Mellow Mummy: 12 Months Of Motherhood : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 21 June 2010

12 Months Of Motherhood

Lara is One. It's hard to believe. The last 12 months have flown by.

In twelve short months I have learned a lot. I feel like I've changed – Lara has brought out the mellow, calm, less-stressed side of me (she seems to have had the opposite effect on Mr. B. though).

From the very beginning, I have learned to resign myself to what life has to offer you. Not in the negative 'ho, hum, I guess I'll just have to deal with it' way... but in a 'there's no point fighting this, so how can I turn it into a positive thing?' way. Whether it's a birth plan that doesn't quite work out, or a wrecked body that takes months to heal, as long as you keep on living your life and doing what feels right, at the time, for you, then things will work out just fine.

In my pre-mummy life I would always have stressed about turning up on time and about having everything I need ready for me at all times. Mr. B. thought it was funny! These days I am much more relaxed about things. I very soon learned that after you take into account feeding times, nappy changes, packing a changing bag (and re-packing it once the baby has unpacked it for you), putting the buggy in the car and strapping a wiggly child into a car-seat... getting anywhere on time is an impossibility. As long as we try our best, no-one is going to mind if we're a little late.

I have learned to make time for others. Becoming a mummy is a big shock in terms of finding time for yourself. The constancy of motherhood means that you must always be looking out for your little one, and concentrate less on yourself (without totally losing your me-time: it's a tricky, but important balance). I think this has helped me to focus less on myself and more on those around me – I genuinely feel that my relationships with friends and family have improved because of this.

I have learned that babies do things their way and at their pace. To start with I was governed by the 'little red book' and engrossed with stories from friends and families about growth charts and development trackers. After just a few months it was obvious to me that Lara was unique. All babies are so let's just stop comparing them to one another.

I have learned that it IS possible to work and bring up a child without feeling guilt. I feel a great sense of pride when I see my little girl getting on so well with other people's children and mimicking the older children's actions. I feel like I have offered her a lot of opportunities that she would not have had if she had just me to spend her days with.

I have learned to breast feed, to bottle feed, to spoon feed and to let Lara go with the flow (baby-led feeding). I have learned to change a nappy, bathe a baby, give a baby medicine (urgh). All important skills I had no need for until 12 months ago.

I'm sure there are lots of other things I have learned but I'm POSITIVE that I will keep on learning this parenting malarkey as Lara gets older.
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