Some days I have found myself bursting into tears over THE most trivial of things. I have found myself tip toeing around my house during nap time and turning into the hulk at the lady who delivers the paper at noon, as the noise could have potentially woken my sleeping treasure! (Don't get me started on the helicopters, the dustbin men and house alarms!!!)
I know Peppa Pig word for word (I know, check me out!) I spend a disturbing amount of time conversing with my Toddler about farts and poo. And yes, I actually dont bat an eye lid anymore at eating food that has been sneezed on, coughed on, and even chewed!! Parenting is so GLAM!
I never leave the house with out some stain on my clothing - sometimes its spilt juice, sometimes yogurt - after my toddler celebrates by throwing her yogurt covered spoon in my direction at Fireman Sams victories! You know I have even been caught out an walked around with wee stains on my trousers after a good old leaky nappy. Yup it happens to us all!! Parenthood is fun, wearing, its exciting and draining; and boy is it tiring.
The highs and the lows....
I have found myself tested like I have never been tested before, my patience often pushed to the limits but you know whats the STRANGEST thing EVER about parenting - You actually enjoy it in some weird and wonderful way.
We sing, we dance, we play and we giggle ALOT!!
Adjusting to parenting for me took some time. I had a whole new routine to figure out. First time Mom aswel I had so much to learn (and I still am!) Things I thought would be easy and no trouble at all, turned into nightmares. The power of love I believed I would feel was no where even close to the unconditional love that hits me as soon as my beautiful baby was born and placed into my arms. I was on a rollercoaster of emotions and learning.
There are a couple of things in the last 3 years (where has that time gone?!) that has really made day to day life as Mom go much more smoothly for me:
1) I go easy on myself.
To begin with I put so much pressure on myself to get EVERYTHING done. I felt like I was drowning at times. Infact with this pressure I was putting on myself I found I was less productive, I didn't enjoy the jobs I was doing and on top of that I wasn't present in my most important job ever - being a Mom. When I was rushing around getting the washing done, the floors mopped and the dishes washed - that was all time I wasn't 'there' with my little one.
Dont get me wrong these jobs dont do themselves but its about pacing and I have learnt the art of this now. If something doesn't get done, I will try and fit it in tomorrow - if I dont get chance the next day it's not the end of the world! If we have a visitor and the toys are sprawled all over the floor and the dishes are stacked high - like it or lump it baby - we were too busy having fun to get everything done today!
2) I go out every day.
Yes, every single day. Sometimes its a walk around the block, sometimes we venture to the library. Lunch over the park and feeding the ducks is a hit with my toddler and sometimes we attend a messy play group or visit a friend/relative.
When I has just given birth and brought Little N home, the midwife visited and we got chatting. She had already got children and was expecting again. She said the best advice I can give you is to get out every single day.
At the time I didn't really appreciate how important that advice really was. Getting out breaks your day up, it gets you out into the fresh air. Mixing with the hussle and bussle thats going on around you. Stuck inside you dont see that and that can make you feel pretty isolated and lonely.
3) I don't plan ahead as much
I learnt very quickly that with a little one in tow, plans can go to pot very quickly. I embrace the spontaneous adventures now and expect the unexpected, because lets face it - that's always what happens!!
4) Quality Time
We all have something that makes us feel better inside. Mine is quality time.
Whether that is time together as a family, enjoying one on one time with my Toddler, quality time with the other half or spending an hour round my friends house with a cup of tea and biscuits.
Sometimes the quality time is simply a 15 minute shower alone once my other half is back from work. It may be time to do some gardening or getting a job done in peace while the toddler is happy playing or being occupied by Daddy.
I try to fit in quality time each and every day. Its this time that makes my soul smile. It makes the stresses of the day dissolve into thin air and keeps me sane.
There we have it. Four very simple steps to becoming a better parent. A parent who is 'there', productive and happy inside.
When there is a little one around us, we constantly have the visual in front of eyes at how quickly the time is passing us by. These are the moments we need to cherish and make the most of. Parenting should be a joy, a happy place. I know how important it is to make the most of today, because one day - it will be too late.