You can’t be a good mother every day

There is an advert on the television at the moment where a lady says “you can’t be a good mother every day”.

Every time I hear her say it a lump pulls hard in my throat. What if I can’t be a good mother any day?

Truth is I have found things really difficult since my second girl was born nearly 6 weeks ago. Eden and I have always been so close, so “attached” and having this stranger come between that touch and interaction has been hard for her and for me.

I guess though, every mother will hear those words “you can’t be a good mother every day” and question if that is enough because we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. And that pressure is exhausting.

It’s a lonely road being a mum. There’s nobody there holding your hand through the decisions we make on a daily basis – what to feed our children, what to dress them in, how to engage them in play and educate them “appropriately”, a million more decisions including massive ones involving their well-being and health and perhaps the hardest one for me at the moment: how to react when they throw the multitude of challenges they throw at us on a daily basis.

I reacted badly today. It tipped over my bulging bucket of mummy guilt because I have reacted badly more times than I care to admit in the 5 weeks and 4 days since Jade was born.

I went to Playcentre in a mess. I saw the smiling faces of the women that have been so kind to me and Eden since we started there a few months ago and the tears streamed uncontrollably down my face. They shared their own stories of struggle, they gave me their empathy-filled cuddles and they took Eden off my hands for a while so I could simply breathe.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I have believed strongly that this is true since falling pregnant a second time and finally allowing some beautiful people into my life. I was so alone through the journey with Eden and all the struggles that came with it. I don’t want to (can’t) do that again.

Reach out. Forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself and find your village. That would be the advice I would give myself if I could go back with the hindsight I have now. Being a mum is hard; whether you have one, two, ten… well ones, unwell ones, quiet angels or little monsters!

Eden went to bed tonight and said the cutting words – “I don’t love you” – as I tried to say goodnight. Can I assume she doesn’t know the significance of this to ease the heavy pain in my heart? Or do I take this as a massive kick up the backside to do better. Or is that falling into that aforementioned trap of putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect. Truth is, I don’t know the answer to that.

What I do know is that I got through today (with help from playcentre, then gran who took her so I could rest and my beautiful sister-in-law who came to play with her before tea; I don’t think I could have got through alone.) I got Eden through (or maybe my village did) and tomorrow is a new day – to not doubt my ability to be a “good mum”, but appreciate that “she” comes in many different “forms”. Yes there are definitely some standard things that make a bad mum, but there are many more and diverse things that make a good mum and we can’t stereotype her to this idea of a woman who can do and be it all (and never get things wrong or fall completely over), it’s unrealistic.

My sister-in-law actually shared the following picture a few days ago that really made me smile. Maybe if you’ve had the day like I have it will make you smile too…..

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You’re doing OK mums ❤

Much Love x x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Beautiful Birth

This post is not about oils, although granted, they did play a part in my birth; as they do all areas of my life!

This post is about the much anticipated day we welcomed a new Angel into our lives. Eden’s little sister. Jade Adia 💚 Born 6:32am, 21st December 2015.

I am sharing this story in support of Homebirth Aotearoa and my midwives, whose calm and unwavering trust in the birthing process allowed me to have the undisturbed birth at home that we dreamed of, and hopefully as inspiration/hope/ strength to women hoping to birth vaginally after c-section. I read so many stories of women being told what their bodies can and can’t do by midwives, obstetricians and other people. I am not doubting they know their stuff or disregarding the small risk (0.05%) associated with birthing vaginally after c-section, but I am very much in support of the natural process of birthing. I believe that a woman’s body is powerful and I am in support of midwives who embrace this power and support it.

My whole state of mind and physical state after my homebirth are so different to after my c-section, after which I struggled physically and mentally for a while. I put this down to my hormones being allowed to work as they should. I am feeling so proud, happy, in love with my beautiful little girl and while the details of my whole homebirthing journey are already  fuzzy (like replaying an old movie in my mind 😉), I hope sharing this story inspires other women to investigate homebirth as an option and helps other vbac mums to have faith in their bodies… You got this!

Saturday 20th December, 2015

Being a little “overdue” (41 weeks), having had some false starts, (including Friday night, all night, with no sleep!) and knowing baby was in a good position, I decided to try some acupuncture to get things going. The first surge came with applying the electrodes to the acupuncture needles in my back! And from thereon they continued; irregularly, but strongly until I decided to try and get some sleep at 8:30pm. That didn’t last long! I was out in the lounge telling my husband at 10pm that I thought we should probably time them, as they were feeling very strong and regular. Having had the false starts he looked unconvinced and said he was actually just about to head to bed! 😉 Timer on I distracted myself with a film on the tv. By 10:30pm we’d tracked a surge every 5 minutes and so I called my lovely midwife, Donna, to check in. We made a plan to track for another half hour, update and then she would know if to come over. She arrived around midnight just as the film finished. My husband was conked out on the couch!

The next few hours were this surreal buzz of non-invasive activity. The pool was filled in our spare room, which I had lovingly transformed into my own “birthing boudoir”, with affirmations hung, crystals, fairy lights and candles. Around the pool being filled with the kettle, hose and pots boiling on the stove, the midwives did their own thing. I was hardly aware they were there! Frankincense diffused into my living room helping me to feel grounded and relaxed. (I had a number of oils prepared to birth [more at the end], but didn’t ultimately use them).

I stopped timing the surges and just managed them as they came with breath. I moved around and changed position a lot, which surprised me because I’d felt so knackered and uncomfortable during that day! At first I listened to music then I turned the music off and continued in silence. That was a little eerie and unsettling. It was like my mind had this space to contemplate and I began to feel anxious about what was to come. I breathed in the frankincense oil deeply, 3 deep grounding breaths between surges and put my hypnobirthing affirmations on my Walkman. That helped a lot to ground me and give me focus. Donna must have heard my breaths getting more vocal and frequent because she suddenly appeared and suggested it was time to get in the pool.

The water was so comforting. All night then I rode the waves of the surges, using breath and sound to manage the sensations as they grew stronger. I had to stay in the now, face each one as it came and not think about the next one because they were becoming more challenging. From thereon things are quite a blur until that startling moment where a surge (that had become increasingly “pushy”) caused a little pop (my waters breaking) and allowed me to clearly feel baby’s head move down. I felt an overwhelming rush of pride (that we’d come this far, that baby had coped so well and that there had been no interventions to this point – just checking baby’s heartbeat!) With each surge now I knew it wouldn’t be long before I held my baby in my arms.

I lost control a bit, my controlled groans/growls became more like screams and I did feel fear, but I tried to trust my body’s process and relax into it, helped by Donna’s touch and reminders to open and soften. And then Jade’s head was there and I could touch it and with the surges that followed out slid the rest of her as I awkwardly tried to bring her up to my chest. Another little girl 😊 So beautiful and perfect.

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Eden saw her sister arrive earthside, as daddy went to wake her. Her expression mimicked everyone else in the room’s, no fear, just happiness and amazement at Jade’s arrival. I have no pictures, so I am just going to have to remember these incredible moments.

Regarding the essential oils that I had on hand for my birth, please see my next newsletter for details of this. Or visit my Shop to view Essential Mum birthing kits.  You can subscribe to my newsletter by dropping me an email to nzessentialmum@gmail.com with the word SUBSCRIBE in the email subject!

Much love x x