Are daddies better than mummies?

We’ve all been there…

Your toddler is, quite frankly, being a bit of an arse. Whether they’re having a full blown tantrum or simply need an attitude adjustment, there comes a point where they’ll say those words: “I want Daddy”.

The last 3 weeks of Olivia’s life have been “I want Daddy”. She even told me she hates me, and constantly tells me “Daddy’s the favourite” or “I love Daddy, not Mummy”. I know she’s only 3, but it kinda hurts.

I’ve started feeling a bit bitter, which I think is no surprise, given that I carried her for 9 months, gave life to her, altered the appearance and functionality of my reproductive organs, abdomen, vagina, boobs, the works, all to bring something into the world that was only going to grow up to hate me.

It grates on me, just a tad.

Of course, she’s 3. So, she doesn’t know that I feel bitter. She thinks she’s being funny, or maybe she just actually does prefer Daddy when she comes out with it in the middle of screaming at me.

Is Daddy better than me? He’s the classic, laid back, fun Daddy. I’m the classic, mean Mummy. It’s frustrating, right?

The thing is, our toddlers do this because they love us so much. Sounds like a cop out, but it’s not. It’s actually a really good thing that they feel so comfortable to push those boundaries with us, because they know that we will always love them unconditionally.

So if you’re noticing that your little one is misbehaving for you and not for daddy, just remind yourself (and him, smugly) that it’s because they love you more!

And remember that it’s okay if they make you feel like poop for a while, because those tantrums are physically and emotionally draining to deal with! Just try not to take it to heart (easier said than done, I know).

How do you cope with toddler tantrums? Do your toddlers have a “favourite” parent?

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Wonderful Women: Being a mum of a disabled adult

How to raise a disabled child

Today’s Wonderful Women feature is an interview with Sharon, a nanny of three (almost four) and mummy to Lauren, who suffers with cerebral palsy.

Sharon was nominated for this feature because her whole life has been full of sacrifices as a parent of a disabled child. She gave up her career to be Lauren’s full time carer and has been in that role for nearly 27 years now! She also raised her two older boys into adulthood as a single mum… Let’s give it up for Sharon!

1) Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Sharon, I’m 56, I live in Ashford, Kent and I have 3 grown up children. The youngest is Lauren who is 26 and is severely disabled so she still lives at home with me. Before I had Lauren I worked as a dental nurse and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2) Your children are all grown up now, do you have any advice for new mums/mums of teenagers?

Yes, my children are all grown up now, but really the only advice I can think to give for teenagers is to keep your boundaries. They seem to want you as another friend but you’re not, you’re their parent and they have to abide by your rules.

For babies, just do your best and make the most of it because before long they’ve turned into horrible teenagers!

3) You’re a full time carer to Lauren who suffers with athetoid cerebral palsy, can you tell us about that?

Lauren was almost a year old when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, although I had an idea before then that was what the problem was. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects all four limbs and causes severe spasticity in those limbs.

4) How has it impacted on your life having a child with a severe disability?

Having a child with a disability has had a great impact on my life in many ways, but I think the main one is taking away my ability to go to work and earn my own money… So I’m completely dependent on the state.

5) You probably never expected to still be a full time parent when your children had grown up, is it tough to carry on that role for longer than you expected?

It’s very tough to still be caring for your child once they’ve grown up, especially as I’m getting older myself! Our bodies were not equipped to care for our children’s physical needs once they become adults and, of course, I often wonder what she’d be doing in her life if she’d been born able-bodied. What sort of person would she be? etc…

6) Do you have any advice for mums with disabled children?

It can be a long slog but don’t give up. Make sure you’re getting everything you can because once they become adults it’s like they’re suddenly cured!

It is also very rewarding when your child achieves something you were told they’d never do.

7) Is there a lot of support for children with cerebral palsy?

There is a lot of support for children with cerebral palsy but unfortunate that stops when they become adults.

8) How much of an impact did Lauren’s health have on your other children growing up?

Lauren’s health had a big impact on my other two children growing up. Simple things like going somewhere for a family day out isn’t as simple anymore when you have a disabled child.

My two boys became my little helpers once I had Lauren and had a big role in helping me to care for her. They went from two little boys into two men overnight.

9) You have grandchildren now, and Lauren is an Auntie, how are the grandchildren around Auntie Lauren?

I have 3 grandchildren and they are all very mindful of Lauren’s disabilities. The girls are especially and Lauren has a lovely relationship with them and loves them coming over.

10) Finally, do you have anybody else you’d like to nominate for our wonderful women feature? Anyone who inspires you?

Sarah, you inspire me. Your drive and determination is unreal – the way you start things and see them through, even when life wants to chuck more shit your way you do all this off your own back. You had no guidance, no nurturing and, I suspect, no encouragement!

I’d also like to nominate all the women out there that get up and do their bit, juggling jobs / childcare / running a home and everything else life wants to throw their way! I don’t think you realise how hard motherhood is until you have a child.

Thank you so much to Sharon for being part of this series celebrating wonderful women everywhere! If you have anyone to nominate please get in touch!

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

What Mums REALLY want for Mother’s Day…

Tweet to @mummykindoff

Mother’s Day – it’s bittersweet for some, and I count myself in that camp. So, if that’s you too, I feel you, mama. Hold it together, you’re doing great, whatever the reason is behind why Mother’s Day kinda sucks for you. 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have always been difficult for me, having little to no family support from childhood and into my own journey of parenthood. So I get it, it can be a bunch of crap watching everyone else enjoy their loving family time that you’re missing out on for one reason or another. But now that I have had my own child, my outlook has changed because I’m more than just someone’s daughter now… I am the Mother on Mother’s Day, and my husband is the Father on Father’s Day – OUR little family is now the only thing I want or need to focus on all year round, including these days. Plus, I have an awesome Mother-in-law who is just always incredible and goes above and beyond for me like a mother should, so I love making her feel special, too. 

So, it’s creeping up on us now – just over a week to go! Maybe you’ll be leaving things until the last minute, or maybe you’re already organised… Maybe this post will inspire you, but it’s not the quick fix solution to your question of ‘what do I buy my mum for Mother’s Day?’… SORRY!

Mother’s Day, for me, isn’t about the gifts. Actually, my most treasured Mother’s Day sentiment was from my stepdaughter last year, who went out to the shop with her dad and her sister (my daughter) to find a Mother’s Day card, and SPECIFICALLY ASKED IF SHE COULD BUY ME A STEPMOTHER ONE. AND THEN SHE PICKED IT OUT AND WROTE IT OUT ALL BY HERSELF!!!!!

HOW EFFING CUTE IS THAT?

It brought more than a couple of tears to my eye, and I still have the card now. It made me feel loved and appreciated and acknowledged and, really, that’s all I would ask for.

Mums don’t want a Facebook post showing off in some silly online contest of ‘who has the best mum in 2019’. Yeah, it’s great if you want to brag about your mum, do it whenever you like, but it’s not going to mean as much as something far more thoughtful. Maybe I’m just cynical, but what is the point in putting it on Facebook? There isn’t any, except it’s a bit of a social norm now, almost like you have to prove that you’re a good child with an obligatory message to your Mum to say thanks. Say it in person! It’ll mean more.

Mums also don’t want to be showered in meaningless gifts – gifts are great, but we want something with some thought behind it, not just the first thing you saw on the shelf when you waltzed into Tesco. Something your little one actually picked out for their mummy – those are the sweetest kinds of gifts, though, granted, the presents themselves may be useless!

Mums want cards with nice messages inside, handmade or shop bought, but that you’ve taken the time out of your day to sit down and think about what you want to write, written it, sealed it with love and delivered in time for Mother’s Day so your Mum doesn’t feel forgotten about. Last year Olivia made me a card with handprints on it that made flowers – it was beautiful and that’s the kind of thing us mummies will treasure. Not every one of Olivia’s drawings (mostly of Rapunzel, not gonna lie) will make the cut of things I keep forever, but her little diddy handprints on a Mother’s Day card definitely will.

Mums want to spend Mother’s Day with their kids – it might not always be possible given the diversities of modern families, but a phone call or a video call if you can’t be there in person will go a long way.

And finally, Mums want to CHILL. It’s hard work being a parent; reward us, please. Give us a cup of tea and a chance to sit down somewhere other than the toilet. Dads, we promise we’ll do the same for you when it’s your turn. 

What have you got planned for Mother’s Day?

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Things that new Mummies and Mummies to be are sick of hearing…

It might not be the same for all women, but you can pretty much guarantee that the second that you announce your pregnancy, comments will start to roll in. Quite often, positive and supportive comments, slowly start to roll into slightly more rude and patronising ‘advice’. I truly believe that most people offering this advice, mean well. However, I am a firm believer that- unless you are asked to give advice OR a baby appears to be at risk due to a new Mother’s uncertainty (even then, there are ways to go about this nicely!) then you shouldn’t feel compelled to launch comments and advice from your mouth, so sternly that it wounds. In fact, really you don’t need to mention anything at all.
Listed below are the comments that have got to me the most, in my nearly year and a half of being both pregnant and being a first time mummy.
“You can’t expect him (the baby’s father) to take an interest in the baby straight away. When the baby starts doing more, he’ll find the baby more interesting and become more involved!”
Okay! SO a man can partake in making a baby, he can do the dirty, the dance with no pants. BUT doesn’t have to commit any responsibility until ‘the baby becomes interesting’? If everybody had this outlook, babies would be solely raised by robots up until the age of around 4/5 months. Important bonds are formed within the first few weeks of a babies life, and although they won’t remember if someone doesn’t play an active role in their life during this time. The people who worked so hard to keep the baby happy and ensured that they were set to flourish, WILL remember.
AND it WILL hurt their feelings.
“Was it planned?”
IT?! IT?!  Regardless if a baby is planned or not, a child should not and cannot be branded as an ‘accident’ or mistake. If a woman has made it clear that she is happy with her pregnancy, referring to her unborn child as “it” is endlessly rude, disrespectful and hurtful.  Due to many issues, including but not limited to; Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a right ovary that is believed to not be functioning properly, a cyst in my uterus, taking the contraceptive pill for hormonal control and the intended use. Topped of a with a very large bleed- Conceiving Florence was nothing short of a miracle for my Partner and our families.
This question is rude, hurtful and honestly? The answer is none of your business.
“Better get used to having no sleep!”
Nothing like new parents being filled with fear before the baby has even arrived. I have found this to be a total myth when it comes to my Baby’s sleeping habits, although I think that I am pretty lucky! Florence has slept through the night on and off, from exactly 1 Month Old and takes frequent naps… So no, I haven’t had to adjust to having no sleep YET.
Thank you for your concern.
“You’re not married? What a shame! I thought you were a good girl!”
Helllllllloooo! We are in the 21st Century where, lots of marriages last as long as a clean nappy. You don’t have to be married to have a baby. You don’t have to have a baby if you don not want one. You can use contraception can prevent pregnancy (well its supposed to, but there is enough stories on the baby group to suggest otherwise). You can have a baby if you’re a same sex couple. If a woman decides to keep a baby that was conceived after a one night stand and raise the baby herself? Good on her- A Happy mummy = A happy baby, and really, that is all that matters. We live in an age where families aren’t always ‘conventional’ and I think that it is beautiful. I’m no less of a person for having my daughter when I had her. Married or not.
Your views are outdated, please get with the times.
“Nappies are so gross! Hope you don’t mind yucky things!”
Nappies can be gross. butttttt… so is your sick after drinking too much and your own poop, for that matter. Worse stuff  has happened. I’m just going to leave this one here. It is so childish and so ridiculous.
You too sat in your own wee and poo. So you really have NO room to comment.
“Your body will never be the same again!”
It might bounce back, but it might not. Most women end up with stretch marks whilst pregnant, but some lucky ladies do not. I personally resemble an albino tiger- Pale. pasty and covered in stripes (haha) but you know what? My body is quite literally a temple of life. As shitty as it may be and even if I do hate it sometimes… My womb made a human life. I grew a beautiful, healthy and strong baby girl. I almost died getting her here, but I did it!
Now that, is pretty badass.
“Well, back in my day…”
Or
“Well, I didn’t do *that* and my baby turned out fine.”
I don’t know, I would like my child to turn out a little better than just ‘fine’? Yes, we get it. You weaned your babies at 3/4 months. Some smoked and consumed alcohol whilst pregnant because you had no idea of the risks, no one did! You didn’t have a massive list of foods to avoid whilst pregnant. Amongst many, many other fairly substantial changes, that have been based on research over a very vast time period. Times have changed and even if babies haven’t- Guidelines to keep them safe and healthy has changed too. No, we don’t need your opinions or comments on breastfeeding or formula. Dummy or no dummy. We’ll give you a shout if you need help though! 
Lets face it, we only want the best for our babies- regardless of if they are 23 days, weeks or years old.
Giving birth was a breeze for me, I cannot see what all of the fuss is about?”
Or
“Yes, I know about your experience, but mine was awful.”
Labour was easy for you? Fab! You go girl! Tell me about your experience! Labour was awful for you? Lets talk about it. I can understand your pain. Just because you had a baby and had no issues with labour, it doesn’t mean that everyone has had the same experience. Women need to be kinder to eachother and support one another with this massive life shifting change. Not turn it into some kind of competition between who had it the worst and who had it the easiest.
We’ve all achieved the same incredible result, so where is the love?
“There goes your social life! Wave goodbye to freedom, nights out and time to yourself!”
Haha. I will keep this short, but sweet. I didn’t have much of a social life before my baby. So I can say with confidence, that not much has changed. In fact with baby dates, I’m probably socialising more than ever.
“Everyone from school is having babies and I am over here, planning my next holiday.”
It’s great that you have a desire to travel the world. But, having a baby doesn’t stop you from traveling the world or doing anything else that you want to do. I am very lucky to have gone on numerous holidays a year, to a variety of places when I was growing up. I’ve been 1/5 of the American states and visited several different contries. In no way, do I feel that my baby has restricted my life or the way I wish to live. She has enriched my life tremendously and I couldn’t have welcomed her into my life at a better time.
“I hope that you’re planning on waiting before you have your next baby! You need time to enjoy this one!”
I don’t plan on having another baby right away, as having Florence was quite nearly the death of me. But, if I wanted to have another child so that my children would be close in age, then I would. Your opinions have no weight on how I decide to live my life. Or how anyone else should live theirs, for that matter. If you spent too much time planning for the correct time and suitable age gaps- you’d probably never have a baby, let alone multiple babies. If a women wants to have a baby straight after having two sets of twins… Her body may not like her for it- but that is up to her! Not you! 
You can stop it right now, with your “you two have been busy!” Crap. 
“How do your parents feel about you having a baby? Are they excited?”
My parents have always been incredibly supportive. This hasn’t changed since them knowing that I was pregnant or since having my baby. You know what? I was so ill before being pregnant with Florence, that my parents thought something was seriously wrong. So a baby was almost a relief to them. However, if they weren’t supportive- it wouldn’t change my wanting to keep and care for my baby. I think I speak for most Mums when I say that. You don’t need supportive parents to be a good parent. Ultimately, it matters to some people, to a degree as to what their parents think- but to some it means nothing. 
Having a baby doesn’t have to have anything to do with your parents. Although having amazing Grandparents is lovely for your children.
Oh, and the incessant and constant sharing of pictures showing horrific nappy spillages on to our Facebook walls, with a comment saying “Good luck, lol” needs to STOP. If you haven’t got anything nice or useful to say, don’t say it at all. 
I hope you enjoy reading these and feel a little less alone, in your constant battle against the views and voices of the world around you.

You’re doing a great job. 

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Newborn vs Toddler (The Unadulterated Truth)

Remember that moment, when you had a little baby you loved to pieces?
IT WILL ALL CHANGE!
Well, not the love, that’s kind of unconditional, but the little baby will certainly change… Here’s what you need to know about the difference between a newborn baby and a toddler.

The Newborn (aka the CryBaby)

Benefits:

  1. At first, they sleep for like 14 hours a day. It’s bliss.
  2. You can do things you want to do – housework, sleep, eat, sleep, you get my drift…
  3. You can go to the toilet without a small person attached to you (unless you’re breastfeeding – I have indeed breastfed my baby whilst having a pee).
  4. BOUNCY CHAIRS – NEED I SAY MORE?
  5. Milk solves everything.
  6. Everyone still wants to help out and hold the cute little baby.

Drawbacks:

  1. They’re very boring and are terrible company. You’ll be chatting away and nobody is chatting back.
  2. You’ll try not to, and you’ll hate yourself for breaking, but YOU WILL USE BABY TALK. ALL THE TIME.
  3. They do really bad shits. Seriously bad. First it’s all sticky tar, then it looks like chicken korma. It’s just really unpleasant.
  4. They are so dependent on you for everything!!!!!!!! They cry, and you have to answer. What’s that all about? I’m an independent woman, my daughter should be too.
  5. THEY CRY ALL THE TIME AND YOU HAVE TO GUESS WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON IN THEIR TINY BABY BRAIN TO MAKE THEM WAIL LIKE A BANSHEE AT 2AM.

The Toddler (aka the Terrorist)

Benefits:

  1. They have their own little personality.
  2. They can walk and talk and ask for things, making your job of having to guess what the baby wanted so much easier.
  3. You can have fun with them.
  4. They can play independently.
  5. They can go to the toilet by themselves. No more poo for you, mama!

Drawbacks:

  1. Sometimes, their personality is that they’re a little shit.
  2. Even though they can ask for things, they won’t, they’ll whine at you instead.
  3. They can play independently, usually at risk of criminal damage to your walls, doors, and anything else which can be drawn on.
  4. They can go to the toilet themselves, but they’d much rather piss their pants and let you clear it up.
  5. They’ll always say dad is the favourite. Fucking traitors.
So, which is my favourite?
I’ll leave that one for you to work out!
Are there any missing from the list???

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Why I’m glad I had my child at 20

I fell pregnant with my daughter at the ripe old age of 20, and gave birth to my daughter exactly 1 month before my 21st birthday.

Now, there are lots of pros and cons to having your children at certain ages, and the topic is apparently the business of the (predominantly) old men running our country, resulting in drives to lower the amount of teen pregnancies – not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but the trends do show that women are starting to have babies after they’ve become settled in their careers.

The average age of first-time mothers in the UK in 2016 was 28.8 years old, with only 3.2% of mothers having their first child under the age of 20.

However, although these figures have dropped significantly, the stigma around being a young mum is by no means a new thing.

When I was 14, I took my 3 year old brother to the park, only to be spoken about by 2 older ladies in the most demeaning way. I took a lot of delight in correcting them, and thanking them for their snap (and completely, utterly wrong) judgements.

Pros:

  1. I can still keep up with my daughter. Yes, she runs me ragged 24/7, but it would be a lot harder if I was that bit older.
  2. I haven’t had to interrupt a career. The timing wasn’t ideal, me still being at uni, but I had Olivia before I had an established career as a barrister. If I’d had to take time off during my self-employment as a barrister, I’d be coming back to work at a disadvantage having not worked for 6 or 9 months, and not having any maternity pay! I also believe that if I hadn’t had Olivia when I did, I wouldn’t have children at all!
  3. I get to share all of my successes with her as we both grow older.
  4. You’re less likely to have fertility problems when you’re young. We weren’t really trying to get pregnant, but it was the first month of not being careful with contraception that we fell pregnant with Olivia! We women are ticking time bombs when it comes to our fertility…
  5. Pregnancy is lower risk under 35. At the age of 35 you are considered a geriatric mother, and, no matter how healthy the pregnancy, you’re considered higher risk and you’re then less likely to have the birth plan you wanted!

Cons:

  1. You don’t qualify to have a screening test for cervical cancer, despite there being a link between childbirth and an increased risk of cervical cancer. So, unless I paid privately for a screening, I would go 5 years post-birth without being tested.
  2. I don’t know if this is a normal experience for everyone, but when I first went to the GP I was asked if I was keeping it… I’m just speculating here, but I bet that doesn’t happen for women in their late 20s onwards!
  3. I am judged on a daily basis by those older than me, patronised and told what to do with my child. She’s my child, not yours. Butt out.
  4. Until I moved to Aldershot, I was the only one of my friends that had a child, and as lovely as those friends are, they just don’t get it sometimes.
Do you have any more you’d add to the lists? How old were you when you had your first child?

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

How to Deal with the Stress of Raising Two Kids

A big thank you to Murris from familyhype.com for sharing this piece with us! We all know how stressful one child can be, and these tips for coping with two are great!

Having a second child on the way can be amazing, but it can also be the most stressful time of your life if you’re not prepared. Here are some ways you can deal with the stress and have the best time of your life.

Tell Your Child About the Sibling

Sibling rivalry is a trope that doesn’t have to exist. Inform the sibling to be about what is going to happen. You can show them books, videos, or other information about the child, and perhaps they can think of what the child’s name is and help with the room for the new baby.

For more information on how to tell your child about it, go to familyhype.com.

Obviously, they may be jealous, and their feelings are valid. Just make sure that they realize they will be loved just as much, too. If they express jealousy, don’t guilt trip them, but ensure them that everything is gonna be okay.

Also, the firstborn’s opinions may change. At first, they may love their baby brother or sister.

However, whenever the baby grows older and becomes more independent, there may be some challenges. For example, the toddler may take toys or mess with the sibling in different ways. Be vigilant.

Teach Your Firstborn to Be More Independent

Preparing the food and making the beds of two kids can be a challenge. If your firstborn is old enough to be in school, they can learn to dress themselves, prepare snacks, and be more independent. Teaching your child about adult tasks is always a good idea, but besides that, it can help make everything so much more easier.

You as a mom need to make sure that your mental health is also at the forefront too.

Teach The Sibling to Be Protective, Not Jealous

As the older sibling, they should learn how to protect their baby sibling against any danger.

The child is now the caretaker too, and they can help feed, burp, rock to sleep, and take care of the baby in general. Don’t let the child feel like they aren’t being treated equally.

Budget

Laying out a budget is a good idea for any situation, but especially for having a second kid.

One kid is costly enough, so when you have two, that is a bit of problem. Think about the cost of everything and set aside even more money to cover it. Make sure you have all expenses paid. Eliminate any unneeded expenses. Cook more at home. It doesn’t take long for you to set up a good budget that works for you. Find that budget, and you’ll feel much better afterwards.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

With the firstborn, there is often overprotection and perfectionism. Everything has to be completely safe for the baby, and there shouldn’t be anything that goes wrong. However, as you give birth to the second baby, some parents realize that they can be more lax on their second born. You don’t have to worry as much. With that said, you shouldn’t be lazy, but you can relax a little more.

Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself as Well

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to take care of yourself. No one is going to take care of you, after all. Stressing is natural, but too much stress can hurt you. Instead, take some time to wind down. Work out a little. Get outside and take a walk. Make sure you’re sleeping and perhaps have someone else help with the chores. Take some time to yourself too and work out any stress you may have.
Perhaps you can go out for the weekend and have your parents watch the kids. This may seem like a cop-out, but not only do the grandparents love watching their grandkids, but you need time to recover from the stress. While some stress is good, too much can hurt you in the long run, and it’s something you should avoid at all times.

Enjoy Parenting

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to take care of yourself. No one is going to take care of you, after all. Stressing is natural, but too much stress can hurt you. Instead, take some time to wind down. Work out a little. Get outside and take a walk. Make sure you’re sleeping and perhaps have someone else help with the chores. Take some time to yourself too and work out any stress you may have.

Perhaps you can go out for the weekend and have your parents watch the kids. This may seem like a cop-out, but not only do the grandparents love watching their grandkids, but you need time to recover from the stress. While some stress is good, too much can hurt you in the long run, and it’s something you should avoid at all times.

Parenting is a part of life, so why not make it fun? Show new places to your children. Play games. Make memories. Don’t spend most of your life stressed if you don’t need to. Parenting with two kids doesn’t have to be a challenge; it can be the start of an even bigger family that can go on many adventures.

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

When I felt like “mum”

It took me a while,

I’ll be the first to admit,

But when I saw your smile,

I knew I’d remember it.

Not the way your one cheek dimpled,

Not the way your smiling eyes sparkled,

Not the way the sides of your gummy mouth tilted upwards…

I mean, the way I finally felt like mum.

I felt like mum while I pushed with all my might.

I felt like mum on all of those sleepless nights.

I felt like mum the first time I held you close.

I felt like mum even when I felt gross.

I felt like mum despite not having a shower or a cleanse.

I felt like mum when I saw you through the sonographer’s lens.

I felt like mum when I felt the first kick.

I felt like mum every morning while I was sick…

I feel like mum, and I remember it

I remember it when you cry,

I remember it when I cry,

I remember it when we play and when we’re too tired to play.

I remember it at morning, noon and night,

I remember it when you love me and when we’ve had a fight.

I love being mum and everything it means,

You’ll remember how much I love you – the greatest love you’ve ever seen.

Taking control of my second pregnancy

There is another baby on the way in the Mummykind team! I’m pregnant with baby number two and this time round I know quite a bit more about what I am doing.

I have already had a couple of midwife appointments and in that time I have been able to exercise my right to decline routine testing which, if I’m honest, was totally empowering. They would like for me to have a fasting blood glucose test later on in pregnancy to test for Gestational Diabetes . They want me to have this test because I am slightly overweight for my height –  a BMI of 32 at the time (already 11 weeks pregnant and showing) and my Grandfather has Type 2 Diabetes.  I was tested in my first pregnancy and I was fine, as I knew I would be. The test was actually horrible for me, I was hungry, tired and felt so sick. They take two rounds of bloods which is about my limit before I pass out. I decided this time to not put myself through it. Saying “no” felt so good.

I plan to reject further carbon monoxide testing on the grounds that I will have to walk through fairly heavy traffic to get to each appointment and the results are skewed because of that. The first one was unpleasant and I don’t need to be using a giant plastic straw every single time I see a midwife for them to confirm to me that I don’t smoke and my boiler is fine.

Bye bye pregnancy vitamins. They make me feel ill and it turns out you only need to supplement with vitamin D after 12 weeks. There are tentative links being made between folic acid after 12 weeks and tongue ties in newborns which is something I would like to avoid if at all possible.

In my first pregnancy I was pushed from midwife to midwife to consultant and back to another different midwife – 9 midwives and 2 consultants in total by the time I was discharged (not including the ones who came and went through my labour and delivery). I never had a number for a specific person or an allocated individual looking after my care and needs. I have made it clear this time that this was detrimental to my previous care – I now have two ladies looking after me and I have both of their contact details. The feeling of security because of that alone puts my mind at rest.

I will be opting for Group B Strep testing this time. The midwife has already tried to downplay it but I’m not taking that risk again.

I trust my body. It’s becoming almost a mantra at this point. In my previous pregnancy I trusted healthcare providers over my own instinct. Now they do have their merits, they are highly trained and experienced after all. But they cant feel what you are feeling. There will be no telling me when I can and can’t push this time and if anyone indicates that they don’t think I’m trying hard enough or has the gall to tell me that I just need to push harder they will be told to leave.

I will be asking to see copies of the medical consent forms and disclaimers I will be asked to sign in the event of an emergency. It’s important to me that I know what I am signing and in the middle of labour I don’t want to be trying to get a grasp on this kind of thing. I will also be asking for a full run down of what pain relief I will be offered and the risks involved with them, as well as my own research into what will work best for me with my Fibromyalgia and previous traumatic birth.

I will be immediately disengaging from the health visiting service because I can’t bring myself to trust them after their stack of failures last time, if it will appease them I may attend weighing clinics on my own terms. I know that every health visitor is different and some are amazing but I’m not putting my mental health in the hands of a luck-of-the-draw system, the ones I met let me down last time so they aren’t welcome this time.

Knowing now that my children are genetically predisposed to tongue tie and CMPA I will not be hanging around if I spot a single symptom. 6 months of feeding hell with my first was too much for everyone and I refuse to go through it again.

Cloth nappies will be coming with me to the hospital and they will be used from day one. Anyone who wants to tell me it’s too much work or that the hospital “won’t allow” me  to use them will get a full lecture from me about the benefits of cloth, my rights as a parent and about belittling the choices of pregnant women.

To put it in a sentence:  I’m in charge.

Mental Health Monday: Dealing with your past demons as a new mother…

Personally, I’ve suffered with depression since the ripe old age of 12. Back then, it got really, really bad. I tried to end my life twice, and ended up in a mental hospital… so, of course, when I began noticing the same signs in myself of depression during my pregnancy, you can imagine the fears and anxieties that went with it.

I’ve previously talked about how to recognise antenatal depression, and I truly think that, had I not been depressed throughout my adolescent years, I wouldn’t have recognised it in myself while I was pregnant.

There can be so many things that trigger depression or any other mental illness, but for me it was a multitude of past demons that were resurfacing. They were resurfacing because, very soon, I was going to be a mother myself, and that was the most terrifying thought of all.

Not because I didn’t want to be a mum – I’d always wanted children. I grew up with 4 younger siblings (2 of whom I raised in part) and from the age of about 9 I had known what my children’s names would be, because, OBVIOUSLY, I was going to have twin girls (Lily and Olivia – I got one at least) and a boy (Henry). I had it all planned out.

But nothing goes to plan.

Instead, by surprise, I was pregnant in my final year of university, and had to deal with that pregnancy completely alone except for a couple of very amazing and supportive housemates. By the time that my pregnancy was nearing the 7 month mark, I had essay deadlines looming and was about to move back to Kent to prepare to have my baby, and become a mum. It was what I’d wanted so why did I feel so incredibly anxious about it?

It may sound cliche… but I was so petrified of turning into my mum. Of being the type of person that could cut her children out of her life as and when she pleased, or the type of person that would prioritise her vanity and her boyfriends over her children’s wellbeing. I came out of those 15 and a half years living with her so emotionally damaged, and I was terrified that my own daughter would feel the same way. I didn’t want to lose my baby before I even had her, and I felt like it was an unchangeable fate that she would end up hating me.

Those feelings of inadequacy before I had even given birth to my daughter were so difficult to overcome, but I did overcome them. It took counselling, peer support, regular GP visits, medication, and a round of CBT for me to get to the point that I am at now. I’ve felt the ups, downs and in betweens, and I still feel them, but the downs are becoming fewer and farther between.

No matter what demons there are in your past, they won’t stop you from being a good mother. It took me a long time to come to that realisation, and I have tried so hard with everything that I am to be the complete opposite of the woman that my mother is.

I have tried so hard to give Olivia everything she deserves and more – everything I deserved as a child but never thought I was worthy of. All I can hope for is that it will be enough, and as long as I’ve put my all into being the best mum I can be, then I’m sure that it will be more than enough.

Mix It Up Linky

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…