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Walking on Sunshine!

I love being a mother. When it was just the Husband and me, I never thought much about having a child or raising a family. I knew , somewhere deep inside that I wanted to.But I never really spent time daydreaming about it or anything like that. And then we got pregnant and I started to get excited. When Z was born, the first few weeks were/still are a blur. And then they added up to months and before I knew it, Z was inching closer and closer to his first birthday. With tat, it also celebrates my first year as a mother. I love being a mother! I love how much this child has changed me.

I am so much more than I was before.

I am patient. So much more patient! with my husband, with my parents, with my siblings and my friends.

I am indifferent. To negativity. To differing opinions on raising my child (if they are not valid, justified or better in any way I have no trouble dismissing them) To people who dislike me. I don’t lose sleep any more about what others think of me. It doesn’t matter at all.

I am kinder. To children. To older people. To my husband, who is doing way more than he can and yet never ever relaxes unless I am sitting down too.

I am stronger. A lot more stronger than I imagined. I can get by on less than 5 hours of sleep (though I don’t know for how much longer!) and I push my body to do much much more than I’ve ever made it do in the last 30 odd years.

I am positive. I am blessed. My family is a blessing. My child is a gift and my life is simple and joyous. Even in my moments of sorrow and sadness, I smile because I know I have a blessed life. Thank God for every single moment I live. Because it truly is wondrous!

Being a mother has changed me for the better. I am calmer now and I am no longer anxious or irritable. Of course I do get angry, annoyed, snap and grumble often enough. But I cans sense the change inside me and I love it! Thank you my sweet lil Z. You make me a better person every day. I love you so much my darling boy. I always always will.

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Nine

My boy, my son – has been outside in this world for exactly the same time as he has been inside my womb. *sigh*. HOW do they grow so damn fast? OK, if I want to get specific then maybe the days are a bit off because he wasn’t born at exactly 36 weeks. (yes, 40 weeks does not constitute 9 months – go figure!) So he’s still got a wee bit of catching up to do outside! But you know what I mean. Nine months! Geez! it’s a scary thought. My husband and I are still the same. Maybe a bit heavier and definitely more patient (esp running on less than a full nights sleep for months now) but we’re the same. Z on the other hand is not. He now stands (with some assistance), he is vocal, he laughs, he crawl, he eats food on his own and he smiles the most heartbreakingly beautiful smile. Ever. He is no longer the tiny lil puppy we got home who was swaddled and burped every two hours, no longer the lil baby who slept long and could be held in one hand. No longer the tiny baby who would entertain himself by running in place, on his back while he started at the dreamcatcher on the window. He now pulls himself up every single surface he sees. He wants to explore and taste, talk and communicate, share and touch. He wants to go out, and try new foods, observe people and feel textures, listen to songs and move with the beat – he’s becoming quite the little person and I love him more every day.

But today’s post is not just about him. It’s about being a spouse whilst being a parent. You see, we’ve been married for a while before we had Z. It wasn’t a conscious decision to delay babies but it just was how it happened. So life before the baby was exactly like it is for thousands of other regular couples out there. Simple, uncomplicated, as much sleep as we wanted, easy dinners, last minute plans with friends, short trips away, less fights, more time together etc etc. Nine months ago all that changed. Of course we changed too. The lack of sleep really really really got to us.(I personally feel that is a HUGE reason why marriages get strained after a baby) and the added responsibilities got us feeling exhausted pretty fast. We have no help/family members (our choice) and we do it all on our own. And although the first few months were so incredibly hard, we got through them (sleepwalked through them most likely) Our marriage changed, a bit. We rarely had time for each other. Well, we rarely had time for ourselves! And we snapped so much more, we argued and rolled our eyes, we screamed and banged doors. All this was done before of course, but never as frequently as we did now. And we were unhappy.

And then I read a post, on a Facebook group that I belong too. It was written by someones husband and it just opened up my eyes. But most importantly, it helped the Husband see how we needed to change asap too. Cos you see, women tend to focus on the emotional much more than men. And no amount of tears or pleading could get the message across as simply as this one post. Maybe because it was written by a man, I don’t know – but it worked. Since that day, we’ve made it a point to just stop being mean/unkind to each other. Just took it off the table. I mean, physical abuse is never an option. Thats a given right? so why should meanness be tolerated? anger is fine, frustration is normal but we have a choice to be kind. We chose to use it. And it’s changed everything!!!

This is the post, and I’ve credited the person who wrote it – brilliant man! Thank you Weinand

“Relationships and decisions
I have a really complicated job. As a result I try and try and try to simplify what I need to do every day. It saves me time and keeps me focused on what I need to do. I have come to the realisation that work (and life and parenting) is simply a series of decisions. Everything we do is the consequence of decisions and when we do act we simply create more opportunity for decisions.
I think our personal relationships are the same. Actually I think our relationships are a series of consequences due to the decisions we take. And I consider not taking a decision, to be a decision by itself! Let me explain: We decide to love someone, decide to commit to them and decide to treat them with respect. Relationships are a therefore a series of decisions.
Increasingly I come across relationships that are broken. I don’t know why they break, but in most cases they don’t break overnight. If that is the case then my previous logic suggests that a poor relationship is the consequence of a series of wrong decisions, made by at least one person in that relationship.
Some relationships are very strong though. Mine with my wife is exceptionally so. I know this, because we have taken a number of decisions that make it so. We have decided not to ever speak to each other in a demeaning way. I will never disrespect my wife with language. We can become very angry, but we decided not to ever say anything to each other that you can’t take back. Calling each other terrible names or hurting each other is simply not an option. It is off the table.
We also made a decision to be there for each other. We decided to be generous with our time and to give each other a break. We talk about it and then expect it from each other. And then we love each other for it. All of these decisions were conscious, explicit choices and I think that makes all the difference. In many relationships, the parties make implicit decisions or don’t make any decisions at all.

The thing about explicit decisions in relationships are that they build trust and makes accountability really easy. I trust my spouse 100% and I don’t have to ask myself why I do it. She also makes mistakes, says sorry and then tries to fix it. I do the same and probably make more mistakes. But we trust each other to fix them. Conversations about are children are tough, but we are explicit about it. Everything is out on the table so we know what we think and feel. Then we can make what we think are the best decisions together, consciously. Conscious choice and being explicit about it takes courage. We should all be courageous in our relationships. It is the least we owe our best friends and lifelong companions.
If you feel your relationship is not exactly where you want it to be, perhaps you should ask yourself what implicit and explicit decisions have you made to give it direction and shape. Revisiting those may give you a pleasant surprise in its simplicity and power.- Wienand Combrink”

I hope these words can make that small difference in someone else’s life too. It’s beautiful in its simplicity.

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Eight Months

Eight months. Eight Months! Eight Months!! really?? where has the time gone lil Z? You are now crawling – backwards more than forwards and frogging it more than actually crawling but you’re moving! Your diet has gone from 100% Breast milk to avocados, pears, apples, bananas, salmon, chicken, broccoli, carrots, spinach, rice, sweet potatoes, plums, whew! I can barely keep up! 

You are still (thankfully) on only breast milk and I hope and pray i can keep it that way for as long as possible.

You smile so much now. And you giggle when we tell you stories, jabber away with your toys, you straight out belly laugh when we kiss your tummy and you are not afraid to voice your opinions on the weather.

Always happy to see us, happy to go out, happy to take a pram ride, happy to sit in your Tula, happy to eat what’s in front of you and happy to get into bed, happy to get a diaper change and happy to talk with your friends (Mousie, Octo, Capo, Cato, Snoopa, Sophie and Lil Bee)

I am completely in love with you. I cannot stop kissing your sweet lil face. You are really a blessing, you know that? Don’t grow up so fast sweet baby boy. You make every thing worthwhile. Everything.

 

 

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Lose Yourself

Sometimes being a Stay at Home Mum is hard.OK, this is not new, people have said it before me and will probably say it after as well. But it bears repeating. 

I read an article today (where else but on Facebook!) and in it, a dad states that he would like his wife to stay home and take care of the kids. At the risk of sounding sexist, he felt that the first few years are crucial in a childs development and a mother is best equipped to deal with that. A woman called Agnes Martinez writes an answer to this question and thats the article I read. You can read it here.

It was interesting. Being a mother to a seven month old, I am still at the stage where I am ‘needed’ by my child and I will probably stay in this stage for a few more years. But I completely get what she’s saying when she writes that “The years have consumed me. My oldest is almost 18 and my youngest is almost 15. Neither comes to me for school help because they saw me as just “mommy”. They knew I was educated but never saw me using my knowledge and just assumed my education level was equivalent to a 6th grade child with a learning problem. They come to me for comfort and “mommy problems“.

I don’t want to be in that position. Where my children don’t consider me as a person capable of making real world decisions or perceived as smart/intelligent. Its definitely got me thinking. Had a chat with the husband on this too. Hmmmmmmm….I need to ensure that in the next few years I take steps to ensure I don’t ever regret the decision Ive made to stay home to raise a person. I don’t regret it now. But I want to make sure I am always this confident that my decision was the right one for me.

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Let It Go.

I’m an exclusive pumper. I think I am the only exclusive pumper that I personally know. I fell into this lifestyle not really thinking about it and just did what I thought would be best and what was working for me and my baby/family at the time. I didn’t even realise such a term existed. Until one day after trying in vain to get a clogged duct out and getting frustrated with the online suggestions to “just nurse the baby to get it out” I stumbled onto the most amazing Facebook group of women ever! Thats when I knew I really wasn’t alone in this.

These women, just like me are struggling with the loneliness and pure exhaustion that is the world of exclusive pumpers. It requires A LOT of support from family. It is  unbelievably difficult to do on your own and yet I am inspired by so many who do just that. Young single mums, mums with unsupportive family members, mums who work and even mums to have lost their own baby but continue to pump to donate. And I am humbled. And grateful. And I pump away – knowing that I got this.

There are jokes shared like this one.HA!

And stuff you make us laugh like this one – Top 2o songs to pump to!

And of course the usual tips and tricks to make it all easier but theres also a tremendous tremendous amount of support given and shared amongst these women. No one is put down for choices they make, but neither are they patronised. It’s amazing because this group of over 2300 members must be made up of all sorts of women and yet there is a common thread of understanding that runs through us all that makes us empathic towards each other. It works. it really does.

I am proud to belong to such an amazing group of women who continue to inspire me every single day. Pumping is hard. Its a lonely task. and these women make it all better. That and chocolate – chocolate always makes things better 🙂

Thought I’d share a link that really moved me and I feel its worth reading – just to think about the other side for a change. The women like us. Cant breastfeed and won’t give formula. The in-betweeners 

http://mom.me/blog/14091-exclusively-pumping-moms-exist-too/

 

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Seven

And just like that – half a year has passed since you came into our world. Just.like.that.

Seven months since I’ve actually gone shopping for myself.

Seven months since I’ve met up with my girlfriends for Din Tai Fung or coffee

Seven months since I’ve met the husband at work for a lunch date

Seven months since I’ve had a nap in the afternoon

Seven months since I’ve slept earlier than 00:45

Seven months since I’ve woken up later than 7 am (I know there are mum still struggling to get this)

Seven months since I’ve travelled anywhere that didn’t have the option of a nursing room or a place I could pump/express milk

Seven months since I’ve made less than two trips to my favourite place ever – the library

Seven months since I’ve worn regular underwear. Nursing bras simply are not attractive. (Sorry Bravado – you come pretty close but still no cigar)

Seven months since I’ve slept on my side (I miss that!)

Seven months since I’ve crocheted ‘anything’! Or painted. (I miss that too)

Do I regret not doing any of these things? Never. I miss them. But I love you. And you’e given me more than any of these ‘things’ ever ever could.

I look at you and you look right into me. Straight through my heart – I now understand exactly what that means. I love you sweet boy. I cannot imagine how I spent my entire life without you. These seven months have been the most trying, difficult, hard, soul searchingly honest and completely exhilarating months of my life! Thank you baby boy. Cheers to the future!

 

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Missing

Where does the time fly?

In a day my boy will be seven months old. How did that happen? Here I am planning a trip back home in December and the celebration of his first birthday and it’s slightly overwhelming dealing with the details. But when I step back and think for a moment -it hits me! A whole year has passed since I discovered I was pregnant. A whole year! ( and more actually) And I feel like I haven’t changed at all. Except the life I used to lead.

Some days are hard. Some days I wish I was able to move out more freely. Go to the library or roam the streets like I used to. Some days I wish every purchase I made wasn’t ‘baby related’. Heck – even now I’m desperately hoping I can buy an amazingly gorgeous cow leather ‘DIAPER BAG’! 😦

I guess I could still do these things but never in the same manner as I used to. I do miss the old days. *sigh* Guess it’s just one of those days.