The type of mum I am

The above blog title sounds slightly obnoxious and a little douchey (google for definition), especially as it’s my first blog post, but I have been developing my own philosophy on parenting over the last five months (since the arrival of my little Pudding). It’s not a sophisticated philosophy but one that is slowly emerging. I thought, as a first post, it might be nice to explore what type of parent I am as a way of starting to define this parenting philosophy.

Prior to the birth of my daughter I could only imagine what I’d be like as a parent to a new born. I had hoped for uber yummy mummy who managed to make mother hood look stylish and simple. Then I realised I wasn’t actually in the Boden catalogue. Reality hit like a bat to a ping pong ball and I went hurtling, full pelt, into the swing of the parenting game.

Now, I have a wealth (slight exaggeration when compared to parents of children older than five months) of experience (and answers from Google) to inform me of just what type of parent I am.

So what type of parent am I?

A simple enough question but rather a more complex answer.

So how do I perceive my parenting self. Mature – maybe (although some would argue that my insistence at finding toilet humour amusing prevents me from this). Neurotic – overly so. Mildly stressed – obviously. Quietly confident – at times.

Firstly, a mum in her thirties. I feel like I am the right age to be a mum (for me, that is, I am most aware that an individual should feel ready to do things in their own lives at their own pace). I had started to feel a little bored with shopping on a weekend, going out for dinner and crazy nights out. There is only so much Processco one can drink (seriously I drank it all, I can vouch for it), before it all starts to feel a little tedious and samey (gosh I’m so eloquant).

I had started to look at my friends with children and watch their lives with interest as they went to the zoo on a Saturday and holidayed in that haven known as ‘Center Parcs’.  I know it’s early days but I am not craving nights out, or to have some me time. I enjoy looking at my little pudding and spending the day mooching with her and eating cake (there’s a lot of cake during mat leave I’ve noticed).  Sounds a bit smug mummy but that’s not my aim.  Although I do sympathise with those mums who find it a little too much at times and need the break. Don’t get me wrong it can be rather hard going this mum milarky. I’ve had my frustrated 3am moments when Pudding isn’t in the mood to sleep. However, feeling at ease with my new daughter is perhaps partly due to having embarked on parent hood in my thirties…or at least when I felt ready to become a mummy. If I’m honest, knowing myself as I do, I just don’t think I could have hacked it in my twenties. In my case perhaps maturity helps. And cake. Cake always helps.

Secondly, I’m completely neurotic. I assume that like me everyone has a mind’s eye that shows them ideal images of situations or, in my case, nightmare scenarios. I can make the most inane of activities fraught with peril and danger. An example being taking Pudding for a walk. So I imagine the scene…we’re out for a walk with the pushchair, a beautiful, sunny spring day. The sun is shining and we’re strolling by the local lake listening to the birds singing. Idyllic. It’s all very Mary Poppins isn’t it? Then from the ideal scenario emerges the dark, sinister neurotic thoughts. What if I trip and the push chair rallies down a hill into the lake? What if someone comes and pushes me out of the way and steals the pushchair containing the baby? What if a nuclear bomb goes off and we’re all annihilated??? You get the point. I, as a mummy, make the most pleasant of activities seem dangerous. It’s just how my mind works…..

So I’m mature and neurotic as a mummy. But I’m also a stressy person. Again this stress is perhaps of my own doing and linked with the issues I have with being neurotic. Stress seems to happen most when you need to be somewhere in a negative amount of time e.g., at boogies babies for 11.00 am with it taking five minutes to load up the car with baby paraphernalia and (obviously) 5 minutes to unload, as well as the ten minutes to drive there. You glance at the clock. 10.55 am. Cue massive stress overload. You load the car, realise you’ve forgotten something vital and have to run back into the house to get it. You finally leave the drive way and hit the road only to be stuck at every red light between here and eternity. Your blood pressure is rising. Everyone is driving slow. You (with your neurotic mind’s eye) start to visualise your ten minute late entrance with the other, judgey mums looking at your slightly dishevelled appearance and questioning your lack of timing as, obviously, everyone knows you need to leave the house thirty minutes earlier than you would normally do with a baby.

The bad thing is that when I’m stressed I start to make silly errors or have little accidents. These have included trapping Pudding’s fingers in the baby mobile attached to the Moses basket (the guilt of that was awful!), bumping Pudding’s head on the door frame (again massive guilt) and almost taking a tumble down the stairs (as a context point you should know I managed to fall down the stairs at five months pregnant and break my foot). Stress equals clumsy. As I write this I actually think we should add clumsy to the list but then that is just me as a person and not directly linked to being a parent!

What worries me about being stressed is how this will translate when Pudding is older. I really want to be a patient and tolerant parent, not manic and crazy. It’s obviously something to work on.

It’s not all negative though. There are times when I do feel quietly confident. This is especially prevalent when I see Pudding looking happy and well. As she hits those early monthly milestones, I am amazed that I’ve managed to be a parent that has produced such a delightful creature. A child that giggles and smiles must have a parent that is doing something right. Well either that or it’s just wind…

I suppose that sums it up then. There is much more I could write and I am certain to revisit this at a later date. I’m certain there’ll be a few characteristics that will emerge as Pudding grows older.

The only question to ask is how would you define yourself as a parent?

 

This entry was posted in Musings.