The present mumma
Right now, I am sneaking some vegan chocolate and sipping a passionfruit kombucha while my kids actually play in their play room. Took a moment from my day to text a girlfiend, and feeling ok now.
Husband is away surfing with his besty and while I think in many ways it's almost easier without a second adult, I miss him and we tend not to eat much.
The stress in our house had been rising over the past few weeks, for reasons that I cannot pinpoint other than the weather cooling in Melbourne. It always is hard to balance work stress and home stress, because all five of us go to work together.
Anyway last night I read a lovely little bloggy about happiness http://bohoboys.com/letter-mamas-concerned-happiness/ and I have been reading a lovely little book called "Happy Mama" by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, it all has had me breathing a little more. The goal is not in actual fact those picture perfect instagram moments. The goal for me, and for us as mothers united in Mummahood, is presence.
Taking a deep breath before losing your shit because you have to repeat yourself 65 billion times. Stopping yourself mid-blog to attend to whatever it is that your child desperately needs to show you. Cutting off a million conversations to answer to "mum, mum, muuuuum, mummmmm, mumumumumummaaaaaaaa". Ensuring that you are the constant, the consistent, the BORING parent so that your children can turn to you when they need a cuddle or they feel angry or sad or overwhelmed.
It has shamed me that I am not always these things. It really upsets me when I lose my cool, when I notice myself enforcing seventy five rules within an hour, when I get frustrated because I just want to engage in adult conversation.
All of that is alright too. I do not expect my children to be perfect all the time, so why do I expect myself to be the perfect mother all the time?
I was always quite proud that I never really suffered from "mummy guilt" as I parented exactly the way I wanted to, have stayed with my kids the majority of the time, and the things I have needed to do (such as education and training) I have managed to do with my children in tow. A girlfriend pointed out that I'm so used to just packing my kids up and going where I need to that it seems like nothing is too hard for me. And I guess I am wondering what the cost of this is. Because I do not feel HAPPY or content the majority of the time. I truly have not felt the need to change something until recently, and my husband has been great in gifting me a morning alone at home when we can spare it.
Anyway, what I am getting at is that it's not about the choices we make as mothers. It doesn't matter about the birth we had, the way we feed our children, or if we work or stay at home (or do both). The important thing is that we have felt empowered to make those choices and that they align within our hearts to create a life that we are proud to live.
Right now I know that I have felt so passionately about raising my wildlings as an attachment mumma, that I truly desired being a mumma more than anything else in the world, That I have made decisions with love, research and integrity. So I promise myself to breathe more in the face of chaos, noise and being ignored. I promise to love myself anyway, even if I yell or get frustrated but also to notice when I am doing it and perhaps try to diffuse the situation before it reaches crisis point. I promise to be the consistent parent when I can, and to set boundaries that protect both my sanity and my children's needs.
“If a child is failing, it’s not their fault. It’s our job to set realistic, respectful, and meaningful boundaries. We must take into consideration our children’s developmental stage when establishing our boundaries. [Saying] ‘No, I won’t let you do x,y,z…’ suffices for a 15-month-old, but it’s not realistic to expect an elementary school aged child to take no as an answer—we want [those children] to talk back and ask why. We want them to play with the rules and experiment, push boundaries, and see how far they can go. It’s healthy and totally age appropriate! They’ll need those skills in the real world. Critical thinking, navigating social interactions healthily, making their voice heard. It’s annoying as parents to have to give reasons for every step we take, but let’s remember [our children are] practicing for the real world. Let’s empower them, not crush their being because of our own ego. If they’re failing, it’s because we are not giving them clear directions. It’s on us to offer a safe environment to let them thrive. Their job is to explore. Our job is to make sure they’re free to be themselves. This is respect for the child. It’s time to let go of ‘because I said so.’ It will save a lot of frustration and missed goals for sure.” ~ Lea Azevedo
Big love for all mummas xx