Gives us Mums a Break

I was talking to a friend of mine last night about what I was going to do as a job and the options I had come up with. She brought up an interesting fact, it went something like this..Right now you are busy being mum, don’t worry about a job.

Interesting I know.

The reason it’s interesting is kind of sad though. I can’t just be mum. I can’t just look after my boy. I can’t make him my only thought day and night. Not because I don’t want to or because I can’t physically do it, but because society won’t let me.

Society doesn’t accept mums for being mums.

Sound silly? Because it is.

When I am in a group situation the typical talk is about what you do. The minute I answer with stay at home mum, then the questions roll about when I will go back to work, if you don’t have a job what will you study while you are at home, why don’t you just drop him at childcare or his grandparents house. Because I don’t want to. End of story.

I don’t know what I want to do. I’m only just starting to realise what I like doing as a hobby now that I’m not as sleep deprived. Being a mum is hard work and I only have one, I can’t imagine what it would be like with multiples. But for those that feel the need to ask any new mum those questions, think about this.

One day I will go to work. I don’t know when that will be.

One day I will feel ready to drop him at childcare.

One day I will feel ready to plan activities or days without him.

One day I’ll put him to bed in his own bed.

And one day he won’t want me around any more, he will want his space, his own bed, his own friends, and activities to enjoy, he will feel embarrassed to kiss and cuddle me in front of people and won’t lay his head on my shoulder where he feels safe to relax. When that day comes, I’ll be glad I had him so close for so many years, so many moments, so many memories. For those memories are the ones I will look back on and share with him when he has his own family.

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What you don’t realise

So here’s what you don’t realise when you become mum. Clothes shopping is hard work!

It’s coming into the cooler months now, do you think I can find anything suitable to wear during winter, no!

It’s actually starting to grid my gears. I have been shopping on a few separate occasions now, I’ve been to the expensive shops, the cheap ones and just about everything in between. The problem is, every shop has the same thing in varying colours and fabrics. Being someone who is quite handy with a sewing machine I find it most annoying the amount shops are charging for the crappy clothing they are selling, but thats a total mum rant for another day.

My biggest problem with clothes shopping is that one I’m still breastfeeding. Now I love this, I don’t think its a problem at all, but everything “fashionable” this year seems to be long with collars up to the neck. So in other words, there is no way in. There are a couple of shirt styles around with buttons, but they are not going to be warm even if I don’t throw on a few extra layers.

So I don’t know what to do, I might have to do some searching online. Otherwise I might have to make some things, not that I have time for that. I know there are some sites around that see breastfeeding friendly tops but its just not my style. They are usually plain and very obvious in the access, I don’t want that. Im not asking for much really, I need practical, fashionable, boob accessible mum clothes.

On another note, my little boy took his first step last night and stood up unassisted! woohoo, hopefully he starts to walk soon so I don’t have so much washing to do and he can wear his jackets that a bit big without them getting in the way.

My Anxiety takes over

So here’s an interesting one for all those playing at home. I feel almost embarrassed to do what I do with my boy in public.

That might sound a bit strange, but what I’m talking about is the shushing to sleep, or rocking, or how I talk to him when he’s upset, that sort of stuff.

I have absolutely no idea why I feel that way. It actually really bothers me. I think my biggest thing is I feel like EVERYONE is judging me. This includes family, actually family is the worst.

I haven’t necessarily had a terrible experience to make me feel this way either. It makes me feel so uneasy about going to some places, like camping. I didn’t want to go right up until the day we went. Because I didn’t want to have to deal with a melt down with other people around, with our friends we were camping with.

Although meltdowns are never that big of an issue, yes they are annoying and loud, but eventually they stop and whatever you were trying to do ends up happening, it just takes time. It takes courage. It takes thick skin.

The type of courage they talk about in brave soldiers and sick kids. Anyone who hasn’t experienced this before would think I’m crazy, but it’s so real, it’s a gut retching anxiety that stops you from doing what you want to do.

I am lucky that H knows I want to do these things and that my anxiety is stopping me from even imagining it. It might be because I’m an introvert, maybe it’s because this is my first rodeo as a mum. I’m sure A can sense it though, especially in situations where there are a lot of people. He seems to gravitate toward me more than usual and doesn’t let go. I don’t mind when he does, it almost makes me feel a little calmer about the situation because I don’t have to pass him around to other people, I know he’s safe I don’t have to stress about where he is or if he’s going to get hurt. That being said I wouldn’t stop him from exploring if that’s what he wants to do.

The thing is, I get the “he’s so attached to you” speech every time that’s what he does. And that annoys me. He’s still so little, and definitely understands when he doesn’t know people, so of course he doesn’t want some stranger to be holding him, especially when he can tell his mum is having a hard time in the situation as well.

I just hope my anxiety doesn’t rub off on A and make him feel this way in situations as well. Its not ideal.

 

Call Me Crazy – We Took ‘A’ Camping

We have officially done our first camping trip away with A! Woohoo! We will keep it on the down low that it was only one night, but the point is that we survived with zero melt downs.

I was super dooper impressed with everyone, considering how cold it was but also how frustrating it would have been for the little man because I couldn’t really put him down anywhere.

It was truly a wonderful weekend and one I think I have needed for a while. Its funny because I don’t really have anything to get away from, I mean yes, sometimes it would be nice to get away from a crying baby, but I couldn’t do that for very long without feeling like I want him back with me. I don’t have a job to escape from for a long weekend or even the hustle and bustle of life, but do you know what it was good for. Me.

It was good for me, I needed to get out in a different place, a place where there isn’t any distractions, one where time doesn’t exist and you follow the cues of life instead. I tell you what it did make me want to do. Take photographs.

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We went and saw the glow worms that night, it was the whole reason we went, and they were amazing. But we couldn’t get a good photo of them, my nephew was so disappointed but we had to explain to him that sometimes there are moments in life where you can’t take a photo, it becomes a very special memory. It just reminded me of how many opportunities I get with my little boy that can’t be photographed. The thought that one day I will only be able to look back on some memories through my own thoughts is sad. My boy is almost 1 and some memories already feel so distant.

So I have decided to learn how to take some really good photos. Even if all it does is give me some really good camping trip photos of our little family and the adventures we go on. At least that gives me more room in my memory bank for those moments I can’t take photos of.

Do I Really Need to Make a Decision?

I have just started doing some casual work for family. Its just a bit a bookwork, but something I am familiar with, and I can take A with me. Its nice to structure my week around some work and timelines that need to be stuck to but it does bring up some interesting questions.

I have never done a university degree or like. I have started a couple of things, but for one reason or another I have had to stop. Now I tried to pick up one of my past subjects and finish it about a month ago. My thought pattern was that if I could finish one subject at a time it could give me some motivation to pick up maybe more than one and complete a university degree part time over the next few years, ready for when he starts school.

Great idea, but it seems to have terrible execution. I mustn’t be as interested in what I’m studying as what I thought because I just cant get the motivation to do the study at all. A is at an age where he gets into everything, but that’s easily fixed by getting a playpen or similar.

So here’s the problem…Now that I’m a mum what do I want to do?

Becoming a mum shouldn’t change what you would like to do as a career, but it does. It does because I have changed. I think differently, I have different priorities, what seemed like not such a big deal before, is now a problem. Like shift work, I don’t want to do shift work at least not while he is young, I want to be able to pick him up from school and go to his sporting games on the weekends, plan camping trips and go on impromptu adventures. A lot of careers don’t allow that sort of freedom.

So I thought of not working. All of which I am happy with except now being in Sydney we sort of need me to at least work part time to help work toward buying a house.

The other problem with picking a career, I have worked for myself for the last 2 years, so the idea of working for someone else bothers me. I’m a better leader than follower. I’m under no illusion that I would be able to walk straight into a management role, so I think the end goal should be, pick a career I can eventually work for myself in.

Now to pick an area of interest.

That seems like an impossible task. I have so many things I’m interested in and none of them jump out at me to want to study for at least 3 years if not more and then work in. I have tried looking into areas that are predicted to grow so that I can at least have good work prospects but Nothing.

So maybe I start a business. I’ve done it before, it’s not too hard because I have made the mistakes previously, I could set it up reasonably cheaply and with ease.

So what do I start a business in?

Well I have an idea. Not sure if it’s going to work, but I can try, right?

A New Love of Life

When I got pregnant, many people told me my life was over, that I would never sleep again, never have any money. I wouldn’t get to do anything for myself or enjoy life like I used to.

I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them.

Sure, my life isn’t the same anymore, I’m now mum.

And I’m feeling more like mum everyday.

I have never felt so in love with another human in my life. I would do anything for him, I now understand why mothers always say they would die for their children.

It truly has taken some time to feel this way though. I have had to learn about him. Learn about the things that work for us and the things that don’t. Some of the decisions I have ultimately made have been ones I never thought I would do, but it is the best solution for a happy environment. A happy baby and a happy mum means everyone is a lot less stressed out as the day goes on.

It’s almost like a new relationship, because, I suppose it is. The more I strive to understand what excites him, and calms him, create wonderful experiences and adventures for him, the closer we grow together

I get asked all the time if I want to leave him and go out on my own, but I honestly don’t feel the need to. Sure I have my bad days or nights with him where he can be really challenging but I still can’t just leave him, especially if he is calling for me.

On occasion I have stepped away for a short amount of time, but I can never do anything productive.

He is all I can think of.

I have had many people tell me that it will change, I will loose that, but I hope not. I hope there is nothing I would love more than a warm hug and a wet kiss just ONE more time.

Sometimes I sit and watch him sleep, sometimes right next to him, sometimes on the monitor. I enjoy watching him sleep, he looks so peaceful and perfect, innocent. I wonder if he knows how much he is cared for and loved, how much I cherish his every smile, the “kisses” I get or the way he rests his head on my shoulder when he is tired.

Sure what everyone said might be slightly correct, but only for the fact that you choose to give up your freedom, your money and in some respects your sleep so that your child can have the best in life. Because at the end of the day I would rather go without a new pair of shoes so that I can stay home with him longer and help him to learn and grow into a beautiful young man.

Teething Pain Is Always The Last Thing You Think Of

The last week or so since we have got here, Mr almost 1 has been quite attached to myself and H. A few people have made comments about it, but we just figure it was because of the transition to a new environment with all new people.

Turns out it may be because he has a tooth coming through. It is so close I can see the hole the tooth is making and the top of it but I can’t feel it yet. Actually I cant get anywhere near it any more, it must be so sore, half the time he doesn’t even want his dummy, which is very unusual for him!

He has been so sad, and crying proper tears from it all, just generally sobbing. I have tried to give him Panadol, Neurofen and teething gel, but because its all oral based, he wont let me anywhere near him. The bad part is he’s strong enough now to push me away or hold his mouth closed.

Its such a horrible thing to go through, they are in so much pain and don’t understand why, and we can’t do a whole lot to help them once you try and cover the basics. I know the best I can do is just let him hang off me for as long as he needs. I am a massive comfort for him as well as nursing, and as long as it brings him comfort, I’m happy to do it as often as he needs.

I have to say though, It didn’t click that he was teething till I caught a look at the funny mark on his gums yesterday. I just figured it was all because of everything going on. It’s funny, once you work out what’s going on everything makes sense.

Now I have a check list for next time, so I can try and pick it up earlier, it goes, bad nappy rash, really smelly poos, Not sure what he wants to do, doesn’t want his toast (or anything hard), frequent night feedings, doesn’t want his dummy, and wont let me near his mouth. Check, check, check, and check.