To blog about being a mum could lead me into writing a novel so for the sake of your time I’ll try keep this brief…becoming a mum was up there with the biggest highlight of my life (as well as my hens party, getting married and going to my 5th form ball…because life has not always been about motherhood). But I would certainly say becoming a mum and all that it entails has topped the list of most challenging, terrifying, exciting and rewarding period of my life…and long may it continue.
A quick timeline…I became mum to Charlie in 2011 and when she was 6mths old we moved to Russia for 2 years. I was pregnant in Russia and returned at 35wks to NZ in time to have Evie 2013. We launched our business pretty much on her due date. 2015 Quinn joined our family and when she was 9 mths I fell pregnant again. 2017 Frankie arrived just as we launched our pilates studio. We welcomed au pairs to live with us for some support.
Some people are quick to tell me “ooh you just wait…you think you’re over the tough times but then they become teenagers”. Well in my mind, all stages will have their ups and downs, but nappy explosions, mastitis, post birth injuries, expressing milk between clients, missing out on my dinner because bubba wouldn’t settle, walking like a zombie shooshing a baby for hours in the night…well that tops my hard. Of course there are lots of amazing moments, and in hindsight you probably don’t appreciate them in their full but it is partronising to tell a mum (or a dad) who is in 4 day old clothes, eyes hanging out their head to really embrace every moment.
Some things I really appreciated with having 4 babies in 6 years…
– an amazing hubby who is an equal parent and who cheered me on through 4 deliveries. He was also up in the nights and then opening the gym at 6am so big ups to him.
– people who dropped off lasagna and takeaway coffees (with caffeine)
– family and friends who came and vacuumed, folded washing..even changed bedsheets
– the person who told me about cold icepacks after birth
– the friends (and strangers) who were encouraging of me going back to paid work with little ones and not putting mum guilt on me
(so a little hint there if you have friends about to have babies…)
3 things I really appreciate with having 4 kids (I consider that stage when they can all talk and feed themselves)
– hand-me-downs = gold
– MOUNTAIN BUGGY – the best ever
– being fit and strong so I can do pullups with them on the monkey bars and run alongside their bikes. Being fit is quite possibly the best thing a mum can do to enjoy her kids and participate, not sit on the sidelines.
– making friends with like-minded mums; I like to have convos about things other than kids…gin flavours, countries to travel to, wear to buy nice dresses etc…
– standing strong in my decision to have my identity outside of kids – to me that is important. I have traveled out of town to do training courses and further my knowledge and expertise, I’ve traveled to compete in trail running races, I’ve travelled with hubby to connect as just us. That has been possible with strong relationships with grandparents and friends to help with the kids. Let other people help and don’t be afraid to ask.
Lastly 3 things I look forward to as a mum…
– teaching my 4 daughters how to be confident, self-assured and ambitious
– embracing my mum-body and the changes that come with it
– being a role model for other mums whether that is through my role at Studio Rubix, in the community or that mum in the pool playing with her girls
Don’t be a mum on the sidelines. Embrace your amazing body for what it has achieved. Cherish the magic moments and shelve the hard times.