This is Lexi (my sister's baby)
This time last month all my sister had to worry about was herself. Just her. And after a few hours of labour.....which she completely owned by the way, she suddenly has this little human being that instantly means more to her now than she ever thought was possible. Her life changed instantly, from the moment her baby daughter was born. That little bundle of 8lb 9oz of dark haired joy that she has to live for and now sees as the centre of her universe is everything to her. This is an incredible change in her life and one to be celebrated. But as much as she is rejoicing at the creation of this little being, she is also very realistic at the hard work it takes to keep this little Bean in the manner of which she is accustomed to, previously in the womb....well fed, warm and loved.
So, whilst my sister shares various cutesy photos of her new born child with us all and photos of herself looking as fabulous as ever......she also sends me the not so cutesy ones and funny little videos of her new born baby making strange faces or a photo of herself without make up on, looking exhausted but ultimately happy as she ever could be because she's holding her whole life in her arms. To be a Mother, you don't have to be able to "do it all" to be a successful parent and woman. You don't have to be a Master Chef, super housewife and Top Executive glass ceiling breaker extraordinaire to call yourself a successful Mother. To that end, I am here today to salute my sister, my sister-in-law, my own wee Mummy and all the Mother's out there for doing everything they can to be a good parent; but are accepting of the fact that they won't always get it right or do it like all these "Super Mom" blogs, YouTube channels and magazines that say you must attain a certain amount of success to be a real Mother. I am sorry, but they sometimes set unrealistic goals and promote impractical practices on new Mother's who already find themselves in an overwhelming and emotional situation. I'm not saying every Social Media outlet or Magazine does this, but a lot of them do. I think in this day and age, there is a lot of pressure on women to somehow "have it all" and get it right at every turn. But sometimes, getting a 2 minute shower amongst baby feeding, nappy changing and burping is an achievement in itself. So, don't be too hard on yourselves ladies if the wash basket is over flowing or there's a dust ball forming in the corner of your living room. That is just stuff! And stuff gets done as and when it can.
So I write this post today to salute all the Mothers of the world who keep it real. Who know that Motherhood is hard but they tough it out because they've created this little spectacular being who they love and will worry about for the rest of their lives.
To my own wee Mummy, who wanted to be a Mother from she was no age....I love you and admire you. You have successfully raised (and let's face it....are still raising) 5 children. And yes, you've told me many a time that as the first born I was the guinea pig and test subject in your new venture as a Mother. But someone had to be and I wouldn't swap my position as the first born child for anything. I had an awesome upbringing and love being the oldest so I can spoil my siblings when I can. So, maybe you didn't realise that as soon as I was able to walk that you had to watch me like a hawk otherwise I'd be away up into the fields on my own trying to chase cows......I'm still alive today, regardless of my dangerous toddler adventures! You've shown me that being a Mother is a full time job and no matter what age your children are or how much they tower over you in height (where did our height come from woman?), we are all still your babies and you'll love us and worry about us until the end of time.
To my wonderful sister, who is realistic about being a Mother and knows that sometimes it won't be all cuteness and light. I love you, respect you and am so proud of you. You recently sent me a photo of your newborn baby girl, wrapped up in a pastel coloured towel looking all cute with her fluffy dark hair, just after her bath. It was beautiful. But you also admitted what really went down just to get that photo. We ohh and we ahhh, but the carnage in the background was real and she had no issues with admitting it either. Yes, her little daughter wee'd all over her Daddy and then poo'd in said pastel towel whilst Daddy accidentally flooded the bathroom. THAT is real and being a parent.....and you are awesome for admitting it. Although, I know you wouldn't swap this new mess and carnage for anything in this world.
To the Mother who's hair looks a mess and can't remember the last time you ran a brush through it.....So what! You made that little bundle of beautiful joy lying in your arms....no one can compete with that.
To the Mother who's bathroom hasn't been cleaned and you've lived on Super Noodles for a week.......your child has been fed, watered, bathed and clothed. You are fantastic.
To the Mother who wants to bury her head under her pillow because her baby has just started screaming for a feed.....just as she herself is closing her own exhausted eyes for the first time in days.....you are stronger than you know.
To the Mother who thinks she's somehow a bad Mother because she either can't breast feed or doesn't want to breast feed. They are your boobs and no one should dictate to you how you use them. Is your child fed and content? Of course. You are a brilliant Mother and don't let any nurse, news article or blog post tell you otherwise.
To the Mother who feels a great sense of achievement when she finally pulls out that gross little booger that has been hiding in her baby's nose......Good for you! It's not easy or glamorous picking someone else's nose but it has to be done. It's the little victories that keep you going.
To the Mother that let's out a joyful "Woowhoo" when her baby finally lets rip of a massive burp after being winded for 20 minutes straight. Who knew that a burp could bring so much joy but it actually does.
To the Mother who sneaks a peek at her phone to quickly check on her twitter or facebook page when her kid is off playing on the jungle gym (but is still within eyes and ear shot). There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself a little internet time.....there are only so many photos or videos you can take of your kid going down the same slide, time and time again.
To the Mother who tells her baby sitter that she has an important hospital appointment to attend but really goes home to sleep for two hours....good on you girl, don't you feel one bit guilty. Sleep is a rare and beautiful thing when you are a Mother. And for you to be a good Mother, you need to see to your own needs too from time to time. So off to the land of nod you go, guilt free.
To the Mother that cries uncontrollably because her baby is crying for her bottle......and the damn thing is still too warm.....you cry as much as you want. What ever happened to the days of pre-made bottles sitting all ready and waiting in the fridge? If you want to cry because your baby is crying for a bottle that is still too warm, you go for it.
To the Mother that guiltily skulks into MacDonald's and buys their toddler a MacFlurry, just to keep them entertained for the 20 min drive home. Don't feel bad........it's one ice cream for 20 mins of silence and it's not like you do it every day.
To the Mother that cried leaving their toddler off to pre-school for the first time, but soon began to enjoy those few hours to themselves whilst their toddler was at school......don't feel guilty. You are entitled to a little "Me time" too. You are still you, even as a Mother.
To all the Mother's out there who, despite all the messiness, lack of sleep and hit to personal grooming, manage to put every ounce of energy they have to keeping the little person they created, happy, healthy and loved regardless of how hard it can be sometimes, this blog post is for you. Because every smile, giggle, kiss and hug is worth all of the hard work and stress. You are strong, beautiful and powerful even when your hair roots are showing and you're wearing a t-shirt for the 2nd day in a row that is covered in baby sick. YOU ARE AMAZING.