* What do you love about being a mum?
I love the true sense of purpose being a mum has brought to my life. It’s like having a door open to a whole other part of yourself… I love watching them learn and grow, seeing the world and it’s magic and beauty through their eyes gives me a new sense of wonder about it. Having these little boys who look up to me and love me so much, makes me strive to be a better version of me.
* What is the hardest thing about being a mum?
The relentlessness… the ongoing, constant needs & desires put on you by little people can, for me, at times not only be overwhelming but suffocating. Prioritising myself, my self care, looking after me is also hard to balance.
* How was your birth experience? Would you have changed anything looking back now?
My first birth was very drawn out and long (46 hrs from my waters breaking until my son was born), there were lots of medical interventions and I very much felt it was a medical procedure I was just a part of. I hemorrhaged post birth and lost lots of blood, in itself making recovery and those first few weeks with a newborn really hard for me.
The second time around I embraced hypnobirthing and really committed to the concept of this being a normal and natural process and not something I needed “help” to do, but rather support. I completely changed my birthing team and even wanted to try a home birth but I was told it was too dangerous in my context having lost so much blood last time around. The drive to the hospital and the line being put in (as part of a precaution in case I needed a transfusion) where the most painful and difficult parts of my labour…
My second labour was a beautiful and dare I even say it, enjoyable experience for both my husband and I. We laughed and joked (things I had heard helped with labour first time round but couldn’t ever understand how it would be possible given my first experience) and it was honoured as something I was more than capable of doing, that my body was designed to do. And man, what a world of difference that made! I have shared my birth story and other aspects of these things on my blog if you are interested in reading –www.babywearingwithjess.com
* What do you remember about those first newborn moments, days and weeks?
The love. That overwhelming, head over heels, watch you while you sleep kind of love. I didn’t anticipate first time round how much I would truly feel like a part of my heart was now outside myself after having kids. And the second time around, I wasn’t sure I would have the same “love”, but the second my youngest son was born, it felt like my heart split open and grew so much bigger. Watching my eldest really soak in that there was a whole new life in our house (after the initial tantrum and shock wearing off), he was holding his new brothers hand, studying his features, both of them sitting in my lap and my eldest son looked up at me, “he’s our baby?” With happy, loved up, post birth hormones raging tears streaming down my cheeks, “yes he is” I said. “Hello baby brother” he said stroking his cheek.
I had worried so much about not having one on one time with my second like I did my first, that having another person to look after took attention away from my eldest, all those things you feel guilty about, I did. But I never stopped to think about that my youngest got something special that my eldest never did as a baby, a whole extra person invested in his life. While they now bash each other up sometimes, my overwhelming memory of the newborn stage this time round was just all about love…
* What challenges have you faced being a mum?
Balance? We all struggle with that though right?! My eldest son having ENT issues and needing a big operation earlier in the year was really hard on all of us. Tonsils & adenoids operations are bloody sore at any age but seeing my tiny kid get put under a general anaesthetic again and then pumped full of adult doses of morphine was hard on my me too. Then trying to juggle being completely there for him for the horrible three weeks of hell that followed where he would wake up screaming and trying to run away from the pain as he thought someone was inflicting it on him in that moment, while also, trying to meet a six month old boob monsters needs was one of my hardest challenges as a parent so far.
That and now we have a very mobile eleven month old who just wants to play with his big brother and a 3.5 year old who has been used to having everything just for him… I am now constantly part referee and part bodyguard as well as “mum”… This stage is hard
* What advice would you give to your pregnant self?
Not to try and anticipate the issues that change with adding a new person into your family. None of those things I tossed and turned over, worrying about when pregnant, were issues at all and the things that were the hardest, were things I had never thought to consider… I would also encourage pregnant me to the spent more time pampering me and celebrating the whole process… I love the idea of the Mother Blessing ceremony and would definitely love to do something like that if there is a next time.
* What fills your time besides motherhood? Work, Study, Volunteering etc.
I am an active Playcentre mum and office holder in my centre so half the week I am usually covered in paint and sand, teaching my child through play in an awesome setting with other like minded parents. That also obviously comes with also attending meetings, doing office work occasionally and participating in training and upskilling myself to be a better teacher to our tamariki.
The other half the week, I juggle a whole lot of different “baskets” of work… I manage a couple of rental properties, occasionally (very rarely these days!) I still do some freelance consulting work in HR or social media for businesses which was my focus before having kids. I am also in the processes of setting up my own business and completing certification training to become a babywearing consultant. I have a library for hire I am working on building up, social media presence and currently a lot of my ramblings can be found on my blog. My aim is to help parents have an easier introduction or understanding of the world of babywearing and to help empower them to find the best babywearing solution for them as the range and variety available is overwhelming for most and a great solution is very much dependant on the needs, preferences and fit of the individual.
* What is your passion/ Fills up your cup/ Makes you feel whole?
My family, my friends, my “village” help me feel whole… I kind of try to live passionately in lots of ways, to be honest, if I’m not passionate about something, I generally don’t have much time for it… our garden, growing food, our animals, walking in the bush particularly, playing with kids (not just mine but obviously they are my favourites) I love their enthusiasm and excitement, the way they really truly live in the moment, and their sense of wonder… Those are all things that ‘fill my cup’… but then there are some things that I am passionate about I don’t as often indulge in at this stage of my life as it would be too draining for me alongside this current context; both my husband and I have done a lot of political campaigning for law reform in a number of areas, before having our eldest, we were involved in pressing for the government to take “online issues” like cyberbullying more seriously. Oh and babywearing, I am totally obsessed with babywearing haha ? I decided to become a consultant, with a lot of encouragement from some mummy friends of mine, partly because I never wanted to have to destash and loved the idea that I had an excuse to further build my collection.. Plus I can’t keep having babies forever so I can wear them! This way I might be able to get my fix of squish cuddles for years yet without having to produce them all myself!! ?
* Anything else you would like to share?
I would love support with my future babywearing endeavours in the form of liking and sharing my page of course, but more than that, I often struggle to imagine which questions or aspects of babywearing people might want to know more about, so if you have a question or some feedback, I’d love you to share it with me! Find me on Facebook, Instagram or shoot me an email.
[Original source found at http://mummalove.weebly.com/1/post/2016/05/mumma-in-the-spotlight-9516.html]