On mothering

by Renee

Me and Bea after a sleepless night (most of the pictures in this post were taken by one of my sisters - thank you my C!)

Me and Bea after one of our sleepless nights (most of the pictures in this post were taken by one of my sisters – thank you my C!)

Here I am, back from our trip to Canada. I always treasure my trips back home to my family, but this one was even more special – it was Bea’s first trip to Canada (first trip overseas, too).

There were so very many highlights and special moments during this trip. But not all of it was easy. The travelling and all the ‘newness’ of everything took their toll on Bea. She got very sick. She got very clingy. She had a lot of tantrums. She was exhausted and lost lots of sleep. These in turn took their toll on me. It was not the trip I imagined it would be.

Me and Bea riding out our bout of illness during the trip.

Me and Bea riding out our bout of illness during the trip.

I guess after managing just by myself (with Steve) most of the time since Bea was born, I was ready for a mini release and breakdown. I was with my family. I felt safe. So I let it all go. Let it all out; released everything. All the tiredness and the frustration that could sometimes cloud all the blessings and joys. I knew I won’t be judged. I knew I would be loved and held safe. And so, after almost twenty months of being a mom, my ‘inner child’ finally threw her own ‘tantrum’ – right there, when I was with my own mom. And my dad and my sisters. Each of them giving me love, support and acceptance in their own very special ways. It was a good reminder to me of how Bea must have been feeling.

Tired but happy :)

Tired but happy.

This is not something I am proud of, but I knew it had to be done. Once the dust settled, I had beautiful, meaningful and heartfelt chats with every single member of my family, like always. I was so fed up of being tired and feeling like a victim, and knowing that all this baggage would impact on Bea and my mothering. I truly think I have hit a turning point, and I am grateful for this. I guess had to get to a point where there was nowhere else to go but up. I am really hoping I have once again ‘found my feet’.

Just like me, Bea loves the slides in the playgrounds :)

Just like me, Bea loves the slides in the playgrounds.

So many little challenges and events taught me very big lessons during this trip. My comfort zones have been well and truly expanded (and I am sure Bea and Steve feel the same). So we come back home refreshed and renewed, a bit more relaxed about things; hopefully, more ready to face new challenges.

One of my sisters (thank you, my Q!) reminded me of something I’ve always meant to do (but somehow keep forgetting): look after myself. She set me a mini task to not only mother Bea daily, but also to do something even just once a day to mother myself. It’s so simple, right? But so very easily overlooked and forgotten in the day-to-day stuff.

Capturing and savouring all the beautiful moments.

Capturing and savouring all the beautiful moments.

I am learning that it’s all okay. It’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to relax and not be so rigid and set in my ways and standards. It’s okay to feel all emotions – ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It’s okay to be good to myself. It’s okay to self-care. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to try something new; to find new ways and solutions. No one will judge.

Now, isn’t that sound advice?

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