Reason 5,678 for mum guilt 

I miss my daughter, it feels like a terrible thing to say but as I have made it to the first birthday of my son I find myself realising just how much that has encroached on our time. I would not reverse the clock, I adore my George but there is much that has changed and the things I find myself with a lack of are time, patience and attentiveness and these things are so important to any child. I get the guilt. Another dimension of mum guilt, one that I didn’t have the hindsight to predict. 

My daughter is happy, like the most happy and delightful child I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I am so lucky that she is mine but I feel like I am missing a lot of this to tend to her brother. I am lucky because she loves the (not so new) newcomer more than words can possibly describe and this love is likely to be the ultimate remedy for anything she may be lacking following his arrival. That’s what family brings, it supplies you with what you need even before you know you need it. 

I think that maybe I need Millie right now more than she needs me, I miss her more than she misses me and this, I think, is because she has adapted so gracefully into being a family of one child to that of two and it really should be celebrated. Unfortunately I need my Millie fix, I need our previously I disturbed chats about unicorns, I need time to do crafts with her instead of being too scared of George choking on the beads, coating himself in glitter and eating the glue, and more than anything right now I want her to sleep in my bed and spend the night kicking me. 

I think the main reason that this hurts the way it does is because of the age gap, it had been a massive 7 years between having to put any other persons needs above my daughter. I got all of her and she got all of me. 

The guilt is stupid because she is still my ray of light and the fact that I have been blessed with another ray is extraordinar and the love the new brings is new, it doesn’t half what you have it doubles. 

Please tell me I’m not crazy and this is completely normal. 

Advertisements

What the actual…..

So I was quite concerned by the presence of this in my news feed on Facebook:


“One thing we’re absolutely assured of is that if we could emancipate all the women in the world like that,” he said with a snap of his fingers, “the birth rate would drop considerably. Because educated women have fewer kids, for obvious reasons: they have a greater scope to enjoy a richer life. We know that for a fact.”

Well personal I think that’s bullshit. I’m going to call this out, I don’t think it’s smarter to have a small family, I think those who have a good career to return to MAY choose the financial security of fewer children. There after hours of thinking this is how I’ve put it. Children are fucking expensive and the more you have the higher the cost is with childcare, maybe higher educated women happen to have more financial restraints because we all live to our means, and that may be a job you cannot afford to leave if you catch my drift. My salary was mediocre, without it we survive, however if it was high and we had more monetary commitments due to a lifestyle before children than maybe living on one wage would not work? I don’t think it’s because educated people prefer their ‘riches’ and I don’t think that means those with large families are under-educated poor people. 

And why the fuck is it always ‘let’s scrutinise the mothers’ clearly it’s solely a woman thing, we procreate independently?? 

Tell me what you think. 

Oh no she didn’t…..

….oh yes she did!

Now let’s make something very clear, in the words of Bridie Larter ‘it’s a blog not a fucking rule book’. This is something I do for enjoyment, it’s something I do for my sanity and you are all welcome to read, ignore or even slate but this is not a guidebook and I do not want anyone to feel that what I am or anyone else featured on the blog is doing is better than you or that you suddenly have to stop and do it differently. You’ve got this, you don’t need my shitty guidance nor my acceptance. In fact I wanted to involve loads of you to demonstrate that one size does not fit all, I am a very different mother to my son than I was to my daughter at his age and do you know why? They are different children. So what I let my baby cry and learn to self settle, I did that and you don’t have to and just so you know I actually settle him myself (rightly or wrongly) during waking hours but during unsociable ungodly hours he is feed changed and put back to bed. Mother like no one is judging, own what you fucking do, celebrate your motherhood and above all spread love like is butter! 

I was told I sit on the fence, that I was diplomatic and therefore not as honest maybe as someone standing for a cause or a style, do you know what I stand for? Being allowed on my bloody fence, taking it in, being objective, never turning down or away. If you want professional advice on what is considered best for your baby go to a professional not to me, I’m just a dummy plodding along with 2 wonderful children from 2 amazing dads, a Labrador and a really fat cat. 

I would however like to express apologies to anyone offended by this blog that is SERIOUSLY NOT what I’m about, and confirm to them I’m not biased, I’ll cover any baby mumma style but what I am is not a great writer so maybe the odd thing (maybe a lot of things) slip in and I don’t own Bernard’s watch which means I have all sort of time restraints. 

Peace out ✌🏻 

The New Wave Mum. 

The trip into motherhood as I’ve said many times can be a brutal battle, you have the pregnancy which entails your body actually growing a life (I know fucking insane), the labour where that life emerges from your body (even more insane), and then the crazy many stages of baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult. Well I’ve been talking to a free spirited mumma of two who is completely rocking it, don’t get me wrong she did admit that her children can be arseholes, but hay can’t they all?! 

I got to talk to Annistasia about Hypno Birthing and whilst the conversation did quickly escalate into matters of gender identity I was highly amused with the ‘poo humming’ yep you read that right! It is a mechanism to encourage you to allow your body to deliver the baby calmly, and to practice your poo hum, instead of straining when you are ready to go, you hum your poo out. Whilst this may sound crazy Annistasia did confirm that the labour she had with her son using the methods she had learnt left her feeling complete at his arrival. Both her children were delivered by C-section but having embraced the world of Hypno Birthing she said that she felt so much more in control and informed of her choices during the labour and this is something so important! With her second section Annistasia even had the knowledge and conviction to have a natural section which she attributes to helping her feel as though this labour was under her control and an all around better experience. The course Annistasia took was not funded by the NHS and is considered an alternative method, which clearly has had some great results. We spoke about breastfeeding and the incredible support she had from the Chelsea and Westminster hospital where her daughter was born siting it as to be quite frank the only reason she was successful at feeding, she had four days of one on one care and support and went on to fed her daughter for 2 years. This in itself is validation of the help that is needed. 

We spoke freely about Annistasia’s parenting style and how she embraces the wishes her children have and encourages self development and independence. Her daughter is currently with blue and pink hair after expressing want for this for several weeks (hair chalks before anyone goes crazy). After all we only want to give our children what they want and Annistasia so wonderfully put it with ‘there are too many no’s in this would, be a yes!’ We also covered gender neutralising and I was so happy to hear that whilst her children will always be aware of their gender there is also a complete acceptance of however that may change in their futures. Annistasia confirmed that she believed that gender neutralisation could have a negative impact and blur the lines of sexuality. Yes! It’s important I feel that we let our children be who they are without boundaries and embrace whole heartedly the choices they make regarding their gender and sexuality. 

I think it’s important to add that during this interview I could tell that these children will be encouraged to flourish whilst being guided by a mother that loves them. It was really great to see how the other half live! I love my children but I know I’m an uptight mum at times, I may just need too be a little freer with them!!! 

And look at the hair:

The crying it out method. 

So my baby doesn’t sleep, he gets up in the middle of the night for up to three hours and for the last ten months it’s been hard. It’s been so hard I nearly spoilt Christmas with my bad mood, I’ve turned down countless offers of help because of fear of what my baby is like in the night, I have single handedly caused chaos, torment and upset with my crippling up and down moods swings.

Now we are only on night one and this means we have a path ahead of us that is likely to be hella difficult but I wanted to write this to remind me of how I feel today. Last night George woke up at 12, I gave him a bottle and changed his bum and put him back down, he cried for 20 minutes, I then got him out again and gave him the rest of his bottle (he never finishes in one sitting) and he then went back to his bed for another 20 minutes crying and then slept until 6. I think it’s safe to say that today I feel like a goddess. 

I am not a bad mum but the sleep deprivation is a real struggle and today with a good night sleep I have been active, alert, happier and my patience has been restored. We have eaten better, the house is tidier and I even walked the dog solo, a massive fear for me as he is a large Labrador who pulls me down the road. 

I have thought about dinner and have retrieved what we need from the freezer, I have relied less on the tv as a distraction for George. I have been a better mum today. I haven’t panicked about naps because I need a rest. 

I know we have miles to go but I am basking in the glow of making positive steps for not only me but the rest of my family too. I want to remember this feeling because when I listen to him cry at night just wanting to be with me I can safely say that when he is with me in the morning he will feel the full force of everything I can give him, not the half measures I’ve been using because I’m a fucking zombie. 

It always seemed like a dad thing to say ‘let him cry it out’ but having mumma’s approached me when I asked for help to give me this advice I felt as though I could give it a try. Sorry dads but your advice is generally not well received, it could be to do with the fact I’m living off 6 hours broken fucked up sleep, coffee and sweets. 

Here is to what hopefully will be something we can continue! 

Ps the featured image is not me today, that was me a couple of weeks ago. I probably look the same to be fair because it’s only one night but I have never looked so bad in all my life. My skin is dark and patchy, my eyes look sunken and tired, I’m spotty, my weight is uncontrollable. I want to be me again, I looked better immediately after labour than I do now. George about two days old:

Mothering By Mothers (3)

I’ve spoken about work with lots of mums, some do and some don’t. Childcare cost are so high that it can mean if you are not returning to a career than you may even be worse off. 

But what fucks me off is that I have a ten month old baby, my previous job has moved further than I can go, my notice period isn’t even up and some think it’s totally acceptable to ask me questions about work and offer their opinion on how I should be working because my partner does. The logistics of working are mental hard when you have kids, I’m going to find a job but it will have to be one that pays enough to cover childcare, is conducive with the school runs and is possible on 4-6 hours sleep. My baby doesn’t sleep, and whilst I will return to work this particular moment is so fucking scary and full of pressure you might need to give me a bit of time. 

Just think, do I ask you when you are going to have babies? Do I then assume knowledge of your home/professional life and then to convince you that in fact you are ready? No. Also if I ever hear that my partner goes to work on the same amount of sleep I get and he copes so why can’t I again I’m going to stab him.  Well firstly he doesn’t, secondly he doesn’t keep the house, thirdly those words clearly came from his mouth and he chats shit. 

Working mumma:

I was delighted to get to talk to a working mum Bex that I had the pleasure of actually working with! Fresh out the shower we shared the notion of ‘mum guilt’ and just hearing it from someone else reaffirmed that this shit is real. 

Bex has two boys and between working full time she spends all her ‘mum time’ doing the practical stuff instead of the fun stuff she’d like to be doing. For many mum’s it’s all getting dressed, getting off to childcare, picking up, dinners, bath, and bed and man can that feel sucky. 

It was hard to hear that Bex eldest has noticed the differences his lifestyle has from other children who have at least one stay at home parent, and being someone previously in this boat it really rang true, it was nice however to have the reassurance that he too understood why he went to a childminder. It’s more than understandable that children want to spend time with their family and juggling their wants and the needs of family finances can be hella draining. 

Childcare was another subject we touched upon and the worry that has plagued families for years, yep you know it, the cost! With additional funding being available for older children with two working parents there has been a massive step forward to help with this but as Bex confirmed this funding will not be available to her for another 18 months. 

Another factor is that kids get ill, and as I have been told by the doctors it’s likely to be a fuck load more than an average adult which only leads to more mum guilt. As Bex noted it becomes a job in itself to negotiate the requirements of her work with the demanding regular health issues children pick up from everywhere! As her partner earns more the sensible thing is for her to stay off with whichever sick bug is ravaging her boys, the youngest of which she refers to as ‘sick note’. 

Regardless of all the guilty coming from so many directions Bex has two not only incredibly cute but also happy boys who benefit from her working. 

Basically we have working mum’s and stay at home mum’s both of which are effected by some sort of guilt. There is no changing that, it sucks, regardless of which one you are your mumming it up!

Mothering by Mothers (2) 

I want to take some time to tell you about Becky, super mum of two, who was signed up to talk all things co-parenting, mixed family and her amazing commitment to adult learning but as we were about to sign out she whipped out a boob and started to feed her daughter! Well as you can imagine I wanted to here about breastfeeding and what that meant to her and her family and it was so refreshing! 

Firstly Becky told me about breastfeeding her son to the age of two and instantly I wanted to know more, there is sometimes a stigma to extended breastfeeding and although she said she had some conflicting views ultimately she did what she did for her son and that to me is what mothering is all about! Becky also said that whilst that this time she felt confident that her daughter would go for a year before being weened off the boob. This indicated to me a knowledge of what was best for her and either of her children and whilst I do not need to praise or big up her choices I couldn’t have happier to hear such confidence in her muming! 

When questioned about her views on formula I was also happily stunned by Becky who actually said to her breastfeeding was what felt natural and that she needed to do it and that formula is so the way for some mum’s but that we need to recognise and adjust the way we perceive it. I got this. A formula feed baby doesn’t always sleep, it may not go longer between feeds, so when I gave up breastfeeding for these benefits I didn’t get them. 

Becky is a supporter of her sister boober and often praises others finding their comfort zones and offers advice and guidance where needed being an active member on a local breastfeeding support group. Her confidence in her feeding is quite clear as she regaled a story of walking around a supermarket with a young baby feeding and doing the necessary shopping! Talk about epic. 

It was also mentioned that during her breastfeeding journey she has had the occasional strange look and a comment once but wants to implore would be breastfeeders not to let nasty stories about other people’s experiences put them off, there is not always huge truth in this. 

However you feed your baby you are doing a great job, but in this post I want to here it for the boobing ladies keeping it real and often very much in sight (where it should be). Thank you Becky!