With Hugh recently turning one, I’ve spent some time reflecting about the year that has been and the changes I’ve experienced in myself.
I recently read about another Mother’s description of parenthood. It went along the lines of there are more bad moments than good, but the good moments are far greater than the sum of the bad. I certainly can relate to this and even now, the most challenging of times from this past year (the nights where I wondered if he would ever sleep, or the screaming for hours on end in the early days) seem to be fading in my memory, whereas the magical moments remain as vivid as ever.
Some of the highlights of the year included watching Hugh learn, explore and of course the kisses, cuddles and ‘mum’s. Seeing his personality show as he develops is so special... even if he gets his strong will from his mama. I’ve also learned that I am stronger than I could have ever imagined and yet also more vulnerable.
Both business and motherhood can be all consuming, so when there are 2 all- consuming parts of your life, there tends to not be a lot of the ‘all’ left for anything else- relationships, health, you name it. I understand that this is a season in my life and things won’t always be this way, but there got to a point where I realised things needed to change.
As you can read more about this in my previous blog, I won’t go into it, but basically COVID social distancing measures allowed me to reflect on the sustainability of how I was going, which became the catalyst for major changes in the business and reintroducing healthier habits for my lifestyle.
I’m sure there are some people thinking, why not just put the business on the back burner and focus on your baby? Well, for me personally, I know I wouldn’t be at my best if I wasn’t working. Being on the edge of ‘too busy’ is my optimal state. Even when I was at full time uni, I was working around 35 hours in a manager role and had a second job also. This is when I was getting much better grades than when I left that job to ‘focus on study’.
There are other mothers who find their best self taking additional time away from work. Either way it’s unfair that women are frequently subject to judgement regardless of their choice or circumstances.
Don’t get me wrong... in our case, I simply did not have the physical or mental energy to get straight back into work after Hugh was born, so I’m glad I took a decent chunk off. However, once we had a both of a rhythm to our days and he got the idea of sleeping, I started craving challenge again and to regain the parts of me was me again, not just mum.
I found that 3-4 month mark was where I noticed this craving, possibly because Hugh was really quite unsettled initially, then his sleeping improved dramatically after 6 months.
Here’s some of my takeaways from this year;
- The most valuable item in our house is a $6 Kmart gym ball- I’ve probably spent 1000 hours bouncing on it so far.
- I’d take 10 newborn poos per day over even 1 toddler poo change.
- I'll probably never know what I'm doing.
- Men seem to take a little longer to adjust to the fact that a child changes everything, EVERYTHING.
- If you think something should only take 5 minutes....allow at least 30.
- I like home and routine now... like a lot.
- Sometimes ugly crying and ice-cream can help you reset and go again.
- No one really notices or cares if you are walking around with milky spew on you, or you haven’t washed your hair in a week.
- There is no worse feeling than seeing your child in pain or sick.
- No two babies are the same
- No book, app or parenting website has all the answers.... there are no answers.... it’s an illusion!!