Thanks and No Thanks

I hope we raise our children to be grateful. I believe gratitude has a positive impact on how we experience life. I don’t keep a daily gratitude diary but a day doesn’t go by when I don’t feel grateful for:

-> My gorgeous family
-> My health
-> Beautiful friends and
-> The ability to live my dreams

This week though there has been a few things that I am not grateful for:

No thanks to the stranger at the shops who publicly told me to “feed the poor child” when Little A let out a little cry from the pram. Too bad he didn’t see me sitting at a cafe 30 minutes earlier doing just that!

No thanks to the man at the shops yesterday who told me that my child is hungry and I should feed him. No, Little A was not crying or even making a noise. He was simply chewing on his finger which is pretty standard for him these days! “Give him something sweet, maybe some chocolate” he said (!!!)

No thanks to the same man who checked with me 5 minutes later outside the shop “have you fed him yet? Did you give him something sweet?”

Starving child? I don’t think so!

What makes anybody an expert on my child or his needs when they have laid their eyes on him for all of 5 seconds?!?! Just for the record Little A is demand fed which is still about 7 times per day and he is above the 50th percentile for his weight. Trust me, there is no starving child here.

Little A does grizzle when he’s hungry but he also grizzles when he wants attention, when he’s tired, when the sun is in his eyes or for 100 other reasons I can list off!

The worst thing is I KNOW these people have good intentions. They are well meaning and are just trying to be helpful but seriously NO THANKS! Sometimes my gorgeous little boy will cry or grizzle but rest assured he is not starving and in a minute or two when I have tended to his needs he will be ok… NO NEED TO PANIC!

Luckily there’s been a lot recently that I am grateful for to balance out this tirade of unwanted advice. In a material world there is nothing like parenthood to remind you what is important. Here are just a few gestures that have have really touched me recently:

-> Friends and family who have cooked meals for us. It is such a thoughtful gesture and in my opinion the best present you can give parents with a new baby.

-> A phone call from a friend telling me to come with Little A to her house in my running gear. On arrival I was sent off for a run while she looked after Little A. It was a real treat to have a “pavement” run and recharge for a little bit.

-> Hanging up washing, folding washing, cooking dinner, drying dishes and all the other wonderful things my mummy did while she stayed with us. It was amazing!

Thanks to all our beautiful friends and family who have offered unconditional love, support and guidance as we have started our journey into parenthood. We are so grateful to have such an amazing support network.

SO BLESSED.

A Celebration of Mums

I wasn’t going to do this but being a new mum still in the (overwhelming) adjustment stage combined with post-pregnancy hormones & wanting to honour the spirit of Mothers Day I just couldn’t help myself!

The cover – a controversial picture.
The story – the great debate on attachment parenting.

Now I am neither for or against attachment parenting. How Big A and I raise our children will be a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. We will do what works best for each of our children and us at the time. We do seek advice and reassurance from our friends and family whom are all parents we admire but we are also balancing this advice with the fact that our child (and hopefully children) are different and so is our family life.

Being a mum is a tough gig at times. Having experienced it now I would have thought mothers would be the most empathetic to other mothers as they truely appreciate the demands and just how different each child can be. Unfortunately I think that instead of empathetic we are quite a judgemental bunch. Truth is we all do it hard at times and sadly you can fall into the trap of judging others to make yourself feel better.

For all the joy, wonder and amazement Little A brings to my life I still have moments when I feel inadequate. . .and when he is incessantly screaming I think he is tending to think that way too! At those times I cling to the beautiful words of praise I have received from friends and family. Amongst all the negativity, pressure and judgement thank goodness for the encouragement and support of friends and family.

Here is a beautiful quote from birth.com.au

Babies are born, mothers are not.
Mothering is learnt

And learning every day I am! I will never know if I did everything “right” and I am positive I will look back and see things I could have done differently. But I will always know I gave it my best shot and did what I thought was right. That combined with the copious amount of love I will drown my children in is enough for me!

Any woman that brings a child into the world commited to doing the best they can by them is a hero in my eyes. I believe it is up to each individual to decide what is best for their child. Part of that is looking after the mother… as this blogger’s story tells, what good is any approach if the demands, expectations and pressures of it take a mother away from a child?

So back off everyone!!! And Mums don’t buy into this tripe!

Do not compare your children but cherish them for who they are. Stand up for yourselves and your choices but keep a soft heart of tolerance because everyone has the same right to be as individual in their mothering as you!

Tomorrow is Mothers Day so to every mum whether you breast feed or bottle feed, co-sleep or not, whether you returned to work or stayed at home . . .

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!