Mothers Day 

I’ve never been so happy to receive a piece of paper with a splodge of paint on it but that’s how I felt after this week’s playgroup where we did footprints. The first addition to my (unfinished) kitchen walls and I genuinely can’t wait to fill it up with more.

I’ve never really bought into the ‘hallmark holidays’, we don’t really do valentines or anything. But something took over me this year, matching outfits, garden photoshoot, soppy social media posts, even the hubs got involved. 

What I realised more than anything this year was how freaking awesome we are. I’ve seen fellow mama struggle through everything motherhood can throw at us and come out smiling, we’ve had our ups and downs with G and I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job. 

It’s also made me appreciate those around me even more, I am lucky enough to have a fabulous support network. Goes without saying hubs is the best and would do anything for us but his mum has been fantastic, in the first few weeks she would come every morning so I could have a shower and breakfast and would take Gs washing to do, still now she keeps us fed and is first in line for babysitting duties. My sister-in-law, mum to 11 month old E, and I have got much closer and swap parenting tips as well as keeping each other sane with tea! 

What can I say about my own mother….its like knowing a different person now she is a grandma. We never had the best relationship whilst I was younger, I couldn’t wait to leave home. There are lots of reasons as to why that are just too close to the bone and I’m not ready to address and discuss but she was a young mum and, in her words, I was an accident! (Told you she was lovely!). Now Grandma T has been absolute gold, she took a week off work once hubs paternity was finished and spent all day everyday with us. She was the one that was there when the fist breastfeeding issues arose and mopped up tears and milk, she never judged, never pushed her views and opinions on me, she was just there to support. Now she will regularly pop round to entertain G or take him out while I run round the house doing a weeks worth of cleaning in an hour!

 I love how G loves each and every one of these women, his face lights up when they and rent afraid to be silly with him and will comfort him without question.

I’m lucky to have all these strong mothers around me and I appreciate them more and more everyday.

Mothers keep on mothering, supporters keep on supporting, you’re all freaking awesome EVERYDAY not just today. 

If anyone’s interested Gs tshirt is from Next (4 squid! Bargain!) my tshirt is Mama by Rachel Kellet check it out…here

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Maternity Leave

I’ve just caught up with The Replacement on BBC, did you watch it? Good wsn’t it? I’d almost given up on BBC dramas after the disappointing Apple Tree Yard but, being baby related, thought I’d give it a go and I was hooked! I loved the how you weren’t quite sure who the mad one was and I was almost getting a little disappointed when it looked like it wasn’t going to be Paula. But come on where did she learn how to set off an airbag AND hotwire a car? Sometimes I don’t know where the patrol cap button is.

I was quite nervous about who was going to be my maternity cover, probably like most mums to be. Thankfully my cover is mental in a different way to crazy Paula. My cover is actually an ex colleague who had returned from travelling and needed a job for 12 months before she started teacher training, how perfect was that!? So she is keeping my seat warm and doing a good job by all accounts. My main fear was what if they did a better job than me. I can’t believe I was ever that career focused, it all pales into insignificance now. I’m lucky enough to be taking a full 12 months off and now
coming up to half way through I’m already getting panicked about leaving G and going back. The other half is pushing me now to look at nursery places available but I really don’t want to accept I’m going to have to leave him yet. 
Mus focus on the positives…1* I’ve got over 6 months left yet, 2* It’s almost summer, 3* I’ve got a new garden to make the most of. Ok…feeling slightly better now, if only I can mange to factor some sleep into this 2nd half that would be fantastic!

Booby Guilt

Why do I feel guilty? Why do I feel like a bad mother? Why do I feel like I have to keep it a secret? Why do I find myself lying that the bottle of formula my baby is gulping is breastmilk?

I was determined to breastfeed my baby, I would feed him as much as he needed, right up to him no longer having milk, or so my pre-baby confident self thougt. I battled through manual expressing for those precious drops of colostrum, through breast engorgement when my milk came in, through constant nights feeds to establish my supply and feed this amazing little human I had grown and nourished inside me. Was it supposed to be this difficult? Feeding your baby seems like the most natural thing in the world but in reality it can be tough. Don’t get me wrong when it clicks it’s such a wonderful bonding experience, little moments no one else shares just between you and your baby that’s what gets you through the tougher times.

Now here I am 5 months down the line and well and truly embracing the ‘evil’ formula. Apart from one occasion obly breastmilke passed hos lips for 5 months. The first encounter was taken out of our hands at 5 weeks when I was rushed in to hospital, with no frozen mama milk what was Daddy going to do let him starve? But this was a one off surely, from now on the freezer was stocked and never again would I have to ‘inflict’ this on my little man. But that’s the problem, he was a little man, still only hovering on the 2nd percentile line yet born on the 50th. Despite my worries my family, friends and wonderful partner have always fully supported my feeding decisions my mum and partner have both held my hand through meltdowns (once over literal spilt milk!). After another feeding meltdown the doctors suspected he has reflux, finally an answer, I’m not doing anything wrong afterall. Now on medication to help, which meant expressing milk daily, a formula bottle was introduced for bedtime and we have never looked back. I still love our sleepy morning feeds and let’s face it whapping a boob out in the middle of the night is much easier than making up a bottle, for us a bit of mixing and matching is what works.

Some people would still say I should have persevered and yes maybe everything would have worked out if I did, but I made that decision and I stand by my healthy happy sometimes formula fed baby. We are lucky that this is something that could easily be helped for our man but not all babies and mums are so lucky.

We’re not failing no we’re winning,  winning at filling our babies belly, winning at doing whatever is needed for them to thrive. I salute those who never put a bottle to the babies lips, maybe you did fight and won or maybe your baby has never been anything but a perfect feeder, unfortunately it’s not that simple for us all.

Formula isn’t the problem, lack of support and lack of understanding is the problem. Don’t judge a mum for mixing up formula in public think how long she might have been been beating herself up because her boobs didn’t work or because her baby won’t do what is supposed to be the most natural thing.

There is only one thing that every mother shares with the next……unconditional love. Try spreading a bit of that love to other mums we all need it whatever decisions we make along the way. Haters gonna hate, lactaters gonna lactate, but I’m just gonna love.