Paging Dr Google!

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As an anxiety sufferer I worry about things many others wouldn’t give a second thought to. The main focus of my anxiety is death, and more specifically, death from disease and medical complications. Never have I been particularly concerned about the risk of death from a fatal car crash or being hit by a bus; events that are quite possible when I’m walking down the street or driving in a car. No; I am concerned about more obscure but just as real risks such as meningitis, cancer, heart attack etc. Hypochondria can be defined as fears that minor bodily or mental symptoms may indicate a serious illness, constant self examination and self diagnosis and a pre-occupation with one’s body. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochondriasis)

While I cannot deny I have suffered (and presently suffer) from elements of hypochondria, it seems my anxiety has now progressed and refined itself in its manifestation leading to a more specific disorder known as “Illness Phobia”. Illness phobia includes symptoms such as ruminating endlessly about the disease (or death), avoiding anything in the way of radio, tv, newspaper or magazine coverage on the subject, or very occasionally obsessively collecting information. (www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/illness.asp).

This sums me up quite well. While I’m not committed enough to have one illness of focus, I fear any fatal disease, and my focus varies according to situation or circumstance. For example, my disease of the month is currently Hantavirus, after an extreme cleaning spree following the discovery of a lovely family of mice residing alongside us in our family home. Being an intern of Dr. Google I (thankfully) discovered that Australia and Antarctica are the two countries exempt from Hantavirus (although this may be debatable as Australian rodents have tested positive to the Hantavirus antibody and the view that the disease may be misdiagnosed). However, my medical studies while enrolled at the University of Anxiety has allowed me to become quite educated in other areas of disease and illness such as Leptospirosis, Meningococcal, and serious complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, kidney and heart failure and sepsis. I am also informed on pregnancy related risks such as pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, placental abruption, uterine rupture, DVT, amniotic fluid embolism, listeria and toxoplasmosis.

Just as the definition of Illness Phobia describes the sufferer either avoids exposure to information or obsessively collects information; and I have done both. I am unable to read magazines such as “Take 5” and “That’s Life” as they publish real life stories of people’s near death experiences or situations of fatal or terminal illness; and as such evoke the Dr (or phobia sufferer) in me to begin obsessing over every spot, freckle and mole on my skin and slight ache or pain in my body. Alternatively my phone is filled with screenshots of lists of signs and symptoms of various diseases and disorders and my brain has categorically stored summarised overviews on prevalence, treatments and mortality rates.

So, what do I make from all this? Firstly I always believe it is better to be informed. Yes, it is undeniable information can heighten my anxiety and strengthen my obsessive phobic thoughts; but I would rather be aware of these signs than potentially put myself or my children at risk by ignoring warning signs that may mean the difference between living and dying. My youngest son recently had a bout of bacterial pneumonia and had it not been for my over-anxious mothering, worried call to the state health information helpline and a frantic visit to casualty for prompt admission and treatment; my son could have possibly died (actual doctors with real degrees told me as such).

Secondly, while living with anxiety and phobias can be mentally and emotionally exhausting and limit my ability to fully enjoy things in life, I am thankful that I am able to identify my fear or phobia and manage it accordingly (and at times laugh at it’s absurdity). There was a point when I believed I was ‘crazy’ and let my anxiety overcome me to the point where it was debilitating and affected all areas of my life; and I once thought I would always be that way. I now know this is not the case. I recognise that I will have good and bad days, my weak and strong moments, times when my management strategies work and times when they fail; but I will NEVER let anxiety overtake me again.

I am still determined to live my life not without fear but despite fear.

I look at the positives that come from having anxiety and illness phobia, such as having a clean, rodent free home(!); two happy and healthy children and a near completed degree in “Self-Diagnosis in Death-Related Disease and Disorder”, all thanks to my colleague Dr Google!

If you or someone you know needs assistance in dealing with depression or anxiety contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or at http://www.beyondblue.org.au.

Image Credits: http://www.lexiconin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cyberchondriacs.png

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Anxiety and Pregnancy

Love Every Moment

Pregnancy is hard.

Swollen feet and ankles, back pain and stretch marks are common and almost inevitable pleasures experienced. Medical conditions such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and placenta previa can all make the “special” time of carrying a baby especially difficult and possible complications such as placental abruption and uterine rupture can lead to premature labour and at worst fetal and/or maternal death.

Pregnancy is not fun.

Don’t get me wrong; it has it’s nice times. Feeling a little life move and kick inside of you. The anticipation and excitement of holding your baby in your arms. Having people fawn and fuss over you, not allowing you to pick up a tissue, can all make you feel very special. However, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can have a great impact on how enjoyable your pregnancy may be and how you may adjust to motherhood post-partum.

Throughout my first pregnancy my anxiety was (in hindsight) well under control. There was the odd late night or two, when trying to fall asleep, when a sudden panic would overwhelm me as I thought about actually giving birth; however apart from these occasional fleeting moments I did not have any concerns throughout my pregnancy and was blissfully unaware of all the things that could possibly go wrong. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. This is especially true for the anxiety sufferer.

In my second pregnancy was the knowledge of labour in all it’s gory – sorry- glory(!); however I was also very lucky to have a previously relatively short and easy drug-free vaginal birth with no complications with myself or baby. Still, it is safe to say it is certainly not a process one would willingly go through if not for the end result – the joy of holding a beautiful baby in your arms at the end. My second son was born prematurely at 33 weeks after spontaneous labour (again thankfully with no major complcations) and it was not until that point that it even occurred to me that things can go drastically wrong throughout a pregnancy.

Throughout my third (and current) preganancy however my anxiety level has been high to say the least. Along with the fear of another premature birth given my second son’s early arrival (and my own at 27 weeks in 1982) I feel it could be a real possibility that my third child may decide to come even earlier than her brother or mother. Along with this fear is the access to Google 24/7 via smart phones and wide-ranged free Wi-Fi. Thanks to Google (and my anxious mind) I am now well aware of all the things that can go wrong which may threaten to take the life of my baby or myself, as well as all the signs and symptoms accompanying each condition (which funnily enough seem to produce themselves physically once that knowledge is imprinted in my mind). It is only for a very patient and understanding (and likely suffering) midwife and my own ability to distinguish when my anxious thoughts are overcoming my rational sense that I have not had a complete breakdown in the past 6 and 1/2 months.

Part of my anxiety management through my pregnancy has been to GET OFF GOOGLE! For some knowledge is power; and while I agree it is always better to be fully informed about things especially when it comes to your health, for those suffering from health related phobia’s and anxiety; it is best not to know some things. At times I feel like if I am to Google something that I think is wrong then I will find that the pain or concern I am experiencing is nothing to worry abut and will be able to put my phone down and continue on with my day happy in the knowledge that everything is fine. However this happens very rarely. Instead I continue to Google and scour forums for mother’s who are experiencing the same complaint until I find that one comment or sentence that confirms all my worst fears that what I am currently experiencing could, possibly, if even by a long shot, be something more serious. Even if I had read 100 pages or comments stating that my concern is nothing; that one comment is all it takes for me to constantly worry and be convinced that things will go horribly wrong. In the end both my midwife and I both agreed that Dr. Google was not a good physican and I should stay away completely from the internet! If I have any concerns I now text message my midwife, however since I have not been researching via internet surfing my anxiety has reduced dramatically and mysterious aches and pains have dissapered without recurrence.

I can now hopefully continue to relax and begin to enjoy my pregnancy and rest my swollen feet and ankles without fear. I am keeping a positive frame of mind and appreciating each day that I carry my child and every movement and kick I feel as it means we are both happy and healthy.

 

If you or anyone you know needs help dealing with anxiety or depression please contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or at http://www.beyondblue.org.au

Love till you Die

 

 

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If you are a regular reader of my posts; in particular my posts on anxiety, you will know that the one thing I fear most in life; is death. My death in to be specific; or worse, my children. Almost on a daily basis I find myself thinking of all the possible ways that I may die; and be taken away from my beautiful children. Mostly it is being confronted with another’s death, The news will often be a source for raising my fears, as I hear of fatal car accidents involving children, or tragic deaths of mother’s, and the tragedy of flight MH-17 that took the life of three Australian siblings. I cannot fathom the pain and anguish that the mother of those three children must feel. I cannot begin to understand mother’s that take their child’s life and whenever hearing of such an unspeakable incident it only makes me hold my children tighter and cover them in kisses.

I am overly affectionate with my boys; I tell them multiple times a day that I love them and how clever and wonderful they are; to the point where I am concerned I may be doing them some kind of mental disservice by my smothering mother’s love (aka: Norman Bates)… but I will never stop showing them how much I love them and cherish everyday I am with them, no matter how difficult they can be at times.

Recently an older work colleague told me he had lost his mother. He discussed how he did not find out about her passing for a few days after her passing due to conflict within the family; and it was through Facebook. He went on to say that he had not had much to do with his mother and she had been in a nursing home for quite a few years. Although my colleague was clearly upset by his mother’s death; he was certainly not devastated and part of me felt a lot of his distress came from the conflict between himself and his siblings which had obviously resurfaced.

Some days later it occurred to me the difference in how people deal with the death of their parents. I always thought to myself that I would never want to be taken away from my boys; but if I were to die when they were older, married with children of their own, I would be more “at peace” knowing they were more able to deal with the loss and had their wife and children to help them through that period of their lives. Then I thought I all the people I had witnessed that were absolutely lost following the death of their parent/s even though they themselves were grown and had children of their own. It occurred to me that it is not how old your children are that effects their level of grief, but how close the parent/child relationship was. Given that I smother my boys with love and affection, and can only hope that this translates into a close and loving bond that will continue well into their adulthood, then I can only believe (and hope) that they will be pretty upset when I die. Should I then scale back my affection? Should I put emotional distance between myself and my children so when the time comes they can put me in a nursing home and slowly fade out of my life, one less visit at a time until I die and experience minor grief and loss before going on with their lives? 

                                                                   NO WAY!!!

Unfortunately I am just going to have to be selfish in this respect and continue on loving my children in an overly affectionate, over-complimenting way and risk that they will be as devastated to see me pass on as I will be to leave them.

 

 

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

 

 

The Great Gatsby

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Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation on the classic book is in his usual ritzy and showy style; which is certainly apt for the lavish setting of the 1920’s lifestyle of the rich and famous. Most famous is the title character Jay Gatsby (Leonardo Dicaprio) renowned for his expansive and expensive parties and for the mystery surrounding his identity and background. Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire) narrates and is quickly drawn into the dramas of his Cousin Daisy (Cary Mulligan) and her unfaithful husband Tom (Joel Edgerton) and is the only person who comes to know Gatsby for who he really is. The film’s script and outlay stays true to Fitzgerald’s work and brings to life the written original. Dicaprio is a surprising choice for Gatsby, but is believable in the role and brings a likability and vulnerability to the character. Maguire narrates well and is a character of reason and sensibility; although at times can come across as deadpan and emotionless; making it hard to distinguish if this is a portrayal of Nick or Maguire’s acting style. Mulligan is standout as Daisy, an over-the-top, wishy washy woman whom one cannot help feel is not deserving of Gatsby’s long-standing love and adoration, nor the tragedy that unfolds as result of her emotional instability. (And it is easy to forget she is a mother as her daughter is rarely seen in her presence).Other actors worthy of mention include Isla Fisher as Mrtyle Wilson and Elizabeth Debicki as the straight-laced golfing champ Jordan Baker.

Luhrumann successfully portrays the rowdy glamour and selfish excessiveness of the era. Costume design is breathtaking; and chorography and direction is in true Luhrmann style ala Moulin Rouge. A must see for lovers of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby or Baz Luhrmann’s work. In my opinion Lurhmann’s take on the classic novel is by far the best book to film representation that has yet to be made.

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Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gatsby_(2013_film)

Wolf Creek 2

Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Creek_2

If you’ve seen Wolf Creek 1 then you know what to expect from its sequel: “Legendary” bushman Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) remains on his patriotic psychotic rampage, ridding Australia of foreigners by brutally killing backpackers; and anyone else who happens to anger him – police included. Just like its predecessor we watch as a poor traveller is hunted down and tortured; only to escape and just as we sigh in relief for the victim and their freedom; they are once again found and dragged back to homicidal Mick’s homestead. Wolf Creek 2 is laden with references to Australian songs and trivia; and drives home Mick’s hatred for foreigners and love for his country (and in result ruins any good work by the Australian tourism industry and will positively frighten any potential overseas visitors thinking of coming to the land down under)! The second instalment of Wolf Creek highlights the extent of Mick’s deranged mind and just how dangerous a man he is. Recommended for fans of Wolf Creek 1 and lovers of gore-fest films.

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Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Creek_2

Back into the swing of things

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog; I haven’t felt very inspired of late, and still have nothing of particular interest to write about. However, that urge to write remains and despite having nothing to really blog about I’ve decided that I should post anyway and try to get back into the swing of things.

I have been writing monthly 500 word contributions for ABC Open (www.abcopen.net.au) and have been enjoying these immensely. Each month offers a new focus topic and I was asked to record one of my contributions for radio! It was extremely hard! I needed about 10 takes; each time attempting to portray the emotion expressed throughout the piece. It astounded me how difficult it was to read something aloud without being self conscience of how you sound; battle nerves and reflect the essence of the story with varying pace and inflection. Each Tuesday I also attend a writing group for the monthly contributions where we brainstorm our monthly pieces and share our work (as well as drink coffee and tea; eat biscuits and get slightly off track in conversation)! It’s nice to have that 2 hours to myself to do something for me, as well as get constructive feedback on my writing and learn of other’s writing styles.

I return back to work in a few weeks and can hardly believe a whole year has past since the birth of my baby! While still small for his age he has certainly grown since his 2 month early entry into the world. He is crawling like a Trojan and pulling himself up on everything and scooting along lounges and the TV unit constantly. He has sprouted 4 teeth in the past 4 weeks and is all gummy smiles and giggles and loveliness. He loves nothing more than to wrestle with his brother and follow big brother around in awe and admiration.

I have been getting stuck into some serious cleaning of late; all the tasks I had set myself to do whilst on maternity leave but never completed as I’ve been much too busy doing nothing! (Having cuddles with my baby takes a lot of time and effort)! Needless to say I can now (reluctantly) return to work knowing that all my spring cleaning has been completed.

I recently got some more ink done to my former forearm tattoo; adding a bird in flight and some red roses to my letter ‘A’ to symbolize my boys spreading their wings (and the roses to make my tattoo feminine and pretty). At first I was concerned about how large my tattoo was and how much of my arm it took up and wondered if I had made a terrible mistake. I found myself worrying about what people (such as my boss) would think and whether people would look at me in a different light. A few days later however once the shock of my new addition settled I fell in love with my new tattoo and come to realise that I don’t/shouldn’t give a s@$t what others think and if they see or treat me differently because of my tattoo then that was their issue and not mine – as long as I am happy with it (which I am), then that is all that matters. I plan to get some more work done and eventually have a 1/2 sleeve on my lower arm.

We’ll, that’s all I can think to write about for now but it felt great blogging again. Hopefully next blog I will have something more creative and insightful to contribute! =)

 

 

Image Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10591

Analyse This…

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There are very few television shows I enjoy watching or can commit to watching season after season; if fact there are two: Puberty Blues (an Australian based program based on the book by the same name), and The Walking Dead. I recently finished watching Season 4 of the Walking Dead and prior to viewing was beside myself with excitement; I had been left hanging on the last season wondering how Rick, Carl, Judith and Daryl would fare (as they were/are the only characters I have any emotional attachment to) and was not disappointed by the season return (apart from one very boring episode featuring a near hour-long saga of Beth looking for alcohol and Daryl losing his shit; the only saviour being Daryl losing his shit).

Afterwards however I found myself starting to question little things; such as where are Judith’s bottles coming from; there’s hardly any fresh milk available and I’ve not seen anyone carry or prepare any formula (which they had sourced a few tins of in a previous season); and if they did where are they getting the water from to mix it with? Which leads to the realisation that apart from Beth and Daryl’s deep and meaningful drinking session I’ve not seen any character drink water or any other liquid either. Perhaps these little nuances are ‘implied’ and supposed to be presumed by the viewer as occurring; like how you never saw a Brady use the toilet but is is assumed that they like all other mere humans do require to urinate and such…

Once I started wondering I couldn’t stop; is there still electricity? I can only imagine at some point it would fail to run; which without it means no hot water, light etc. (Which in turn led me to the belief that all featuring females must either have very hairy legs and underarms or are quite handy with a knife? Perhaps some wax was picked up on a run at some point?) Also; when Daryl and Beth approached the golf club my partner asked a strange but curious question; “Who’s been maintaining the lawns”? The club while not pristine as golf clubs generally are; was certainly not overgrown as it should be in reality. Don’t get me wrong; I love the show and am still addicted and committed to seeing it out until the very end, but perhaps the creators/writers could have some respect for the anal viewers with little going on in their lives and too much time to over-analyse stuff and show someone going to the toilet; having a drink of water and the difficulty of preparing a baby’s bottle in the midst of a zombie apocalypse; surely that’s not too much to ask?..Otherwise, bring on Season 5!

Image Credit: Gene Page/AMC http://blogs.amctv.com/the-walking-dead/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-4-episode-photos/#/96

DP: I Walk the Line

 

 

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I cant say I have a particular motto or moral code I live by, however that is not to say I do not possess ‘good’ morals and ethics. I simply do not analyse my moral code so much that it particularly affects me on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately I try to live my life stress and anxiety free; taking pleasure in the little things and looking at everything in a positive light. If things are getting me down or I’m having a  bit of a shit day, I take a deep breath, plough on and a few hours later find that I got through the little dilemma or depressive slump and most times am feeling pleased with the results and much more improved in my mood. Today for example; we had plumbing issues in our house and had no hot water for approximately 12 hours. My partner and I made sure all the babies bottles were washed, water boiled and water-reservoir in the fridge filled so we had fresh drinking water. Although it was a culture shock and I lost count of how many times I turned on the tap to wash my hands before remembering there was no water, we got through the night until the following day (today) and the plumber arrived mid-morning. That however caused other issues. Whilst trying to feed the baby, make phone calls following up appointments and deal with the daily dramas of a 4 year old, the plumber trampled toilet water through the house and kindly left the bathroom in a mess so when we did have hot water again I got the pleasure of mopping the bathroom floor and trying my best to clean the carpet which the baby crawls all over while investigating his house and mobility abilities. I cant deny I was extremely stressed and a little annoyed at the time, but an hour later those feelings had past and I was simply glad to once again be living with the modern convenience of a working plumbing system. 

So, I suppose one of the moral codes I may live by would be ‘patience is a virtue’. Having patience helps me keep calm and avoid anxiety. As for other moral and virtues I possess I can’t really say as I’ve never really thought that much about it. I know if there was an old man and a baby drowning in a river I would stand on the shoreline screaming “Oh my god somebody save them’! before jumping in myself and most likely drowning due to my disgraceful swimming skills. I’m a firm believer that you should treat those how you would like to be treated and I am generally pleasant to everyone I meet unless they give me reason not to be; i.e: by being rude to me for no reason, upsetting my children, etc. However given this I feel everyone should be given a second chance and I can always see the positives in most people; (excepting anyone who abuses/harms children; then my moral code takes a 180 and all I can express for these people is nothing but contempt and disgust).

As far as being moral or immoral I know that although (as many of us have) I may have done a few ‘bad’ things in my life; (told a secret you swore confidence or lied to your parents about where you have been), I am still a ‘good’ person. I think Ernest Hemingway sums up morality best in Death in the Afternoon by saying: “So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” 

Image Credit: flickr.com

 

DP: Singing the Blues

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Whenever I am feeling down one sure thing to cheer me up is playing with my 4 year old son or giving my baby cuddles and kisses. With the silliness and outrageous comments my 4 year old comes out with it is hard to stay depressed for too long! And the feeling of baby love is just magic. Otherwise some other ways I cheer myself up are:

  • Watching a comedy film or television show.
  • As strange and macabre as it may sound; reading a sad fictitious book; when presented with characters that are having a rougher time than you are it can change your outlook on how you are feeling and make you thankful for your life/situation when it is put into perspective.
  • Going for a walk or doing exercise. Endorphins are great mood lifters.
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Listen to some of your favourite  music and sing along (but perhaps not blues)!

Image: http://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/happy.jpg

Some Handy Tips for First-Time Mothers (and second, third, fourth…)!

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Here are some (hopefully) helpful thoughts or advice on what I found made things a little bit easier when caring for baby. Although everyone is quick to give advice regarding how you should look after your baby; especially when its your first, at times this advice is not helpful despite all good intentions, or just does not suit your routine, parenting style etc. I hate to be another one of those people, and if you have already been bombarded with helpful tips and feeling are annoyed by the whole process I suggest you stop reading now! Or at least do what most do and take good information and store it for later while disregarding the not-so-helpful hints. At the end of the day you will come up with your own way of caring for your baby that suits you and your little one; which is how I came to develop these “handy tips” – which as stated are only suggestions on what I found helped made things easier and enabled me to really enjoy caring for a newborn and everything that goes with it. So, here are some of my handy hints:

  • If bottle-feeding try to wash/sterilize bottles at night so come morning (when sleep deprived), you have fresh clean bottles ready to go. Try to wash/sterilize as many as you can accommodating for all of baby’s feeds for the following 24 hour period. E.g: If baby has 4 bottles per day wash/sterilize a minimum of 4 bottles.
  • Similarly if using Milton sterilizer change solution at night also so the next day solution will be fine to use until the time you changed it last (solution lasts 24 hours). Also, you can cut down on tablet/solution use by getting another days worth of bottles clean, so hopefully you will not have to use solution the next day. E.g: My baby is on 2 bottles per day (rest breastfeed) so I sterilize 4 bottles at a time, using 2 on Day 1, leaving two for Day 2. On the 3rd day I change solution and sterilize all four bottles and repeat process for days 4, 5 and 6. Plus, its always good to have extra clean bottles on hand should baby need an extra feed.
  • Boil water at night before bed or early in morning (6-7 am). As with sterilizing solution boiled bottle water lasts for 24 hrs. I found doing this meant the water was cooled and ready to go for morning routine.
  • Put a post-it-note or have a log for sterilizing solution/boiled water to record times solution changed/water boiled, as its easy to forget. Alternatively if able try to pick a time you do both each day routinely so you know that at 8 pm for example is when solution/water ‘expires’/needs changing.
  • Have a separate kettle for baby’s bottle water. You can buy cheap kettles for around $10 and dedicate this kettle to baby’s bottle water so Mum/Dad can still have a coffee without interfering with boiling times/cool down process. There is nothing worse than having a hungry, screaming baby and a kettle full of boiling hot water that you cant use for an hour or more! If this does happen, put the boiling water in the bottle and place in fridge or even freezer to speed up the cool down.
  • If breastfeeding invest in a good quality automatic pump. AVENT (Phillips) is a fantastic model and well worth the money. Some cheaper manual ones will not extract milk effectively increasing risk of mastitis (and a lot of frustration and tears), or even not work at all. I bought a Tommee Tippee manual pump for $60 which fell apart every time after one pump. For $150 I got the AVENT automatic and loved it so much I wanted to marry it!
  • Don’t bother with expensive bottle brushes. I’ve seen (and bought) bottle brushes at ridiculous prices. I purchased one for $15 which looked aesthetically pleasing but in practicality was a piece of crap, breaking within a week. I next purchased a plain, ‘old-school’ wire one from The Reject Shop (discount store) for $4 and am still using it now after 8 months and many clean bottles with no complaints.
  • Don’t worry about housework! Yes, admittedly it is nicer and somewhat easier to cope in a  clean house but do not sacrifice your health/energy or more importantly bonding time with baby. As cliche as it may sound babies grow up quick and that special  time does not last forever so enjoy it! As a lovely little poem outlines: “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up we’ve learnt to our sorrow, so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”.
  • Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what your doing! I remember with my first born my mother and mother-in-law would say “You know what he wants” and “you know him best”; especially as far as a feeding routine was concerned, except I didn’t know what I was doing at all! Their comments would give me a sense of failure and feelings of inadequacy that my motherly instincts were not telling me what to do. In actuality it is normal to not know what to do particularly with your first baby. Babies are hard and every baby is different,Your first child will be different to your second, and third in temperament, routine etc. And; just when you think you have them worked out they will go and have a growth spurt or developmental change and throw the routine you just worked out completely out the window! Mothering is all about trial and error and going with the flow; what works one day wont always work the next, but with each adversity comes a learning experience and another ‘mothering’ skill under your belt (apron?)!
  • Take time for yourself. Don’t forget you are not just a  mother but a person! Let grandma babysit for an hour or two and go and get your hair/nails done or go out for lunch with your friends, you will feel better about yourself and appreciate baby all the more when you get back home.

I hope these tips were helpful to some and help mothers expand their “skills” and make things a little easier throughout a wonderful time in your life. Enjoy your baby because they are beautiful! xoxox

Image: “Mother and Baby” by L. Lauter fineartamerica.com

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