With 2015 coming to an end, I thought I would reflect on the year, and mostly, reflect on being a parent, and what parenting is; how it is compared to how I thought it would be. I have already broached this in a previous blog Am I Wife/Mama Enough a few months back, but here are a few more of my thoughts.
Writing this blog without too many cliches is going to be tough. You know the cliches I’m on about. The “I won’t do this as a parent”
The phrases we utter as we gently place our hands on our first ever baby bump.
I won’t be the parent that uses the tv as a babysitter, I won’t buy horrible plastic toys (they will all be wooden and educational and wonderful!) I won’t let my children have tablet time, or resort to technology to entertain them. They will have their own library and read book after book. I will cook from scratch, I will never let them know what sweets are, and they will never have a McDonald’s.
Yeah. That. All of that. I’ve broken every single one of my own “rules”, and my son is a mere 18 months old.
But how we raise our children, how many nights a week we give them fish fingers and apple slices for dinner, they aren’t the only bits that define the parent that we are. We don’t really stop to think about it before baby is here, but it’s not all about the gifts under the tree on Christmas Day! It’s also about the person we become. Do we loose sight of the women we once were? Do we become sanctimommy’s judging, sniggering and belittling those that dare (or manage!) to do it completely differently to ourselves? Are we what we expected to be as a mother? Earth mama extraordinaire? High flyer with a Nanny at home? Or frazzled, sauce in your hair and odd socks on your feet with a bombsite of a house…
I’m not sure what I expected as a mother. I don’t think I knew what type of mother I wanted to be, and I’m not sure that the mother I have become has a particular label. There are days where I’m fuelled by self doubt, and others where I’m floating in a cloud of “I’ve got this”
Mostly, I wanted to be the parent with a happy, confident, outgoing little person, I wanted to breastfeed for at least 12 months, and I wanted to be called Mama rather than Mummy.
Our breastfeeding journey came to an end just a few short weeks ago (we made it to 17.5 months) Sebastien says “Merci”, and “un, deux, trois” and hiya/goodbye to most people he meets. Yes. He also eats chicken nuggets, he has so many noisy toys that I’ve had to buy shares in Duracell, and I know all the kids tv channels without using the TV guide, but you know what, happy is happy, and I’m ok with that! So as I sit back and gaze out over the broken baubles off the tree, and absentmindedly sing along to Maya the bee, I wish all you Mamas and daddies a wonderful Christmas full of love and laughter, and a year filled with happy happy moments. Remember guys, you’ve got this!!
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