Tag Archives: mother

Hey! I think I’m getting into this whole Motherhood thing.

Let’s get this straight, in honesty, I’ve always been into this Motherhood thing, from the night that I realised I was pregnant. I stopped smoking, stopped any alcohol consumption and lived on mounds of fruit, veg and vitamins. I very quickly took on the responsibility of parenthood and gave up what was no longer advised. Since becoming a Mother, I’ve shared my struggles and the darker days with you all. I won’t lie, it’s been tough.

IMG_20180417_082425_629.jpg

I wasn’t ready to become a Mother and had no intention to start a family any time soon, however, it happened and from the moment that I came to terms with this, my family has become my only priority. Now, I wouldn’t have a day go by without Eleanor by my side and its hard to remember a time when she wasn’t around. My little snugs, my ray of sunshine and my whole life. My baby has brought so much love and so much joy, I’d be lost without her.

The adaption from a family of two to three, the sleepless nights, the constant nursing, the balance.. If there is one? I’ve fought many battles in such a short time and I finally, nine months on can say I’m feeling content and happy. I’m at my most content since pregnancy, I can praise myself and recognise my strengths. My outlook and passion for life is looking up and life is good. Hurruah!

I’ve just a few weeks before my return to work, I’ll be going part time and working a three day week. This takes some anxiety off as I will still have days with my baby and can still treasure all those little moments. I have finally started to really enjoy my time off from work, I have a good routine going with my girl and we have the whole days planned out, it seems to work a treat and keeps everyone happy. Happy baby happy Mum, right?

It has taken nine months to establish any set routine, I’ve finally got it and I’m getting some time for myself back in a day. Of course that’s not what Motherhood is all about, it’s about time with baby, and raising a child, but If I get just half an hour to myself, a short break, I feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to be with my baby and give her my whole attention. I can be the best that I am and it feels good to be getting a little balance at long last.

Eleanor has dropped to around three feeds a day, as an EBF baby, I thought this would never happen, I believed she would breastfeed until she was into adulthood, it was testing and draining but now, I cherish those feeds daily as I know each feed is drawing closer to her last. There will come a time when she no longer feeds and that bond will be over, this upsets me but also empowers me.

I’ve fed my baby girl since birth all on my own, I’ve nourished and nurtured her, doing the best job that I can. Feeding day and night some days and without much time to care for myself. It has been a privilege and it will be an accomplishment that I will remain proud of for my life.I have had the time to reflect and realise that I’ve done the best that I can and that will always be good enough. Yes it was tough but you know what? It was great and I’d do it over and over. The exact same way.

I have began to relax and appreciate my way of mothering my child. I am now content with the decisions that I make daily and I feel as though I over come challenges as best as I can. I no longer get upset over things I can’t control and I no longer obsess over the mess. Fiona from across the street doesn’t care if the floors haven’t been steamed and nor I should. The mess can wait, my baby and family time cannot.

_20180412_162702

I no longer feel the need to beat myself up about something that hasn’t gone as planned. Eleanor hasn’t ate much dinner, Eleanor has been in a wet nappy for too long, missed her bath, Eleanor has skipped a nap.. no longer bothers me. For now, I just make do with the daily cards I’m dealt and deal with it. Have I played enough today, read enough, danced enough?

Sure, I’ll always question if I have done enough or if I could have done better,i think all parents must. Has she had enough nutrition today? Have I fed her well enough? The questions always plague my mind and the insecurity will always creep in. My abilities are questioned daily, but I’m the only one that is questioning myself. I put the pressure on myself, something which I am working to ease off on. Something which I am beginning to ease off on. I’m becoming at peace.

I realise that in that moment, each day, I do the best I can. My best will always be good enough. I’ve beat myself up too much and made enemies with my mind, questioned my abilities for months. I’m taking control and will enjoy Motherhood and enjoy giving myself that pat on the back because you know what? I do good and it is okay to recognise and self appreciate from time to time.

IMG_20180324_104954.jpg

Motherhood is messy, it is Challenging and some days, some circumstances are out with control, I’ve figured that rather than dwell on what I can’t change, or get upset with circumstances outwith my control, I take it in stride and move on. For the most part at least. As long as my baby is happy and healthy, not much else matters on the grand scheme of things. I can sit down in an evening and enjoy that glass of wine, or that biscuit and know that I’ve done good and that my baby is happy. What else matters?

I feel relaxed about going back to work, it’s a necessity and I’m okay with that. Sure, if I could, I’d spend all my time with Eleanor and work from home, doing something creative and wholesome, however, I don’t have that luxury and I need to make some money so we can enjoy days off and trips out all the more.

I no longer punish myself for the bad days and I no longer sit inside waiting for a good day to come. I get up, get out and have the best day every day, something which I believe a positive mindset and care free outlook can and does make possible. To any new parent out there who feels alone, or who feels stuck in a bit of a daily rut I would say soak it all in and appreciate every single day for all that it is, just know you are the best you can be and if your baby if fed, dressed and loved, little else matters. It’s taken me nine months to realise this and relax but now that I have, I know there is nothing to worry about and no reason to cry. I’m going to enjoy knowing I work hard each day and I am going to enjoy a glass of wine this Tuesday evening as a thank you to myself, to my body.

Here is to being a parent, self appreciation and working bloody hard each and every day. My baby is happy and healthy, my heart is full and my family is my world. Thank you Motherhood for teaching me to be grateful, to be thankful, each and every day.

IMG_20180415_174655_584

 

Keren x

 

Babies first.. . (squeal) teeth.

IMG_20180403_201433_018

It seems that the Easter bunny brought with it not just chocolate and candy, but something a bit more sentimental, our first two teeth! I’m sure those first teeth bring the same bout of excitement to all parents around the globe.

You must excuse me if this isn’t your cup of tea, I tend to write a lot about Eleanor’s firsts, mainly because as she hits these first milestones, or bumps in the road, I like to have a documented account to look back on and cherish. Both good and the not so good. This next milestone has been a long time coming and a very much tough process for my poor babe, teething.

It’s inevitable and you can’t prevent it, some babies cope better than others, some babies are able to mask the pain and others, much alike my wee Eleanor, struggle. The battle of teething has been the worst yet, sleepless nights, restlessness, relentless comfort feeds which leave me drained and an all around fussy period. There is certainly a lot of personality flying around right now in our household and Eleanor has diva written all over her.  Teething is hard and it is not forgiving. It is a good job that looking back from adulthood, you fail to remember the trials of teething in those first months.

Eleanor has finally over the Easter weekend cut her two lower A’s. I can see her lower B’s are ready to pop through any day now also, this doesn’t mean that they will. I hope that with those first two teeth having cut above gum margin, my wee tootie will get some relief, she certainly deserves it and I would like to see the spontaneous cries come to a halt, at least temporarily (until the next thing).

I’ve been rubbing her gums as she gnaws my hand, the anbesol has come out to play more than I’d have liked, teething powders have come and gone and calpol has failed to hit the spot. We try countless teether but to no avail, Eleanor tends to throw them away in a bout of rage rather than enjoy the chew. I have tried cold compresses and hard biscuits to gnaw on for her but the battle never ends. I try to distract her with play or hideous dancing, at least this brings a little laughter her way during those tough days.

With my wee girl, the only thing that has seemed to aid her teething is through the comfort of feeding or chewing on her own hand. I really feel for her and the pain of her cries can be very upsetting but as always, you get on and move on as these things do. This teething phase has only just started and I really hope that after these first few teeth break through, some relief will be a given as I think Eleanor could do with a break.

From colic, reflux and the sorts to an ear infection and trouble from teething, the battle with a baby seems never ending and there is no magic cure that will kiss it better. Each stage of life comes with a new trouble and each stage seems to become a little tougher than the last. Our babies develop and grow so rapidly that we can only expect things to get tougher with each coming month. Sometimes, I’d like a little break. A month without any sort of pain or hardship, not only for my baby but for myself and Euan!

I’m so pleased that we have reached the stage of those first teeth, so very pearly white and so very cute. Baby teeth really are the sweetest, especially when you see them poke through as your baby giggles and smiles. I’m hoping with these first teeth coming through, I can introduce a little more foods and variety with Eleanor’s diet and that she can continue to build a healthy relationship with food.

Right now, she tends to love anything that she can hold and eat, I think that she likes to have the independence. Whenever I watch her munching away on a melting puff or banana biscuits, she looks proud as punch with herself and that really is quite special to see. Each month brings a new struggle with it however each struggle is over come and we always pull through smiling. If it wasn’t for the struggles, we wouldn’t have our little baby girl hitting such big developments and milestones and that is something that is truly magic.

I love watching Eleanor develop and grow, by the day she is coming more and more into her own. Her personality shines and her sense of humour and charisma is something to be proud of. Although hard work, Motherhood and caring for my baby girl really is my favourite job in the whole world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All those milestones, all the firsts, it’s just so sacred for me and will forever hold a special place. I’m sure that the trials of  these tough times and sleepless nights will all be washed over and what will remain will be so much more precious, the loving memories.

Have any of you parents out there shared the teething battle? What aids and methods did you swear by, during this troublesome period?

 

Keren xIMG_20180403_201433_018.jpg

 

Helping local business. A home photography session.

I recently stumbled across a photographer on the local Facebook blog page for Aberdeen City who was looking to take some photographs to help build her portfolio.

The post instantly caught my eye and before I knew it I had sent the woman a message to request photographs of my baby girl, now six months. We had some photographs back when Eleanor was two weeks old so it would be great to have some at six months as a memoir of this stage in her life.

Time is so precious right now, we wanted to capture Eleanor in her essence as much as possible and in as many ways as possible. Her wee face changes each day and her personality grows along with every little change.

The development is so rapid to catch Eleanor at every stage and every milestone can all be quite the challenge to keep up. We thought with some semi professional photographs in and around the home,we could mark the six month period with some true prints of candid moments. An opportunity much too special to refuse.

I was a little anxious about this as the photographs take place in the home, with us just having the one bedroom, I feared there would be a lack of space, however, the photographer had mentioned this would be no issue. We arranged for a Sunday morning session to be booked and set a date to meet.

The session lasted around forty minutes and we all felt so at ease. I wasn’t aware, I had to get in the photographs too, had I known, I’d have wore something more elaborate than a grey tshirt and sweat pants! Too bad. The main focus was on Eleanor and any photographs I was featured in, I found a way to hide away.

The photographer (Eni) was so lovely and happy to be around us in our family home setting, she made sure we were all at ease. We got some shots in the lounge and the bedroom with only the aid of natural light. Eleanor was in a great mood with high spirits which made for an awful lot of great posing.

I found being at home rather than a studio was much less posed, more candid and caught us in our essence. The photographs caught moments, precious moments, not just standard posing which can be typical to studio photography.

Below, I’ll share some of the shots which we now have copies of to treasure forever and mark the six month milestone. We now have a special momento to keep forever of this stage and reminisce. We are so thankful for the shots and how we were captured together at home. The images turned out to be perfect and we can look to have some prints framed of the favoured images.

I was sceptical with this just being an amateur shoot and how our prints would turn out to be, more over anything we just wanted to help someone out who was looking to build up a portfolio, I didn’t expect anything so powerful.

I didn’t expect so much from the shoot as it was just for portfolio building but I was intrigued to see the outcome nonetheless. I was shocked when I received access to the photograhs and just how well that they had turned out. The images were beautiful and caught every inch of Eleanor perfectly. Euan and I scrolled through the Dropbox files which such delight.

There is very little more precious in life than your own child and to see them grow is something so special I can’t quite comprehend. You fall in love over again each day and find a whole new appreciation for life and this little soul to call your own.

IMG_20180224_145820_651.jpg

IMG_20180224_150805_281

 

 

 

 

 

_20180226_103329.JPG

_20180304_172221.JPG

The early Sunday morning session of photography at home has left we with lasting memories and lasting images which I can hold close. On days that I feel down or not so great about how life is going, you know, one of THOSE days?

I can look back on this day and reflect. I now have a constant memory to remind me to take a deep breath on and appreciate a the little moments in life. I will be forever grateful to Eni for the  images that she has created and presented my family with.

_20180304_172259

No matter how tired, how stressed or how awful you can feel, Motherhood really is a gift and family is forever.

Images by Eni Groner.

 

Keren x

Things that go bump in the night.

I’d always said that my baby would never fall out the bed and how crazy that even just the thought of it was. That was until early Sunday morning, we woke with a crash, bang and cries from Eleanor who was wedged down the side of the bed.

Yep, you read that correct. Our first accident, not the last I am sure but scary nonetheless. You can bet that I grabbed her as fast as I could, filled with worry that she would be real hurt. I didn’t want to look, didn’t want to see her hurting. Thankfully it was all good and just a fright for each of us.

With babies, everything happens so fast. One second they are sleeping peacefully next to you, the next, they have made their way to the bedroom floor. With an almighty thud.

At near six months on, we are still co sleeping and though this was never a safety issue previously, I am now beginning to rethink our sleeping arrangements. I don’t think my heart could take the blame of a second tumble. I know accidents happen and there will be plenty of bumps and skinned knees to come but I’m not ready for that yet. My baby is so little, to see her hurts brings a great deal of upset.

It is not through choice that it was chosen to co sleep, it was more by Eleanor’s demands and need for constant attention that we came to make the decision to co sleep. We done the research, knew the pros, the cons and accepted the risks. Now, as Eleanor is a little more…a lot more mobile, the risks have increased and I know that it is time to get her into her own cot and into better sleeping habits.

Where I’m sure this can bring nothing but benefits and the security of knowing that she is safe from any potential risks and falls, I know it will be a struggle for some time. Eleanor is so attached to myself and can’t bear to be put down or away from my prescence, if left at all, she cries uncontrollably which breaks my heart.

IMG_20180218_094718.jpg

We share a bedroom right now with being in a one bed flat, a situation I am aware is not ideal and working to change. This has the benefit that Eleanor is still close and can seek comfort from being next to us in her cot. We can always keep a close eye and watch over her. However, it also comes with the downside that we are perhaps too close for comfort which brings her to not settle without being next to us.

I’m not weak by no means and have tried the whole self settling scenario, Eleanor does not give in or self soothe,her cries only grow louder. I am not against tough love but there are limits, for example, to allow her to reach the stage of painful cries and shaking with upset, I find cruel. We have tried, it just doesn’t work with us.

I am ready to begin to explore options and try to work with her to bring a sense of independence and get her into her own bed with confidence. We have a bed time routine in place with dinner followed by a cosy bubble bath and milk top up, but we don’t get to the whole bed stage, defeats the purpose. Eleanor falls asleep into my arms, any attempts to move her brings a mass panic and chaos.

IMG_20180218_150445.jpg

Just to report, though we had a scare and a whole lot of Mum guilt to follow, Eleanor is absolutley fine after her fall. Eleanor has been such a trooper, you wouldn’t have known she was hurt at all. We spent the day with a lazy morning, followed by a forest walk, naps and an afternoon of play and cuddles. I kept her close and gave her lots of love.

A close call which has given the push to find a new bed time system and a lesson learnt. I’m so thankful that having checked her over and kept her close for the day, she is perfectly well. My little wriggler is set for a lifetime of adventure and certified to cause me a heart attack any given day.

It is scary how anything with a baby can escalate so quickly, I need a second set of hands and eyes on the back of my head.

Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep in their own environment? I feel like I am running out of ideas and patience. Especially now after a mishap, I am more keen than ever to make progress and put an end to the co sleeping.

 

Keren.

Motherhood. Finding myself through creativity and balance.

_20180116_151216

As you will be aware, I have began preparing and planning for my Wedding day. Upon doing so, making up lists, gathering material and fabrics.. It has all led to some new found and very welcome creativity. Who knew?

Having finished the whole seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, I was on the hunt for a new past time. Something that involved a little less sitting on my ass and a little more thought. Man, those first few months of Motherhood were well spent if I do say so myself but you can’t stay in a newborn bubble forever. It was time to grow and nourish myself now that I had the whole parenting thing under control.

I have began to enjoy nothing more than taking a day trip out with Eleanor and hunting for cute craft supplies and fabrics. Putting ideas together and creating. It’s nice to get busy and to produce something that you have created by yourself from just ideas is really quite thrilling. It brings a sense of achievement and joy.

Having become a new Mother recently, I got a little lost and almost became just a Mum, forgetting that I, too am my own person and need some time to myself for myself. It took a while to figure out some sort of balance and to find happiness from within in every aspect of daily life but I think I’m finding my feet at long last and beginning to suss out a balance between being Mum and yet being myself.

I have come to conclusion that life really is too precious and much to short to waste and wish it away. I can’t remain a prisoner in the home for fear of stepping out and I can’t stop time, rather I can get out and enjoy it. To make the most of each day and enjoy special moments in each day. It is time to start living and appreciate life for all that it is.

I still get anxious going out alone and I do struggle when faced in some situations, especially social events, but it’s never as bad as I come to imagine. I don’t know what triggered such anxiety build ups, I’ve ways been shy but ever since labour I have been having almost mild panic attacks, mood swings and feel as though I will burst out crying at times for no specific reason.

You can’t control the world and you certainly can’t have everything you want but with a little positivity and creativity I think you can do whatever you want and live in the way you wish to live. Happiness can be found from anything, it’s different for every one. For me, I have my beautiful baby, my family and a busy mind to keep me strong. I couldn’t have wished for a better family or to be surrounded by more love. I really am very fortunate.

_20180116_151327.JPG

Something which doesn’t come easy, after having Eleanor, I would say I sort of shut myself off from the outside and didn’t take any time off. I was in full baby mode all day every day and it began to drain me of me. I needed a release and a relief from Motherhood but  couldn’t figure out what it was. I couldn’t even figure out how to get dressed with a newborn around, never mind find some form of hobby. I guess you could say that Motherhood didn’t come to me as naturally as I would have hoped at first.

With a new venture, I began to plan and prepare for my Wedding day. A small and intimate affair but that doesn’t mean I don’t have just as much help to plan as any other Bride. Through the use of glitter notebook pages, confetti hearts and paper butterfly’s, I suppose you could say I’ve became quite the crafty dab hand. By no means do I mean that my work is a piece of art, I simply mean that I enjoy this crafty business. I think that it suits me well and is good for my soul. Keeps my mind busy and my anxiety at bay.

Lately, my mind doesn’t seem to shut off. I try to drift off to sleep and ideas pop into my head. Both a blessing and a curse. Damn you, insomnia.

As a bit of a magpie, (self confessed and glitter obsessed) I have an eye for all things pretty, I always have and I love putting together looks and ideas that I have planned in my head. Wedding planning has given me a sense of freedom back. This has become a hobby and an escape, something that I would have previously laughed at and not taken serious but have fully got into and can say that I am really enjoying this whole busy business. It really is good to get up off the couch and get out again. I now have something to look toward other than the TV screen.

Although, I will admit, I do still find myself losing hours staring at and holding my baby close.  The most gorgeous little lady I have ever laid my eyes on. What a truly lovely soul.

Back to it, before I turn all proud Mum gooey – the table arrangements, the favor creating, decoration hunting. It’s totally keeping my anxiety at bay and giving me a focus. I used to enjoy nothing more than arts and crafts as a child, that and writing. It seems having grown older, these old hobbies have come back to me..with a vengeance. Old habits die hard they say. Now I can fully vouch for that.

I am happy to say that through finding a balance and getting busy with a hobby, I have really discovered happiness and unleashed a creative spark that I don’t think will be ending soon. I can now again be at peace with my mind and my body. I am much happier with a focus and have started to feel content as a Mother and realise that I am in fact good at being a Mother and with that, I can again return to being myself. Slowly but surely I will get back into my old skin, only it will be new skin and better. Wiser and happier.

This latest creative spark has had me thinking about creating a small business on Etsy. I am not sure what I could sell yet, or if my creations would sell but I’d like to venture into this throughout the year and put my busy mind at work. I think that a hobby has been just the thing my mind was screaming out for and I’m glad that with getting out there, and getting busy I have also become a better version of myself. This reflects well not just on myself, but on my family. Happy mum, happy baby..right?

I have many ideas running ragged in my mind right now. Everything from wedding crafts to creating a local etsy store to getting experience in a florist. I think 2018 will bring a new experience and a sense of peace. I have a few travel plans coming up this year, if I’m lucky I can draw some inspiration from these trips and the travel experience.

Now if you dint mind, I have a wedding to plan. Must get back to work. What would you like to see from Etsy?

Keren.

 

Reflecting on the past, working for the present. Cheers to 2017.

_20171210_204712

As we reach the end of another year, I wave goodbye to what seems an era. I can’t help but to think that 2017 has brought so much good to my family and it has been a year of some very important firsts. First trip to the States, the first time I practiced yoga,  first pregnancy, first baby. The list goes on.

I am not a “new year, new me” kinda gal, rather I am waving goodbye to 2017 with many fond memories and a heart full of love as I look forward to the pending year ahead and all that 2018 has to bring to the table.

I reflect on 2017 as one of the best years of my life and I feel that during the course of the year I really did discover myself more as a person, hold relationships close and love harder. 2017 was the year for me, there’s no hiding that fact.

I discovered I was pregnant on January second and ever since, the news just kept getting better. At first, the news was a little daunting and quite hard to take, especially as I didn’t plan to conceive at this time. It didn’t seem the right time but in hindsight it was the best time to begin a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They say what’s meant for you won’t pass you by, I’m beginning to believe that.

I passed my driving test and obtained a license, flew over the Grand Canyon on St. Valentines day, birthed my beautiful girl, Eleanor. I said yes to the one I love. The year 2017 not only brought a host of good memories and achievements but it brought my family and that is something I will be forever grateful of.

I end the year as a Mother and a Wife to be, a Daughter and a friend. As I step out of one year and into the next, I can only hope for a bigger and better year. I have goals I would like to reach and milestones to hit.

I hope to be a great Mother and a partner and I hope to find my feet on the career path. I wish to be happier and healthier than ever and for this to shine on through to my Daughter so that she can be taught good lessons for life and follow on from a good example.

I wish to become more confident both as a Mother and as a person. Since birthing my daughter I have found that I have become more anxious than ever before, this is something that I want to work on and improve. I’ll never be the most confident woman in the room but I want to be able to speak up and step out without fear. Not just for myself, but for my Daughter. I wish for her to grow to be independent and strong with the ability to stand her ground and hold her head with a great confidence.

I wish to become healthier and find happiness in food. I would like to experiment and try out different foods from porridge oats, fruit and chocolate. I want to restore my faith in the kitchen and get back to cooking healthy and nutritional meals to share with my family.

The shopping cart has been filled with goodies of all variety and I hope to continue to keep a healthy balance and a meal plan to regain strength I have lost from years of eating scarcely. I am ready to enjoy food and the benefits of food once again. Enough of skipping proper meals and cutting foods.

I would like to travel some places, first up, Cyprus come April – First family holiday as the three of us. I wish to read more books, a past time that I once loved yet has drifted from me with the recent course of events and a whectic schedule and I wish to plan a special wedding day. I’d love to say that I’d stop biting my nails but that has been a life long habit that I can’t seem to kick, no matter what the year has been!

I sit here and write this with my baby in my arms as we await Euan to arrive home from work. As a family we will be bringing in the New Year with a tin of fizzy juice (full fat, how dare we?!) and a midnight kiss goodnight.

No party animals over here, just two tired parents and a lively baby looking forward to the year ahead and all that it may bring.

IMG_20171224_125638

Here is to 2017,the best year of my life to date and to 2018 – let’s try to do one up on this year. Onwards and upwards we go as we carry on our journey into the New Year as a family of three.

Let the wedding planning commence. I wish for you all a very happy New Year, let’s hope it’s good to you all and brings to you the joy that I have experienced from this year.

Happy New Year and all the best, Keren x

Maternity leave and Motherhood. Where dreamy expectations meet reality.

The illusion of Motherhood.

IMG_20171101_121233.jpg

Call me naive but I had great hopes for my spell off work on maternity leave. Maybe, I am just too new at this whole baby game and Motherhood to understand exactly how much work a newborn entails and how little time there is left for leisure.

Perhaps if I had been more in the know and more accepting of a new lifestyle change I’d have not been hit with such a harsh reality and have my illusion of maternity leave shattered. Perhaps if I were wiser, I’d have foreseen that with Motherhood and maternity leave, there are no dreamy illusions.

Let’s get to the point, with a spell of maternity leave from work, I had such great expectations and ideas.

For a start, I believed that I would still be able to get up and get dressed each morning, to pick out a pretty outfit and to do my make up and my hair real nice. I believed I would have the time and then some to feel like myself all while nursing a newborn. My baby would sleep and I would have all the time in the world to take a hot shower and get myself ready each and every day. Yeah right. I was met with a harsh reality. A reality that is now every day life. A reality that is now me.

I’m afraid to say that maternity leave is not all I expected it to be, at least not at this  initial first stage. I lack the time to shower and get myself ready, I don’t have time to bake homely goods and make the dinner that I’ve been perfecting out of the dozens of recipe books I own and I certainly don’t have time to be heading out on leisurely shopping and coffee trips. The only escape I have from my reality is through writing my blog and even with that, I’m still plugged into Motherhood. There’s no escape. I am completely consumed.

I am lucky if I have ten minutes to myself to have a cup of coffee and settle down to one of the books I bought myself as a treat for maternity leave. I cannot watch a TV show without the interruptions of a hungry baby demanding to be fed and I certainly don’t have the opportunity to work on my culinary skills.

In fact, I lack so much time that dinner is a slap up meal that’s come straight out of the oven, or in my case, a bowl of cereal which I dribble all down myself and my baby as I nurse her while I eat with one hand. My fiance has been living on beans and various forms of supermarket frozen meats. The occasional vegetable thrown into the mix for good measure. I swear I will make a good wife yet..

Baking? Well, you can forget that, I can barely make it out to the supermarket alone to collect baking supplies, never mind start the baking in question. I did once love to bake and I wanted to try to improve on this while I have time off to do so.I could becoke and frequent baker and teach my daughter the skills but I have found that i lack the time, the energy and the motivation for any form of creativity right now. The carrot cake has been put on hold. Baking can wait.

Yes, maternity leave was full of high and mighty expectations. I had so much plans. I could join all of the mum and baby clubs, I could have coffee dates daily, go out and take a shopping trip each week – one that wasn’t met with a dose of anxiety as I waited for my baby to kick off and begin to cry and fuss in public. Hell, maybe I could even join the gym and go to some classes in the day time. Meet some new people. Make some new friends.

Friends are something that I lack, and always have. In primary school and even into secondary school I found I never really fitted in to any friendship groups or any clubs. I’ve always been a it of a lone wolf. It’s not that I don’t try to make friends, it’s just I’m a bit socially awkward and as an introvert, I really struggle in a social setting and meeting new people is a very big deal. I also don’t do touching..

Let me elaborate. You know that friendly hug that people do? That friendly peck on the cheek? The type that you never know which way to turn or wether you are meant to return that peck? Yeah? Well, you can guarantee I’m shying away and half way out the door before anyone is touching me. I don’t do hugs.

Shudder.

Let me mention that I’m also a bag of nerves when I’m out alone. Especially these days. I didn’t quite come to imagine this is how life would be spent with my newborn on our maternity leave. I certainly haven’t signed up to any baby clubs and I don’t know if I will. I don’t think it’s for me and I don’t feel I will fit in to the local mum clubs. Does that make me a bad mum?

Most days I spend at home with Eleanor and meet her demands as and when required. Around the clock nappy changes and feeds met with the household tasks in between and whatever I can catch of a TV show. I have become nothing more than a Mother.

The best job in the world some might say and sure, I love being a Mother. I love having my baby and feeling such a string bond with her, a bond I haven’t experienced with any other. I love that I have someone who depends on me, who needs me. I have someone I am responsible for and someone who gives me a reason to be the best I can be. However, I fear that I may be losing my identity at the same time as I find my feet in the journey of  parenthood. I am not really myself anymore, I’m in a mum zone and can only relate to all things baby. My mind doesn’t see past baby and I lose concentration easily.

No, maternity leave is not as creative or as fun as I had hoped. It can be lonely, days can be long and it can be grueling. You get some days when you fail to function. If it weren’t for auto pilot kicking in, I fear I’d not be able to move from my spot on the sofa to see to my baby. That’s the extreme days though and no, not each day is like that.

If and when I enter the outside world, I prefer to have my mum or Euan with me, I can’t stand to be out alone with Eleanor. It’s much easier to take her out with company. I feel less alone and have help at hand if I need it.

I know that I shouldn’t worry if she does fuss while in public, she is after all a baby and it is expected. A great anxiety builds within me each time I leave the home and If I’m alone, all I want to do is run back home before I begin to cry. I feel myself well up and have to try hold back from crying whenever I step out alone. That sounds crazy. I know.

Wait, have I gone crazy?!

Even just nipping five minutes down the road and queuing in the local shop to buy a sandwich and a tin of juice for lunch has my body twitching with nerves. I never used to be so anxious but since having Eleanor, I’ve definitely noticed I have become a bit of a nervous wreck. I can’t pin point why. It’s perhaps just a phase which will pass, I’m sure if I asked any health professional that’s what they would tell me anyway. It seems to be all they tell me.

I had planned to look the part of the stay at home mum, all while making the home look nice and stay that way. I wanted to work on my culinary skills, to bake lots. I wanted to still take the time to look good, not only for myself but for my fiance to admire each time he walked in the door. I didn’t want to have my baby and let myself go.

Yep, I set the standards high for myself and I expected to meet them. It’s safe to say, any standards I has set for myself are regularly not met. I’m on a losing streak.

In honesty, yes I shower every day but I don’t often have the time to dry my hair, make up is either half done or not at all and I don’t have the time to pick out one of the many pretty dresses I own. I live in a £2 Primark bra that kind of fits my swollen breastfeeding breasts, jogging bottoms and a dressing gown with slippers that are too small and squish my toes. Real glamorous.

You can often find me changing from one over worn t shirt to the next in between baby naps due to excessive sweating as a result of breastfeeding and my hormones. Maternity leave will be so much fun she said..

I don’t get the time to sit and read a book with a hot drink, I don’t watch the TV, sure it’s on as background noise but that’s all that it is. I certainly don’t cook and the most nutrition I get is from my daily dose of vitamins – which I swear by, by the way.

I wanted to be the picture of a stay at home mum. The type of mum who plays an active part on the local baby clubs and the mum community. The type which I have come to realise that you only find on those far fetched American TV shows. The TV shows aren’t true to form, trust me. It’s all an illusion and Motherhood is not glamorous.

I wanted to be the type of mum that you see on adverts and wonder how she does it. Wonder how her home can be so clean, her meals so wholesome and her face immaculately painted all with the happy baby in the fresh white baby grow and the smug smile to match. The bitch.

Maternity leave is nothing like I had imagined and I find it quite difficult to adapt to having the time off but failing to meet any of my expectations of this time. I get out with the help from my Mother, I have no friends near by that I can simply just meet up with and even if I could getting out the house is a big effort which leaves me a little drained.

I’ve even began to do the weekly food shop online because getting out to do it was too much of a challenge and it stressed me out to the point that I’d end up in a bad mood and feeling upset.

Maternity leave is like nothing I had imagined. It isn’t glamorous, I don’t get to look nice I often feel like a bit of a hag with terrible eye bags and a headache that does not leave me. I’m tired, nervous and a bit behind on the household tasks.

However,what I have learned during this stage of maternity leave is that I love my baby. I love her so much that almost none of the above matters, what matters is caring for my child,not how good I look or how good I smell as I care for her. What matters is that I raise my baby well and do the best that I can along the way.

Perhaps right now we aren’t fine dining, I’m not in the best shape I have been and the house is a bit dusty. Perhaps I am not top of the mum committee’s and perhaps I am missing out on a good old shopping and lunch trip but this is only right now. It’s just the beginning. Maybe someday I will get it right and I will be able to find the balance. Is there ever a happy balance post baby?

Someday, I’ll be that mum from the adverts and I’ll be able to provide good meals, fresh bakes all while looking good and having the home sparkle. Yeah right…

One can dream, the reality is that life is not how I expected post natal and I didn’t expect to spend my time on maternity leave slumming it but that’s how it is and this is my reality. My baby is happy and my fiance never goes hungry so I suppose I’m winning in my own way. It’s not picture perfect but I am learning to deal with the fact it never will be.

I can’t do it all, no matter how much I would love to. Shout out to all of the mum’s out there doing the best that they can. If your reading this, you are probably most definitely doing better than me.

 

Keren x