Being Momma Bear has changed me. I’ve changed drastically and dramatically and for the better. We grow up, drag ourselves in to the world of adulthood and expect nothing. For some people things don’t change. They blend from one decade to the next with the same ideals and shoes. Others change quickly, become bigger, better versions of their younger selves. And then there are new parents. The change is sudden and immense. The growing up and learning is vast. Parenthood is like an affliction that changes the internal mechanisms of your body and brain – in a positive yet frightfully severe way. Has parenthood changed you?
It doesn’t seem like I hang around my own blog too much anymore but trust me it’s always on my mind. I’ve been one of these buzzy bees or more like an annoying blue bottle bouncing off the walls and windows, trying desperately to find a way out to that fresh air. I can not sit still. My mind is constantly on the go between the kids, the house and my writing. Seven months into freelancing and I’ve discovered a pertinent truth to this career. I need a damn diary. Preferably one with an automatic entry from my brain. Oh yes, I need a telepathic diary.
Despite being in our thirties, I think myself and Papa Bear are relatively traditional when it comes to our marriage. We’re not stuck in the 1950s though, with himself the bread winner and me tied to the kitchen sink peeling spuds. We’re quite the team when it comes to our relationship as well as our parenting. When our marriage hits a blip or life throws a curveball, we have a natural way of finding our way back to the straight and narrow. We never read a guidebook, although there are many! We value each other as well as our marriage. And no, every day is not perfect, and yes, somedays we want to throttle each other, but running away is never an option. I realised a lot of the qualities that makes us “Us” are not new. Not new age. They’re relatively old fashioned but certainly still relevant.
How many times, as Momma Bear, as Papa Bear have you put your needs to the side? Dropped your needs over by the “side board of lost intentions” only to be remembered as you fall into bed, or as you sit on the loo with an audience complaining about being hungry, bored, tired or sore. How many times have you thought, yep I feel hungry, bored, tired and sore too, only for the thought to quickly evaporate as their needs outweigh yours? I wrote an article recently for the Irish Examiner about being an introverted mother and since writing this feature, I’ve relaxed a bit more and allow myself those five, ten, fifteen minutes – if I can get it – to regroup, refocus, to be still and recover from the never-ending exhaustion of a day with kids.
I always say life has a funny way of throwing you a curveball. Whether you can hit that ball out of the ballpark or not is really the issue. Last Friday a curveball came in the size of a Lexus as it swerved onto my side of the road and collided with my car, sending us spinning with the gas and smoke from the airbags suffocating us.
I’ve spouted the term mindfulness about throughout my posts recently without really telling you what it is or how to concentrate on it. I’m obviously no expert having only come across the term less than a year ago but I’ve found it be the best thing, or rather, concept if you will, that has eased me back into real life without panic or stress. Being a Momma Bear who is also a Working Bear has had some pretty hefty challenges which could have easily knocked me downwards if I let it. But mindfulness has kept me focused in a way that calms my mind to the storm that often swells up around me.
I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
I absolutely can not explain to you how much I am terrified of the dentist. I don’t know why I’m afraid but I do know that I struggle to find my way to the dentists office let alone the chair. It’s a common fear and and for me it’s right up there with clowns, creepy kids and china dolls. Little Miss has always been good at brushing her teeth. Even more so now that her Montessori teacher gave her a tooth brushing timer. But I’m terrified I’m going to pass on this fear to her.
*** This is a collaborative post but don’t be like me and avoid the dentist. Look after your oral hygiene, your teeth and your gums. ***
I’ve always loved the idea of having a Rainy Day Fund or as my folks say Funny Money, which is an awesome way to say “here’s a few bob. Let’s treat ourselves!” Myself and Papa Bear don’t drink, smoke or pop any drugs stronger than paracetamol for the migraines that come our way. Alcohol is something neither of us are bothered about and I hear we’re saving a tonne by skipping it all together, although the odd Lidl wine has said to be a bargain and there’s something to be said for making your own moonshine! Even so, we like to splurge on our favourite vice – food! Little Miss has a saying which goes something like, “Can we go somewhere nice to eat?” So Lord knows we gotta save for these little treats now that we’re down to one income and a bit! Read more