Welcome to another bitterly cold Monday peeps I hope you had a great weekend despite the chill factor.
This week's Mothers on Motherhood introduces Jenni from Ginger Bisquite and her son Nye. As ever I love reading about other women's experiences.
Jenni & Aneurin (Nye) age 1
blog: Ginger Bisquite
facebook: Ginger Bisquite
I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after I returned home from our honeymoon, and I was terrified.
Before Neil and I were married we had talked about having children, and threw caution to the wind in an uncharacteristic carefree regard. Once we returned from the cocoon of our honeymoon I was jobless, (my fixed term contract had ended just before the wedding) and the thought of having a baby dissolved as the memories of our wedding became distant. The week I was going to say to Neil that I thought we should wait a few years, was the day I realised I was pregnant. And boy was I scared. Scared of the unknown, scared of not getting a job, scared of getting a job I'd then have to leave. I knew in time I'd come to be excited and happy, but looking at the pregnancy test had me worried about how we could give the best possible life to our baby.
My own relationship with my mother is often fraught, and this played heavily on my mind and made me adamant that I wanted to be the best mother I could be. Pregnancy stirred up so many emotions in me, traumatic memories played out through my dreams and this made much of my pregnancy bitter sweet. But thankfully, once the dwelling had run it's course, I did feel in a much better position to start the journey of motherhood and I am pleased to say our beautiful baby boy was born last January.
Since he was born I have had very little time to contemplate many things. Motherhood seems to be a training on the job type role; a problem arises and you have to either work out how best to fix it, or just let it run it's course. I have always been an incredibly impatient person and I'd like to think that motherhood has improved my ability to trust that each challenge will be overcome, and that sometimes all you can do is be patient.
The support and kindness of others has been a lifesaver, but it took me some time to be confident enough to meet new people. We do not have any family nearby and, since Aneurin was born, I could probably count the times I've been away from him on one hand. Add to this the fact I am only 24, it means that my long time friends are at work when I am at home. I do feel sometimes that if I didn't go out and seek to engage, I could easily be stuck at home alone all day every day just the two of us.
The thing that has surprised me the most about being a mother has been the complete change in my mentality about work and parenting. I actually never imagined getting married, let alone having children but something in my mind changes when I met Neil and we talked about the future. When I left my temporary job on in January 2012, I fully intended to get my career back on track once Nye was 6 months old. I only graduated in 2010 and had started off well, carving our a role for myself in the Charity Sector. It didn't cross my mind that I would want to be at home any longer than I had to be, and sending Nye to nursery seemed what everyone did in London. At 6 months there was no way I was ready to leave him, I had no desire to even find a job because I felt I already had one I was fulfilling. I simply couldn't comprehend not being at home with him, there wasn't even a question in my mind.
I even feel nervous writing that because the idea of choosing to postpone your work life to spend time looking after your child almost seems like you are letting womankind down. But I figure, as long as it's the choice I'm happy to make, I will make and shape my career when the time is right for our family. And like many mothers I am endeavoring to balance being a 'stay at home mum' with starting my own business, but beavering away whilst Nye naps upstairs is hard work.
Put simply, being a mother changes your life, your mind and your body. I don't believe it is humanly possible to articulate the feelings that are conjured up inside you when you become a parent. I am making decisions I never would have even imagined and finding energy that I never knew existed. Seeing Nye smile at me, seeing him watching me and copying me and trying to make me laugh gives me simply the most uplifting and rewarding feeling. That's not to say at 5pm when he is exhausted and frustrated he isn't difficult to cope with. I have to admit most days when Neil steps through the door I breath a sigh of relief as looking after a baby all day is testing on the nerves. But, those moments of happiness are life fulfilling, and motherhood does provide reward and challenge in equal measure of course. But, the pure joy that flows through your whole body is worth it for all the early morning wake ups, the hair pulling, poo wiping and general non stop worrying that has to be suppressed.
I always thought I knew myself and my own mind so well, but there's nothing like a baby to come and change your perspective.
Thanks so much Josie for allowing me to be a part of this series of posts. I've really enjoyed giving myself the time to reflect on being a mother and I have found solace in the other stories that have been shared so far.
No thank you Jenni! I think you've put motherhood into words perfectly something which is definitely not easy to do!
And as ever if you'd like to be featured for a Mothers on Motherhood post just drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.