Wednesday, 18 November 2015

memories of being a young mum

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

As I look at my grown and flown adult children, I have moments where I slip back in time and think about them when they were little and how naive I was as a new mum. I'm a fairly logical and ordered person and I assumed parenting would be a straightforward exercise of a + b = c. In other words, love + discipline = perfect offspring. Little did I know......

As babies

I remember having our first child - a big, bouncing 11lb (yes you read it right ELEVEN pounds!) boy and bringing him home and getting on with the whole challenge of parenting. He was a very content child (not a great sleeper but we won't go there) and he was mellow and obedient and easy going. I'd read all the parenting books (no Google then - just Penelope Leach and a few others) and I was patting myself on the back for a job well done and looking pityingly at those mothers who just weren't as good at the whole motherhood gig as I was.

Then.......along came our daughter! She took Penelope Leach and ate her for dinner! I spent my entire time in the hospital with her in my arms. The nurses would walk in and say "Mrs Le Cras you're always holding that baby" and I would just nod numbly and keep rocking her. She was happy as long as she was right in the middle of everything - no putting her down to get the dishes done or the washing hung out - I became very adept at one handed housework. She didn't sleep much either - I remember many an evening of pram rocking or bottom patting. She also managed to get quite sick for a few months and generally took everything I'd taken for granted about parenting and threw it out the window. I wanted to go around to all those parents I'd smugly disapproved of and apologize!


#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

As children

We moved to a semi-rural block of land when our children were little and they had plenty of room to run around and climb trees and get dirty. Our son managed to do all of that and still look much the same as when he got dressed that morning, our daughter always looked like she'd been dragged backwards through a construction site! I did pretty well with my mothering role during this time - I'd found a book called "The Strong Willed Child" by James Dobson that helped with parenting our free spirited daughter and not allowing her to rule the world house too often, but still keep the spark that was innately her. I also discovered a toy library that meant we had access to all sorts of interesting toys that we never could have afforded back in those days, and there were lots of kids in the neighbourhood for ours to play with.

Then came the Primary school years, I always think of them as the eye of the cyclone between toddler-dom and teens. You still have enough bluff to keep them in line and if they're busy enough they aren't all that interested in pushing the boundaries too often. Our kids were good at school and had friends and generally cruised through this part of life. My complacency level elevated and I was feeling like I might be ready to be nominated for a mother of the year award - although there were a several moments I will skip over that my children could bring up to show why the nomination never came!


#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

So my advice to all new mums (not that I give advice because I hated getting it) would be that, no matter how much you'd like it to, a + b never equals c. Our kids came with remarkably different personalities and we just loved them and gave them boundaries, and prayed for them really hard. The resilience of youth is always on their side and covers a multitude of parental mishaps! 


32 comments:

  1. Wow 11 lbs first baby - yikes & well done you! My third was 10lbs which I thought was huge lol It's lovely to look back on your children when they were tiny. I agree that they each have their own personalities & different approaches works best for different kids. x

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    1. it's funny how they come from the same genetic pool but turn out completely differently. And I think you did well with a 10lber - just shows what we are capable of! x

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  2. Parenting is never easy. That's what the journey taught me so far. :)

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    1. no but it is so rewarding Vinitha - and so good to look back at how far we've come and what lovely human beings we have produced :)

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  3. Loved reading your account about the various stages of parenting. My son was like your daughter in his baby days dragging off my leg all around the house wailing and screeching while I did the chores. These days he has become very understanding and co-operative. He is in kindergarten. The other day i had been contemplating that parenting and motherhood no longer seems to be hardwork now with the equation of lots of love and hugs + reasoning+ boundaries. But I be better preapred for what the future shall entail.

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    1. Yes Anamika the eye of your cyclone has started - enjoy these peaceful moments :) If you've managed to get this far and figure out the love + boundaries then you're on a winner! He's sure to turn out well (with a few hurdles along the way)

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  4. Parenting is not at all what you expect. I feel especially for parents of those with physical or developmental disabilities (I have a brother in law who is developmentally disabled so my husband grew up in that type of family situation and, today, is his brother's guardian.) Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I agree Alana - having a child with disabilities would be a huge challenge, but those children often reward us in special ways. Your husband must be a very special man to have taken on his brother's care. I hope all goes well for him in the years ahead x

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  5. I must say the first thing I did before reading is look at the lovely pictures you've shared, Leanne. Not being a mom, but having taught for a while, I know how unique each child can be and how some of them will push you to the limits of your patience. In the end, there's nothing quite as rewarding as seeing children grow and blossom! I'm sure you deserve the nomination now. :)

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    1. they've turned out to be very nice human beings Corinne - I hope their parenting played a part in that but I also think we were fortunate as we bumbled through :)

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  6. I never was this :-) but for me I know there was a gift and never being the young mother. I was not not not ready.

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    1. when you're a young mum you are so naive and have no idea what a big job you're taking on. I think you were probably older and wiser :)

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  7. As young moms we think we know better then our elders and try all sorts of new fangled theories, only to have life and reality burst our bubble. If only we could be young moms with our older, wiser selves experience.

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    1. wouldn't we be amazing if we knew then what we know now Mary? I think we did really well with the limited knowledge we had - naivety is a wonderful thing (and the resilience of youth!)

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  8. What a great idea of a toy library. I wish we had one in our area. I miss my teen's younger years. Now she is Ms Independent and does not want to be tucked in any more. I don't let that stop me though. LOL Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will share with us on Literacy Musing Mondays too.

    http://maryanderingcreatively.com/literacy-musing-growing-readers/

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    1. Hi Mary - I'll have to pop over to to Literacy Musings - it sounds interesting. Teenagers still have a secret little place in their hearts for their mothers (they just try to hide it from us!) It was so much easier when they were little :)

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  9. You didn't get an owner's manual either?! Rip off!

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    1. I know! What's with that?! Mind you it would have to be updated and amended for every new kid!

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  10. Well done on 11lbs Leanne! Our children all have their own personalities from birth and that is why I never give advice to new mums (unless I'm specifically asked about something). Being a new mum can be daunting but wonderful at the same time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful children and your experience with us at #WednesdaysWisdom. Have a lovely day

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    1. New mums do a pretty good job most of the time - it's amazing what you can achieve by bumbling your way through - at least they can Google everything nowadays (not sure if that's a good thing though!)

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  11. I always love to read about your family, Leanne! It never fails to make me feel "normal". I see then that other people (that would be you:) went through the same stuff as me and he'd the same struggles and faced the same challenges. Plus, I come to the conclusion that when we have two kids, because of the family dynamics, one will be the more quiet one and the other one more of a rebel. It was like this with my brother, and I see the same pattern with my kids. I now I read about yours on top of it. Loved your story:)
    xx Abby

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    1. Thanks Abby - it never ceases to amaze me how our kids come from the same genetic pool and yet can be so different. It's kind of nice in a way because you get to have different types of relationships with them. It's also been interesting looking back at them at that age and seeing them now as adults.....which parts of their personality strengthened and which parts they've managed to improve on with time :)

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  12. How fun to think back on all these memories! So glad you shared them today at Friday Frivolity!

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    1. thanks Lisa and also thanks for hosting Friday Frivolity - I love linking up!

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  13. Leanne, I love your approach to raising your kids. Each one is different and each one needs different things in order to become their best. Not all children need or crave the same thing and I think great parents attempt to figure that out. Love to me is giving someone what they need, not what we think they need or deserve. It's obvious you have figured this out!!! xx

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    1. You're having a tougher parental journey than me Nikki but I think the same basic principles apply where you balance love and boundaries and try to get them away from the entitlement mentality that is rife in their generation.

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  14. I can't believe all of this Leanne! It's like I could have written this myself. You just described my son and daughter to a tee and the were even born at the same times! The only difference is my son weighed 10 lb 7 oz. and he had blonde hair and she had the dark, My two switch places in their teen years,

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    1. Isn't it funny how we mirror each other and yet are so far away geographically!

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  15. What an interesting recall on your memories of being a mum to your kids when they are little. I really enjoyed reading this and find out a bit more about you. Well done for the hard work you put in with your kids. I bet it has paid off. I think it's important to know that no matter how much you might want kids to be a little different in some behaviour traits, that you wouldn't really change them for the world.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. that's so true Sally - they all come with their own little personalities and I think the job of a parent is to help guide them into becoming the best people they can be with their own unique skills!

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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  17. Awwwww LOVE IT! 11 lbs, good grief! I love that idea of a toy library, that's basically genius. Never heard of that before...

    Such a great post, and great message. :) Thank you for sharing with us at Friday Frivolity!

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