Louisa Claire

Being A Mum

And then there were five

On the eve of Little Blue’s 1st birthday I find myself reflecting on the changes that have come with his arrival over the past year. It would be easy to skip over documenting this because putting them to words feels quite hard; how do I convey all that is in my heart when I feel two equally strong, but very different emotions?

I felt like the luckiest woman alive the day that Bluey was born; in a way it felt like I was finally born myself when he arrived. Perhaps it was the endorphin’s flowing through me after my surprise epidural-free delivery? Perhaps it was that I had mentally prepared myself to slow down in the weeks and months following his birth allowing me to truly embrace that time? Perhaps it was something totally beyond my ability to control! Whatever the reason, he completely stole my heart the moment he was placed in my arms and I can’t imagine my life, nor our family, without him.

 

Baby Blue 2

Baby Blue 9

{photo credit: Teacup Ballet}

At the same time, this past year, has been hands down the hardest year of my parenting life so far. Everything is just ‘always’ – there’s never a moment where no one needs us or needs something from us. I have never juggled so much, spent so much time in doctors waiting rooms and hospitals, nor felt so frazzled.

All this has made it the most physically challenging, exhausting and most sacrificial year that we’ve experienced so far. I have had to accept that my life is permanently altered as a mother and while I am deeply grateful for the gift of motherhood and the gift of each of my beautiful, incredible children I have also realised the impact of the a personal cost attached to caring for little people, however delightful they might be.

I have found writing this post somewhat uncomfortable for I fear that it paints Bluey in a negative way – that in saying I find two children easier to three I am saying that I find Bliss and Bear easier than Bluey. It’s not so much whether you, dear reader, might judge me but that one day my children might misunderstand. Is this the challenge of the ‘mummy blogger’? To convey how two equal but opposite emotions can be held together in a way that feels bizarrely harmonious?!

It is truly hard to imagine a more delightful, easy going, charming little baby that could have joined our family than Bluey. I completely adore him! And I am so grateful for him, not just because he’s been the perfect addition to our little family and is doted on by us all (the other children love him so much I can’t believe they haven’t squished him into a tiny ball already) but because of the ways I have changed because he joined our family, and for the ways I have become a better mother because he is here.

Bluey

 {photo credit: Teacup Ballet}

I thought I would be sad to say goodbye to babyhood when his birthday came around but, as he perches on the cusp of toddlerhood I just feel so very excited about what comes next!

 
Happy birthday my sweet, beautiful, Bluey!
 
 


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As ready as I’ll ever be.

Tomorrow is the day.

She knows it and seems both excited and nervous at once. The idea of going “every day” has started to creep in and I’m not sure it’s an entirely welcome idea for her yet. That’s OK though because it’s not an entirely welcome idea in my heart yet either…

But we are “ready”.

We’ve got the shoes, and the clothes sorted.

I’ve written her a letter and I’ve recorded her talking about what she thinks about going to school.

The camera is charged.

We had a morning tea at the school today and we already have a play-date planned for later in the week.

My head is ready…and my heart is getting there.

Maybe.

The time is here though.

The time is now.

and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be…I think she is too.

starting_school

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Outnumbered

Today is a day where I have well and truly felt outnumbered. Three children is absolutely exhausting…or rather, can be absolutely exhausting, and wild, and loud – so very loud.

But then there is this.

I couldn't capture a good photo of it but Bluey has the most amazing grin and I see it whenever he hears my voice which just blows me away. every time. He's smiling at me!!

Three is exhausting, but so is two. In fact it's mostly the two, when they are together, (or the first – wow, 4 year olds are intense!!!) that are exhausting…or when all three are yelling/crying/singing at once and I feel all I do is move between other people's needs. That's exhausting, definitely exhausting. But I'm still adjusting, still learning how to balance three and do it with patience and grace.

And this, this is one of the best things in the world…

 

 

 

 


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Do you like your children?

And do they know it?

Absolute Photography Bondi
 

The older Bliss gets, the more I find myself not just loving her to pieces but really liking her as a person. She’s fun, funny, unfailingly kind and thoughtful, gentle and yet completely mental. I like hanging out with her and though occasionally we rub each other the wrong way I think that’s kinda normal for two people who spend a heck of a lot of time together.

I’ve been trying to make a point of regularly telling her not just that I love her, but that I like her…and why.

We like having breakfast with you kiddo, you’re good company.

I am so proud of how kind you are to your brother.

I really like you Bliss, can I tell you why?

 

Do you like your kids? Do they know it? How do you tell them?


 

 


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One for the Mums

Just in case you forgot how important your job is…

 


 


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Mothers are born not made, or is it made not born? I’m confused…

 

Do you know what I think is one of the biggest lies (or misconceptions) going about motherhood? It’s that mothers are born, not made.

Mothers are not born, babies are.

Mothers are no more born in birth than babies are – both are truly made in the lifetime that follows. They are shaped through the feeding and sleeping issues of a newborn, the tears and tantrums of a toddler and the years of spilt milk, lost homework, scraped knees and broken hearts that follow. My guess is that mothers never stop being made, just as their children never stop growing – even when it’s into parenthood of their own.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard a mum say “I’m just not cut out for being at home with the kids, we’re all better off with me working – happy mum a happy home and all that….”

My observations of mothers lead me to one conclusion – about 1% of the parenting popular fit the category of “being cut out” for life at home with small children.

The other 99% of mothers who are at home full or mostly-full time with their kids are there for a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with being “cut out for it”.

I feel deeply sad about the lie that tells women and men that some people were “just born to be a mother”. It sets the majority up for failure…or for an idea that motherhood is something that should just come naturally. How can something as life altering as taking care of small, entirely dependent and yet strong willed person 24/7 be something that comes naturally?!?! Let’s get real for a moment.

If you want to work, work – no worries. But if you want to work because you feel like being at home with the kids “just isn’t for you” then please let me encourage you that most other mums feel like that too. Last week when Bliss came into the bathroom while I was showering just to let me know that Bear had opened and spilt the milk and that it was now “just like a waterfall” I was not filled with delight. Especially not since I’d started the day at 4.30am. Standing the kitchen, sopping wet and trying to mop up the mess without dropping my towel, I thought about how much simpler life would be if someone else could just deal with the it. But then I realised that someone else would also get to enjoy all the amazing times too. Being at home with the kids is a really worthwhile and surprisingly enjoyable experience…but a bit like everything else in life, it’ not great all the time. Don’t feel you have to opt out of that time because you’re not “cut out for it”. The surprising truth is that we learn to parent from our kids – and it just takes time.

 

 


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