Monthly Archives: May 2012

Precious time

This morning I kept my son home from nursery so we could spend some quality time together having some pure fun – something that doesn’t happen very often when you’re working full time as weekends go so quickly and are often filled up with mundane tasks like shopping. Today’s plan? Head to a local soft play centre.

My youngest obliged by spending the entire morning asleep sitting on the sidelines of the soft play room, letting me give my undivided attention to my eldest. It was a fun and fantastic morning for us both – although I’m not sure who enjoyed the bouncy castle the most!

There were plenty of other mums and dads there – with one or more children. Everyone friendly and happy to have a chat, which was lovely. The only downside was those keen to share their thoughts on those parents who ‘send their children’ to nursery. There are a large number of reasons why a parent would send their child to nursery – from being in a life saving job such as doctor or nurse, through to pure financial reasons to ensure their children have what they need for a comfortable lifestyle. Every parent has a lot of decisions to make about what is best for their child – what’s right for one parent / child won’t be for another.

No matter what the circumstances of the parents there today though – the children were all having a lot of fun, while also learning how to share and build on social as well as motor skills. What more could any parent want?

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GUEST BLOG: Are you mom enough?

I’ve been thinking about this week’s cover on Time, mostly because I have not been able to go to a news website or facebook without seeing someone’s take on the matter.  For those of you who have not seen it, envision a picture of a pretty young mother nursing a three year old who is standing on a chair to reach her breast.  The caption is, ‘Are You Mom Enough’.  It is about attachment parenting, I haven’t read the article and don’t know much about attachment parenting.  Further, I don’t much care whether other moms do or don’t breastfeed or for how long, as long as they feed their kids don’t judge my choices or try to make them for me.

I was struck by the question though, ‘Are You Mom Enough?’

I spend my days with a two year old child and an eleven month old puppy, shouldn’t I be doing more?  I have not yet gone back to work; does that mean I’m not carrying my weight for the family, not living up to my earning potential and in fact costing us as I continue to pay off my law school loans?  Am I limiting my child’s social future by only having her in nursery a few hours a week or could she be learning more there than with me?

Yesterday the three of us, Mum, toddler and puppy set off for our daily walk.  Forty minutes later, after a costume change, time out for the LO for hitting and time out for the furry one (FO) for jumping up or some such, we set out in the drizzle, LO on my back and FO on the lead.

I waved to a friendly neighbour as we slowly made out way down the road, FO sitting walking sitting walking sitting walking and so forth.  LO waving two (right now it’s always two) crackers.  We reached the fields and I let FO off the lead.  This is usually my favourite part of the walk; I see dog ears flapping in the wind, a tail wagging and then a wet nose at my hip looking for a treat.  Not today.  She was a black streak as she sped around a corner and disappeared.  I, on the other hand, was anything but a streak as I lumbered behind,  LO on my back, wellies on my feet, and LO in hysterics bouncing around and watching FO’s escape.

As I caught up with my usually amiable puppy I found her jumping on a neighbourly golden retriever she often plays with.  I called out, ‘gentle gentle!!’ The golden retriever, who is apparently on a diet due to weight gain at the kennel, came running (I walk around smelling like a liver big treat), and FO went for his ears.  No!!! At least the golden retriever came toward me so I could grab FO, but no, she knew I’m slow with LO on my back and dove to the right.  Thankfully friendly neighbour grabbed FO, making some comment about puppy exuberance.  I apologised profusely and we sheepishly headed home.

As my, now somewhat damp and bedraggled family started up the street we ran into the waving neighbour who told me, ‘you always look like such a superwomen as you train your dog and care for your baby’.  I didn’t know whether to laugh at him or kiss him!  Neither seemed appropriate so I told him it was nice to hear, particularly on such a not superwomen kind of a day.

It was so funny to me to hear someone refer to me as a super mom when I do not go out to work or create Martha Stewart-esq cookie bouquets or even spend any more time than absolutely necessary cleaning.

So am I mom enough?  Well it seems so as no one is going hungry, naked or without love (and the freaking law school loans haven’t stopped us from putting food on the table).

More to the point, why does this question come up over and over in one form or another?  I suspect that it is because motherhood is such a loaded issue.  No one wants to mess it up and there are so many ways to go about mothering.  Further, families can feel defensive, and in some cases competitive and judgemental, about their lifestyle whether it is the question of working, breast feeding, co-sleeping, toilet training or the myriad of other choices that we make about how we want to raise our children.

For all the discussion, obviously being mom enough or supermom or anything in-between is a question of perspective.  What is impressive to the passer-by may or may not be of true value, or even real.

We don’t need to do it all to be ‘mom enough’.   We might continue to pursue or career, or bake beautiful cakes or become dog trainers, but then again, we might not and most of us are still mom enough and even have our supermom days.

Guest Blogger – ‘US Sarah’

To contact US Sarah, please do leave a comment!

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Guest mums

I’m very excited that some other mums have expressed an interest in sharing their thoughts, experiences and insights on this blog. I’ll shortly be posting the first of what I hope will be more guest mummy blogs and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. The first post offers a lot to think about so please do share your feedback.

Thanks so much for following / sharing.

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Sharing is caring

This is an expression I heard one of the children in our family use and it’s really stuck with me. Originally used by the parent to encourage sharing between the four children, the child was making interesting use of it to get the piece of cake they wanted from grandpa. Children are smart!

Learning to share is part of all our development. Some, however, find it easier than others. An older sibling – especially if in the terrible twos age bracket – can find it a challenge when the new kid on the scene starts using / playing with what used to be the older child’s pride and joy.

A friend also flagged that there is likely to be a whole set of toys that don’t get played with by the younger child as they want to grow up fast and play with the older sibling and their cool toys – even if they aren’t quite ready for them. This can add to the older child’s frustrations and loud claims of ‘it’s mine’!

There is no rule book about what will work when it comes to teaching children to share, but please do share any words of wisdom.

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Pregnancy brain – myth or magic?

I was gutted to read in the news when I was pregnant this time around that ‘pregnancy brain’ was a myth. While I didn’t lose use of all my senses, it was nice to know that there was a reason for some lapses in brain power. For example, in the last week before giving birth I called out the AA to fix my unresponsive car only to find I had flooded the engine (hitting the accelerator instead of the throttle).

As with a lot of things that the human body does to help repair / protect itself, it makes sense that the female form would offer some way of reducing the memory of the physical pain of childbirth. After all, there is no way to avoid that the wonder of childbirth does mean a lot of unusual strain on the body!

Myth or magic? I truly believe human beings are amazing things – I just have to look at my children to be reminded of that! Would be great to hear your thoughts / experiences.

 

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