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Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category

So rare that I write anything of a personal nature in here any more, I seem to have devoted all my thinking and writing time to books recently, never a bad thing in my opinion.  Can’t beat a good book, unless it’s a GREAT book!  There are so many that can fall into either category for me recently, really go check out some of the reviews if you don’t believe me.

Recently, I achieved something huge, maybe not huge for some people, but for me surviving my first year of motherhood was immense.

It was challenge I couldn’t prepare enough for.
I’m the sort of person that decides that I will start something so I get my hands on all the information possible about that topic and learn everything.
Lets for instance say, paragliding, I will scour the net for information, be it books, articles written in blogs, magazines, forums, personal stories and mishaps, will hunt out expert opinions, and then from there, what equipment is best to use, what are the pitfalls, what are the dangers and the things to watch out for, what locations are best, how best to practice and learn the skills needed, what to expect….the list goes on and on but you get the idea right?  All the pregnancy books and magazines etc gave me an idea of what to expect growing a bump and how labour would be either the best moment of my life or the worst etc but nothing really prepared me for life with a human monkey child.

I absolutely adore my child, she’s funny, beautiful, clever, an incredibly fast learner and great company, but sometimes I look at her and wonder what she’s making of everything.  Does she know that most of the time I make it up as I go along?  I remember my mum telling me often “there is no big book of life, you just have to make it up as you go along and hope you’re doing it right” and my word she was right!!  Just because the wee angel round the corner can balance on her hands and speak 12 languages before the age of 1 (slight exaggeration there, using artistic license) doesn’t mean that every child will do that. 
But none of that makes up for the moments of self doubt, or the panic that you might not be doing things right.  When you see “super parents” in the media you instantly worry and compare yourself to them.  It’s the same when it comes to most things, you see the celebs etc in the media and instantly think badly about yourself.  I try to remind myself that the reason you don’t see them with dried weetabix on their t shirt or baby drool all over the shoulder of their shirt is that they have people paid to make them look good in public.  Whereas I have to make the monkey child look presentable, ensure she’s got a clean nappy on, not managed to cover her face with food of some sort and if I have the energy, make sure I’ve brushed my hair.  Who am I kidding?  My hair is usually scraped back in a ponytail to keep it out of reach from sticky fingers that like to pull it. 

Motherhood isn’t the easiest job in the world, and quite honestly it’s far from the hardest.  There are times that it feels like the hardest job on the planet, but it’s a worthwhile job, you get to nurture this little person, see them grow and develop, see their character emerge and watch with joy as they achieve their own milestones. 
The early days of motherhood were some of the hardest I’ve lived through so far, knowing what to do was a major problem.  Suddenly I was home with this little person and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, exhaustion was sapping any reserves of energy I might have had and hormones were just jangling like little alarm bells warning that tears were inevitable.  But thankfully I had a good support network, my husband was invaluable, just being there to change a nappy when I didn’t have the strength to get up, or taking the wee one to rock her to sleep (or wander about the house in the dark pleading with the wee monster to go to sleep) so I could get a few hours here and there. 
But we got through those tough early days, we made it past the scary stages of the monkey trying to pull herself up on anything and any one, past the confusion of weaning, and now we get to look forward to the joys of potty training, talking (more than just a few simple words at a time), making more of a mess and generally just being a monkey.  But, I really can’t wait, it’s a fun adventure, and  best of all, I get to spend it with this amazing person.

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Where did August go?!  Own up, who stole it!?  Seems like we’d barely broken into the month and this is the last day of it!  Either that or I’ve been that busy I’ve not noticed it flying by.

It’s been a fun month though, I’ve started on a book blogging journey (you may have noticed the cleverly titled entries with “Book Review” in their title – bit of a giveaway eh!?), also been making an effort to continue going to the village cafe every Wednesday morning for a coffee, even more impressed as I swapped numbers with one of the other mums in the village so if I want to go to the Toddler’s Group she’ll meet me and we’ll go together so I won’t be going in alone (she’s a star, so lovely and just one of those people you can’t help but smile at when you see them).  And I volunteered to help out with an #bepbb on Twitter.

#bepbb for those that don’t know was the light bulb moment of Jetta, a lovely lass who has brought sunshine to a lot of people with her use of thinking of something postive that has happened to you that day.  Doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, whether you climbed Everest or you got to the bottom of the ironing pile, it all counts as something good that happened to you and you should share it with the world.   There are a group of people online who will take a turn “hosting” each night for #bepbb, and in a huge step towards building my confidence I volunteered to host on a Wednesday night! 
Seeing the tweets coming in from people saying what has made them happy that day helps me see that it’s not all doom and gloom out there, that there are wee nuggets of happiness out there if you  know where to look for them.  Sometimes my own #bepbb is something as simple as I had a lovely snuggle with my sleeping baby, or I got some housework done, but to me they mean the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Seeing the number of responses to #bepbb is fantastic, there are so many people participating now and it’s wonderful to see.  Why not pop past with your #bepbb any night between 2100 & 2200, just use the hashtag and one of the hosts will pick it up.

I’m in denial at the moment, it’s only 32 days until my daughter is 1 year old, how the hell did that happen?!  This time last year, we’d not long moved out to our wee village, I was waddling about with a MASSIVE bump and we were trying to slowly put some order in the chaos that was our new home, now 1 year on we’re decorating little bits here and there and planning a birthday party for our daughter.  She’s getting so grown up, she’s got 8 teeth, she crawls about and pulls herself up to standing at any opportunity and as soon as she’s mastered balance she will be walking…….I can’t quite believe it!  Part of me wants her to stay a teeny wee baby forever, but part of me is so excited to see what sort of person she grows into.  Who will she turn out like, will she be like her father and be able to turn her hand to most things – fix cars, set up the computer and router so that networks run properly in the house, build walls or just generally be fantastic.  Or will she take after me, who can do a few things well and attempts other things with great enthusiasm but little skill?  Hopefully she takes the best bits of us both and uses them to create the person she wants to be, but as long as she’s happy that’s all that matters.  Doesn’t matter if she’s a brain surgeon, a brick layer or a monkey trainer, as long as she’s happy with who she is and where she’s got to, I will be happy.  Of course, if she becomes a brain surgeon I will remind her that she need to look after her old mam and dad!

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For a City girl, living in the country is strange.

It’s quiet for a start, and that’s just not “normal” in my book.

Granted,  you hear the rumble of tractors and their trailers passing through the village, and you hear kids playing in the local park sometimes but there’s no planes overhead, no traffic, no people, no sirens and no general buzz like there is in the City.  And I’m not sure I like that.

 (Image: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/deer/maud/images/memorial-450.jpg)

It doesn’t help that out here they don’t speak English….well in any recognisable form.  I’m all for local dialects and regional accents, I love language and still trying to add to my repertoire (still trying to learn Russian when I get a chance), but out here I just don’t stand a chance understanding what’s said half the time!

  (Image: http://media.scotslanguage.com/library/image/medium/blank%2Bmuckle.JPG)

If you want a linguistic chuckle, might I suggest looking at the Doric Guide pdf on this website
Doric guide it gives a painful idea of the words used out here and what they mean, granted not all teuchter words are listed!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice being out here, but at the same time its infuriatingly still.  I’ve been out with the pram so many times and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen someone (hell I’d be able to count it even if I lost a few fingers!).  Its fair to say that not a lot happens in small villages, unless you’re part of the “in crowd” and know everyone and all their plans. I think whilst monkey child is still small it will be hard being in a small community, as there’s little you can really do here with under 1s.  Once she’s nursery school age and primary school age things will be easier as she will be going off and forming her own friendships and meeting her peers.  Whereas at the moment, the eternal introvert she has for a mother is hesitant to join in.  I touched upon the idea briefly in a previous post that moving house whilst pregnant to a rural setting was hard, and this is very true.
Pregnancy is hard work, moving house is hard work (unless both coincide at the same time and you’re due to give birth 4 weeks after you move so you’re not allowed to do anything but make the tea and rest), but settling in to a new community is hard.  Suddenly you’re surrounded by new people, a new place and its all oh so unfamiliar, throw in the new baby and hey presto you feel like you’re in the setting of a Tim Burton movie!  It’s almost like being the new kid at school, everyone you encounter is polite enough, but you can’t help but feel like people are trying to work out who you are and what your story is.  And if I could understand half of what they say I’d be more than happy to tell them, but alas they start with the local speak and I’m at a loss.  I can’t wait for monkey baby to grow up so she can translate for me.

I love my house, I love that my little one can grow up in such a safe surrounding and I love the fact that this wee village is walk-able on foot so nothing is ever too far away, but at the same time I miss the City.  I miss the convenience of the City, I miss the sites (and what bloody sites they were!), I don’t miss the smells of the City (especially if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction!) I miss being surrounded by people I could understand!

(Image: http://www.visitscotland.com/cms-images/5×3-large/regions/aberdeen-city-shire/the-granite-city)

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