A different kind of normal

What day of the week is it again?
I think every day has been rolling into the next in a bit of a blur. What used to be a normal structure and routine has disappeared. Thankfully some kind of “normal”, and I use that term very very loosely, looks set to return. Woohoo! We better not break out the party streamers just yet, because if we have learnt anything over the last few months is how quickly things can change.

I think I’ve been tested as a parent more in recent weeks than ever before. I’ve learnt I’m definitely not a teacher and have zero interest in taking it up as a profession, pretty much ever! Some aspects of doing school from home haven’t been too bad but overall, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Let’s just say, I’m very much looking forward to my big girl returning to the classroom in a few days!

What is a social life anymore? Not that I really had much of a “social” life before. Not unless you count chatting to other parents at school drop off/pick up and play dates. That’s a social life right?! Not being able to go out and see friends has certainly taken its toll on everyone, from adults right through to the littlies – my girls definitely included. I think it’s quite possible I have yelled at them more in the last 2 months than ever before, I’m sure the neighbourhood probably agrees, haha! They have been seeing each other all day, every day and it shows! Constant bickering and fighting over even the silliest of things. Going back to school and kindy might actually give them a chance to miss each other again, aww! I’m hoping so anyway. If not, I think I’m completely screwed.

My girls have been pretty good at understanding why their little world has changed so much, well mostly anyway. A quick trip to grab a few groceries with them in tow (for the first time in months) the other day had me nearly dropping the f-bomb in public. Why is it as soon as you tell kids not to touch or do something, they are compelled to do the exact opposite?!! I know I’m not alone in this one! Let’s just say, I think I’ll continue to grab groceries alone in the foreseeable future. I’m not sure whether I’m overjoyed or bummed about this prospect. Plus they still don’t quite get the idea of keeping their distance from other people, although I think they’re doing better than a lot of adults out there!

On a slightly different note, it’s a special day for many out there this Sunday – Mother’s Day. It might not quite look the same for everyone this year but it’s still worth celebrating all the mums and those who fit into the role, however that may be. It holds a different meaning for so many people. For me, it reminds me of the three most important people in my life. The two beautiful little girls (yeah I know, I’m feeling sentimental so they’re beautiful instead of the usual terrors) who made me a mum and remind me on a regular basis why I am their slave…I mean the best mummy ever. They are the same right?! And I can’t not mention the person who gave me life and who listens to me whinge all the time, my amazing mum! Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I haven’t been the easiest person to put up with, especially in the last three and a bit years, but I know you do it because I am the best child you have. Oh right, it’s actually because you love me!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums, mums-to-be, step mums, the dads who might be mum as well and everyone else who fits into the “mum” category, you are all amazing! May your day be filled with love, fun and laughter, along with some good presents as well!

Going up and down – where is the middle ground?

There are days my heart feels full and other days where it feels heavy. The strain of motherhood knows no bounds. The responsibility for the little people in my life can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. They can drive me to the brink of insanity and then just when I feel like I’m going to tip over the edge, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Kids!

I’ve been told I’m both hated and the best mummy in the whole world in the space of about two minutes. I’m not here to win any fans, but I certainly wasn’t aiming for being the worst so soon. I feel I must be doing something right, somehow. Even though just quietly, it feels like I’m doing it all wrong!

The best you can hope for in raising kids is that you keep them alive and that one day when the toughest years disappear behind you, that you have done your best and raised a decent young person. No one tells you to how to guide them, you’re pretty much winging it from sunrise to sunset. I am only human, after all. Sometimes I think my girls must think I’m superhuman (well we sort of are!) and that I can make absolutely anything happen.

The most I can hope for is they know that despite everything we have been through and endured in these youngest years of their lives, is that mummy did her best. Even though I yell, swear, walk away angry, say things I shouldn’t and even cry, I’m still trying to be the best mummy I can be.

We have days full of tears and tantrums (sometimes mine, sometimes theirs) and others loaded with fun and laughter. But I can tell you I’m already a bit over hearing the words “I’m bored”. Even when there is plenty to do, how can you be bored??! It must be yet another rite of passage as a child to utter that phrase over and over again to see how much you can irritate your parents! If it’s not “I’m bored”, it’s along the lines of “what can we do mummy?” because apparently I have to completely fill the day up with activities so we don’t get bored (insert eye roll here, haha!).

One of the most difficult things I’ve encountered lately is having two feral children who act like they belong in a zoo. Running around the house, throwing things, talking back and being rude, demanding I do everything, it goes on! It drives me insane and they think it’s funny, so up goes the needle on my anger metre even more. I think they might even get a bit of a kick out of seeing how far they can push mummy. Before I blow a gasket I do my best to remember they are my monsters and luckily I love them!

Being a mum is hard work but it can also be somewhat rewarding. Knowing I’m their person (and hopefully always will be) that they turn to when they need a hug or just a bit of help is a pretty big deal. I still need my mum now and I haven’t been a kid for a very long time. It’s all about finding the right balance apparently, if anyone out there has found it, let me know how so I can join this elusive and exclusive club too, haha! In the meantime I’ll be in the corner pulling my hair out…and probably yelling too, some people say I do it really well, that’s got to count for something, right?!

Like mother, like daughters

My mini me’s have been at it again.

What now? Oh, just the usual for a four-year-old full of attitude and her cheeky two-year-old sister who likes to copy everything she can. I’ve been told “no” and “don’t you dare mummy” more times than I dare to count. I’ve also been huffed and grunted at, had eyes rolled at me, watched feet stomping and hands on hips in defiance and above all else ignored on a regular basis. It’s all pretty much an every day occurrence. Ahhhhh, kids. You love them because that’s just who you are as mummy and what you do. But there are times, when you don’t have to like them!

And there are plenty of things that I don’t like, but I’m pretty much just a passenger on this journey most days. It doesn’t matter what I say or do, I can be pretty much invisible. Well, until I have something they want or suggest we go do something and then I become their most favourite person on the planet. I already am anyway (haha!) but it’s always nice to be loved when they want something!

One thing I’m noticing more as the girls get older is they don’t forget, especially if they have been promised something. Once upon a time you could tell them we’d do it later and hope they would forget. Not anymore. If they have been promised a treat for being good, they’ll hold you to it. I just have to be mindful only to offer up a reward that’s definitely achievable, or maybe I should go for something out of their reach…insert evil laugh here. Nah I’m not that mean. I find a little bit of encouragement can go a long way with my two cherubs, especially if chocolate is on offer. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree on that one!

One thing’s for sure, my babies are growing up fast. Sometimes it feels a little too fast. Next week my big girl starts kindy (eeeek!) and my “baby” will be off to try the world of daycare for one day a week. I’m not even worried at all. The girls are pretty excited, especially knowing they’ll be across the hallway from each other. It’s funny how they almost kill each other at home but I think being at the same centre for kindy and daycare and when the time comes, at school together, they’ll always have each other’s backs. I’ve said many times before, those two share a special bond, one only they can understand. It always makes me smile knowing they have each other, no matter what.

Even though they’re getting bigger by the day, there are also times I reminded just how little and impressionable they are. That is until one of them blows a raspberry in my face or better yet, farts. But despite all the tantrums and carry on we definitely have a lot of fun, laughter and good times. Like most people, I do enjoy a bit of “me time” but after awhile I miss my babies and their infectious giggles, it’s a sound that just melts my heart. Plus, I have to admit their cuddles are the best!

Until next time, keep smiling and remember even on a bad day, you have got this!

Baring it all

Boobs.

Breasts.

Fun bags if you prefer that term as well.

Whatever your name preference they’re still the same at the end of the day, a part of the body with a purpose.

What purpose you deem them for is really up to you.

But please get off this high horse about women feeding their children in public being such a bad thing.

It’s going to happen whether you like it or not.

Yes I’m a breastfeeding mother and I’m a bit over people carrying on about it all.

Regular readers of my blog might remember this is not the first time I’ve written (or ranted) about breastfeeding.

It’s a topic that always evokes quite a bit of response and usually not for the best or right reasons.

Come on people it’s not offensive.

Not even a little bit.

If you don’t like it, don’t look.

They’re not in your face.

In fact they’re right in the face of the little person who needs them the most.

For goodness sake, don’t stare at a breastfeeding mother in a judgmental way (or one bottle feeding either!).

If you can really help it, don’t stare at all.

And let me give you a hint, we don’t necessarily like showing our breasts for all to see.

It’s not a porn movie!

But when a baby is hungry they deserve to be fed, unless you’d rather listen to them scream.

And I’m sure there’s enough dirty looks given for that “problem” too!

Let’s be honest here, when a baby is feeding you don’t see that much anyway.

And no a baby doesn’t need to be hidden under a cover either.

Think about it would you eat your food under a blanket, especially on a hot day?

Mothers are usually dealing with enough of their own worries, especially first time Mums, so before you open your mouth, think twice.

After all she could be sleep deprived and you never know what might hit you!

Feeding the hunger

I’ve had enough of the boob shaming.

Confused?!

Well so am I!

We’re now in the year 2015 and it seems breastfeeding is still very much an issue of contention.

I understand that yes it can make people feel uncomfortable to see a mother nourishing her hungry baby out in the public eye.

But these women are not naked. This is not a sexual thing, it’s feeding a child.

It seems it’s okay for women to walk around in low cut clothing with their breasts almost falling out, but as soon as a mother goes to feed her child, it’s a different story!

Most feeding mothers are very discreet and it’s rare that you’ll see much of her breast, if anything at all, while a child is fed.

I’m sick of hearing things like how women should cover up while feeding or go to a bathroom, particularly in an eating establishment.

I don’t think eating food in the toilet is hygienic for a start.

And if you’ve ever tried to cover a feeding child (yes I have!), most don’t like the idea and will squirm and carry on, in turn creating more fuss than a simple feed to begin with.

Yes I do know that not all women are discreet and some might just leave their boob flopping in the breeze for all to see once their child is fed.

But that’s not everyone and maybe you shouldn’t be looking.

I understand it’s like a car crash and you can’t look away but maybe have a little self control?

If you haven’t worked it out already this is a topic I’m very passionate about, having already breastfed one child (many times in public!) and with plans to do it again with the arrival of the next one!

And don’t even get me started on the problems some bottle feeding mums encounter!

Thankfully I’m yet to encounter any problems while out feeding and I hope I never do because that person will certainly feel the shame!

It’s a natural part of life.
And I think sometimes people forget that it can be just as uncomfortable for a nursing mother to have eyes watching as it is for her to bare herself to feed her child.

I know at times for me it wasn’t always the most ideal situation to be in, but a hungry child always beats a case of vanity any day!

And let’s face it, all traces of vanity are left at the door when you give birth anyway.

So why does a feed direct from the most natural source possible create so much uproar?

Not all babies will drink from a bottle so you can’t expect a mother to pump feeds in advance. Nor does any baby stick to a specifically timed feeding schedule, especially newborns, they eat when they’re hungry.

You know when a baby is crying to be fed, it doesn’t give up easily.

Think about how cranky you can be when you’re hungry, it’s not a pleasant feeling.

So next time you see a mother breastfeeding her child and you feel a little uncomfortable, why not try a few different options:

-Look away if it really bothers you.

-Don’t look at her breasts but rather smile at her face.

-Or if you really don’t like it, do everyone a favour and stick a bag over your head!