Saturday, February 2, 2013

The fragmentation of motherhood

One month on-
Tully just turned one month old this week and the time has just flown.
All those hours cuddling, feeding, on the couch reading + playing with Miss Three,
eating and creating new family rituals.

The last few weeks have been sacred, joyful, life-altering, tedious + special spending it as a little family of four and yet it's been a little nuts. There have been times when l have felt fragmented and pulled in every direction. Being the mother of two children- you hold so many roles- the cleaner, cook, disciplinarian, carer, listener, kinder garden teacher, resident artist, story teller, mediator, juggler and miracle worker.
It's all new and a little overwhelming still.
Piecing together some sense of normalcy in our family nest has been a challenge but I'm getting there. I think whilst exhausted and a little sleep deprived I've coped even when I have felt like being in the trenches. That continual battle to find a moment for oneself, be happy and keep your head afloat, the family nest running, have dinner on the table and the kids happy. Sure there have been moments where tears, raised voices and a little crazy has featured but hey I'm far from perfect.
There have been changes for the better and some New Years resolutions for our tribe. The house has been reorganised and our possessions reduced. We still have a ways to go but so much has gotten done.
Gone are the days of waiting for Ads to come home from work to start dinner at 6:30pm. Dinner's now a 5:30pm affair after taking some very sound advice from a friend. I've achieved it three nights this week with the kids in bed by 7:30pm but it hasn't been easy. Tonight l had Miss Three going mental before dinner was served and falling asleep in my arms but you know you'll get that.
I've stopped feeling mother guilt over setting boundaries with Miss Three and being the disciplinarian, someones got to do it. I've spent more time talking to her honestly about our love for her and the need to teach her how to grow up + be good. I'm hoping she'll understand given time.
Our toilet training journey has been a great success with Miss Three rejoicing in her new found independence. She's a big girl now and she's wearing undies.
I'm proud of birthing such an incredible little girl. Her hugs have healing powers, her humor makes you laugh till your insides hurt and her smile makes my day. But talk about testing her limits I've had her in timeout so much her little couch has a permanent bum imprint from where she sits. And I've yelled so much I've loved that glass of wine when all is quiet late at night bugger what anyone thinks. Sometimes motherhood is just one big hard slog.
Oh the wonderful Three's.

I've also been working through the breastfeeding paradox. Having too much milk and a little baby boy that isn't drinking enough, it would be comical if I didn't have others pressuring me to take their advice. I mean WTF, 150 grams weight gain a week being what ideally a newborn has to put on and 130 grams just not being good enough. Miss Three was a small baby so pray tell why can't Tully and I find our own rhythm and let him set his own pace of growth.
He didn't want to wake up and feed when he was born. Then it was all about him not putting on enough weight + needing to express on top of his feeds + demand feed.
- it's all been a bit much.
I've nearly cried when dinners have been dropped off by friends - it always seems to be at a time when we just haven't been able to get around to cooking or things are going astray. Thank you to those that have cared for us. I know that having a newborn is a tremulous time where routines go out the window and you just grin and bare it. I also know it gets better. I've just got to hang in there and keep telling myself l am not a failure when it's not perfect or every one's not happy. I've just got to keep going, stay calm and it'll all be OK.

Reading several rather timely blog posts found here, here and here, photo sourced here about the many facets of motherhood has been a supportive, warm hug as I navigate my way through these early days. I salute you for your honesty, it's sometimes hard putting yourself out there; it's caused a smile and much laughter. I know it's only been four weeks so one shouldn't expect things to have become routine but I'm mindful of the struggle when days don't go according to plan or design and I'm trying to enjoy the juggling act of motherhood because l love my little ones. I'm honest enough to admit that I'm happy but tired and dreaming of a little boy who feeds, a Miss Three who understands what quiet is and the chance to get a good night's sleep.

How do you all do it?

x Mummafox

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