All posts filed under: mums

Making a rod for my back

I have teenage daughters and I have been reflecting on life as a mother and on those early days, weeks and months with my babies when I felt a bit lost, like I was doing it wrong and being told I was making a rod for my back. Becoming a mother was a huge transition – as it is for most of us. I became more selfless and able and I learnt to trust my instincts. Before I became a mum I was never interested in breastfeeding or co-sleeping – in fact I mocked it when I went to antenatal classes..  When I was pregnant, I started reading and talking to friends who were mothers and they spoke positively – although fairly realistically – about birth and feeding and my thoughts started to change. I read well – Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin – and I started listening to my instincts. I booked a homebirth with a birthing pool and I planned to breastfeed – still wasn’t convinced by the co-sleeping though! Armed with good …

Loneliness of Motherhood

Having young children is not all about coffee shops and idle chatter. It is not a holiday. It can be one of the toughest times in a woman’s life. The loneliness can be torture. With your first child, the learning curve is steep – learning to keep a baby settled, soothed and alive while recovering from pregnancy, birth and unrealistic expectations of how motherhood would be. We are often sleep deprived, in need of supportive mum friends and it can feel like we are on our own with the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after our baby. In our society mothers are often judged, with unreal expectations stacked against them and their children. It can be a hard slog. When you become a mother it doesn’t matter what job you do, how old you are or how much you spent in Mothercare preparing for your baby’s arrival – you have a baby to look after and it can knock your confidence when they cry, need a poo, won’t sleep and won’t settle anywhere but in your …

How has birth changed you?

How has birth changed you? As I have said so many times before , I love birth and I love preparing women and their partners for birth – I don’t think there is one right way of doing it and I am always keen to know more about women’s needs, expectations and experiences. I am currently thinking about preparing for birth, doing birth and reflecting on birth when there are other issues going on – low self esteem, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, lack of trust in our body. We know that birth is different for everyone, we know that it can be unpredictable, we know what can help labour along, we know what can get in the way and we know that it can be important to say what we need, to speak up but can we all do this? How do we prepare for this? Birth challenges us all in different ways. And how do we feel about ourselves and our bodies after we have given birth? I know this is a big issue but it’s because it is a …

parent blogger newcastle and tyneside

Enjoy Every Second…

I will never forget the first time I heard someone say “enjoy every second with her” about my time with my daughter, who was a few weeks old. My first thought was ‘you’ve got to be fucking kidding me, enjoy her, I’m too knackered to enjoy her’ and then I felt the guilt that I wasn’t enjoying my gorgeous, tiny, precious baby. I loved her, I felt incredibly protective of her and I did everything within my power to keep her healthy, safe, alive – I kept breastfeeding when I didn’t have a clue and when I cried with every latch (thankfully the bad latch was sorted and feeding was a dream after that); I got up every hour in the night; I tried to listen to my instincts and I cuddled her and I gazed at her when she slept, although that was more relief that she wasn’t crying than of enjoyment. My first baby – who didn’t do sleep – nearly broke me. Of course I did enjoy her – when she started …

family newcastle and tyneside

Being a mum

Being a mum means I am protector, teacher, nurse, carer, counsellor, coach, taxi driver and I worry more about my children than anything else in my life – the moment they were born, I was also handed a bag of guilt and a bag of worry. As a parent, I am a wonderful mixture of laid-back and panic-worrier, there’s not much in-between apart from the occasional nag. As my children have grown older I have had to adapt to their freedom – whether it is being on top of the climbing frame, going out on their own with friends, sleepovers and going to parties – and I have never held them back unless I have felt it was inappropriate or unsafe. Since having teenagers, I have had sleepless nights of anxiety and worry, sometimes accompanied by panic when my imagination has immediately gone to the dead-in-a-ditch scenario. Being a mum has meant a heart full of love, which can sometimes be hurt with worry and loss and fear. I have worried that I am doing the right …