night, just to let her know that I finally get it. I know it’s a bit late for sympathy, but she said to me that if she could have she’d have carried on having kids until there was about six of us to look after. That’s what my Mum does, she looks after people, she’s even taking her Nursing degree at the moment. I wish I’d known at the time and could have been more sympathetic to her grief. I guess sometimes it takes a bit of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to really get it.

The Little Things.

As parents and bloggers we all share those monumental moments with each other, the holidays, the developmental milestones like first steps and first days at school. But we often forget about the little things, the times that really mean something to us. I gave Sausage a bath this afternoon, and as I was brushing and drying her hair it hit me just how much I enjoy doing these small things. Sausage has a lot of hair and it’s getting very long and taking care of it has become a real bonding experience for us. She’s become a pro at leaning back in the bath or shower so that no shampoo goes in her eyes when I rinse it off, and since I’ve started dusing a little conditioner on it the tangles are minimal. She doesn’t even mind the hair dryer too much now so what was, six months ago, a shouting, writhing, wriggling, wholly unpleasant experience for all involved has turned into something that mother and daughter can share and enjoy.

Silly really, to wax lyrical to this extent about washing my kid’s hair, but if the past fortnight has taught me anything, it’s that we need to enjoy every possible moment while you can. Don’t take anything for granted.

We’ve recently discovered Julia Donaldson’s books and Husband, Sausage and I have developed a bit of a ritual of sitting on the sofa most evenings, Daddy reading one book and then me reading another. Sitting together, enjoying a story and getting lost in the rhyme and rhythm of a good book is exactly what we seem to need, as a family. It goes to show that, while day trips and holidays are fun and important, for the princely sum of a couple of quid per book, we have enjoyed countless hours together. Plus, Sausage’s reading is coming along leaps and bounds, which is an added bonus.

I guess you could say that I’m swinging between the ever pressing need to SEE THINGS and DO THINGS before I no longer have the chance to see and do, and spending time enjoying the small things and taking things slowly. Who knows which is the right way to do things? All I know is, my outlook and my priorities seem forever changed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.