Tag: motherhood

Back off rude lady, I’m doing a stellar job

Today was a good day.

The sun was shining despite the winter temp and Millie and I headed off for a walk.

Mum and daughter gleefully going about their day – until an opinionated nosy parker decided to ruin it.

My hubby was called interstate on business for a few days, so I decided to go to a cafe with Millie for lunch to save myself cooking a big dinner for one.

In a high chair, Millie Moo played with her toys, ate the lunch I had brought along for her and sampled the eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast from my plate. She was such a good little bub, happy to munch away and occasionally smile or wave to fellow customers as they passed through.

A journalist by trade, I relished the chance to read the paper while sipping a latte. How lovely. Well…

Millie started to grasp at the edges of the newspaper so I passed her the catalogue that was lodged in the middle. The shiny, crunchy paper kept her occupied for a couple of minutes as she waved it about and slapped it against the table.

20140702-163833-59913775.jpg

A woman, probably in her 60s, came over to tell me she used to give her kids the toy catalogues to look at. I smiled, thinking she was just being nice.

“I would never have given them that one though,” she continued.

Say what?

“You have to watch what you give them. I had to look twice at what she was holding,” she said.

Oh my goodness, I thought – have I given Millie a catalogue laced with poison? Was it covered in pictures of naked men? Had she grabbed someone’s book and was scrunching it up?

No. It was a Dan Murphy’s catalogue. Shock horror.

“She doesn’t know what she is reading,” I said to the woman, assuring her that Millie was still a long way off talking and walking let alone ducking off to the bottle-o.

“Well it won’t be long,” she said. “Naughty mummy.”

I was shocked, otherwise I would have come up with something witty to say.

It didn’t matter that Millie had a morning nap, was quiet, happy, warmly dressed, eating vegies or had a clean nappy on? Or that I had triple-sterilised her utensils, love her dearly and am a new mum still learning how the hell to be a good one?

I wish I had told her to mind her own business.

Millie didn’t see the pictures on the catalogue and even if she did, she doesn’t yet know what they are.

Most households have bottles of wine on display at home. We have a small collection in a rack in our lounge. It will be years before Millie realises they’re there.

I could count the number of alcoholic drinks I’ve had in the last 11 months on one hand (and none in the 9 months before that).

I don’t need to justify myself. I was just mad at this stranger judging my parenting after a quick glance.

Why do people of a certain age feel the need to be critical once you’re pushing a pram?

A girl from my mother’s group was chastised by a shop assistant for taking her 6 month old son into the supermarket bottle shop. She was getting a bottle of wine for guests that were coming for dinner that evening.

Other friends have had older people tell them their child needs warmer clothes/a hat/a sleep/all of the above while out with their baby. Those pregnant with their second or third have been told with raised eyebrows how tough they’re going to find it once the new bub comes along. Just a smile or “congratulations” would be nice.

I don’t get it. Why do some people only say negative things to mothers of babies – mothers who are probably running on minimal sleep and are pleased just to be out of their pyjamas and out of the house?

How about it rude lady? Next time you see a mum and her baby, how about telling her that her baby is lovely and remind her that she is doing a damn fine job.

If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Have you been confronted by people with opinions on how to raise your child? What did you say?

My love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day

Tomorrow is my first Mother’s Day. Yay. I had my almost Mother’s Day last year, but despite the big bump, I didn’t really feel like a mummy yet.

I don’t plan for tomorrow to be any different to any other day. But I love the fact that the day celebrates all mums – and this year I’m one of the lucky mums who gets to give kisses and cuddles to their child and relish the chance to be appreciated and loved.

But in equal measure, I’m dreading it.

My own mum won’t be here.

Jo-Anne, Millie’s beautiful grandmother and my darling mum, died after a relatively short battle with cancer in August 2010.

20140510-195425.jpg
Mum and mini me, 1979

She missed my wedding day and the birth of my precious baby girl. And as much as I love and enjoy Christmas, Easter and birthday celebrations, those happy events are also tinged with absolute sadness.

It’s not fair.

Mum was the kindest, most selfless and caring person I’ll ever know.

She brought up my brother and I on her own and always put her children first. She made sure we never missed out on anything, even if it meant going without herself.

She’s the one person I wish could have walked me down the aisle and been there to help welcome little Millie Jo-Anne into the world.

I’d ask mum for advice on everything – from which shoes to buy to career choices.

It’s been tough to go on with life as a wife and mother without her guiding hand. I wouldn’t second-guess some of my choices if she was here to reassure me that it’s the right thing to do.

Jodes (that was what my brother and I called her – long story) was my best friend.

I can only hope I have the same sort of relationship with Millie when she grows up.

I wish all the mums out there a very, very happy Mother’s Day but shed a tear for all those people missing their own mums, the mums missing children and the would-be mums struggling to have a baby or whose circumstances prevent them from doing so.

It’s a beautiful day but it also really, really sucks.

77 Australians lose their lives to bowel cancer every week. To donate to Bowel Cancer Australia, click here

Little fluff head knows what she wants

My girl is nearly 9 months old and all of a sudden I’ve noticed so many changes.

She has just started to sit up by herself. Some babies do it at 6 months, some a lot later. No-one was going to get Millie to sit until Millie was ready. She does it happily for a while now – until she gets tired and throws herself back…she’s going to learn the hard way that it’s not the way to lie down. Luckily mummy has been there to catch her so far.

She kicks her legs then plants her feet and lifts her bum (quite an advanced yoga move you’ve mastered there baby) to prevent me putting on a nappy/pants/sleeping bag. How they know that this is very annoying for the person dressing them is beyond me. No-one teaches them these ‘tricks’, but they pick it up so quickly.

Her eyes have gone from a deep blue to blue flecked with greys and greens. I could stare at her beautiful big eyes all day. My mum had beautiful big eyes, I’m sure it’s where she gets them from.

20140422-113034.jpg

She had lots of dark brown hair when she was born but it’s grown and turned a dark blonde, but getting lighter every day. She has lost the bald patch at the back. Her hair curls up and goes wispy after a bath and she looks like a baby chicken with fluffy feathers on the top of her head. Some mornings when I lift her from her cot I see a resemblance to Willy Wonka with wispy hair jutting horizontally from above her ears.

20140422-113548.jpg

She copies adults by ‘talking’ and ‘singing’ and has just discovered she can blink purposefully, either when mimicking us or looking at bright lights.

Last night Millie was holding two mini maracas while I prepared dinner. I took them out of her hands to give her food. She screamed.
This is clearly a girl who knows what she wants.
She wanted to eat too, just with maracas in her hands. Daddy gave her a maraca (not used to a crying baby like mummy is!) and she heightened the pitch. There were two maracas you see. She wanted both.

Dinner continued while our little musician banged and tapped and shook her new toys.

What the? How do you keep the peace without creating a mini Veruca Salt?

20140422-114349.jpg

It’s a fine line. I guess we’ll learn. You do the best you can.

She is learning and growing as we are learning and growing as parents.

There’s no time to sit and decide how you are going to tackle the challenges baby throws at you. It happens, you react. It’s just the way it is.

I’m sure she’ll turn out just fine.

The crying baby ghost

Does anyone else hear their baby crying even when they’re not?

It happens to me all the time.

It often happens when I strip off and step in the shower…that’s a guarantee I’ll hear it: a faint waaaaaaaaa.

I tilt my ear toward the hallway.

Waaaa.

Ok then. Shower off. Towel on. Up to Millie’s room. Open the door. She’s snoozing. Hmm.

20140415-203228.jpg

Hubby comes home from work and starts talking about his day. I shoosh him. “Is that Millie?” I say. He rolls his eyes. It’s not.

Settled on the couch with a cuppa, ready to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode (yeah, yeah…don’t tell me you aren’t stupidly excited that it’s back) and I’ll suddenly hit the mute button on the remote. I can hear a sob. Oh no I can’t.

We laugh that there’s a crying baby ghost in our house. Or that Millie pretends to be asleep again when I check on her.

I suspect it’s something engineered in mothers. Once that baby is put in our arms we are wired to jump up at the tiniest peep.

I think it stems from those first weeks with bub, those weeks when you’re so nervous and lie awake listening to every cry, snuffle, breath, squeak and sigh from the teeny little person beside your bed. Your hearing is so finely tuned to them that you hear their cries ringing in your ears.

I thought it might have been the lack of sleep that was sending me round the twist, but no, Millie’s almost 9 months old and a champion sleeper – and it’s still happening to me.

I won’t ignore it, the day I don’t take a peek at her or check the monitor is the day it’s actually Millie awake and crying.

Please mums, tell me it also happens to you? Or am I going batty?