Children: Lukas, 4 and Isaac, 2
Previous blog entry: https://the-mothers.co.uk/2015/12/16/ciara-and-lukas/
Life since the last post: The past three-plus years have been a sleep-deprived blur of breastfeeding, tantrums, major house refurbishment, the juggle of work, home and parenting with limited childcare and trying to maintain some sense of self.
Motherhood since the last post: Isaac arrived when Lukas was 22 months old and the six months after he started crawling was my personal Summer of hell, when I couldn’t turn my back without him being whacked by his big brother.
I really struggled not to lose my temper multiple times a day and found it very hard to find a gentle but effective way to discipline a child who was still so young. At my lowest point, I got my diary out and counted the days until our three-year-old funded childcare kicked in: about 150 days later.
My youngest was 16 months old by the time we used any formal childcare for his brother – no wonder I was losing my mind with two little ones at home with me virtually every day! Things improved hugely as Lukas got to three and learned to manage his emotions better (maybe I did too?!), and the boys are now as thick as thieves, which is lovely to see.
There have of course been lots of laughs along the way, and with the baby stage now well behind us I finally feel I am coming up for air and able to think about myself a little more.
Has motherhood changed you? I don’t believe it has changed me that much – I just have hardly any time to indulge my interests. On the positive side, I am trying (and occasionally succeeding) to be a more patient person. And it’s definitely made me much more thoughtful – and vocal – about my feminism as I want to raise progressive boys.
Has your perspective on work changed since becoming a mother?If anything, becoming a mother has made my work matter more to me than ever. It’s still pretty challenging at the moment as I only get seven hours a week of child-free time. I don’t want to wish this time away but I am looking forward to my kids doing regular school hours and giving me a little more breathing space on that front. The past four years have underlined how important my work is to me and how frustrated I become when I’m not doing anything creative.
Hardest parts of being a mother:The lack of headspace. I have days when I struggle to make a phone call or send a single email without being pulled away from what I’m doing.
Best parts of being a mother: The hugs, reading stories together and their insatiable thirst for knowledge. I am really enjoying seeing Lukas start to sound out his first words – there’s something magical about this.
The bond the boys share – the quiet little hugs they sometimes give each other melt my heart.
What you wish you’d known before having children:I knew it would be tiring but I had no real understanding of how all-consuming small children can be. They are time hoovers.
Any more advice for mothers and expectant mums:When things are tough I try to keep in mind the mantra: “All things will pass.” Everything is temporary.