It’s only been 2014 for a few mins and already it seems like some quite big things have happened…
The bin men finally took our bins after missing it in the ‘Crimbo-Limbo’
Phoenix wore normal clothes after being dressed as a variety of super heroes for approximately 8 weeks
Ben finally stopped telling everyone about my ‘bullet like sprouts’ I cooked on Xmas day
Ben also bought his first pair of skinny jeans, pulled his crotch a bit, did a few squats and 4 hours later claimed they were no longer skinny anymore (that was a weird day)
Ok, ok, so those might NOT be big things. I’m putting off writing them….ok so here they really are
1. I stopped breastfeeding
2. I decided to go back to work full time
Now breathe. Pause and reset. And let go. Be free of the guilt.
Those are two statements right there, in one swoop that go against all of my motherly instincts. Upstairs are two bundles snuggle up asleep who i adore. My instinct is to be ‘mother earth’, to be with them all the time and to wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them from everything. But then there’s life, and there’s me and how I feel, and then there’s our house, our lifestyle, our holidays…oh and the fact I don’t want them to be weirded out by being a hyper sensitive helicopter mum, but to grow into being independent, adaptable little creatures…
I love my kids, they are my world. But in life you can’t be everywhere and do everything all the time. Life catches you and you have to redesign it to keep the good ‘mothership’ afloat in the most effective and sustainable way you can. That mothership is you, the mumma. You are the mothership. I am the mothership. So let’s float….
I’ve always liked the concept of New Years Resolutions, I’m a big fan of new beginnings, starting fresh, dreaming and goal setting….i.e.visualising myself not being addicted to eating giant Buttons and being a size 8 etc etc. But 2014 has to be the year, where out of all the things I could ‘give up’ or change , I give up feeling guilty. In just a blink of the new year, I’ve already made two choices which will change things, but 2014 has to be different, 2014 has to be the year of ‘guilt-free’ living.
Guilt is a mums sinister shadow, it follows us everywhere we go, taunting us at every life juncture, poking fun at every life decision we make. It’s our enemy and yet our friend who we invite into our lives for tea, who we feed up with new examples of our bad motherly behaviour and our selfish choices until it grows into this unyielding thing that feels so heavy its could crush you.
Enough is Enough.
Is it really not ok anymore to give ourselves our break? To pat ourselves on the back? To look at our kids when they’re being polite, creative, loving, kind and caring and say – “hells yeah, that was my handy work? Woooooah mumma!” Why has modern motherhood become such a tireless treadmill of striving for perfection? Of trying to achieve the impossible? Of attempting to become superwoman whilst being blissfully aware you ALREADY are her! I myself have been more than ‘guilty’ of all the above. But no more, I’m going to do what you’re not ‘meant’ to do. I’m going to give it up. Adios guilt. And no. I WONT feel guilty about doing this!
Every mum I meet feels guilty about something. And what do they all have in common? 9 times out of 10 they’re a bloody good mum with healthy happy kids – that’s what they have in common. So lets stop shall we? Please, join me in 2014 and be guilt free, because a happy mum = happy kids and happy kids = happy mum. We’re all in it together, the mothership has to keep a float.
So I’ve made these decisions yes for me, but really, for us, for our family. And so I’ll write here about why I made them, why they could make me feel guilt, but then I’m packing them away. 2014 is guilt free living. Bring it.
Breastfeeding – so here’s the thing. It’s great, I’m very pro-breastfeeding (although not in a weird way, some people take that WAY too far, you gotta do what gotta do, it’s not for everyone), I’ve always been able to breastfeed and whilst I’ve had a few probs in the early days with both of them (mastitis is one hell of a mofo), its always been enjoyable and fairly straightforward.
BUT is it ok to say I just want to wear a bra with underwire in it? Is it ok to say I’ve just had enough? That I want to wear a dress that doesn’t come with an ‘access all areas’ functionality? That I’m cold and really want to button up my coat again? That I want to shift the fat my body is storing up for milk making? That I just want to have a chat with someone for longer than 5 mins without having to do an awkward shoulder shuffle of layers of clothing to release a nipple tap of milk? Does this make me selfish? I’m not sure. Maybe. But I’m ok with giving up, I’ve done 4.5 months (look at me clinging to the .5! The markings of a guilty mumma!) and I think its enough. So she’s off the boob and onto the bottle. And guess what? She’s still healthy, happy smilely, gorgeous Indy. The world didn’t end. We’re all ok.
Working – this one was a little more complex. Raging childcare bills, mortgage and a job that can’t really be done part-time all made it a relatively obvious decision in the end. So this time round it’s Ben who’s going part-time and me full time. On the one hand I feel incredibly sad and am terrified I’ll miss everything and regret it when I’m older. But I’m also looking forward to the prospect of being able to do my job more realistically without constantly being in a rush and on my phone every second of the day – because surely if I could do it pretty good before when I was part-time, then I’ll cruise it full time right?! Ahem, lets not get carried away, perhaps not ‘cruise’ but maybe more of a light jog than a heart stopping sprint on a day to day basis.
I also have the flexibility to work from home which makes things much easier – I want it to be me who picks up the kids from nursery, on time or even better early. I want it to be me that baths them and reads them a story. This is important to me and I’m changing things so that can happen all of the time. I feel good about that. And of course I’m looking forward to hearing about Ben’s adventures of ‘daddy day care’. Given that he rang me from the supermarket clutching my list asking ‘what is icing sugar?’ I can only imagine what the anecdotes will be.
So I’ll just say it and I implore you do the same – my kids are happy, healthy and freakin’ awesome. Ben and I did that. I am proud of my kids, but I am also proud of us, proud of myself and ain’t no one going to make me feel guilty about that.
This Mothership has officially launched for guilt-free missions in 2014…..see you there x