Welcome to another week of In Conversation With. This week I chatted with Helen who runs the fantastic and highly information blog Talking Mums. I am drooling over the recipes Helen adds to the blog and wonder how does she come up with such fantastic meal ideas. I wish A wasn’t a fussy eater so I could try these recipes on her. Helen is also a midwife and shares her vast array of knowledge on her blog. Read on to see what she has to say about pregnancy, parenting and how she would deal with a crying baby in the supermarket!
How would your parents have described you?
My dad passed away when I was 20 and luckily I still have my mum so I think they would describe me very differently. At the not so old age of 34 I’ve changed a lot since my dad knew me. I think he would have described me as being quiet and introverted but independent. My mum I think would describe me as confident and independent and perhaps a little moody.
What family tradition do you cherish the most?
I’ve tried to think of a tradition we have as a family and though we have lots of routines I can’t actually think of any traditions we have. Maybe it’s time we started some.
Did you enjoy being pregnant?
Yes, I loved being pregnant right up until about 34 weeks in both pregnancies, that’s when I found sleeping became impossible. Aching hips in bed made it so difficult to get comfy.
I loved the point where my bump became obvious it was a baby bump, partly because it was then clear I was pregnant and also because I felt pride watching my belly grow larger, knowing a baby is developing and growing inside.
One thing I didn’t like were maternity clothes. I really didn’t want to splash the cash on clothes specific for such a short period of time, so I ended up wearing the same stuff. I was so glad to ditch them post pregnancy.
What was the hardest part about being pregnant?
The hardest part was also being a midwife! It’s not always a good thing knowing too much. Having never had a baby prior to being a midwife it’s hard to compare the experience of pregnancy without this knowledge. Every mother to be has worries during pregnancy but would they have been the same worries?
To add to this I worked in a fetal medicine unit during my first pregnancy. To anyone who doesn’t know, this is where you are referred if abnormalities are found during routine scans or invasive testing is chosen for reasons pertinent to the parents. Firstly it gave me a skewed view on the normal development of a baby. I began to really appreciate the miracle that is two cells growing into a complicated, functioning healthy tiny human. I began to wonder how it was possible for my baby to be healthy. I asked myself why should I be a lucky one with a healthy baby? I had so many mixed emotions of guilt and relief as I sat and counselled couples going through hell as they tried to grasp the extent of the problems their unborn babies had.
What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a parent?
Have more patience, if that was ever a possibility. I always thought pre-parenthood that I would be this earth mother that gladly waited whilst my angels did their thing…but that never happened. I’m still as impatient as ever. I really need to try harder with this one.
What is the one thing you never had that you want for your kids?
This is a hard one. Growing up we never had a car, but we didn’t miss what we never had. My parents both worked hard in low paid jobs, we lived a simple life but never went without the basic needs. We were always raised to be grateful for what we had and I try to remember that every day.
My partner and I are lucky enough to be able to give our children more than what I ever had. One thing though looking back, my parents always had to take separate holidays from work to cover our school holidays. This meant that summer holiday outings or holidays were always missing one parent. I’m glad that now we get to take holidays together, all four of us.
What do you miss about your life before you had kids?
SLEEP. I miss SLEEP.
What is the best thing about being a parent?
Unconditional love. I can’t get enough of their cuddles, giggles and smiles. They just melt my heart. Of course they can really drive me nuts but it all comes back to unconditional love.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do more research before jumping into buying a house for the first time. I made a bad decision with my first house. Lost a lot of money.
You’re in the store with a full cart and your baby starts crying frantically…what do you do?
Pull out the supplies. I always said pre children ‘I’ll never settle/bribe/reward my children with food stuffs’. How ridiculous are those preconceived ideas you have of parenting? My littlest one is 11 months now so baby biscuits go down a treat.
Before he was on solids I would dread these moments. I vividly remember one occasion carrying him whilst he was crying and loading the shopping on the conveyor belt. Sweating and wishing the next 20 mins away. Hoping I’d remembered to wear breast pads! I just wanted to escape. Luckily the shop assistant got another shop assistant to help. I was so grateful as I would never of asked for the help.
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