Am I the most special Mum in all the world?

” Why don’t you make your blog more  about us – more personal?”

I stared at my husband in shock.

“Really? You want me to write about our life like a diary?”

“Well you don’t have to be exactly truthful,” he replied. “You’d have to describe me always popping off to the gym.”

Interesting. So Tom wouldn’t mind if my blog was a diary if it made him look buff. He does actually go the gym quite regularly, but he also spends time lounging on the couch watching fishing shows. Perhaps I should only write about the edited version of my life… Edited and a little embellished.

So here it is!

Dear gorgeous, lovely ladies who read my blog,

Today was a typically hectic day for our little family. Last night was a little crazy as Eloise went to sleep at 10 past 7. I know! She’s all over the place that girl. I think it all comes down to Tom putting the wrong toys in her bath. She usually only has blue and white. That yellow duck in the bath did nothing to help her wind down routine. Tom’s twice daily gym visits and bulging muscles must be muddling his mind. 

Anyway, after having such a late night, she slept through to 7.30 am. It wasn’t until 8 o’clock that we were both up and sipping our morning smoothies. It took me that long to pick the fresh berries grown on our balcony. Tom was busy in the kitchen checking on our home made yoghurt and the little Princess was practising her baby yoga. Such a cherub!

 I had arranged to meet one of my Mummy friends for coffee at 10. But sadly her baby’s nap was a little early and my darlings nap was a little late so we were both stuck at home. Of course I perfectly understand. You just can’t mess with naps! Who knows what awful things could happen?!

Luckily nothing went wrong for our afternoon plans. You may have heard me talk about my darlings musical ability in the past? I try to tell myself its normal child play – that she isn’t unique, special and talented. But I also know I’m truly blessed to be given this opportunity – this gift that I can cherish.

 A good friend, who appears regularly in productions at Opera Australia, has agreed to come over once a week to tutor her for about an hour. Today he was so captivated he stayed a full two hours.  I sipped a green smoothie on the couch and watched them together. I can’t explain my joy to see my little darling watch him as he sang in Italian  When he had finished she wobbled over and gave his hand a squeeze. Her way of showing she perfectly understood. We snap chatted and instagramed  the moment so its always in my memory.

The little darling went off easily tonight. At 7.10 I was sipping a glass of wine and thinking back to that precious moment. I’m such a special person being a mother to this special, special little girl. I know there are lot’s of other mothers in this world but somehow I feel like I’m the first mother. The only mother. I’m THE mother. I’m special too. I’m just so very special.  xxxxxxxxxxx

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Getting rid of the Mummy Martyr

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Is it just me who sometimes falls into having a victim complex? Sometimes I start thinking I’m a martyr and forget I’m mum.

So I’m at a BBQ and another Mum asks me about how my baby is sleeping. I tell her she is in bed by about 8.30 and usually wakes up twice during the night.

“Mine is in bed by 7,” she replies. “Otherwise he becomes over tired. Actually its great, he’s been sleeping through since 6 weeks.”

My first reaction is to think that this mum is so judgemental. She thinks I’m a bad mum because my baby doesn’t sleep through the night. She thinks she’s so bloody superior!

Well lately I’ve been telling myself to just get over it. I’m not a victim and I should have confidence in myself as a mum. The other mum is probably just proud of her own child. And even if she does think I’m hopeless – who cares?! I know I do my best.

If a mum tells me they adore co-sleeping, it doesn’t mean they think I’m evil for using a cot. If I talk about how I love breastfeeding it doesn’t mean I think mums are bad people if they use formula. It’s great that mums have the freedom to talk about their opinions with each other. I actually love it when a mum is informed and passionate, even if I don’t agree with everything she says.

I don’t want to waste another second worrying about feeling judged. I would hate to pass on insecurities to my daughter. I hope she always does her best, does what she loves and what she know’s is right. Only she can truly judge the integrity of her actions.

So goodbye mummy martyr. I never liked you much anyway.

To blog or not to blog…

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My poor blog has been neglected for far too long. I’ve blamed it on all sorts of things.

It could be my that my baby has morphed into a toddler.  Or perhaps it’s the onslaught of school work I need to get through at the moment. I’ve even blamed it on James Herriot. I’ve found that a comforting chapter of his novels sends me off very nicely to sleep every night. Not that they are boring. It’s just that they are warm, cosy, funny and there is no real overarching plot to keep me reading too long.

However, the most truthful answer is I’d reached blog overload. There are so many voices out there on the net. So much chatting, criticising, pondering, gossiping, boasting, sharing and commenting.

Some voices I love. You can stumble across some truly wise and witty writing.

Some make me despair of human intelligence. Some voices make me long for silence.

Despite my fleeting retreat, I’m going to launch my voice again into the great babble. I started this blog because every English teacher should – in theory – write. I want my students to write so I have to set an example.

I also started this blog to write about the things I love;  books, food, movies and family.

Am I a mummy blogger? I love being a mum but my interests, I hope, spread  beyond the realm of nappies.

I want to join the voices of mums who are forging a unique way into motherhood. Mums who are open to life, whether its convenient or not. I’m no “boutique” Mum. I’m joining the Mums who take on the joys and sufferings of having children with their  hearts ready to have their life turned upside down.

And for this reason I’m still going to blog.

Happy Birthday to my best girl Eloise! She was showered with gifts. I’m slightly smug, and amazed, that her favourite presents were the books. She prefers to read them herself and will spend ages looking through them. I wonder what stories she is imagining…

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Seeing my Baby’s Face

2012-02-08 12.09.17There is something I need to write about. It’s been niggling away in my mind for a while now, but honestly I haven’t had the courage to speak up.

I’m ashamed of my fear. There are those who have no voice – they’re silenced before they have a chance to cry.

Before I was a mother I was fairly ambivalent about the issue of abortion. I listened to both sides and wondered – why the big fuss? Can it really be so important?

And then we found out we were having a baby.

I went along at 7 weeks to have my first ultrasound. On the screen I saw Eloise’s heart beating.

As the weeks progressed, at every appointment, we would listen to that heart beat. It was a powerful beat; the doctor described it as sounding like a galloping horse.

And then at around 19 weeks, two amazing things happened. I started to feel my baby move. At first it was tiny flutters, like Eloise was dancing inside me. Eventually the movements would feel much stronger; there were powerful kicks and rolling around. I could even see my baby moving inside of me. I loved lying on my bed and watching my baby move.

At 19 weeks I went along for another ultrasound. I remember being filled with such excitement; today I was going to see my babies face. You can see Eloise in the ultrasound above. Her arms, legs and head are very clear.

At the ultrasound the nurse counted my babies toes. She had ten toes. Her fingers were counted. She had ten fingers. I tell you these details because somehow they felt so special at the time. It was thrilling to see every toe and finger.

We saw her legs and her little arms. And I saw my babies face for the first time.

As I waited for the end of my pregnancy, my doctor told me that my baby was putting on weight.  He told me I was like a perfect intensive care unit, providing all the needs for my baby before she came into the world.

In Australia babies can be aborted up to 20 weeks of age and sometimes later.

How can we allow this to happen? We are obviously not providing the support to pregnant women that is needed.

I’ve come to realise how important this issue is. In The Screwtape Letters by C. S Lewis he says in every age we are morally confused  We fail to see the real problems with our time. “The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers when there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.”

Since become a Mum I’ve started to feel we are a very morally muddled indeed. Our silence on abortion is truly horrific. The debate should not be over.

7 ways to be a better cook

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We should all be professionals when it comes to cooking – or so I learnt last year.

When Eloise was about 6 weeks old, I somehow made it out of the front door to a cooking course. I had booked this pre-baby in all my naivety – didn’t really believe babies could make you tired…

The chef teaching us was passionate about food. She was soon waving around her sharp knife and trying to turn us eager amateurs, into half decent cooks.

Here are some of the basics we learnt:

1.       Keep your knives  sharp

With sharp knives you can work quickly. “A woman can do a lot of damage with a sharp knife!” the chef said. In a good way.

2.       Scrap bowl

When you start cooking, get out a bowl. Instead of making many messy trips back and forth to the bin, you keep everything neatly in one place and empty it at the end. Seems simple but it really helps!

3.       Keep your chopping board sturdy

Put a wipe or damp tea towel under your board. This keeps everything stable and safe.

4.       Perfect at least ten favourite recipes

Find ten favourite recipes and work on them until they are near perfect. This means you can cook without too much worry, no need for a recipe and the familiarity of the food is quite comforting for those who eat it.

5.       Try new recipes – don’t get stuck in a rut

Favourites are good but try and learn how to cook something new. Explore cook books and ask friends for recipes that you can try.

6.       Present the food well

Food seems to taste better when it looks good. This point is proved when you look at a platter of fruit. It’s far more appetizing when it’s cut up well.

7.       Stay positive

Even if your cake is a little flat, your lasagne not as cheesy you might like, and your steak overcooked –  never say a word. Smile, act as though it’s perfect and you’re sure to fool even the fussiest eater.

Of course, the real challenge now is to keep a very active 9 month old baby entertained while I whiz around pretending to be a master chef!