Tigerlilly Quinn: Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum

Monday, 5 December 2011

Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum


This weeks post comes from my friend Jo, I first came across Jo's blog when she was pregnant with Mersina and was instantly drawn in by her honest and interesting writing style. Reading her blog throughout her pregnancy was an compelling read, navigating pregnancy (and now motherhood) as a single woman I only have the upmost respect for. Since Mersina was born Jo and I have become friends in the 'real world' and it is wonderful to see what an amazing job she is doing raising her daughter. Thanks for sharing Jo! xoxo
 
I was standing in front of the fridge with the baby in my arms, the
other day. She loves it in there. There is stuff everywhere and it's
colourful and strange and textured. I hadn't slept properly in days
and I couldn't find the tomato sauce. I usually put it in the fridge
door but housemate has no sense of order of anything so he moves stuff
around. I got annoyed that it wasn't in the door and then I got angry
and snapped at him - yelling at the other room about putting the
tomato sauce in the wrong place. Mersina looked on unperturbed. She
didn't even flinch. Why would she? For her that was just the way
people communicated, when they couldn't find something they yelled. It
was just a moment but I felt like the most horrible person ever.

What kind of role model was I? I wait for the green man at traffic
lights. I don't swear. I do my best to avoid judgements and try to
behave the way I want her to behave. Lots of love and acceptance and
all the wonderful things that make people feel good. I love the idea
of Buddhism's teachings of loving kindness, equanimity, compassion and
sympathetic joy

and what I have found out since having a baby is that it's not as easy
as I thought it would be.

I still get annoyed at silly things. Her father and I still have
trouble communicating. My housemate and I have pretty much the same
issues as we used to have.
I don't think people change as much as they think they will. Nothing
gets magically better. I thought it would, for a while. I thought that
my little love story, born on Valentine's Day, would make everything
ok, would make everything better. I was wrong. She didn't change
anything that already existed. Instead, she brought us a lot of new
love, happiness and joy.

My housemate, (her godfather) and I have started a bit of a tradition
where at the end of the day we talk about all the amazing things she
does. How she points with both fingers and goes AAAAAAAH! How she
hooks a finger into your lip and pulls. How she slaps both hands over
and over on your face while screaming with joy. She loves the
recycling, the dvds and her toy box. She picks out each item
individually, looks at it, places it down next to her and then picks
out the next item. She plows through her toy box taking everything
out. For a while she became enraged with the yellow Frasier DVD box
set for season six and I would have to take it away from her as soon
as she started crying. She has started hiding behind jumpers and
jackets and gets excited when we find her as soon as she lowers the
clothes again.

She loves bouncing, she likes exploring and crawls everywhere trying
to find new things. She has woken with a smile on her face since she
was able to smile. She giggles and laughs and loves computers. She
loves people and especially other babies. When she wants something she
tries to grab it and when she doesn't get it she lets us know. She is
happy and bright and wonderful and cuddly and so full of joy that she
is one huge motivation for living the way I want to live and said I
would live.

It's not easy because people don't stop being how they've always been.
It feels strange saying that it's difficult to choose happiness over
anger and annoyance but it's true. Sometimes the toughest thing is to
not sweat the small stuff. I am watching Children in Need as I write
this and it puts things into perspective as do all the stories in the
newspapers about children being hurt in any way. She makes me very
grateful and very determined. Those are my biggest lessons since
becoming a mother, I always have something about which I can be
grateful and I have a lot more determination.

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