It’s 2015 folks! Hope everyone has had a lovely New Year’s Eve celebration and not suffering from a hang-over. As always, I like to begin the new year at Chat with Mums with the best and the next blogger is certainly one of them. She’s also one of the few mothers out there whom I personally agree with when it comes to parenting, so without further ado here’s Adele of the very informative blog Circus Queen.
Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)
I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago but now live in Bristol. I moved to the UK as an undergrad, ended up marrying a British guy and stayed here. We have two daughters, Talitha (three-and-a-half) and Ophelia (10-months-old).
What were your children’s birth stories like?
Talitha was born thirteen days after my due date. I’d planned a home birth but after a long pre-labour, I lost my confidence and ended up being induced in hospital. It was difficult but there was so much to be thankful for.
Ophelia was born three days after her due date. I was caught off-guard, having expected her to be as late as her big sister. It was a long but beautiful (healing!) labour and we had the calm home birth we’d hoped for.
She met the world in a birth pool in our living room. I caught her myself and her father burned the cord. The midwives got there in the nick of time, just a half-hour before she was born.
Both experiences have made me passionate about the need to improve maternity services and about the “birth rights” of women and babies.
What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?
I wish I’d known how to listen to my instinct. I realize this isn’t something you can really plug into until you become a parent but I feel like I’ve spent my life before having children distracted by what should be background noise. I’ve only recently stopped caring so much about what others think and started listening more to what my gut is telling me.
How do you manage your “me” time?
Not very well at all! I end up staying up into the wee hours, partly because I have work to finish but mostly because it’s my only child-free time. I need to stop doing it, though. Being tired makes parenting unnecessarily difficult.
Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?
A recent one: We were walking to the Nativity service at our church and my three-year-old was dressed as Tigger (what – your Bible doesn’t show Tigger visiting baby Jesus?!) and it was windy. She exclaimed: “The wind is blowing away my stripes!”
What is it about motherhood you absolutely love?
I love the quiet moments alone with each child when we melt into each other. With my baby, this is usually while I’m breastfeeding her or carrying her in a sling. With my three-year-old it’s when we’re cuddling at bedtime or just because she needs some “Mummy-time” on my lap. I’m all too aware that these moments will pass before I’m ready for them to go.
On the one hand, if there were anything about motherhood you dislike, what would it be?
I dislike not having enough time: time to be present with my children and time to follow my own pursuits. It’s hard to accept that I can’t have it all at once. Some things need to be deferred.
What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?
A typical weekday involves getting up around seven or eight, getting the three of us ready and out of the house to a group, then home in the afternoon for some chill time, maybe play with learning to read and count, do some baking or craft then start the supper and bedtime routine.
On a bad day, it all goes out of the window. I am flexible about it all but I find having a plan helps us. Sometimes we have to accept that the baby just needs a home day.
On the average week we go to drama, home education group, pre-ballet, breastfeeding group (where I volunteer), baby sign, toddler group and a women’s Bible study. Once a month, the older one goes to a horse riding class. We also meet up with friends in between. It’s pretty busy (it especially looks that way now that I’ve written it down!).
Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?
“This too shall pass” is one of the most useful phrases I’ve been told, as well as, “The days are long but the years are short”. So much feels unmanageable when you’re going through it but it always helps to keep it in perspective. It will change, things will get easier, other issues will crop up, you will all grow and you will all survive.
If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?
I’d tell myself not to think too far ahead and not to worry so much. Take one day at a time, one night at a time, one breastfeed at a time, one tantrum at a time, one sickness at a time, one decision at a time. Life is made of lots of little steps. You can’t skip any so you might as well focus on the one you’re on before you move on to the next one.
How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your little ones?
As I said, I don’t manage it very well! I do most of my blogging (which is my me time and part of my work) and any other paid or voluntary work in the evenings, which is tough because I’m tired then. But I count myself blessed to be able to do work which is creative, enjoyable and flexible enough to fit around staying at home with my children.
Thank you so much Adele!
To read more about her, click here.
Click here if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a dad.