Today I have a post from the lovely Charlie for my ‘5 Things I’ve Learnt So Far as a Mother‘ series.
1) Mum guilt is REAL – Seriously, this needs to be mentioned at antenatal classes. In fact – there should be whole chapters on it in parenting books and posters up on delivery room walls. What the actual heck? I had NO idea that as soon as I became pregnant I’d start feeling insanely guilty about literally everything. What I ate, what I didn’t eat. What exercise I did, or probably more honestly – the exercise I didn’t do. Oops. Then the minute your small person enters your world the mum guilt monster grows even bigger.
When I was sending Noah to nursery two days a week I felt stupidly guilty the whole time. Now he’s now longer at nursery I still feel guilty. Come on mum guilt – give us mamas a break! It’s exhausting.
2) Going to the loo alone won’t happen again for at least 5 years – I’ve become so used to going to the loo with the door open I recently found myself forgetting to shut the door altogether at a friend’s house.
Sometimes I really long for those days when I could pop to the bathroom when nature called, close the door and just be alone. Nope, these days if I don’t have a toddler biting my thigh or running a train up and down my leg I feel quite out of sorts!
3) It does get easier – Looking back I think I found the newborn days (ok, the whole first year) pretty tough. My son was tiny and we experienced every breastfeeding issue going. There was colic and silent reflux. Oh and there was NO sleep for 15 whole months. None. But now my son is hurtling towards two I feel like I’ve got a grip on things, mostly. And on occasions I even get to go out for wine wearing something that doesn’t have snot on it. Winning.
4) Everyone is fighting their own battle – I went to a toddler group this morning and as I glanced around at all the mums it struck me that everyone has their own mum issue going on. Whether it’s crippling tiredness, epic tantrums in public or worries about money – we’re all struggling at times. But more than that we’re all in it together. I think I’ve become a better person since I’ve become a mum. I always smile at mums I pass in the park or out on a walk and usually they smile back!
5) It’s the little things – The other day I text my mum to triumphantly tell her that my 19 month old Noah had eaten a small bowl of pasta. Boring to everyone else, yep of course. But to me, the mother of an extreme fussy eater – it was my Olympic gold medal. Motherhood really is about the little things. Those first windy smiles, the first roll. Crawling, then walking. The hugs, the kisses, the giggles. It’s a tough gig but the little things make it all more than worth it.
Charlie is mum to 19 month old Noah and blogs over at realgirlramblings.com In a previous life Charlie was a radio presenter.