We are the Mothers…

We are the mothers who’s babies seemed perfect at birth.

We are the mothers whose babies always cried. Or didn’t cry at all.

We are the mothers who felt our tiny ones pull away rather than nuzzle in.

We are the mothers who came to expect little eye contact and worked so hard for every smile.

We are the mothers who watched. And waited.

We are the mothers who swallowed our fear and guilt and told a professional we had concerns.

We are the mothers who have had our lips cut, our eyes split, our cheeks bruised, our hearts broken by violent melt downs.

We are the mothers that keep a tally of information and a raft of professionals names on the tips of our tongues.

We are the mothers who’s children have not slept. And those who do are kept awake reading articles and researching and writing documents and filling out forms. And worrying.

We are the mothers who work so hard for every good experience their child has, wherever it might be. However small it may seem.

And yet

We are the mothers who are stared at, tutted at, passed judgement on.

We are the mothers who are treated badly at the school gates. Or within them.

We are the mothers who’s children, the ones we work so hard for, are not appreciated. Or included. Because they are not ‘good’.

We are the mothers of autistic children.

We’re dealing with more than you could ever believe.

Just to be the mothers we never imagined.

 

image

 

 

 

 

 

Not guilty your Honour…

I was watching TV yesterday. Actually I think he was watching , I was trying to ignore the Bingly Bongly Boo song and keep the rage that bubbles up inside me every time I hear the names B1 and B2, in check. Anyway, anyway, we had the telly on and an advert came on featuring Louise Redknapp. I only really paid any interest as I couldn’t work out what she was endorsing this time. Last time she’d just had a baby and was hopping up on the old Wii Fit to make herself ‘feel better’, but it couldn’t be that, cos really, who still uses their Wii fit? (not me guv’nr, its under the bed – I use the excuse that the lounge is too small). Anyway, she was going on and on about not having much time for herself, what with the kids and her demanding hubby (and the hired help but she never mentioned that), blah, blah, blah, and that she loves those moments when the kids have gone to school and she sits and takes a moment blah, blah, blah again. Turns out it was for a razor that also had soap in it – thus saving you time. What a segway!! Anyway, the point that made me really sit up was right at the end of the ad. She looks to camera, smiles and says she feels “guilty for about a minute, hehehe, but it doesn’t last” cheeky smile.

2014051305-PDF

Vomit inducingly twee, yes – but it actually stopped me in my tracks. I was stunned. Why does she feel guilty at all? Are we being told, as parents, that we should feel guilty, even if just for ‘a minute’, when we do things for ourselves? Sod stunned – actually I was incensed! What a crappy ad, but what an even crappier message to be sending to all parents, but particularly mothers (sorry guys this ad was clearly aimed at women, unless you shave your legs too? Who am I to judge). While I absolutely understand father’s experience guilt too, this was so clearly aimed at the image of the perfect mummy, I’m going to concentrate on the girls today (please no hate mail!)

OK, I have a child, that makes me a mother. He is my priority – yes. I don’t work, other than the bits of freelancing I do from home. The energy and time I have, both mentally and physically, I give to him and to the rest of my family. That was the choice I took when deciding to have him. I have no problem with that at all. What I do have a problem with is being expected or in this case told, I should be feeling guilty when I choose to take some of that time or energy back for myself. Who the hell decided that was a good thing? I should make it clear that I’m not talking about the guilt a mummy might feel when leaving to go to work, for example or to engage in other serious pursuits. That’s completely different, heartbreakingly sad and completely understandable. No, I am talking about spending your time and your energy on you and you alone – often not “achieving” anything “useful” at all.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, I have never felt guilty taking the time to sit down to drink a cup of coffee or to do some writing or just veg out in front of the TV when the boy has been napping or in someone else’s (Daddy’s!) care (I mean, the first time we left him overnight I did get drunk and then a bit weepy for about 10 minutes, but like I said I was drunk, my power of reasoning was impeded, so please don’t count that!) I give so much, I am happy to occasionally take some back and I DON’T agree that mothers should feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for taking that time. By anyone, least of all shaving magnates!

Can you tell this has wound me right up?

So hey, OK, reasonable hat on, I know some women do get twinges of guilt when leaving their little ones and I guess that could be an old human survival technique. Back in the day if we didn’t feel bad about leaving our little ones, what was to stop us wandering out of the cave, leaving our little Igam Ogam’s to get eaten by wolves? I’m sure there is much written about this (not that I’ve had a look, but there is shit written about every other aspect of motherhood so why not this), by much more learned people than me so I’m not going to join in. I’m just saying that yes I can see there might be deep seated reasons for feeling this way. What I don’t see is that society, media, pressure from each other should be those reasons.

The work we do as mothers is relentless, I don’t need to tell you that. It’s the thing that knocked me the hardest after having him. It’s hard. Harder than anything else I’ve ever done in my entire whole life. I’m guessing you feel the same? So why add to this grind, by piling unnecessary guilt into the mix? You take care of your family, yes? You are part of your family just as much as anyone else, yes?. So take care of you. It’s not by accident that, in an emergency, air passengers are told to don their own masks before helping someone else with theirs. If you can’t breathe, you’re no use to anyone else. Same goes with life. If you don’t take the time or the energy to care for your own life, then how the hell are you supposed to be able to help anyone else with theirs?

Bollocks to lame shaving ads telling us perfect celeb mommies feel just as guilty as we do – hey Mr Wilkinson Sword guess what?

WE DON’T!

Mama and More

Slimming World Update – Week 36

Afternoon (or morning depending on where you’re reading this. Come to think of it I probably shouldn’t start these with time specific greeting at all should I!)

Anyway Hello!

How’s your week been? Mine’s been a bit stressful, in a way only the parent of a toddler can understand i.e. not truly stressful in the grand scheme of things, but important enough to me to make things physically draining. And I know, at least once, this had lead me to ‘comfort’ eating. But do you know what I’ve realised? It’s not really comforting I’m doing. Let me explain.

Oscars had a pretty difficult week. He’s moving on in his development and suddenly everything’s a drama (blah blah I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about that!) Anyway, a while ago I had to take a step back at dinner time. I would cook, he would not eat, I would feel kicked in the guts and get cross/upset/out of control. It wasn’t good for either of us, but I had the presence of mind to realise (eventually) that food was pushing my buttons, not Oscar. So I had to take a more objective approach. I now give him what I give him and leave him too it. If he doesn’t eat it then that’s absolutely fine. But he wont get anything else. It works for us and has made dinner a much calmer time. Until one night last week. I made his tea of pan fried haddock, mashed potato and peas. All foods he’ll eat. He wolfed down the fish, but refused to touch the potato or peas. And I don’t know what happened, but I lost my temper, shouted, threw the plate in the sink. You know the kind of thing? Anyway once we’d both calmed down a bit I felt so guilty for losing my cool (after all he did eat the fish), I did something I rarely do which was to give him something else to eat – pitta and cheese spread. And before I knew where I was making my self one with butter and jam. My head was screaming that I must have it. I didn’t have the syns for it, but I ate it anyway. It was only afterwards that I realised I didn’t feel comforted, but in a weird way felt calmer. Oscar also ran into a table on Sunday, cutting his face and giving himself a black eye. Poor little guy. On the way home I felt so bad (I was nowhere near him so how could I prevent it?) that I wanted chocolate (I didn’t have any). And I wonder if this is a real thing? The best way I can abate guilt is to punish myself (by sabotaging my journey). I don’t expect an answer, but it’s interesting to turn things on their head and look at them from a different perspective now and then. It’s certainly given me lots to think about.

So anyway a stressy week has lead to some lack of honesty when it’s come to my syns, I know it has. But again, only a lack of honesty with myself. I wasn’t surprised when I weighed in last night and found I’d gained 0.5lb. Disappointed but not surprised. So total lost is now exactly 5 stone (70lb).

Anyway I’m chalking last week up to a learning experience and moving forward.

Despite this weeks small gain I did have lots of lovely comments from friends regarding how I’m looking. It’s not always noticeable week on week but occasionally it’ll all sort of catch up with itself and people will notice the difference. It’s wonderful when they do so thank you to anyone who’s mentioned it over the past week – it really does make a difference. I have also purchased a couple of t-shirts in a size I haven’t worn since I was 18. Two gorgeous spring coloured tees in a 16. Only problem is, its been too cold to wear them since I got them! Typical!

Also I wanted to share these. They are pictures I wasn’t planning on sharing, I took them more for personal documentation, particularly as I didn’t take any measurements at the start. They’re not terribly flattering (and as always my bedroom is a mess!) but the difference is slightly astounding to me.

The first one was taken on 7th October (so already three months in!), the second was taken on 14th January and the third last week.

photo 1

And here’s the first and the most recent side together. It’s my legs I can’t get over. Oh and my shoulders weirdly.

photo 2

I can’t wait to take another one around June!

So this coming week. I really want to lose what I have gained and despite now having a babysitter, meaning we can go out for a friends birthday on Saturday (yey – thank you Jane!) that’s what intend to do. That and another lb. So 1.5lb off for next week please. Thanks!

Have a great week

 

xxxx