Child: Nova-Millie, 18 months
Previous blog post: http://www.the-mothers.co.uk/2014/01/elisa-and-nova.html
Life since the last blog post: Crazy, amazing, stressful, beautiful. When Nova was 13 months old I returned to work, and I must admit it’s not been easy juggling motherhood with a career. After some time we’ve found our routine now, but still – every day – I cannot wait to hurry home for cuddles with my little ray of sunshine. Nova is an amazing girl, full of giggles and smiles, and she is a real pleasure to be around. She is a real charmer, too, and gets a lot of attention from everyone she meets, friends or strangers. I love watching her learn new things every day, and Nova has also helped me to be the best I can be: more patient, enjoying the little things – every day. I wish I could spend all my time with her, but I have to admit sometimes it is really nice to be able to enjoy a cuppa at work in peace. At the moment I do not feel there is a lot of room for me-time – it takes a lot to keep the house tidy, look after babba and dog, and work. But I know it won’t be like this forever and one day I will really miss those little arms reaching out for me, and the small sticky fingerprints all over the windows. I wouldn’t change it for all the riches in the world.
Motherhood since last being on the blog: I’ve definitely become more confident as a mother. I think at first you really are sort of lost, but with time you realise it is just a natural thing and you are in charge – you make the decisions that are best for your child, because you know her or him better than anyone else does in the world. And as I already said, Nova has changed me for the better – I want to be a good role model for her.
Has motherhood changed you? Completely. You have a different outlook on life, on everything really. In the past, I didn’t pay that much attention to everything that was going on around me. Now, there is Nova’s future to consider. I’ve become a lot more alert to environmental issues, political issues – I want to make the world a better place for Nova’s sake. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really is true.
Hardest parts of being a mother: The tiredness, and the fact that you have so little time for yourself. Most days I cannot stay up past 9pm, and my friends have been making fun of me when they come over for a glass of wine or to watch a sleep and I’ve fallen asleep on the sofa, again. And everything seems to be a rush – when Nova sleeps I try to whizz through the house, cleaning, washing, preparing meals. My only real time that I have to myself is when I go boxing with my friend twice a week – it’s become a really important thing to me where I get to let off steam and do something for just me. I also find it hard to battle with the constant guilt – do I really put my best effort into everything? Is it ok to be on my iPad for a few moments while Nova is playing by herself? Should I be with her rather than care about a career? Am I being lazy if I give her the pasta dish I made for the second time that day?
Best parts of being a mother: The cuddles, the smiles, the giggles – being loved and needed by this beautiful little person that you have created. Every morning Nova wakes up with a smile. I’m so proud of her for every little achievement she makes – starting to crawl, taking her first steps, saying her first words. She is my world and it makes it all worth it – it is those moments that make you forget everything else.
What you wish you’d known before having children: Everything will be ok.
Nova didn’t crawl until she was 15 months old, and following a horrendous meeting with a health visitor for Nova’s 1 year check up, I walked out of there convinced it was my fault as I hadn’t practiced enough tummy time with her. The health visitor put a lot of negative thoughts in my head, but I soon realised that Nova was just fine and doing things in her own time. Just listen to your gut instinct – you will KNOW when there is something to be concerned about. You are the mum, stick by your guns.
Any more advice for mothers and expectant mums: You will never have this moment with your children again – tomorrow they’ll be a little bit older than they are today. Today is a gift, breathe and notice, smell and hold them, study their faces and little feet. Pay attention to today.