Monday, 28 March 2016

Two whole years

Last week marked two years since we discovered we were pregnant with our little bear.  I cannot believe two years has gone by since those two blue lines appeared and now we have a real life little human. In some ways those two years have flown by, and in other ways it seems like a lifetime has passed. I am a completely different person to the 21 year old girl I was.  I thought it would be nice to reflect on the roller coaster journey motherhood has taken me on.

I have dreamed of being a mum my whole life. I think I was almost 13 (okay, 14) when I finally put my dolls in the loft. I played the game of wanting to be a 'career women', said all the right things, followed the paths, was successful at interviews, secured a highly paid job at 20 years old but it was never really me.  I did enjoy my working life and I enjoyed the reaction from people when I answered the number one conversation starter of "What do you do?" but the passion for climbing the career ladder was never really there. If I didn't have Mr P and the security of our own home etc I would still be playing the career game I'm sure, but luckily for us things happened quicker than we expected, we bought our apartment just before my 21st birthday and only 5 months later, I was pregnant.

Before I was pregnant I knew it all.  I knew all about babies, I knew exactly what I would do when I was a mum and if I am going to be completely honest, I would sometimes judge other mums. "I wouldn't do it like that" Well habloodyha joke is on me, because no matter how much you think you know, you don't. you really really don't.

No matter how much I had dreamt of having a baby, the moment I saw those two lines I was absolutely panic-stricken. Suddenly the reality of having an actual human to look after became very very real.  When I look back at photos of myself then I don't recognise myself, I look so young and naive, and I know I was absolutely terrified.  I don't think I coped very well with the impending arrival,  I was so so excited but I felt so unwell throughout my pregnancy and actually, looking back,  I think I was suffering with crippling anxiety.  I am sure things will be very different second time around.  Seeing Chris and the rest of our family so so excited is what kept me sane I think. I cried ALOT during those 38 weeks, all the certainty I had about being a mum before I was pregnant was gone and replaced with so much self doubt, I wanted to be this perfect mum but as reality started to dawn on me I was so frightened and lacking in self confidence that I wouldn't be good enough. I think maybe everyone has those thoughts. 

To those around me I appear to be such a confident outgoing person, the life and soul of a party but that actually couldn't be further from the truth, I am so unsure and self critical but becoming a mum has been an amazing journey away from that.  I have so much confidence in my ability as a mum now, When Freddie was born my mother instinct kicked in straight away.  I felt so powerful going through the birth process, even thought it ended with a section, I felt so empowered. This was my baby and I knew what he needed. I was so lucky to have an amazing support network around me too which helped me and encouraged me to trust in myself.  There were nights where I would be crying on the nursery floor because he just-woudnt-sleep and days where I wanted to scream and exit by the front door and never return, But I did get him to sleep, I didn't run away, I didn't shout at my newborn, I just got on with it.  I powered through, even though some days it was like wading through mud but I did it. and now I have a bright, healthy, gorgeous 16 month old little boy and our bond is absolutely solid. Parenting can go from one extreme to the other so quickly, you can be having the worst day and then they smile and bam, your heart just exploded. Those reading this who don't have children yet, thinking how can you want to scream at your newborn, don't judge, just wait!

I think it's those hard times that teach us the most.  If parenting was easy what would we learn? Would we grow as people? I have learnt so so much about myself, I trust in my ability to know what my child needs and I know I will do whatever necessary to provide for him, I am calmer now, more patient and I think I am a kinder person.  I care more, I have time for everybody from every walk of life, becoming a mum has left my feelings and emotions raw and vulnerable but I like that. I feel more and relate to the world around me in a way I never knew possible.  Having Freddie has given life so much more of a purpose, Chris and I are more driven and ambitious than ever and our relationship is on a different level you dont even know exists until you become parents together.  It used to be so hard to get up for work, now I am back working 12 hours a week and it is easy to jump out of bed because I want to build a better life for Freddie. I no longer care about things that do not matter, the world is so beautiful and I never really saw it before. I have never appreciated how good a walk around the block can be. I see life completely differently to my fellow 23 year old party animal friends, and I absolutely love it. 

Becoming a mum has made me strong and independent. Its been the most incredible two years. The hardest two years and the best two years. A blur of sleepy cuddles, smiles and discovering I can survive on -38902 hours of sleep. I wonder where the next two years will take us.

Do you think you have changed since becoming a mum?

Thank you for reading my ramblings.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Spring Bucket list

So Spring is almost here, the nights are definitely getting a bit lighter although unfortunately not warmer, the sun is shining a little bit more and my vases are full of daffodils and tulips. I love Spring it's like the light at the end of a gloomy winter tunnel and with Freddie now really on the move, I am getting so excited for warmer days to be upon us. 

I'm constantly planning things I want to do this Spring so here is my little Spring bucket list.

1. Go to the zoo - Howletts Zoo is where Chris and I had one of our first dates, somewhere I went lots as a child and I just absolutely love it there.  Taking my little Fred will be really special for me and we plan to go over Easter Weekend. I'm so excited, Freddie is animal mad so I know he is going to share our passion for wild animals. I think Freddie's love for farm animals might also mean a trip to Godstone farm, which I am sure will have him squealing with delight. He adores
Mummy's farm animal noises haha.

2. Bake a cake - I do lots of baking but recently I've really upped my game! And I've been pinning a few ideas for something different to make and try something a little more out my comfort zone.

3. Have a 'Spring clean' - now I'm someone who could happily spring clean every week and used too before Fred came along, but with a demanding toddler, tidying, cleaning and organising is a lot harder! So a date is booked in for F to have a day with Grannie and mummy will be getting out those marigolds and charity shop bags! 

4. Lose 6lbs - This might be easier said than done with Easter approaching but I'm 5lbs away from being in my next stone bracket! And the wedding dress fitting is getting ever closer so motivation levels are high! 

5. Easter/Spring Crafts - As a child doing crafts was a big part of my life. My mum always had a huge box of things for 'sticking and gluing' and I was never happier than when I was creating something over ambitious. Freddie is starting to be old enough to appreciate this so we will definitely be doing some crafts this spring - my Pinterest is bursting with ideas! 

6. Easter Basket - making an Easter basket for your children is a tradition I discovered from fellow mum's on Instagram. I did it for Fred last year even though he was only 5 months. I think it's such a lovely thing to do and I will definitely be doing it again this year. I will be doing a video and post with what goodies will be inside! 

7. Start scrapbook - I have been given a gorgeous, huge scrapbook and want to make a book full of Freddie's first year of life; pictures, milestones, things i remember, thoughts and feelings etc. I plan to get all the photos ordered ASAP then get planning! Don't know why I'm adding this to my list when I've got so much wedding prep to be doing but if I don't start now I never will! 

8. Photos! - I took some great pictures last Easter of Fred and I would love to recreate those to see how much he has grown. I also want to get out and about with my new camera and get some new pictures of us all together. First on list, buy a tripod!

9. Go somewhere new - now Fred is walking, running and just generally loving to explore we just love getting out and about. We tend to go to our favourite places which I find easier being an anxious person (which is ridiculous I know) but I  want some knew places to explore! Top of my list are Leeds Castle and Hever Castle and I'd like to find a middle of nowhere walk completely out in the country side, close to our house that can become a regular walk for us. 

10. Date night - I can't remember the last time Mr P and I got dressed up and enjoyed dinner and cocktails together, so that is definitely on the list, long over due! 

So that's my Spring bucket list! What's on yours?