Becoming a MUMME is probably THE MOST amazing journey of your life. You are thrown straight into the deep end. The world around you changes the moment you meet your precious bundle of joy. From the way you think, the way you feel to the way you view the world. Your priorities change, your focus changes. Your lense has changed forever as you have now experienced and witnessed the most amazing creation…the GIFT OF LIFE.
Once I became a mumme I felt the greatest love as well as an intense sense of responsibility and vulnerability. My little one was dependent on me for everything. I wanted to give my son the world and offer him every opportunity to grow and flourish. I wanted to make the right decisions for him and ensure he grew up a well rounded, happy and healthy boy.
However, somewhere along the way I started to feel the pressure to ‘GET IT RIGHT’ all the time and the fear of screwing it up (and screwing him up!) was weighing me down. This was about the time where I started to lose a little part of me. The part that knew what was best for my child, my intuitive side, my sense of knowing what was right. I started to look outside myself for the answers and this only made me more confused and uncertain of what was right. I was putting an immense amount of pressure on myself to do it all and try and cope with it all on my own. I felt distant like I was just getting by as I dealt with the struggles of a sleepless baby and one sleep deprived mumme.
Looking back now I realise that I needed to LET GO a little. Let go of the rules, let go of the pressure I was putting on myself and my son to be a certain way. Live in the moment, go with the flow, enjoying my son no matter how my day or night played out. He was still thriving in other areas he just struggled to get to sleep and needed support which made it an exhausting time.
It did change and we did turn a corner eventually but when I was in that bubble I felt like there was no end in sight. My husband would always say he didn’t want to sleep because he wanted to be with his mumme. That was endearing but not exactly what I wanted to hear!
I wanted some predictability, a sense of knowing how my day would unfold, but my son had other plans for me. This feeling of uncertainty challenged me. The OVERWHELM and STRESS I experienced was because there was a gap between my expectations and my reality. How I wanted my son to be and what was actually going on. Once I LET GO of some of my expectations and SHIFTED MY FOCUS on how GRATEFUL I was to be a mumme and have a happy healthy boy my OUTLOOK gradually CHANGED. It did take time to build this muscle and I am a work in progress but I have learnt to let go a little quicker nowadays, go with the flow and enjoy each precious moment for what it is.
My son is very good at pleading his case (negotiating skills of a THREEnager) as to why he should watch another show, why he should go to bed in 5 minutes not now OR why he’s still hungry and can’t go to bed as he needs food. At times he may even have a point which leaves me baffled. Often in these moments I feel my inner being sway from side to side like a tree branch swaying in the wind. I know I need to BE CONSISTENT and do as I say but sometimes it can be challenging to lay down the law when I see this cute little face staring up at me, with the bottom lip out pleading for more of anything!
My heart naturally wants to give him what he wants but my head battles for control of the situation and what I SHOULD be doing. The struggle between doing what is right or just letting it ride and giving him another moment of joy (though my head tells me I shouldn’t give in!).
What I have come to realise along my mumme journey is that life is not so black or white….sometimes you just have to make a judgement call and bend the rules a little. Sometimes I need to tighten the reigns and sometimes I need to loosen them. It is a BALANCING ACT!
When I had my second child I had to unlearn practically all the rules I had set up for my first child.
My son was addicted to the dummy so I disposed of all dummies at around 7 months…as he was waking every 30 minutes when the dummy fell out of his mouth calling for me to pop it right back in (not going to happen! ) Whereas my daughter is hit or miss with the dummy, sometimes she wants it sometimes she doesn’t. I am also able to feed her to sleep (a no no in most baby books), pop her straight down to bed and she will settle herself. I can also look her into her eyes and say goodnight at bedtime. Whereas with my son I would have to look away and avoid eye contact or he thought it was party time!
Having 2 very different children and 2 very different experiences has really helped me learn and unlearn so many lessons. LETTING GO IS A SKILL I have had to learn, and ANYONE CAN DO IT.
As with most things in life adopting an 80/20 Rule/way of living, can really give you the balance you need. Being consistent and in routine 80% of the time will give your child that security and sense of balance they need to thrive and then for the remaining 20% of the time bend the rules sometimes, be unpredictable, go out for dinner, stay up late, get out of your comfort zone, be creative or let go of a rule that isn’t working! Whatever it is have a tonne of FUN with it. Now I am not saying don’t be consistent or follow through with what you have said but sometimes you need to pick your battles and weigh up whether this is a non negotiable or can you bend it a little.
We all know too well that our children grow up WAY TOO FAST and savouring and creating magic moments will be the lasting memories you remember and cling onto.
LEARNING TO LET GO is one of the hardest lessons that has challenged me on so many levels as a mumme. I love routine, I love order and organisation. Adding 2 small children into my life certainly disrupted my flow at the start and big changes were evident. I have gradually found my groove and my new way of being. I manage to roll with things a little better, have more fun, embrace the messiness of life with kids, see the funny side in the most frustrating or craziest of times and NOT RESIST the mayhem!
By letting go of the way I think it should be, I have opened up a new world. I have the power to turn around any moment that is not going the way I had planned, see it from a different viewpoint and embrace it. My children are my greatest teachers and I am certainly learning from them everyday!
5 MUMME TIPS TO HELP YOU LET GO, MOVE ON…AND GIVE YOU FREEDOM!
1. ACKNOWLEDGE & GAIN INSIGHT INTO WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW…can you continue this way or do you need to step up/change/decide/let go/move on? WHY do you need to let go etc? Is your mumme intuition whispering in your ear? GET QUIET, LOOK WITHIN & LISTEN…(your insights are the first step to giving you power to change and let go of what is not serving you, your child/children and/or your family anymore).
2. TAKE A FEW STEPS BACK…what is really going on? What is your reality and what are your expectations? Is there a gap? Are having unrealistic expectations? Is the situation/scenario etc really about something else? It is triggering something in you? BREAK IT DOWN and see it for what it really is…without judgement or bias.
3. CHANGE YOUR LENSE...see the problem/challenge/overwhelm/stress with FRESH EYES…focus on what you CAN CONTROL and CHANGE IT. If you can’t change something you don’t like then change the way you THINK about it. NOW Take ACTION! Take the necessary steps towards change/decision/letting go/moving on.
4. INJECT A TONNE OF LOVE & GRATITUDE INTO WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW & for the courage, trust and self love you have embraced to let go and move forward.
What are you grateful for? What have you gained? FILL UP YOUR HEART with moments/memories of love and gratitude. REFLECT, RELIVE & FEEL THESE MAGIC MOMENTS and be proud of how far you have come. Let the happiness within you overflow.
5. LEARN FROM LETTING GO...what lessons can I learn from this experience? What have I learnt about myself and my strength?
Remember, if you are feeling stuck in a rut, or struggling to maintain a routine, MIX IT UP, keep it fresh, be creative, add new elements. IF IT ISN’T WORKING CHANGE IT! Create the life YOU want & BE the MUMME you want to be with every choice/decision/move you make.
Now over to you…I would love to hear from you! YES YOU!
What things have you had to let go of on your mumme journey? What has challenged you? What have you struggled to let go of and what has letting go given back to you and your life?
Share YOUR story, YOUR insights and we can all learn from each other as we ride this amazing mumme journey together!
love n life