When I was tagged in the #RockingMotherhood tag not once, but twice (both by Nicola’s, I might add!), I realised that maybe, just maybe, I am doing pretty well at this motherhood lark! So thank you to Mummy Wales and All Things Spliced for the nomination, and giving me that prompt to see why I am Rocking Motherhood. (Sorry, this is really really overdue!)
The #RockingMotherhood tag originated from Patricia at White Camellias, who wanted to show that no mother is perfect, but every mother rocks motherhood in their own way.
Here are 10 reasons why I am Rocking Motherhood:
1. I might be a working mum, but I put my son in an amazing nursery so I feel less guilty about it
It’s no secret that I’m not exactly overjoyed at being a working mum. I didn’t return to work because I love my job, but because I need to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads. So it’s incredibly important to me that Alfie is happy in the nursery he attends as he’s there 5 days a week for 10 hours a day. Luckily, he goes to the most fantastic nursery! We really love it, and love how much Alfie enjoys his time there. I have no regrets at choosing a nursery over a childminder, and it works really well for us. I know I can go to work and not worry about what he is doing at nursery.
2. I make sure we spend our precious time together at the weekends having fun, not doing chores
As much as the housework needs doing, I’ll always choose spending time with Alfie over that any day. This is why I make sure we always do something fun at the weekends, be that going to the zoo, the local farm, swimming, soft play or just a trip to the park. Family time is really important to me and making the most of the weekends makes me feel like I’m doing ok with the working mummy thing.
3. I make the right parenting choices for me, and don’t care what anyone else thinks
I make a lot of parenting choices that other might turn their nose up at. I prefer a more
lazy gentle approach to parenting (although I’m not particularly fond of the term “gentle” or “attachment” parenting) which others may not agree with or practice with their children. I breastfed, used cloth nappies, used a sling, did baby-led weaning and had a no routine approach to parenting. We also bedshare. But that’s ok – I do what works for me and my family and don’t care what other people think! I think this will be a great standing point when Alfie is older in teaching him to follow what he believes and do what he thinks is right, whether others agree or not.
4. I can be covered in someone else’s wee, puke, poop or regurgitated food and not bat an eyelid
I used to be one of these people who couldn’t have any strange substance on me – if I came in to contact with a bit of ketchup or mayo I’d freak, and the thought of having baby sick, or worse poop, on me made my feel faint! Now, I’m a pro at catching projectile vomit, can clean a pooey bum with one hand whilst holding down a wriggling toddler with the other, and a bit of wee on my leg whilst transporting a naked toddler to the bath doesn’t even warrant a baby wipe sometimes! That’s the real test of motherhood!
5. I breastfed Alfie for 15 months, even when I had returned to work, and didn’t care when people said he was too old
It was always my intention to breastfeed Alfie for as long as I was able to. I originally said I’d do it for 6 months and then switch to formula, as I thought that’s what people did (I don’t know who these “people” were!). However, we had such a great time breastfeeding, I didn’t feel the need to switch. I then said I’d like to get to a year and have him weaned by the time I went back to work, but that didn’t happen either! By a year, I was happy to just go with the flow and follow Alfie’s lead, as I did with all my parenting. I’m proud of my decision to continue and not care when I occasionally got less than positive comments.
6. I know it is important for my husband and I to still have time together as couple, but it doesn’t make me love Alfie any less because we enjoy time out without him
I know that we don’t do it very often, but sometimes it feels like we are constantly looking for babysitters for Alfie so we can go out. Usually it’s to an event like a wedding or a birthday party, but sometimes we do actually go out just the two of us, as a couple. We had our first “date” as parents when Alfie was 6 months old, and more recently an actual night away at a spa to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Of course at the time I feel guilty for leaving Alfie, and we miss him like crazy, but ultimately it does us good as parents to have a bit of alone time once in a while. It also means that Alfie gets to spend time with his cousins who he loves!
7. I try to give my mummy friends advice when it’s asked for, but I don’t judge
A friend of mine recently said something about asking for advice which is so true – ask lots of different people for advice because not everyone parents in the same way and what one person does might not work for you. And it is so true! If a friend asks me for advice, I will always say “this is what we do but it doesn’t work for everyone”. The no judging a big thing for me – I hate it when I feel judged for making a different parenting decision to other people, so what gives me the right to judge others?! I think a big part of motherhood is supporting our fellows mum and that means NO JUDGING because someone does something different to you.
8. I let Alfie develop in his own time, and whilst I celebrate the milestones, I don’t rush or worry about them
I’m all for celebrating achievements. I am that mum who posts every time Alfie reaches a new stage in his development – sitting up, crawling, walking, talking etc etc. However, I won’t be that mum that compares him to everyone else. I know he will meet his milestones in his own time and that’s fine. He was the last of his friends to crawl, one of the last to walk and whilst I think he is making excellent progress with his speech, he’s by no means as clear as some other kids his age. But that’s fine, he’ll get there. I’m a big advocate of encouragement but not forcing or rushing or worrying about it too much.
9. I made Alfie a homemade costume for World Book Day
I love a bit of crafting, so whilst I did think about taking the easy approach and buying Alfie a costume for the recent World Book Day celebrations, I chose to make one instead. This was my first occasion when I could create a homemade outfit, and I’m incredibly proud of myself that I managed to do this on top of working full time, looking after a toddler and running a house! And I’m super proud Alfie wore it for at least long enough to get a photo!
10. I’m more confident as a mother than I ever thought I would be
I have a huge amount of confidence in myself as a mother. I know deep down that I do the best I can. Whilst I may not always find it easy, the bits I can do, I know I do them well. I get so many comments from people to say how happy and joyful Alfie is, I must be doing something right. Overall, I know that I’m raising one awesome baby, and that makes me super proud.
I am now supposed to tag other women who are #RockingMotherhood, but I think EVERYONE rocks motherhood in their own way (also, all my blogger friends have already been tagged, because it to me SO LONG to get round to writing this post!)