Building a family one brick at a time


September 2015

Oh the PRESSURE… the pressure of being a Mummy

What is it with this pressure crap? It’s tricky enough launching into the unpredictable world of small people, and I could do without the judgement police seemingly waggling a finger at every corner.

Pressure about feeding, clothing, sleeping, pooing, what nappies you use or don’t use, screen time, the pram you use, the car seat you use, blah blah blah bollocks. We live in information hell in some ways and it’s starting to irritate me. I read a quote recently that resonated with me – ‘Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, because it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world’. I seem to run into opinion all the time – in fact I know I have been guilty of it myself on many occasions. Too often we get sucked into stuff we read on the net or hearsay coming from random sources that fit with what we feel makes sense to us.

I made the mistake once of joining a couple of Facebook groups on baby wearing and child car seats – it was like I’d entered a weird cult of people who thought they knew everything about each topic and would go so far as to pull up random strangers because they were doing something ‘wrong’. WTF? Live your own life, make you’re own choices, be responsible for your own children. And RELAX – all this pressure just makes everyone on edge, and squashes the fun out of everything. Let’s just be kind to each other and live and let live.


The shock of becoming a parent

For so many years (I would not describe myself as a ‘young’ mother) I have been slightly in awe of people who have children. Being a parent seemed like possibly the most terrifyingly large responsibility anyone could take on. Growing, birthing and being responsible for a helpless little human being is pretty huge.

But now I seem to have blinked, and I have two. It’s the most bizarre feeling.

I used to enjoy the fact that I wasn’t those people on the plane wrestling with unruly children – I could only remember being the unruly child, and I don’t think I was that bad… Might ask my Mum her thoughts on that one. I didn’t have to deal with tantrums in the supermarket, and I could just get in the car and drive without having to strap a small person into a car seat and bring a bag full of crap with me.

But here we are, after two years of what felt like solid pregnancy (only a 4 month gap of not being pregnant), I now am the person who has done long haul flying with a baby (oh my horrendous god – WTF). I now am the person who has to plan a trip to the supermarket like we’re going on a two week holiday, and it takes longer to leave the house than it does to actually select and buy the items we need. I sometimes think starvation would be easier.

I used to be excited about buying a car. Buying clothes. Going on holiday. Now they just seem to be huge headaches that I would rather avoid. Even the pram I bought was rubbish and broke and I can’t bear the thought of having to purchase another one. I’m now a member of the lycra club – stretch fabrics (and prints) are my friend. Hiding a multitude of sins and providing ‘comfort’. I remember sneering at older people looking for ‘comfortable shoes’. I understand now.

Things that used to be necessities – that time in your day simply had to be reserved for – having a shower, going to the loo, cleaning your teeth are now considered luxuries. I’m on the edge all the time in case one kid cries or the other is hammering on the toilet door. I now find myself asking my one year old to give me 5 minutes of peace so I can empty the dishwasher or cook him some food… There is very little me time in my life at the moment.

But that’s the key – ‘at the moment’ – it’s not forever and I keep reminding myself of this fact as they each progress through their little (well massive really) milestones. I remember those first steps of my first born, and realising I would never have that moment again. It actually made me a bit sad. But then I was very very pregnant at the time, so really anything could make me sad at the drop of a hat.

So you go through this process of morphing into a hippo, then your body is released back to you not quite as it once was, and your focus shifts completely off yourself. Being a mum is agony mixed with ecstasy, irritating and hilarious, exhausting but exhilarating. It’s joy juxtaposed with intense fear. It’s both wonderful and horrendous all at once and is most definitely indescribable – and unique. It’s certainly not what Facebook would have you believe. We all love the sugar coated moments and want to scream them from the rooftops – because that’s what makes it all worth it. And no one wants to see photos of poo on the walls or in the bath…

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