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The Non Maternal Mum?

That was me in the beginning. I never craved having a family, never got in a position on a date of scaring a man off by saying I wanted to have his babies (well not literally anyway) haha

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Then I met the love of my life, hehe, my OH will know why I am using that phrase. Our relationship was a bit whirlwind, we fell in love fast, and we certainly enjoyed each other’s company enough to make a baby. It was an unexpected surprise, little bit of a shock too, it took a while for it to actually sink in for me that I really was pregnant. I didn’t get excited that much about it until the end of my pregnancy, only then did I allow myself to buy a few baby things. I guess a part of it is I didn’t want to tempt fate for anything to go wrong. My mother had lost two babies and had problems with having boy babies in particular, and I was due to have a boy.

I spoke to my OH at times throughout the pregnancy that I was concerned how I might feel as I have never really been a maternal person or had a burning desire to have children. I was concerned how I would feel once my baby was born. When my son was born I didn’t feel the rush of love a lot of women say they get, to be honest I felt numb, not sure how I felt or how to describe it. I was in awe of what happened, and the baby laying next to me in one of those NHS transparent plastic cots had grown inside of me and was now really my son, and yes I was a mother? Yes, another lot of disbelief, I knew I had a duty/obligation, but no instant love there.

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Over time love grows stronger

The aim of this blog is to reassure those who may feel like this, that it doesn’t last forever, and feelings change. The instant warm glow of love isn’t always there, for us the bond grew over time, to be honest sometimes so much so that my son is inseparable. All I will say is talk through your feelings with someone you trust, don’t be hard on yourself, get breaks from your lo when you need as exhaustion is a mood killer, love will grow and seek professional help if you need it.

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Dating for mums

I will have to say I had a few failures and been stood up, think the last one was the most successful, well we chatted for 2 hours so that is a good sign hopefully, and the kids enjoyed playing with each other. Mummy dating more nerve wracking than actual dating haha!

At some point in your life as a mother you are going to feel like your social life has flopped.

You will turn to social media or ‘mummy’ forums in search for other mums that are in the same boat as you. Mums that might share your love of coffee and wine rather than nursery rhymes and play parks. Don’t get me wrong that stuff is great for the kids. But this isn’t about the kids. It’s about you.

In my case I found an amazing website called Mummy Social. Its basically tinder for mums. You stalk people’s profiles, like them or suggest a coffee with them! Totally genius! No faffing just straight to the point. There are forums and chats you can also take part in and you can even arrange your own social event in your area which is quite cool! Yes I said cool. Fuck what…

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Something in the Gene Pool?

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Monday 6th March 2017

Asshole people on buses haha

I visited my mum this weekend, and that was pleasant enough, apart from my son and I were getting over another unpleasant illness again, and I think this time I actually coped less. We only planned to stay one night at my mum’s, but stayed another night as I already decided I was not going to work on Monday as needed another day to recover and my son was sick on Saturday night as well, he seems OK now, just has a cough left like me. However, I couldn’t face the long journey home on Sunday night.

Yet, our long journey back on the bus on Monday made me grumpy instead, first I get asked on the initial bus journey to the town centre we have to take to get back home do I have to pay for my son? I have never been queried about his age before, and I reply he is under 5, bus driver looks dumbfounded, I say I don’t have to pay for him he is under 5. My mum responds to the driver he is 3, he then says why didn’t she say that, what a rude ass I think. I say to him didn’t know he needed a child-rate card yet, I mean one that proves he doesn’t have to pay.

So, yes that was the first asshole of the day.

We get to the town centre, I don’t bother to say thanks to the driver (out of town thing, but I normally do when they are not assholes!) when we get off of the bus. We stopped for lunch and a toilet break as the next bus journey is over an hour long. We wait for the next bus, it arrives and no one seems to want to get off, I step on about to ask for a single, then I see a delayed horde of people wanting to get off. I then say to the driver hang on a minute, people are getting off, I will get off the bus and step back to allow them to get off. Some deranged woman with a greasy mop of hair starts having a go at me, about letting people off the bus first, I had enough of these retards and say I have got off the bus stupid! Something like that, I am just thinking is there something in the gene pool where my mum lives, all I am going to say is Garden Cities!

I would have a better day going to work haha!

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In love with February

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Monday 27th February 2017

Finally got here, ready to take two days off of work and spend a bit more time with my little boy.

This month has not been as boring as last month and we have not been as ill, although MIL is back in hospital again.

We have continued to go to our favourite weekend playgroup, albeit in a different location, got to see Mr Bloom, have to say my son loved it and was a really good boy for his first theatre experience and has enjoyed himself at another friend’s birthday party.

Feeling nervous that I am going to take my son to a playgroup without my OH for support and actually attempting to do another mummy social after looking like I bottled the last one, I was ill! Still trying after a few failures haha

Tips from the mummysocial team (personally given up in April, but if you have more strength to try, then please see mummysocial tips)

https://mummysocial.com/mum-blog/the-lowdown-on-getting-social-with-mummy-social

Also thanks to all of those that visited and viewed my blog recently, keep coming back, liking and sharing thanks

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Resentment

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This blog was inspired by an anonymous plead on a mummy social forum asking if it is normal to feel resentment towards your OH after having a baby?

My answer is yes, it is completely normal, but maybe something we don’t like to talk about or avoid admitting to in baby playgroups or even just to a friend as everyone likes to pretend everything is just perfect, and there is pressure to be happy at a seemingly joyous time.

I think sometimes the resentment is misguided and sometimes it is not, depends on the kind of person your OH is (I am avoiding the use of man here, as there are all kinds of relationships and families).

In my case, my resentment built up by a number of things. However, the major thing I think that is common with most women that feel this way is your life has changed so much, but your OH’s hasn’t. My partner’s work didn’t take out their frustrations on him, or made to feel excessively uncomfortable that he had a break from work, well no more than usual as he only took 2 weeks off. I viewed his opportunity to go back to work as a escape, I felt I had no escape and it takes time to adjust to a big life change. In some ways you feel that you have lost your identity, I found that difficult to adjust to, and some days I was just so tired, I wanted to run away and escape. God forbid that work seemed like a pleasant escape route (I am not living the dream or have a ultra amazing or glamorous job). Although there was no way I could have worked during those early days.

My OH didn’t really spend the first week with our lo as we were in hospital, and the hospital wouldn’t allow overnight stays with us, he missed out on critical bonding time. I had hoped my OH would be a bit more hands on, but well it never happened. I knew nothing about babies before my son came along and took no interest in them, but had to learn quickly and I resented that my OH couldn’t do the same. He was useless at changing nappies, clothes, holding my lo sometimes as I think he had a big fear of how fragile he was, he never looked comfortable holding a baby, even when he was getting fairly robust. However, I will admit I am a harsh critic and perfectionist, hormones and severe sleep deprivation probably didn’t help my patience with this either.

My OH wasn’t going out drinking every night, and he did his best to help in other ways, preparing feeds for the day because I couldn’t breastfeed, cleaning and taking out the trash. He helped to try to rock my lo to sleep at night when he was very unsettled, as I couldn’t as my back and sciatica caused me too much pain to do that. So yes, some of my resentment was unfounded, it wasn’t his fault my colleagues were jerks, and his legal rights was to only take two weeks off of work at that time (and was badly paid for him), and in hindsight he should have saved his leave instead of going to all the antenatal appointments with me or that my lo was unsettled and only catnapped, but the resentment was still there. I think shared maternity/paternity leave is a step in the right direction, if you can afford it, although sadly the case is most of the time men are still the breadwinners, but I had my lo before this came about, in regards to shared leave.

I think what helped is I finally admitted there was a problem, I went for counselling, although I found the counselling opened a raw wound for me, not really just to do with this, but other past issues. I then got help from my own doctor and was prescribed a low dose of anti-depressants, and these have really helped in my case, so much so that I have been using them for the last year and half, may finally be weaned off them this summer. We also try to find more time to do things as a couple only to talk and go on date nights, this helps us to catch up and talk through any feelings. We also regularly text each other as there are moments when you just can’t be in the same place, even if you are both in the house, e.g. bad nights with my son or I am just trapped by him. However, date nights are really important, and it is good to do this at least every 2 months if not more if you can get a babysitter.

I mean some guys are jerks, and resentment is just, but sometimes you need to give a guy a break and reconnect, and talk through what your OH needs to do to help you more, and they should be willing to do that.

https://www.thebump.com/a/why-you-hate-your-husband-after-baby-arrives

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/relationships-after-a-baby.aspx

 

 

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Embarrassment

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Having those ‘Bridget’ moments

Since becoming a mum I think the one thing I have started to handle better is embarrassment. I mean just to start there is all the internal examinations when you are pregnant. To be honest I wasn’t that phased by them as a woman, well, you have a few of them anyway for routine tests and you just have to switch off from the moment, and go into la la land. However, there is more opportunity for them in pregnancy and you better get use to someone looking at your parts as a baby will shoot out of them soon enough.

It seems comical now, but the major thing I was worried about in labour was doing a number 2 haha and my OH seeing it (of course I was worried about things going wrong as well, but tried not to think about that). Kind of spoils the image you want to portray to your OH. I remember I kept saying in labour I think I need to do a ‘doo doo’ (I never use that term, apologies, ridiculous FB restrictions) or something like that, knowing me I said it in a discrete way, until I said the obvious haha To be honest the feeling is the same, but your worse number 2 ever. Who knows whether I did anything, my OH said he never noticed, perhaps he was being polite and more concentrating on my son being born. As a new mum at some point you are going to have to get over ever having any privacy, now at home I go to the toilet with the door open as I know my son is bound to knock at the door and want to have a conservation, only my OH gets to go to the toilet with the door closed these days.

I remember having a really unsettled baby would make me feel stressed and embarrassed, like people were making judgements on my parenting skills that I didn’t have a baby that settled easily as I would try a number of things to settle him and they didn’t always work first time. I think now I would worry and care less, as tantrums have nothing on a unsettled baby. The worse tantrum was fairly recently and I don’t know what got into him, but he didn’t want to come home from nursery, I know he was having too much of a good time in the garden and wanting to play on a scooter. Trouble is it has been very cold at the beginning of this year and I don’t think the staff have been taking the children for their last bit of garden time so much, been taking them down later and later or not at all. I don’t blame them, but my son gets use to a set routine, and any divergence from this can really upset him. He really looks forward to this, then I come to pick him up and obviously he has hardly been in the garden, but then he has an almighty tantrum, making it almost look like he has a bad time at home. The nursery staff on this occasion have to help me to the door to get him out. I laughed it off at first, said I think he wants to play on the scooter too much. I try my tricks to offer something nice at home to distract him from
wanting to play on the scooter, but doesn’t work this time and honestly it looks like either he comes from a terrible home environment that he doesn’t want to go back to or in a way it’s a advertisement for the nursery they didn’t want. Children love it here so much you have to drag them home.

My new trick is to reward for good behaviour and have said I will take him for a babycino at a local coffee place after I pick him up from nursery once a week if he is a good boy, so far it has worked, but will probably have to think of something else at some point.

Still I think I am getting better at handling embarrassment and trying not to take it personally, how do you handle embarrassment?

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The Clique?

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How do things evolve into Cliques?

Does anyone ever wonder?

Even the most sincere intention of reaching out to mummies and making more friends that have some common ground can turn into something exclusive and defeat the initial objectives, and intentions of an individual(s).

I have never really been a part of clique, except once at work and have vowed after that experience to never be a part of one again as things always get ugly. Humans seem to enjoy wielding a little bit of power, no matter how insignificant it may be, eventually imaginary lines will be crossed and sides be taken, a type of experience you thought you left at school has never really disappeared. The nicest ever group setting I have ever experienced was when I studied art at further education level, there was no competition (obviously there was in grades, but just didn’t feel it or any hostility), just a genuine interest in our common subject matter, all unique individuals with different experiences, maturity levels that shared living in a certain geographical location. That was the nicest social grouping I have ever experienced, maybe because I decided never to get involved in petty social politics and had a hunger to do my best in my subject matter and never ever have experienced anything like it again, even when doing some evening art courses (perhaps it just takes longer to get a real cameraderie going).

However, mummy social groups have taken me back to school (maybe perhaps as so many are straight out of school, just kidding, putting my judgemental side away, as seriously it gets worse with age as then sometimes it is about status seeking as well) or even something different than school, some there is just a disinterest in making friends as social support groups have been already established and you never get beyond social pleasantries, others just already have a tight bond with mums they already know and go to playgroups with these buddies, and sit in a huddle chatting more than interacting with their children. Hormones and sleep deprivation probably doesn’t help either in the early days.

The reason I am pondering about cliquey behaviour this weekend as our favourite weekend playgroup has changed locations and runs from a church hall further away from us, which is a little bit of a pain as liked the fact we could just walk to it and now we have to take a bus ride to get to it. I understand the playgroup organisers’ reasons it has made it more simple for them to run it from one location instead of two, the one we originally went to wasn’t getting the numbers, although think we preferred the more laid back feel and bigger space. The playgroup organisers need the numbers to secure further future funding, so understand their decision.

However, obviously we are all getting use to a new setting, including my son, whose immediate thought that the new location was too quiet, it wasn’t in the end, a very busy playgroup, don’t think busy is always better. I am sure he will adjust anyway in time and it is something we only do once per month.

I overestimated the journey duration to get there, so we were the first family to arrive and were early, the organiser as usual was very polite and explained where things were in the new venue for us. The most comic moment for me was my son was happily playing with a toy train set and I was sat down with him on the floor, and then I heard the voices of other children and said to my son ‘look other children and families are arriving’ and my son said ‘where?’ It happened to be ‘mummy nemesis’ who I haven’t seen in the flesh since September last year. My OH gave me a knowing look and I just smiled back and laughed. Killer timing. Anyhow, despite this we enjoyed playgroup and will go again. However, the change in scenery and going to this playgroup for the first time got me thinking about cliques and cliquey behaviour in general.

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Obviously the one group I am using as an example in this blog today is not the only bonded group of friends at this playgroup we attend, but using it as I have met two of the ladies previously (including mummy nemesis) and one I haven’t. Mummy nemesis was more in her comfort zone here as people she knew were there, and one other lady that I previously met at one of the few social meet ups that I tried to organise, but got no where as most people who said they would attend bailed out for one reason or another, or just never turned up and I have to admit I have to cancel my own meet up suggestions a lot due to illness, so much so it probably looked like I had bottled it. However, what’s surprising that the other lady who I will call ‘floaty mummy’ (look up floater and cliques) that I had met up with before and who I suggested the local online meet up group and weekend playgroup to didn’t even recognise that she had met us before, chuckles, bad memory or intentional who knows? Yes, could have said something myself like, ‘long time, no see, how are you?’, but no point making a big deal out of a one off meeting that happened two years ago to get a blank look back and I am happy that my random acts of kindness helped people make new friends (and I still help out where possible now when I see a online plead for relief from isolation with whatever suggestions I can make). It was a bit like blanking the person you wish you hadn’t slept with, it never happened.

However, it wasn’t just the adults I noticed being cliquey, but the children, more understandable as children find it more reassuring with socialising with familiar faces, but first time I noticed my son ever being excluded from play. At first I sat back and observed without comment, second time I stepped in and just said ‘play nicely, the younger children just don’t understand your game’ and then told my son what the children were trying to do and then yes, the children were a little more cooperative with each other and nicer to the younger children including my son and another child. However, I do wonder if the more cliquey parents monitored and interacted with their children’s play more instead of constant chinwagging that their children may learn more from the experience instead of copying cliquey behaviour they see their adults display.

Despite my previous negative experience or failures with socialising with other mums not just at playgroup, I am going to try again to be social with mums I have never met before soon as taking some time off of work and see what happens. Yes, like a mummy date and hoping not to be stood up, although sometimes that is the easy way out haha Still think friendships that develop organically are better, but don’t have much chance of that with working all the time, and if at long last I ever hit it off with someone (God hate how this always sounds like dating), I vow not to get cliquey! I have included some links about cliques, how to handle them for both yourself and your children.

http://advice.doctorbeheshti.com/cliques/

https://nobullying.com/clique/

http://www.themotherco.com/2010/11/little-bullies-when-kids-leave-kids-out/