Lest we forget

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As we sit in our home and eat breakfast, untroubled by rations, curfews, shortages, pressure, poverty, illness or fear, I look at my daughter and marvel how blessed we are. And I feel grateful sorrow for those who gave their lives, their years and their peace, on shores and fields so far from home, so that we might retain our freedom. And for those who have gone since, and are gone now, still protecting and serving us, all around this world.
With all that I am, thank you.
For all that I have, thank you.
I will raise my daughter to honour your sacrifice.
Lest we forget.

If you build it, they will come

Dear Me,

I know you worry about the feeling of disconnect you have with your little girl. I know its freaking you out when you hear other mammas gush about the overwhelming love and happiness and flowers; the butterflies and unicorn glitter farts that surround them and their bundle of joy, and wonder why all you feel is tired, sad, stressed and numb.

I want you to breathe. Deep breaths. And then I want you to know that its ok and its normal.

You are tired, and you are going through a tough time.  You are parenting this tiny baby on your own more than half the time since your partner in life is FIFO. Your little girl struggles with weight gain while she is exclusively breastfed, because your supply is low (due to having some post birth complications you don’t know about yet) and she has both lip AND tongue tie, making latching on difficult. You also have two big dogs to look after and a new house that you are trying to finish between feeds, sleeps, changes and more feeds.

Its tough! Yep, some people have it tougher but loads have it easier and its OK to say that your run is tough. Doesn’t make you a whinger or a drama queen, its just a fact.  And it goes a little way to explaining why you feel numb.

I know you love her, and I know you have the deep, primal mother protection urge which means you would go batshit crazy should anyone try to hurt her.  And that’s enough for now. The rest will come, I promise.

Those unicorn glitter fart moments will come – one day, when husband is away at work, you’ve had a tough night with a sick bubba, followed by a tough day with a miserable, congested, super clingy baby and you’re feeling sore in the arms and back and frazzled and exhausted…your little girl will suddenly, inexplicably cheer up (most likely due to downing her before bed bottle) and toddle out of the lounge room while you sit on the floor watching her, glad she’s finally moved more than 40cm away from you happily!  And she’ll duck out the doorway, pause, turn to check where you are and then, in a move that will take your breath away and cause your eyes to fill up a bit, she’ll poke her head back around the door way to initiate a game of peekaboo chasey.

And your heart will swell. Warmth will spread from your toes to your fingertips to the crown of your head and the love you feel for her will be overwhelming.  Its amazing and euphoric and beautiful and you will be so thankful for EVERYTHING in this moment, but especially for her.

And you’ll get up, all your aches and tiredness forgotten, and chase her into the kitchen where you scoop her up and crush her to you, both of you giggling with the joy of being silly with someone you love unconditionally and fully and beautifully…

So – take a breath.  Keep building the strong, solid foundations of your relationship with this tiny human, bit by bit, day by day.  Don’t beat yourself up for seeing the cloud instead of the lining, the fact that you do that and keep on keeping on is testament to what a wonderful mamma you are.

I promise, the little buds of that overwhelming love are there, and they will come, and they will be wonderful.

x S

Encourage use of the “C Word”

Dear me,

This is a conversation I wish I’d had months ago with you. It would have saved you a lot of internal conflict, angst and some cold shoulder moments with your nearest and dearest.

You know your child. By 6 months, you know her. Trust that. Problem is, those around you feel compelled to offer advice, at times when you don’t ask for it. Second guess your parenting decisions. Tell you what you “should” do, or be doing. And this can make you (at best) a bit annoyed – or at worst, feeling hurt that they apparently don’t believe in your parenting. And you feel, next time they tell you to trust yourself, or that you’re doing a good job, like saying “why are you criticising my parenting then? Either you think I’m right or you think I’m wrong!” Sigh!
So here is my advice. Have this conversation with those who repeat offend. Encourage them to use the “C Word”.
Yep, the “C Word” – could.
Tell them, instead of saying “you should give her a bottle at 10am”, they might find it hurts you less if they change it up to the c word – “you COULD try giving her a bottle at 10am.”

Its so less offensive, so less demeaning. Much more gentle!

And it will save you the angst because you won’t feel criticised – instead of being told what you should be doing (which feels like an insinuation that your current method is wrong), you are simply being given a suggestion of something you could try. If you want to. Or not.

Much nicer 🙂

Be kind to you.

x S

April 4, 2015

Dear me,

This is how you will feel on April 4, 2015, I promise:

My baby turned one today. Well, not quite yet… I still have 1hr 30mins to call her baby!

I’m devastated. Heartbroken. Proud. Overwhelmed with love. So, so emotional. She’s beautiful. Cheeky. Passionate. Fiery. Loving. Messy. Clever. Clueless! She is my girl and I wouldn’t have her any other way at all. Not even less messy, cause I love her messy. It shows me that she’s exploring and trying new things and being a little independent human. My love.

We had her party today and she was miserable for most of it. But it was still worth it for the bursts of happiness. The moments of joy. And for the abundance of love that surrounds her, encasing and empowering her to be the best she can be.

My first year of motherhood has been the weirdest year of my life. Toughest. Most painful and confusing. Most tiring. And, ultimately, most joyful. Ask me 6 mths ago and I would have said no, so far I can’t say it’s worth it.

Today I can say yes every hard second has been worth it. Every tear, moment of self doubt, of hating (yes, hating) the days, of not knowing how to go on, of feeling so tired – emotionally AND physically – that all I wanted to do was give away my life to someone else…all those moments have, I can now say, been worth it.

She is my joy. Her smile is worth a thousand sleepless nights. Ok that’s bullshit, but it sure helps me feel better about the sleepless nights. I still have moments where I feel disconnected. But they are few and far between, and I am thankful for that.

There’s a true wonder to being a mother. Guiding this tiny soul is a heavy responsibility but sharing her introduction to our incredible world is such a privilege, too.

And now, I must away. Hang up my pen, gather my cleaning supplies and rescue Ella from the depths of anti-cleanliness. It’s been a crazy day. A wonderful day. My baby is (nearly) one. And I survived. And so did she, which is probably more important! And we are so, so happy to be with each other.

Ella, I love you, so much. Happy birthday, beautiful LLC xx

And Sharna – good job honey. Be proud of you, too, you’re raising a beautiful, loving child. Well done xx

x S