A few days ago I saw a message on Instagram asking for fellow bloggers to join a motherhood challenge, I jumped at the chance and started talking to Fi of The Morse Code blog. She told me about this new hashtag of #rockingmotherhood and the idea was simple. Fi would write a blog post all about why she is rocking at being a mum (and she totally is!) and then she would tag myself and some other ladies to do the same. Thus spreading positivity throughout our little corners of the web.
A few years ago I heard an advert on the radio, I think it was around Mother’s Day and they were probably only trying to get people to buy flowers but the message has always stuck with me, here’s what it said:
Imagine you applied for a job, the job of your dreams and you got to the interview and you were told the following:
It’s a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job, there is no holiday allowance, bank holidays and Christmas holidays are a thing of the past, there is no lunch break you should expect to eat what you can grab on the go, there are no toilet breaks allowed, you can no longer ‘clock off’ at 5pm as you can expect to be called upon at any hour of the day, you will spend many hours worrying and fretting that you are not doing well in this job, there will be no training you are expected to hit the ground running, there is also no salary.
Still want the job? Your mum did!
I find this incredibly powerful, obviously I am paraphrasing here as I don’t remember the exact words used in the advert but the message is the same, being a mum is bloody hard and it’s a job that on paper most people wouldn’t want to do. This isn’t a job on paper though, it’s not something that you enter into with your head, this is about your heart. It’s about love and joy, it’s about passion and commitment and it’s about creating life and giving all of yourself to see that life grow and flourish. That’s what mums do.
I’ve thought about how I can present this list to you, its seems a little coincidental that there are to be 10 entries and there are 10 letters in the word motherhood…
Mum – I’ve always had an amazing relationship with my mum, we’ve always been super close and do loads of things together, we talk every single day and she is just the most amazingly supportive woman. I adore her relationship with my Dad (they’re celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year) and how they raised me has definitely had an influence on how I will raise Amelia. I am 100% sure that adapting to being a new mum has been made that much easier because of my amazing relationship with my mum.
Organisation – I have been over organised since the dawn of time, I can not do things spontaneously. It’s just not in my nature and actually that’s really helpful when you have a baby, there is just so much to remember and so much to do that unless you can get organised you will literally never leave the house. Lists are everything!
Talking – I talk (and sing) to Amelia all day long. Half the time I don’t make any sense and am simply telling her about the toothpaste I’m using but it really doesn’t matter what I’m talking about, the constant chatter will encourage her to learn and communicate. I sing a lot too! I don’t even sing actual songs, I just talk and try to make it a song, my rhyming skills have come on a lot since Amelia was born. I am certain people in shops give me a wider than necessary berth because I probably look like a complete lunatic.
Happy – I think it is so important to be happy around your baby, even on days when you’re really feeling kinda glum. They can feel your energy, they can sense your unhappy or uneasy and that in-tern makes them unhappy. Giovanna Fletcher has written a book titled “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” and whilst I haven’t read it yet (I would really like to though) she is spot on with the title.
Everyone is welcome – By this I mean everyone is welcome to visit, play, hold, cuddle with Amelia. From day one I have encouraged other people to hold her, partly to give my arms a rest but also because I do not want an clingy baby. It’s not healthy for either of us. I absolutely love that Amelia will sit with anyone, she will give her smiles away for free when we go out and she never cries if other people are carrying her. I can leave her with a friend and go and order a coffee at the counter, she won’t even notice I’m not there. I’m actually really proud of this and it makes me feels so much better about the thought of leaving her at nursery when I go back to work.
Routine – In the same camp as being organised but this is more for Amelia’s benefit than mine, some say you can’t give babies a routine but I have to disagree. Granted for the first few weeks it feels like you are living in the eye of the storm but once Amelia reached 12 weeks old we set a routine in motion for her and it has helped so much. I am certain that building a routine for her naps, bottles and bed time is partly why she is so calm and well behaved.
Honesty – Being a mum is bloody hard work, we need support from other mums and I really believe that the best way to do this is to be honest. It doesn’t help anyone by telling them that it’s all rosy and rainbows when it’s not. I started this blog as an outlet, for me to share my experiences and perhaps help others. I can only do that by being honest about things and if I’m honest with you right now, it makes me feel better to share these things. A problem shared as they say.
Online – This might sound a bit odd but being part of the online generation has really helped me be a good mum. There is so much information available, things that weren’t available to our parents and I love being able to take advantage of it. Forums, websites, Instagram, Facebook groups, it’s all out there, it’s all free and there are some amazing ideas, suggestions, wonderful people who are learning and growing at the same time, someone has always already been through it and you can learn from them.
Overwhelming joy – That is what I get from my little girl, she is everything and more. It’s so true that your priorities shift when you have a baby and I am definitely one of those people. If I achieve nothing else in my whole life, to have raised her, to have taught her right from wrong, to have loved her and to have been her mum is all I will ever need.
Daddy – I am so fortunate to be raising my daughter in a happy and healthy marriage, I know that so much pressure is put on mums to do good by their babies and we are all doing our best but I literally couldn’t do this without the love and support from my husband. Seeing him with his little girl brings so much joy to my heart, the smile on her face when he gets home from work is wonderful. For all the times in those first few weeks that he stayed up with her all night downstairs when she was crying and I just needed to sleep, for all the evenings and weekends spent dancing around the living room pulling faces just to make her giggle, for working so hard to support us whilst I am on maternity leave, and for just being an incredible husband and father. I could not be rocking motherhood without him.
In order to keep the #RockingMotherhood vibes going, I’ve invited one of my most favourite bloggers and insta-mums to join. I adore Jade, her blog is always honest (even when honest is sometimes really hard for her to write), her Instagram page is one of my altime favourites (sorry for stalking you daily) and she’s just welcomed her fourth baby so she is 100% rocking at being a mum.
Please go and visit Jade’s blog and Instagram account, I can’t wait to see what you write about…
Here are the rules for playing along:
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and give a link to their blog
- List 10 things that you think make you a good mother (you can have more than this if you like)
- Invite up to 5 bloggers to continue the #rockingmotherhood tag
- Grab the #rockingmotherhood badge and add it to your post
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, it’s been really difficult to come up with 10 things. We’re so quick to pick out our faults that it can be a real challenge to celebrate our victories. If you would like to take part in the #rockingmotherhood tag please feel free to get involved, the most positive energy on the web the better.
My final thought: why are there so many o’s in the word motherhood, o’s are really hard to find words for…