Thursday, September 6, 2012
"Before I was pregnant I worked as a lawyer. At 7.30 am I bussed to work. I recorded every minute. I rarely returned before 7 pm and often at 10.30 pm. I was stressed to the max.
Now at 7.30 am, I’m feeding, dressing, teeth-cleaning, face-washing, hair-brushing and bag-packing for the pixies. Joshie’s at school five days a week, India three and Sam’s at daycare for two.
At 2.15 pm, the school run starts. Then the pixies watch Play School and play. At 5pm it’s bath time. At 5.45 pm, I dress them and hopefully Mr PB then arrives to help me face dinner at the zoo. I have three of the fussiest eaters on the planet! Then it’s story time, teeth cleaning and bed at 7 pm.
When they're not at school, Sam, India and I mainly stay at home. There’s a bit of ABC Kids watched, playing in the cubby and the garden, baking and hours of imaginative play and craft. I love seeing their minds at work. On my two free days, I clean up, run errands, phone friends, catch up on emails and blogs, visit girlfriends or make something creative.
Motherhood cracks your heart open. It leaves you incredibly vulnerable. The degree of empathy and compassion I feel for others, especially parents and children, grows deeper with every passing day. It’s such a blessing.
Before I was pregnant I wish I hadn’t read baby books from cover to cover! So much advice was contradictory. That made those early newborn months so difficult. I found it hard to trust my instinct which was often spot-on.
The hardest part of being a new mum is the exhaustion. Being a 24 hour around-the-clock-on-demand milk bar is incredibly tiring. Add a completely reliant newborn and well-meaning rellies offering advice and you may become slightly cranky! It’s amazing how restorative even a few hours of unbroken sleep can be in those hazy newborn days.
My favourite part of motherhood is the unconditional love my pixies gift me. Every single day. It’s so easy to forget in the midst of the daily dramas of raising littlies but so precious to feel and acknowledge.
Sharing my thoughts with fellow mums helps me parent well. I feel part of something bigger – that wonderful sisterhood of mothers spanning the generations. It also helps me become more confident in my parenting.
When we had our 3 pixies in 3½ years, we the followed the advice, 'Now is a time to be and not do'. Don’t race around trying to achieve too much with your littlies. You’ll end up stressed and they’ll probably become over-tired and over-stimulated. Instead, try to live in the moment with them. You can pack more into your weekends when they’re older, don’t need their naps and have longer attention spans. That time will come, even if those baby days seem never-ending!
If I were to give advice to new mamas I would say find one source of advice you trust and stick with it. I found Robin Barker’s ‘Baby Love’ fantastic and common-sense. It saved my sanity. Thanks so much for having me here, Bron – it’s been delightful."
Jane blogs at Life On Planet Baby and will be soon be opening her own Etsy store to sell her wooden and wire words wrapped with Liberty fabric.