Are you someone who is easily fearful? Do you find yourself getting anxious about things and don’t know what to do about it? Fear is a horrible thing and something most people suffer with at some point to varying degrees, BUT, the truth is, it’s a choice!
Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Like you just aren’t quite enough for your baby. Like sometimes you make mistakes? Like some days, you try so hard, but still don’t seem to get it all right.
Whether it’s giving your baby enough time, or attention, or being patient enough, or getting the discipline exactly right, with the right level of sternness but also the correct amount of love… there are some days, and probably many days, that it’s very easy to feel like I just didn’t get it right. There are some days that it is so easy to end up feeling guilty.
I want to tell any mothers-to-be reading this one piece of advice, which had I known would have saved me a lot of false expectations that came crashing down after I had my boy. You don’t have to love every single part of motherhood to be a great mum, and what’s more, you certainly won’t love every part!
Call me old-fashioned, but I was one of those girlie girls that grew up playing with dolls and wanting nothing more than to be a mummy. I always knew I would be a stay at home mum, how could I possibly want anything else!? I loved my job but I really looked at all those stay at home mums thinking, you have it made! Your days are so easy, you can do what you like, when you like, chill out at home, spend every second with your gorgeous babies… utter perfection… then I had my son.
I don’t think I used to fully appreciate the true value or meaning of rest before I had Jonas. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realise how important it was, until it became such a rarity. If you’re a mum, you will probably agree that since having your gorgeous baby (or babies!) finding time to stop, or relax, or time for yourself, or even time to sleep can seem at best difficult or at worst impossible.
Do you feel like there is always something to be doing, or always something that needs cleaning, or sorting, or someone who always needs entertaining or consoling. I do! I can look around me and in a second make a huge list of things that need to be done that day, many of which I don’t even get chance to start. Particularly as a stay a home mum, I think it can be very hard to stop noticing this huge list of things to do. Our home is our place of work and so it can be hard to switch off!
Before I became a mummy I loved my career, I loved my job and the satisfaction that came from completing massive projects, or the sense of achievement from getting that promotion. I had worked hard to get to the place. Yet I left. This was not because I have no ambition when it comes to career. Not because it was an easy option. Not because I just didn’t have to work financially. But because we decided for our family, the best thing was to raise my son myself. To be the one there with him all the time. This has involved massive sacrifice financially for us; it has involved sacrificing my career for now, and has meant we share our home with two lodgers to enable me to do this.
Now before I go on, please don’t think I believe leaving ones career to raise children full-time is always right, I couldn’t possibly say what’s the best thing for your family, with your circumstances and your families’ needs, but for us, it was right.
Let me set the scene for you. My son throws something on the floor, I calmly and casually ask him to pick it up. He says ‘No’! I ask him again, this time sounding slightly more firm but still fairly laid back. He says ‘No’ again. I then tell him sternly to pick it up. Guess what he says, ‘No’! I then loudly tell him to pick it up before he decides to run into another room. Never one to back down and also someone who feels very strongly that when I ask something as a parent, if I don’t follow through on seeing it happen, my son will see a loop-hole every time I ask him to do something. So what do I do, follow him. Follow him and take him back to the thing he threw, until he eventually picks it up.
Does your toddler wake up too early in the morning? Would you like them to sleep in an extra hour, or maybe two? Well, read on… here’s how we got Jonas to sleep in until somewhere between 7:30 – 9am every day.
Back in December Jonas was waking very early, often at 5.45am. Let me tell you in the Bellingham household, any time with a 5 at the start of it is most definitely not classed as morning time! But what could we do, if our boy woke then, surely we had to get him up then, right?
I wonder if you have given much thought to what you want your children to be like when they are older. Have you considered the values that are important to you that you would like them to take on, have you thought through what you want your family to look like in 10 years. It’s very easy to amble through life, taking each day as it comes and responding to our children’s needs one day at a time, but unless we consider what we want them to be like, or act like, or what’s important to our family, it’s very unlikely we’ll see these things happening automatically.
I can honestly say the last fortnight has been the hardest we have had for a while! We have had not one, not two, not three but four trips to A&E and a sickness bug to top it all off!
Two weeks ago on a lovely sunday afternoon we took Jonas to a nearby park for some family fun time. Five minutes after arriving, he fell off a roundabout and it span round really quickly, hitting him on the forehead knocking him over. The bump on his head swelled almost instantly into a lump the size of a golf ball. We of course rushed to get some ice and then drove over to our local A&E, forty minutes away! Thank God that amazingly he was absolutely fine and didn’t even have a concussion!
Before having Jonas I read lots of magazines preparing me for this exciting time. One of the most common questions was “will you breast feed?” For me the answer was simple, of course! There was no question in my mind: my baby would take to it easily and the whole experience would be an amazing bonding time. Well, as with many things within those first few days, nothing quite goes as you expect.