Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bad Mummy

I was going to post my birth story today, but then I had a rubbish start to the day and I know in my description of this blog I mentioned that Real Mummies make mistakes. So here's one!

Lily woke at 5 for a feed, earlier than usual (after a last feed at 11.30) but she has been a bit funny with feeds lately. I fed her and returned her to bed, hoping for a good stretch and a sleep in for myself. My husband left for work around 7, moving the monitor next to me so I could easily hear Lily when she woke.

I thought I heard her stirring around 8 and said - just one more hour (remind me to get my iron levels checked! I am very tired feeling at the moment even with decent amounts of sleep). Then went back to sleep.

At 9 I thought - yay! I got my extra hour! Then I realised that the monitor had come unplugged and I couldn't hear Lily through it. But I could, if I tried hard, hear her screaming from her room.

I raced down there straight away to get her up and reassure her, she was so upset! I never leave her to scream and I felt just terrible that she had had to go through that. It took quite a while to calm her down too, poor little bubba.

So we have had lots of cuddles to help her (and me!) feel better and she is now napping - thank goodness she went down without a problem after the horrible start to the day. And she certainly seemed very happy once I settled her after getting her up, so hopefully she won't remember how awful it was when in therapy in 20 years time...

See - Real Mummies do make mistakes! Not the first, won't be the last.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tiger Lily

Pretty much every mum likes playing dressups with their baby, don't they? I thought I would use the excuse of Halloween to dress Lily up today.

Just a bit cute really.

Sharing Parenting With Your Partner

I chat with quite a few people on various parenting forums and I have really noticed that for a lot of them a big problem is the involvement - of lack of - of their partners. It seems that so many women are with their children all day, running the house, then do pretty much everything when their partner is home. Oh - some men do the bathing, usually so the woman can cook tea uninterrupted.

Now I know that I am very lucky with my husband, Jim is incredibly supportive and very involved with Lily's life. Part of that I put down to his nature and upbringing, having a hands on father himself. Part of it I put down to the fact he had to do everything straight after the birth as I had an emergency Cesarean section so was confined to doing very little for a while. Part of it I put down to my expectations.

When you have a child and one of you stays home to look after the child, then the child becomes the job. I am a Stay At Home Mum, not a housekeeper. My main role is to look after Lily, some days are easier than others, just like any job. I don't get regular free breaks - I have to take them when I can - and getting to the toilet can take some negotiating, but generally I focus on Lily, with a bit of washing and cooking thrown in.

The way I see it, my hours of work are the same as Jim's. When he is home from work, I am home from work, and we are both involved in parenting our child. There are some things that he can't do of course, as I am breastfeeding, but for everything else is open to both of us to do. And yes, I cook dinner while Jim baths Lily and puts her to bed, but he changes nappies (even the pooey ones!), plays with her, settles her when she gets upset - anything that needs doing.

Mums don't get stats, they don't get weekends off and they don't get 4 paid weeks a year. The least they deserve is the knowledge that when their partner is at home, he (or she) will be as involved in the raising of their children as they are. And if you do have to ask your partner to do something to help out it should be done happily, not with a sigh, a cry of 'but I just got home from work,' or a grumpy mood. Children need both their parents to be involved in their lives - if you have the good fortune to have both parents under one roof then children should know that what they get from their mother they can also get from their father.

Except for breast feeding a-la Meet the Fockers. That is just wrong.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Real SAHM!

Well, I did it. I would never have thought that I would, but on Thursday last week I became an official Stay-At-Home-Mum.

Lily is nearly 4 months old now and with the end of the year approaching I decided that it was time to make a decision one way or the other. I know my boss was planning staff for next year, so it was quite timely.

I have been teaching for 7 years, in that time I have moved up quite quickly, with my position at the time of going on maternity leave being a senior teacher with a team of 6 other teachers. It was quite a demanding role, in a rather progressive school. I would often work from 7am until 5 or 6 pm, and still have some work to do at home. There were many meetings and a lot of professional development. All very exciting and stimulating when you are passionate about your work, which I was.

And then my passions shifted. This little bundle came into our lives and changed everything. Thinking about putting her into daycare cut at my heart (amusing really, as previously I worked for a daycare that took children from 3 months), and my husband felt the same. (Actually, he was probably even more against the idea than I!) We looked at the money situation (not great, but we can get by for a while) and the decision was made.

So...I visited school, showed off my daughter to the staff and children, then let my boss know that I wasn't coming back. I know I am not irreplaceable, so I wasn't worried about letting them down. Letting them down would be me not telling them of my intentions until the last possible minute. This way they can plan for next years classes and make the best staffing choices they can.

And now I embark on a new adventure. Last week I was a mother on maternity leave. Now I am a real stay-at-home-mum. Quite a change.