Friday, 31 May 2013

mummy loves ...

Welcome to the May 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Self Love This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about their thoughts concerning self-love. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Babywearing. 


There could have been no more appropriate topic for my return to blogging than this month’s carnival theme ~ self-love.

If you saw my last post (and no, I can’t believe it’s been quite that long since I posted) you’ll know that times were difficult.  Often, things still are difficult. But I think – tentatively – that we might be heading towards easier days. (Of course, now I am cursing myself for that ill-advised public declaration, because we all know how the law of positive parenting statements goes: ‘yeah, s/he’s sleeping great these days’ = no more sleep again. Ever.)

Truth be told, I ‘lost’ myself for a long time. I struggled to juggle two children, each at different stages of dependency, with bringing in a freelance income (a necessity, rather than a personal preference) while trying to remain a connected and constant presence for my family. I’m not too proud to admit that recently, I have failed at this. I’ve not being doing my career justice, and I’ve not been doing my family justice.  My temper has been worryingly short, my recourse to yelling frighteningly frequent. Between deadlines, co-sleeping, tandem feeding, etc, there was no part of my day, my mind, my body that was my own. I was burning out, personally and professionally.    

And then, a week or two ago, a switch flicked. Something shifted in me.

  • I started writing again, for pleasure rather than profit.
  • I made new career plans.
  • I started running again (the addition of two children, three stone and five years since my last run have made this a far from easy undertaking.)   
  • I started making plans to meet people. In the evening. Sans children.  
And, I started to gently remind my girls that mummy has the right to finish her meal, to put her boobs back in her top for at least ten minutes per day, to sleep. To do things for herself, sometimes. [Actual conversation with oldest child: 'Sometimes you have to let mummy finish what she's doing. Mummy is a person too.' 'No you're not. You're an alligator.']

It took a while to get here, from being subsumed by motherhood. And it’s partly an age thing ~ I have a *cough* milestone birthday coming up, Zen Toddler is (for a few more precious months, only) Zen Pre-schooler, with Zen Baby now filling the Toddler role. I feel like I need to start ticking a few more things off my list of dreams and goals, and now that they are no longer babies {sob}  their needs are not quite so immediate. But also, hearing them parrot back the things I say and watching them mirror my actions, I’ve become very conscious of the behaviour I model. I don’t attach value judgements to food. I make them aware that mummy has another job, as well as ‘being mummy’. I make sure that they know that women are strong, that wearing lipstick doesn’t make you prettier, that princesses can rescue themselves.

And now, by giving myself a little bit back, by re-filling the well, by giving myself a bit of space to do the things I used to love to do pre-children, I’m letting them know that mummies are people too. That mummy loves them very very much, but that mummy loves mummy too. Hopefully, from this, they will learn to truly love themselves.

APBC - Authentic Parenting

Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss babywearing!   Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: (This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 1 with all the carnival links.)


  1. Welcome back :). Good for you for fulfilling some if your own needs! I haven't been a mama for very long but I can really relate to the feeling of being seen as an alligator instead of a person! I hope that you continue to do things for yourself, feel better, and in this way show your children that you deserve some basic human comforts as well!

  2. Puttoing your boobs in your top for ten minutes a day? You're really stretching your luck there!
    Thanks for your submission!

  3. I am glad you are finding yourself in a better place. I think we all go through these times. Hopefully we all come out in a healtheir place. Thank you for joining us this month.