Browsed by
Category: Motherhood

Why I Love My Identity As A Mother and I’m Happy Being Defined By It

Why I Love My Identity As A Mother and I’m Happy Being Defined By It

The transition into motherhood is one that no one can prepare you for; emotionally, mentally or physically. Your list of priorities has changed; everything you do now is for someone else. With every decision you make, big or small, there is another life, opinions and feelings to consider. It can feel like you live in a constant cycle of feeding, nappies and naps during those first few months and life in the years after is defined by snacks, school runs, questions, homework, snacks, cooking dinner, developing negotiation skills, snacks, repeating yourself non-stop until you’re listened to and preparing snacks.

Did I mention snacks? Seriously, it’s probably the word I’ve heard the most in 2019 so far.

All I wanted to do after both my boys were born, was stare at them, cuddle them and pinch their little cheeks. I might have been constantly covered in regurgitated milk, have a dreadlock in my hair or not be able to remember the last time I had a hot cup of tea, but I was content. It would be easy to think that a new mum might have ‘lost’ part of her former self when she looks different on the outside; but I enjoy make-up free days when I’m not at work and I live in an easy jeans / t-shirt / jumper combo a lot of the time, because I want to. These aren’t things that define me or my identity, now or previously. We’re all more than the clothes that adorn our bodies.

It can be hard to accept your main role now being one that involves spreading nappy rash cream rather than spreadsheets.

Do I miss being able to pee without someone opening the door? Absolutely. Eat a snack without being interrogated? Yes please. Watch Hollyoaks without someone flying across the room pretending to be a Pokemon? That would be great. But these changes are all trivial things. Women with high-flying careers, who travel the world and spend their weekends propping up a bar, might mourn their old lives once they’ve started a family as the media would suggest. They might not be able to work and travel like they used to, or have to think about the consequences of a night-out and looking after their child whilst suffering a two-day hangover; but they are never things I had or wanted. I can see how some women might miss their ‘old life’ when they become a parent, as it’s so different to what they’ve always known. It can be hard to accept your main role now being one that involves spreading nappy rash cream rather than spreadsheets.

However, I’ve never been particularly career-driven. There was always one thing I wanted to be though; a mum. For me, life was growing up, getting married and having children. That might be old-fashioned, traditional or outdated, but it’s the path I wanted to take.

Some mothers who have had to change or lose their career might feel like they’ve lost a big part of themselves that they might never get back and don’t want to be defined as ‘just’ a mum and nothing else, but I waited and wanted to be defined as a mother. I feel like I’ve found part of myself over the last seven years, since having Big B. I can almost hear the eyerolls as I type that, but it’s true. I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything.

Is there more to life than parenting? Yes, I don’t doubt it. But right now, it makes me feel content. And in a world where we are told you can have your cake and eat it too, where you don’t have to be ‘just a mum’ and you can have a career too, it can feel like mothers who don’t want that right now, are looked down on for not wanting more. And yet if you’re a working mum, carving a career for herself, there will be people frowing at you for that too!

But I’m happy with ‘mum’ being my identity, because there’s more to me than that, in the same way that there’s more to someone who defines themselves as a businessman or photographer or beautician. We are not just our ‘job’. We all have interests or conversations outside of parenthood or our careers and enjoy child-free time or time with loved ones.

And so I’m happy to define myself as a “mother”. It’s something I’ll always be, even when my babies aren’t babies. My time to eat my cake will come, whether that’s tomorrow, or in a year or in five. Right now I’m just savouring my cake and not rushing to eat it.

(Which makes a refreshing change to be honest, because damn I love cake.)

Welcome to the World, Little B

Welcome to the World, Little B

On Tuesday 2nd October at 21:11, my world changed again when I gave birth to another beautiful, baby boy.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@helloaimeemarie) then you’ll have seen him already on my stories and my profile, so his arrival won’t be news to you! In fact, I started this post ages ago, but I was interrupted before I could finish it.  The story of my life right now!  I thought, “Ooh, I’ll finish that tonight” and well, here we are nearly four weeks later. Oops.

Little B is six weeks old now.  As cliched as it may sound, it feels like he has always been here.  Life before him, though still memorable, seems distant  (as does a full nights sleep.) Needless to say, we are all absolutely besotted with him!  I can’t believe how much he’s changed in this short time. We’ve learnt so much about this brand new human already, quirks and all.

Less than a day old Newborn cuddles

Upcoming posts and videos

If you’ve read anything about my pregnancy, you’ll know the end of it draggedBeing overdue is not fun!  Subsequently, I’ve dragged my heels a little with my content.  Despite wanting to film and write,  I still have a few pregnancy posts to complete and videos to edit, such as ‘What’s in my hospital bag’ and a chatty one about the labour and birth itself.  They will be available shortly, as I try to get bits done while he naps!

Heavily Pregnant & Overdue

Heavily Pregnant & Overdue

He’s been in my life for 41 weeks and 2 days now. That’s pretty much 9 and 1/2 months of growing a human from a teeny, tiny cell; nearly 6936 hours of carrying him with me everywhere I go.  1 week and 2 days of being officially overdue.

It’s come as no surprise that Little B is still firmly tucked away.  I was overdue by a whopping 12 days with Big B, so I think I knew that he would keep me waiting too. It’s hard not to accept some false hope though, when friends, other mums and even strangers exclaim that you’ll be early, because of the size of your bump (yes, really!)

At over a week past his due date, Little B is fully-baked.  That means I’m second-guessing every ache in my back, twinge or the tiniest cramp. Every night I put my son to bed, I wonder if he’ll wake up in the morning as an official big brother. Every kiss goodbye at the school gate in the morning, I question if it’ll be me picking him up that day, or will it be an emergency phone call to Nanny to collect him instead?

Read More Read More

16 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

16 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

I’m 39 weeks into my second pregnancy now, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about carrying a child and all the things that can happen, that no-one really tells you about!

I feel like I should make a little disclaimer if you’re a first-time mum reading this; pregnancy is a journey and it’s different for everyone. For me, I LOVE being pregnant. For all the little, funny, perhaps less enjoyable things I’m about to tell you about, there’s nothing like growing and carrying your child. A small human being that you’ve made! It’s special and honestly, seems like a miracle at times. So, I guess what I’m saying is – don’t let this put you off!

Read More Read More

I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

At the beginning of the year, we found out that we’re expecting baby number two this autumn! The first trimester has involved being tired, queasy and very much focused on growing a human being. Some days I’ve barely had the energy to peel myself off of the sofa and away from Netflix, let alone exercise my brain and put a post together that makes sense, which explains the unannounced hiatus I’ve taken here ever since, too.

I’m now at 21 weeks and— I hope— past the worst of the sickness and exhaustion. I can’t quite believe we are already half way. So far, it’s definitely going quicker this time around; I’m not sure why, but it’s absolutely zoomed by, despite feeling as rough as I did in the early weeks!

___

We are all thrilled to be expecting a little baby to complete our family this September. Myself and Ashley have always wanted a second child, when the time was right for us. B has longed for a baby brother or sister for a long time too; in fact, for the last year or so, he has talked about “When I have a baby brother or sister…” frequently, so he is absolutely ecstatic now that it’s on the cards!

There were fist pumps and big grins when we took him for dinner and showed him the scan photo at 13 weeks, to let him know that he was going to be a big brother. He is already so in love with ‘Twinkie’ (as he has affectionately nicknamed him/her) and regularly likes to talk to my bump, kiss it and feel for kicks. He’s six now and is very much in tune with what’s happening; I’m so glad we waited until he was a little bit older. He’s already talking about all the things he wants to do with his sibling, from helping me feed and bathe them, to sharing toys when they’re older. Naturally, I’m sure the novelty will wear off slightly once they’re here and he realises that they’ll demand a lot of my time (and cry and poop a lot) but I think he’s going to be the best big brother, ever and I’m already so proud of how he’s been looking after me and understanding the situation.

___

I’ve had no consistent cravings during the first trimester and beyond, but a lot of the things so far that I have been fancying, have been beige. Fish and chip shop chips; chicken chow mein; egg mayo on a baked potato; salt & vinegar rice cakes; Wotsits; and specifically, my mum’s roast potatoes on a Sunday afternoon, with mint sauce.  No imitations will do!  Over the past month, my appetite has improved as the morning sickness has subsided and I’m back to eating a rainbow of colours, which I’m sure my body is very happy about.  The only thing I do have an aversion to still, is tea.  A good milky brew is something I usually love, so it’s very hard to get my head around that it just doesn’t taste right, right now.  I’ve really fancied iced coffee over the last fortnight, so perhaps I’m a coffee drinker now?

I have been documenting my pregnancy so far for my YouTube channel, where you can hear more about the trials and tribulations of my first trimester and the following weeks!

 

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

We’ve been doing this whole school thing for approximately six months now and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in that time, it’s that children rarely give anything more than one-word answers about their school day.

I’ll pick B up from his grandparents after school and our conversation will usually go something like this:
Me: How was your day?
B: Good.
Me: What did you do today?
B: I can’t remember… And don’t say ‘But you’ve only just got out of school’ because I haven’t, silly!

He’s too smart. (And sassy.)

Their attention span may be short, but five year-old’s can hold on to more information about their school day than we give them credit for; there are an abundance of things that B will talk about regularly that have happened months ago.  And if it’s something he’s excited about, the boy will chew your ear off for a good hour on one subject (and his favourite thing at the moment? Bullet trains.) However five year-old’s can also be super lazy. I’ve found I can get much more conversation out of my son if the questions I ask him are little more direct, to spark further conversation.

Questions to ask about the school day

  • Who did you play with at break time?
  • What games did you play in class?
  • Did anyone make you laugh?
  • Tell me about something you learnt.
  • Did you learn any new letters / words / diagraphs today?
  • What did you eat for lunch? Who did you sit with?
  • Tell me about the best part of your day.

I try to vary what I ask or how I phrase the question, otherwise B is too smart and will always second guess what I’m going to ask him at the end of the school day!

A Cold & Frosty Morning

A Cold & Frosty Morning

So far, 2017, has had more than a frosty morning or two. We’ve had short, dark days. Days where it’s so cold that my car engine just says, “Not today, thank you.” Days where I’m not even sure the sun made it’s way into the sky! It hasn’t been a terrible start or any different to the beginning of previous years in the UK, but I guess I always forget how grim winter is, until I’m living it.

However, it’s also been party central in our household. And I don’t mean myself or Ashley demolishing a few bottles of wine, or debauched nights out out. I mean our son; our four-year old son who has a better social life than us.

Excellent.

There are classmates that he mentions regularly and seeing the way he interacts with his peers, is something I adore. It’s lovely to see for myself, the friendships that B’s formed since he started to school and it’s not something I get to see all that often.  Working full-time means I’m not always there waiting for him at the school gate or interacting with other parents, so kids parties are a great way for me to put names to adult faces too!

I’ve come to realise, that amidst all the socialising, sometimes, you just need a bit of mummy-and-son time. It’s these little, seemingly insignificant times away from it all, that make up the bigger picture and create memories.

A Frosty Morning Date in the Park

B was given this bubblegun months ago, when a family friend was clearing out her cupboards at home. She said he could give it to his school, who were collecting bits for the Christmas fair at the time, or keep it for himself he really wanted to. If you’re going to give a child a choice like that, it’s only going to end one way. And so naturally, he chose the latter!

On our first party-free weekend of the year, we ventured to our local park. It’s a bit of a hidden gem and is nearly always empty. It was cold. And it was a frosty morning. The bubble solution ran out quicker than you could say, “Stop just shooting bubbles at the floor!” But he didn’t care. And he was having so much fun running around being a superhero, that neither did I. We even discovered some woods that we didn’t know where there— something we’re planning to return to and explore at another time!