Sunday, 6 May 2012

Reflections on Mothering

On Orlando's 5th birthday I find my mind boggling (or blogging!) about the fact that I have now been a mother for 5 Years! On one hand it feels like only yesterday that I held my beautiful new baby in my arms, but then on the other hand, life before Orlando feels like an eternity ago!

So I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on the happy and the hard of what I have learnt as a mother over the past 5 years...(in no particular order)

- I never realised just how much love one heart could feel.

- Surviving in a permanently sleep deprived state for 5 years really drains on ones brain function.

- I had always felt that I formed close relationships, but once you have been 24/7 in the presence of another human being that is both relying on you and drinking in your love, you really begin to understand what close is.

- I never knew how empty one could feel when separated from this close relationship.

- I was amazed and continue to be amazed at the the amount you know this little person in front of you, even when you've just met.

- I have found it fascinating,  not only as an educator, but as a mother who wants to tick off the developmental milestones, to watch how children work out new skills and learn and explore with an internal passion.

- I have realised that most of these sought milestones are nonsense! Yes it is good to know if any alarm bells need to ring, but seriously at 2, who can tell the difference between a child who walked at 11 months or one who walked at 18 months? Relax!

- I've learned that just when you feel like you've got things running smoothly, children have a wonderful way or taking you back out of your comfort zone.

- Orlando taught me about being in the present. Babies know not of tomorrow, or really dwell on their short past, they just are, in the moment. I learnt a lot from this.

- I realised how precious time is. Now with 2 children, personal, attentive one-on-one time is paramount.

- I've discovered how fundamental my emotional state is at all times. Infants hormones actually change to follow the mothers until they are able to regulate their hormones for them selves. This has followed on to now... when times get intense my emotional state effects us all.

- I have embraced the world of balance. There is no use in making my house spotless at the expense of precious time with my children. I am also more available to my children if I ensure I have some time and care for myself.

- I acknowledge that when times are frustrating the best thing to do is to talk to someone about it. Your child is not the first one to, have sleepless nights, throw tantrums, scream every 5 seconds...

- Call on the support of your network... it takes many hands to raise a child.
- We sing regularly, through much of our day. Known songs and made up ones and they make us all feel good.

- Everyone will have an opinion about how you have decided to do things, and many of them will voice that opinion. If your choice is a considered one then stand by it, its your choice. If it isn't the thank them for a point to reflect upon (A hair dresser told me I needed to shave Matilda's hair off to stop her twirling it.... Ummm No....)

- I empower the kids with as many independently skills I can to allow one on one special time and to maintain my sanity :)

- I form friendships with people who have kids around the same age. This makes life a lot easier and the other parents are always understanding of those tough moments as odds are, they had one yesterday...

- Our children are made of us... so they have the exact ingredients needed to mirror our flaws and push our buttons with great accuracy, instead of getting frustrated by this, I see that maybe I have found that so difficult as it is something I want to change in myself...

- Although I am a teacher of young children and have dealt with many challenging behaviours... when its your child it is very different!

- Take a deep breath before dealing with any challenging behaviour.

- Children actually need very little... love, time and nature is about it (other than the obvious human needs of food and shelter etc) we are marketed as continuously with all these things we 'need' for our child to be happy and it is absolute nonsense. We just need each other.

- Dads are just as important as Mums. They have VERY different lessons and skills to offer. Often the balance of both assists a well rounded child. I as a mother have no way of teaching the lessons a father can teach.

- Have a sense of humour, nothing can be serious when your having a laugh and the children respect you for being human. Laugh at yourself.

- Siblings offer the perfect opportunity for children to learn about developing and maintaining long term relationships. Help them work at this.

- Admit when your wrong, to both your children and others, be human...

- There always needs to be time to stop and have a cuddle!!

Well I'm sure there are a million other things but right now that's my reflection...

What have you learnt about being a Mother/Parent?

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