Who I am opposed to who I thought I would be…and how both people are of infinite worth.

I always thought I would be a cool Mum. I thought that I would have my shit together, I would go to the gym (haha I didn’t go to the gym much before I was pregnant, whyyyy would I think I would go now? I am reading Khloè Kardashians book ‘Strong Looks Better Naked’ to try and get my mindset right…) & I would learn to be organised. I mean, if Mum’s of twins and triplets can do it, then surely I can easily survive ONE baby? Right? RIGHT?

Right and wrong.

Motherhood is hard, amazing and a lot more spiritual than one would imagine. You are forever trying to connect to and stay connected to another being. Amaya is seriously a fantastic baby, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t encounter challenges. I always thought that I would have her in bed by 6:30pm and give her a dream feed at 10:30pm and then I would sleep the entire night through and get up the next morning, go for a walk and just be amazing for the rest of the day. This was the case for a while (walks some mornings and amazing most days ha) but then something changed. It’s like she got smarter. She knew what she wanted (sleep on me) and what she didn’t want (to sleep in her cot). Hmm. I put it down to four month sleep regression (she is almost five months corrected). But it feels like it is never going to end. The other day she slept for 3.5 hours DURING THE DAY (that never happens!) and then the next day….cat naps. On me. Today – cat naps, once again – on me. Once I put her down her eyes snap open and her stare speaks for her – are you seriously putting me down right now?! Amaya is a better sleeper at night, but will wake for a cuddle once or twice. I am hoping that sleeping through the night will return to us very soon!

Instead of the amazing, together Mum I imagined I would be, I am a tired, slightly emotional, make-up less, dag. She vomits on me daily and sometimes shits on me (ALWAYS when we are out). I honestly thought pregnancy stole all my dignity but it wasn’t until I was in public covered in someone else’s bodily fluids that I realised that there was still some more dignity to be lost. To my surprise, I didn’t care as much as I thought I would (the poo really was almost too much though). In saying that though, I still think I am pretty amazing. We spend so much time focusing on our weakness’ and our flaws that we don’t notice that we really are amazing, all the time.

“You are enough exactly as you are in this very moment and every moment” – Teal Swan

I have started taking more time for myself, like when I need a break, I take it. Whether that be reading, watching a spiritual teaching or just sitting there. When you just have to care for yourself your entire energy goes into caring for yourself (which can be exhausting too, so I encourage taking breaks too), but when you are a Mum, your energy is divided between your needs, your baby’s needs, and then you also have a partner to throw into the mix. Sometimes, I don’t have a lot left to give, so therefore just sitting there in silence helps recharge my batteries. Today I needed that break, I started to feel the tears coming on (nothing some alone time & an acai bowl won’t fix). I was also getting a bit down because even though Amaya is premature, I wanted to work really hard to ensure that she met all milestones of her corrected age. She is almost five months old and has only rolled a handful of times. This got me down, I felt a bit like I was failing her – and Motherhood is not something that you want to fail. But then, today, magically, she rolled four times in a row. I realised that I need to surrender my worries to the universe, as there really isn’t a lot I can do, if I feel that I am doing all I can.

In one of Teal’s spiritual teachings she talks about how we are all of infinite worth. When a baby is born, it can’t do a lot, but it is of infinite worth. Your worth does not change. You are just as worthy at your death as you were at your birth, and every moment in between. So while you may not have your shit together and be the Mum you thought you may be, just remember that you are always worthy and your baby loves you even when you fuck up, are covered in vom & don’t go to the gym. So you are totally worthy of giving yourself a compliment right now.

 

Your amazing fellow Mumma,

B Xx

 

 

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If I asked you what you love, how long would it take for you to say yourself?

My good friend/sister-in-law asked me this yesterday. It definitely made me think. Would I say myself? I don’t think it would even occur to me to say myself. That tells me everything I need to know about my relationship with myself in this present moment.

I often begin writing blogs but delete them, in fear of offending or hurting someones feelings. All of my blogs are meant to help not hurt. But in saying that, sometimes I think we can be a little sensitive (If you know me, then you know how sensitive my Cancerian ass can be!).

Being a Mum is a tough gig, you are always questioning your decisions or reflecting on how you handled a situation – the last thing you need is to feel like you are being judged by others as well.  But are we always being judged when we think we are? I have often seen women genuinely trying to help another Mother, only for the mother receiving advice to bitch & moan when the woman leaves. I have also noticed that we can easily hate on another Mother when things are going smoothly for her. Wait, are we only ‘in this together’ when we are struggling? We can’t celebrate ones achievements or proud moments?

If that’s the case, then I want out.

Jealousy has always been a foreign concept to me. Amaya has only rolled twice, so will I get the shits with every other Mother who is super proud that their baby is now rolling? Amaya is seven months old but is on the smaller side of a four month old baby so everyone looks at me weird when I tell them her age, shall I hate on every mother who had a full term baby? No fucking way.

What the fuck happened?

When did we all become so ridiculous and jealous?

I call Amaya ‘Amazing Amaya’ – I do think she is amazing, I think all children are amazing, but I started calling her this when I sat by her cot day in & day out during our NICU journey. I make the choice to think that she is amazing just like I make the choice to think I am amazing, because over the years I have worked damn hard on my relationship with myself. As much as I have my moments of self doubt (since having Amaya I have struggled to find time for myself), I always know that I am a good person and that I have only love in my heart. I know that I would never intentionally do anything to harm my baby in any way. I am human and I am going to make mistakes. Just like you. And you know what – that’s ok. I know that there are Mum’s out there that refuse to admit that Motherhood can be tough, it’s such a breeze and they love every single second of it. That may be the case and bloody good on them if it is, but most of the time it has a lot to do with their relationship with themselves and their confidence in their abilities (I send love to these women as they need it the most). I love Amaya and I feel so blessed, but I will admit my struggles as much as my triumphs. That does not mean that I love her any less or do not realise how blessed I am to have her. As I mentioned before, I have worked damn hard on my relationship with myself and because I am an extremely emotional person, it is forever a work in progress.

We all get our crazy on when we hear of a Mother making someone feel like a ‘shit Mum’. But what about a Mother making another Mother feel like shit for being a ‘good Mum’? (Edit: I am not referring to gloaters, people who talk about how amazing their child is because they want to show off, not because they believe in building a child’s confidence and showing them how to love themselves).

I definitely have the ability to be to made to feel like a shit Mum, but not as easily as some. I have confidence in the way I Mother. I fall off that horse, especially with sleep, but I get the fuck back on. Yesterday I posted a photo of myself & Amaya (see below for photo). I was feeling wrecked, a little half-dead & emotional. I didn’t realise how much this came through in the photo. An old friend sent me a message with a gentle reminder to fill my emotional cup (thank you, I did that today!) along with words of encouragement. I responded, thanking her and commending her on her abilities to read my dog-tired face and to feel my energy through a glance. My friend then told me that she knew I was tired because she has seen that expression before in the mirror after a rough day with her children. This amazing Mumma also reminded me to look for the small things in each moment, like the way Amaya is reaching up to my chin with her hand. This message was probably such a small gesture to her, but it made my day.

Us Mother’s have to look out for each other and that is bloody hard if we are being competitive, not loving ourselves and over-sensitive! We are all in this together. If someone is giving you advice, it is probably because they have been there before and they are trying to help you. But let’s not go out of our way to actually be an asshole yeh?  A good way to measure this is how authentic you are being. If you genuinely are trying to help, then it is the other persons fault if they get offended. (Edit: we are all in desperate need of some ZzZzzZz so let’s use our kind words too!) No one is a perfect Mum, but we all try our best to be a good Mum. Let’s look out for one another, because if we band together, support each other and treat each other with love our children will be so much better off for it.

Below is a photo of wrecked, half-dead emotional Bree and Amazing Amaya. And the photo I have used to share this new blog with you is a photo of Amaya after me having some time to myself today – see how happy Amaya is? By looking after you, you are benefiting your child! You are a brilliant Mumma – you deserve it!

breeamayatired

All my love & good energy

B Xx

 

When loneliness came to visit…

Much like any situation, you can’t truly grasp how one would feel, unless you have been there. Going on maternity leave for the first time is no different…

You look forward to the end of work (seriously, how mundane is it? Adult conversations, company…but at the time, you can’t wait to be on ‘holidays’). You bring the baby home from the hospital and you are overjoyed. You can’t wait for all of your friends and family to meet this perfect little human that you, YOU and your partner created. You live in this blissful bubble for a while and think that once you settle in, you will get to that ‘to do’ list that you plan to complete whilst on maternity leave. The bubble bursts, usually in perfect timing with a baby crying…reality hits.

You are now working for a tiny human that likes to keep you on your toes. You are paid with cuddles and after a few weeks, some smiles. Your job is 24/7 and you are totally thrown into the role. Minimal to no training. Your partner goes back to work (a job that they are totally familiar with) and you are left, alone. Alone with your boss who likes to keep you on your toes…

I remember this oh so clearly. I was so unsure of how I was going to go. My job is to keep this tiny human alive? This is entirely on my shoulders for the next 9 hours? Fuck. I can’t even keep a bloody plant alive. The fear is real.

I remember the long nights, looking out the window at my surrounding neighbours, their lights out, soundly sleeping – feeling like I am the only person awake right now, oh and Amaya. On one of these long nights, loneliness snuck in. He perched himself up in the corner of the room and I was not sure how long he was going to stay. He followed me around the house, he made himself scarce when my friends and family visited, but he was quick to show his face when they left. As much as I was surrounded by people (supportive, positive, helpful people), my entire life revolved around this little person.

 

                                                         It was a lonely world.

 

As much as Amaya was new in Teina’s life too, he got to go to work and carry on his life as per usual. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending my days with my girl and can’t imagine not being with her all the time, now. But that first month was hard. Two of my friends had babies at the same time, that helped a lot as we could share our struggles and funny stories over copious amounts of coffee. But it didn’t keep loneliness away. He just came out as soon as they left. He especially liked to torment me at 2am.

I eventually found my feet as a mother, Amaya started sleeping more and I adapted to my new life. I kicked loneliness out & attempted promoting myself to boss. With the help of Teina we got Amaya into a flexible routine (which I have let slip a few times, but Teina was there to help me implement the routine again).

Becoming a new Mum is a lot of things – lonely is one of them and boy was I glad to see the back of him. Being a Mum is the toughest thing I have ever done.  It’s exhausting and it’s emotional. But there is something about the way she smiles at me that makes it all oh so worth it…

 

B Xx

P.S. Good on you if you got that ‘to do’ list done! I have been meaning to clean out her drawers for weeks, but I place coffee dates as a priority as it helps keep me sane!

 

 

The things that change when you become a parent…

Obviously you get a baby (or two, or three…or however many). That’s the obvious one. You also gain the ability to survive on minimal sleep, less sleep than you thought you could ever function on (I can now safely say that I believe that hangovers are 90% lack of sleep). You also gain this ability to be able to filter out the bullshit, because honestly you do not have the time or the energy (see minimal sleep) for people and their rubbish. Here are a few other things that I believe change when you become a parent…

I apologised to one of my friends the other day for being somewhat absent this year, this girl is one of my best friends and truly accepts me entirely as I am (bad time management and all) and she turned to me and said “Your true friends will understand”. Boom. There you have it. Becoming a parent also filters out your friendship circle, your true friends will understand that you may show up to lunch a little late, sporting baby vom, maybe wearing this new perfume you have called ‘breast milk’, without a stick of make up on (or minimal make up) and a messy bun that you have now adopted as your every occasion hair do. I’m not even kidding. And if they don’t…#byefelicia

Other things that change, you don’t get sick days. At all. Ever. This week I was sick and motherhood doesn’t stop for shit. I just wanted to lay in bed but I had a baby to tend to. Lunch breaks also go out the window.

Packing light. HAHAHAHAHA. We are going to Samoa in May with Teina’s family. I hadn’t thought past the beach until Teina’s sister-in-law asked me if I was taking the car seat. Shit. And the pram. Fuck. And food for Amaya. Wahhhhhhh. The smallest people require the most shit.

I have a new found respect for my Mum. And any other Mother I know.

You aren’t extremely keen on the idea of getting shit faced unless your baby is having a sleepover. Somewhere else. Where you cannot hear them when they wake up in the morning. Because if you can hear them, you feel guilty. This guilt then forces you to stay awake and get up to help care for this baby. You have one hard, long ass day ahead of you and you better pray to every God, Angel and the entire universe that your baby sleeps tonight.

You cannot stand to hear of a child being hurt or dying. Seriously. I obviously never enjoyed hearing these stories (clearly, otherwise I would be the biggest heartless wench on the planet). You understand how unbearably difficult it would be to exist without your baby and your heart breaks into a million pieces as you think of how that child must have felt and when you think of the parents who are left behind. My wonderful cousin passed away from cancer when he was six years old, my heart always broke for my Aunty. But since having Amaya, I think my Aunty is a superwoman. (I paused here because I had to take a moment to stop the tears). How does one recover? Nowadays, I think of my Aunty and it puts a lot of things into perspective. If she can be so strong & brave, then why can’t I get through today? I asked my beautiful 85 year old G’Ma, “What is the hardest thing you have ever been through?”, G’Ma paused for a few seconds before saying…

“Watching your Grandchild die, watching your daughter go through something so terrible and to not be able to do anything about it”.

How my G’Ma got through that sentence without crying is beyond me, because I struggled just to type it. To me this would be the most unbearable pain in the entire world. When I heard about that two month old baby who was stabbed to death by her Grandfather the other day, I burst into tears. TWO MONTHS OLD. What the actual fuck? I understand that he stopped taking his medication but that is not the baby’s fault. This never should have happened. And those two precious boys whose Father shot them and then drove into the water. How anyone can hurt another being is beyond me, especially a child or an animal.

Our journey had me talking to God daily. Prior to becoming a Mum I had always prayed here & there, but during Amaya’a NICU journey it turned into an everyday occurrence. I have kept this up and pray every night with Amaya. We don’t just pray for us, our friends and family, we pray for every single soul on this earth. I am determined to raise a child of love in a world full or misery and hate.

B Xx

 

 

 

 

How to get a baby to sleep

Well, I don’t have the answer and every baby is different. But lately we have realised that I have made a bit of a rod for our backs. I will talk you through Amaya’s sleep from the NICU up until today. Hopefully this will help someone struggling with their baby’s sleep (and save you from making the same ‘mistake’ I have!).

In the NICU Amaya was fed through a tube and just layed there as the milk was put into her tummy, no burping required as she was not gulping her feeds. So she often slept through her feeds. Once she was on bottles, she was fed a bottle, burped and then placed back into her cot (which was on an an angle, which assisted her in digesting the milk). I was told by the Doctor and Nurses to feed Amaya, burp her and then have her sit upright (whether that be on your chest, on her back on a boomerang pillow…) for 20 minutes before laying her flat to allow her to digest her food properly.

Now I have a baby who wants to be cuddled to sleep…

Whilst I love the cuddles, this is not a habit that I want to keep, as I do NOT want to be cuddling a toddler to sleep every night. I used to be able to cuddle her for 20 minutes after her last feed for the night, put her in her cot and she would stay asleep, but now she wakes up, cos she wants me to cuddle her all night. That’s right, ALL NIGHT.

So in the early hours of this morning, 3am to be exact, Teina decided that this has to stop, as he woke to me, extremely tired with my eyes pretty much hanging out of my head. Clearly, we cannot continue to go on like this. So we put her in her cot and let her cry it out. Not only could I not sleep through her crying, but I felt terrible. I ended up going in and cuddling her, telling her that she is safe & that we love her, before I put her back down and she started to cry again. Then something magical happened – she fell asleep. At 9am Teina & I woke to her having a good ol’ chat to herself in her cot, probably either bad mouthing us or congratulating herself on falling asleep by herself. Teina went it & got her, brought her into our bed where we both praised her before Teina told her “aaannddd we are going to do this again tonight!”.

So basically, babies love to keep you on your toes. I used to cuddle Amaya for 20 minutes after her feed before placing her into her cot where she would sleep for 12 hours (not waking at all!) until the morning (I knew the straight 12 hour sleep was too good to be true! HA!). Oh how things have changed. We are determined to get back to that stage though. As much as I love the cuddles, and I know that I can get sleep by cuddling her, in the process I have made a rod for my own back, it is entirely my fault. In an attempt to get some sleep (you know, to stay sane and to do my best to not be a raging psycho) I have made a bigger problem for myself.

I believe, that I should have just been a bit tougher on her from the beginning (but she’s so tiny, she won’t be this tiny for long and I just want to cuddle her as much as I can) but, I am also a firm believer in being patient with yourself, I have no experience with Amaya and I am finding my way each day whilst always trying to be the best Mother I can be. I also believe that they are really little and they just want their Mum & Dad, so I am trying to find a balance where all three of us are happy AND getting oodles of sleep!

Sweet dreams!

B Xo