Back when I started documenting motherhood, I planned to do regular monthly updates; this is how amazing I’m doing, this is how amazing the baby is doing, motherhood is just amazing … but what with one thing and another and the actual reality that day to day mothering is in fact hard as hell and I am lucky to string any words together to anyone let alone write them down has meant that I’ve been a little AWOL …
So I thought it was about time for a little catch-up….
Let’s get the eye roll questions out of the way first;
So (this is my favourite!) is Bodhi sleeping through the night yet?
Answer … “NO” …. that’s pretty much that really!! I am still co-sleeping with him, although there has been talk of night weaning, I always put off “until” he’s got over a cold, “until” he’s stopped teething, “until” the full moons gone …. “until” he goes to uni!!!!! He averages waking every hour after he goes to bed and then around midnight he will turn into a feral boob monster for a couple of hours! The thing is I have honestly got used to it now, I have learnt to function on this sleep pattern and as soon as I gave up “hope” of a miracle cure, sleep aid, sleep training technique and stopped listening to advice or comparing his sleep to others I just accepted it .. and until that elusive good nights sleep there is coffee, Neals Yard eye cream and an awesome hubby that does all that he can!
So that pretty much answers the next question which I get asked ALOT … “he’s still breastfeeding!!!?” … Yes he is, and no I really didn’t expect to be feeding him this long, (in my head I always had that magic 6 months marker!!). I’m certainly not in the camp of ranting “breast is best”, as I’ve said many times this really isn’t the case and you do the best for you and your child as a mum. There is so much I want to talk about on this subject but I’ll save it for another time and another blog.
Bodhi still nurses on demand and I let him, yes sometimes I hate it, he tweaks my nipples, climbs all over me, smacks me on the chest and sometimes I lose my shit and feel so touched out and exhausted and although I may complain on a daily basis, I love it and feel lucky as hell to be able to still do it and I have no idea when I’ll stop, but for now I try to remind myself to make the most of these moments!
With regards to Bodhi and milestones … I couldn’t tell you if he is an “underachiever” or “overachiever” in camp comparison, I have no idea … I couldn’t tell you the date he started walking or said his first word (even though I have about 5 books to record this stuff!) I just care that he’s happy and he’s healthy and he seems to be where he should be with what he’s doing … he walks, sings, dances, sometimes he eats brilliantly, sometimes he’ll just eat scrambled egg and pom bears, he laughs, he screams, he’s a joy, he’s shit bag, he is the most fun to be around and he’s pretty awesome really … this so far is my favourite stage!
The one big thing I’ve noticed with the transition from baby to toddler is how assertive he is, the tantrums and frustration kicked in pretty early and he learnt very quickly how to get his own way, sometimes I give in to it, or I try the “gentle parenting” solution, sometimes I chuck a mum rage and when its an especially “fun” flip out I do a crazy lady smile at him, walk out, close the door and remind myself its not long till wine time, knowing that if I could be arsed and had the energy I’d cry!
The absolutely bonkers thing is that 5 minutes later I will be telling him he is amazing, how much I love him and we’ll be laughing and cuddling as he tries to stick his finger up my nose cos he thinks its hilarious … that’s the thing about motherhood, you don’t know from one minute to another whether you’re winning, losing or winging it … but you’ve just got to remember you are doing the best you can!
Talking of mamas, I have really found my tribe, the one that I really connect with, some of them I see often and others in fleeting moments, or are one-off meetings when you just feel that instant bond with someone, I feel incredibly lucky to have these amazing women in my life because they have had a huge impact on me as a mum and how supported, understood and loved I’ve felt! This is still something that feel passionate about, to find ways to bring woman together, so that all mums feel part of a tribe that doesn’t judge and just offers kindness, coffee, gin and hugs … this is why I started “This mama life” and I also tend to be that mum with other mums that has no filter about my own experiences and I overshare, just in case there is a mum that’s going through shit and feels like she’s the only one, I always want her to know she’s not alone. Also “WhatsApp”, facebook groups, mama meet ups and wine (whine) time are my saviour, they are a community of support, we may not be physically in a village of mothers, aunties, grandparents and friends as generations before, but we all still need to feel part of one.
Me and Mark are still going strong, that may sound strange, but parenthood tests your relationship like nothing else. We’ve both had to work at things, becoming more patient, accepting, letting the little things go (a lot!) and being selfless! The partnership we had before becoming parents is quite different from the one we have now, we were very much “us” and completely consumed by our love and affection for each other and now we have to share that with a little human and put him first. My hormones and body are still very much in the new mum mode, so I have zero sex drive and as previously mentioned feel touched out a lot of the time, I know this is just “a phase” but its hard for both of us having been in such a physical relationship with each other before and I don’t just mean sex. Its important to make time for the hand holding and the homecoming kiss, getting out for a few drinks alone together making future plans of alone time, just having a laugh and a hug and still knowing that he’s still the only person I want to laugh with and has the sexiest bum … also seeing what an amazing daddy he is makes me love him to a whole new level.
I have also decided to go back to University and after a lifetime love of reading and writing, I am going to study English at The University of Shrewsbury which is like a dream come true … I’m only starting part-time as I am loving spending time with Bodhi and don’t want to take on too much where I feel like our “us time” is sacrificed, but I do need to do something for me now and also re-engage the baby brain. I suppose I’m on freshers week this week, although I may not be quite equipped for the full experience of student life due to going to bed when most of them are going out, however, I have spent this morning drinking coffee, reading Hamlet and trawling charity shops, so I’m halfway there … be prepared for lots of book spam over the next few months!! Also, can I just add to anyone thinking of going to University, check out Shrewsbury as its amazing, I know I’m biased, but I was blown away by it, feeling very blessed to have such an amazing opportunity on my doorstep!
Going on from this and the topic of doing something for “me” I am starting to feel like I’m finally settling into life as a mummy, in day to day things, in how life, relationships, focus, my mind, my body has changed … it’s all starting to blend beautifully together, the who I was before and who I am now … and I’m more at ease with myself than ever … I even had some time, me, myself and I in the bathroom with a magnifying mirror (hehe) telling myself I’m beautiful as I inspected my episiotomy and my new vagina, which has taken me this long to get the balls (haha choice of words!) to check out! But you know I’m pretty damn in awe of my body and what its achieved and still achieving … again another day, another blog post … and I’m still yet to share the 1 day postpartum pic in all its glory! But just for now I’m really happy being me, being mummy, wife, daughter, friend and well Annie really!
So that was a little long-winded, so sorry if you lost the plot and the inclination and speed read your way through … I intend to make these catch-ups a monthly affair from now on!
Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful Autumn sunshine, let me know what you’ve been up to I’d love to know!
Big hugs, Annie xx