adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Why didnt anyone tell me...

Posted by Angela on the 18th of September, 2012 in category Thoughts
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Some ideas I want to share that I wish had shared with me prior to Motherhood...

It will ALL BE OK  - TRUST YOUR INTUITION AND YOUR INSTINCTS!!! This child is yours and yours alone so Fuck what people say, it is usually their incorrect and often unfounded opinions that make you question your own, when you know what is best for you and your  child.

It will get much easier, and much much harder. Settle in for uncertainty, because YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING

IT IS OK TO MAKE MISTAKES> FUCK UP, its what is needed to grow with this tiny human, who needs to learn that making mistakes is vital to being HUMAN!!! your child does not need you when you are perfect, your child needs you NOW. just as you are, flaws and insecurities.

Having a child is the BEST personal trainer for your life both mentally and physically and often spiritually too. They will make you question everything, and then question it again. When you think you know what is going on, you will be thrown and have to get back up again, but even when you are tired - you will still find the strength somewhere to get back up again.

ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT. it is not a sign of weakness. You are a better mother/parent/guardian when you have had sleep, a shower and have fuelled your body properly.

The world will look different in the morning. GO TO BED. NOW.

Friends with or without babies - * who are true friends mind you,  will understand and will still respect you - *even when you cancel on them for the 100th time due to having a child. There are some things that friends cannot possibly understand  UNTIL they are parents and have gone through it first hand -  BUT they should not judge you for this new little person who has thrown your  entire world into havoc. Also, do not expect them to "get" all the parent stuff that comes with the territory and do not judge them for it.

LIFE will not be the same, but it may turn out better so run with it - be prepared that all your previous ideas about being a parent and what it may be like, will be questioned, may be wrong, will have to adapt

Your child is its own unique personality. They will have up and down moments and some days, you personalites will unite, others they will clash. your child is NOT A BLANK SLATE at birth so there are certain temperaments, genes and traits that are beyong your control. Instead of fighting this. work around it.

Pick your battles. Not everything is worth the stress in that moment. IF it is the difference between a messy house, or a happy child- go with what makes sense. Your sanity is worth more than looking like you stepped off the runway or like you can do it all, by having a clean house, dinner made and a bathed child who will sit there  cooing in the background. its an illusion.

The media will fuck you. THey will present the ideal woman/mother/feminist/role model and expect you to emulate it. You will fail if you try.

A baby will change your marriage/relationship with you partner, your baby - daddy, or  whoever is the so called  "significant other". Be prepared to accept that. even though it looks and feels different -It does not mean there is no longer love there, it just morphs into a different shape. it will continue to morph, as your child/children grow.

This moment like all, WILL PASS. So breathe.

Your role as a mother will be all consuming, especially in the beginning -  but it wont be like that always. you will re-discover a sense of self, outside of motherhood. Your self worth is not only tied to how you rate as a parent or mother. IT is one very important part of your life that demands respect, but it is not all you are, even if you think that is how you appear post - child.

You are doing the best job you can. That will have to be enough.

Your child will not meet all the milestones that the baby websites tell you they will, at the exact moment that they tell you they SHOULD. Your child is a human being, not a machine.

You will think so called "tabooed or  bad thoughts" about your new life, your child, and yourself. They are just thoughts. It is healthier to admit they are there, acknowledge a feeling or emotion and then move on.  it does not make you a bad person for thinking them.  Thoughts such as "My child deserves better", "having a baby was a mistake", "I just want to be alone why cant my child be quiet", "If this child does not stop screaming, I may have a nervous breakdown". "I  want my old life back", "I want my relationship with my partner the way it was before", "I want freedom"

Any screaming match/tantrum/episode will pass. your child cannot physically scream forever, so when your nerves are fried, remember it will stop.

Allow your child to give you the  the gift of spontaneity. It can feel like the constant change is stressful, but it can be so refreshing to remain constantly present and "in the moment"- stop and look at the child you have. there is no one else like this human being.

Do little things just for you. some small but significant things that work for me:

  • Take a bath, or if no time, run wrists and hands under water. A hot towel to the face will rejuvenate you. Essential oils on the temples - orange or citrus for waking up, lavender or patchouli for relaxation.

  • Buy some flowers

  • A walk in the sun. simple. costs nothing to walk, and you can take baby/child with you either in the ergo or pram

  • Ask for a massage from someone close -  or if no one is there, give yourself a head or hand massage, focusing on pressure points.

  • Dont cook, but instead try a meal from that new restaurant you have walked past a dozen times. Sit and enjoy that meal.

  • start reading that book that is on the shelf that you keep meaning to read.

  • Call a friend and talk about everything and anything that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING A PARENT.

  • watch an inspirational talk on Ted.com

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