Monday, January 31, 2011

Assumptions can be conversation killers... I found out yesterday at a friends baby shower, and sometimes it can set people straight and delightfully surprise them.

So as I mentioned and posted pics just a few days ago I headed off to "S" baby shower yesterday with my handmade outfit for her little precious bundle when she arrives. When I turned up it was interesting to watch the reaction and looks at me from "S" older family members and family friends when they saw me waddle in my heavily pregnant state. Many of "S" friends were already there and turning up as I arrived. "S" is very lucky to have a very big group of girlfriends and you can see by looking at all them and the way they carry themselves they all have their own sense and style.......the posh one, the boho one, the sporty one etc, etc. They were all giggling and chattering crew of girls in that 21 - 22 age group that "S" herself is in. I could overhear all her friends talking about nights out, dinner and drinks etc, the sorts of conversations we probably have all had back when we celebrated those years.

So given that I am 12 plus years older then "S" and her friends I took up a seat with her family members: aunts, grans, nans, great grans, mums of daughters attending who know "S", older cousins etc. It was funny listening to their conversations as they watched all of "S" friends. Obviously with it being a baby shower a lot of the conversation from this group was about babies and what they did in their day......I could hear comments of "the young ones just don't bother with that sort of stuff today, that's why there are so many problems". I heard other conversations and comments about "young ones" being relationships too early and so forth. Now don't get me wrong on my initial arrival and sitting down and after catching many a sideways glance it got the better of many older guests there to ask when I was due to have my baby. However when their conversations of the "mothers of today" continued they kept giving me these looks like how disappointing its all changed, like I was possibly the epitome of what they were saying.

So this is where the assumptions started and off hand comments were made to me. We had the "you don't need to worry about that comment" in regards to getting married and that I had plenty of time and didn't need to rush into it. Obviously there was shock when I said well I would probably be 12 or more years older then all the girls over there and I have been with my husband for 16 years and married 13 of those years this year. Oh you don't look like you're in the your 30's (they thought I was on of "S" school friends) was the response........compliment taken. From there I was then accepted more openly into that conversation about relationships and marriage!

Second assumption came about next when the baby food tasting game started. "You will be good at guessing these foods we never had any of that in our days". "Ummmm, no I'm unlikely to have anymore of a clue then the rest of you, I don't feed my child food from jars, I cook from scratch" was my response. This threw some of them and they really didn't know what to say so on with the game we got. Which I decided to exclude myself from because the sight and smell of some the tins and jars was just rank in my preggy opinion.

Third assumption was when the conversation of breastfeeding started up and the older women were talking about how short a period of time mothers these days feed for or not at all. I got some of those blank, raised eyebrow looks that suggest the assumption was that "the best choice wasn't being made" and I was likely one of them who hasn't given it a go. Imagine the surprise then when I mentioned that I was still breast feeding my 22 month old son (and that I had re lactated for him). "Oh but what are you going to do when the baby comes?" "Keep going and feed both" was my response. Of course there were all sorts of comments of that's amazing and it being wonderful, right down to "why would you do that you're mad and you don't know what you're getting yourself in for" and everything else in between. As well as the odd scoff that suggested that I might fall flat on my face in that pursuit and that I lacked appropriate knowledge.

Fourth assumption was over the conversation of nappies that started up. Those comments of "the young ones don't do cloth anymore they can't be bother, they use the plastic ones instead" could be heard. As well as "you can't find cloth anywhere, not anymore it's just a thing of the past" type comments. Of course along with that came the look of disappointment about those times as they blankly looked at me and the suggestion that I might be one of those mums that takes "the easy way out". To which they soon found out that in fact my son is in cloth nappies full time (full time really? yes full time, all the time day and night) and that within next to no time I would be having 2 cloth full time.

So you would of thought by now that the assumptions and suggestion about me or towards me would have stopped at this point by now. But no there was more conversation about mothers these days not sewing, knitting etc and not wanting that sort of thing anymore for their baby/children. So when it came to "S" opening her gifts and she finally unwrapped mine at the end to reveal the little outfit I had made. "S" looked at me and said "did you make this" to which I quietly nodding and said yeah". "S" declared thank you so much Trudie I love it, it's so cute. Of course I could hear a few whispers in the background by the older members of the family.......I don't think they saw that coming out of me either.

With me outlining all of these conversations it by no means, meant that I didn't enjoy my time yesterday, rather the contrary I had a rather enjoyable afternoon relaxing. In my response to all these conversations and assumptions I wasn't rude or impolite or offended and conversation continued on most occasions with these women.......I guess they just didn't stop making assumption that's the only thing. I just replied to things as they are for me and my family, because I don't like people to pigeon hole me and assume I am something I am not.

I guess at the end the day I left some people shocked and others in some sort of admiration of me and my dedication to things. Oh and for others I think some of them just think I am plain mad and won't hold it altogether. I guess that's where the basis of this entry and post is about. My dear "S" is due to have her first child in April she is going to be a young mummy and she has looked to me for guidance and reassurance that she can breast feed and cloth nappy her child. I just hope through that she has the strength and resilience being a young first time mummy to get past the assumptions that will undoubtedly be made about her. I know when you're younger,but also when you're a first time mum (young or old) that it's easy to get bogged down in peoples assumptions and criticisms of you whilst you're trying the find your way with this new life in your arms. I just hope for "S" sake that she will come to me with her concerns, so I can help guide her along the way in the those early days!

Aside from all that overall I think many mothers young and old really need to lighten up on their assumptions of others and give each other more of a chance and more support! At the end of the day you would be hard pressed to find a mum who isn't trying her best for her family and their unique and specific situation.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby Shower Gift

No not my baby shower, I'm not having one this time around. Why? Um I don't know, well I didn't want to have to organise it so I just haven't had one! However I do have a sweet friend of mine, actually she is/was my hairdresser and has become a very sweet friend over the last few years having a baby shower this weekend. This dear honey is due to have her baby about 8 or so weeks after I have belly bubs. As "S" as I shall call her, is going to be a lot younger mummy then me (she just turned 22 in December) she is the first of any of her friends to be having a baby. So I am, a bit of the big sister so to speak in showing her the way with bubs and her support system to cloth nappying and breastfeeding that she has told me she would like to do. I am very excited for her and the time that lays ahead for her and hope that I will be able to give her appropriate advice and support. I have offered to her that once I have belly bubs she is most welcomed to come visit as much as she likes in those early weeks and hang out to get more of a feel of what she is in store for when her bubs arrives.....she appears rather keen to take me up on that offer.

Anyways enough of the ramblings "S" baby shower is on Sunday and with funds being low until the start of February and until belly bubs arrives I got creative with a small gift for her baby shower. Here are a few pics of a simple little outfit I have made for her sweet little girl. A tiny little skirt made from a vintage inspired printed fat quarter and simple little singlet with a sweet little bow. I am really happy with how it all turned out (some of best sewing to date, I must say). I wish I had the energy, time and motivation to do more for her at the moment. However I have others to do for other new arrivals at the moment and I have promised "S" that I will help her with her cloth nappy stash building as she will probably be scoring all sorts of extras over the coming weeks and months from me anyhow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pics of my sweet boy!

I haven't posted pics for ages of Cohen, so I thought you might all enjoy seeing what we have been up to this week.

Wednesday for Australia Day we headed off down to the Broadwater really early hoping that the little kiddies paddle area would be open......but alas not until 9am and they don't even let the water flow in until then. So instead we ate our breakfast of jam sandwiches and fruit under the trees and then daddy took Cohen for a paddle in the actual Broadwater itself.

Oh and here are a few pics of Cohen playing with play dough I made for him a few days ago. It's been a good 14 years or so since I have made play dough when I used to work in childcare and even then I never used a recipe that involved cooking it. Since I had forgotten how to make it I just used the cooked recipe from the Cream of Tartar container and it turned out awesome......not a bad effort I say after 14 odd years. Anyways first pic is Cohen's creation which he informed was a dog and then went *pant, pant* with his tongue out.

Cohen cuddling his play dough dog!

Oh no dog lost his head!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Final Stretch

I am on the final stretch as they say, and man oh man am I feeling it. From aches, pains, cramps, braxton hicks, emotional and mental meltdowns, it's all happening. I never like saying the words "I am so over it", it conjures up a lot of emotion from thoughts and feelings I had when I was struggling with Elle and Meg's pregnancy! However I am very much looking forward to our precious little bundle making their appearance known earthside. I had a hospital appointment last week and as I had expected from aches and pains etc I have been suffering, they confirmed my thoughts that belly bubs has already started to descend.

On the front of getting organised and ready for bubs, I am doing well I think. Of course there are always more and more little things you would like to have in order and done before bubs comes, but overall we are pretty set. All the essentials are covered and at the end of the day that is really the only thing that is important. Just before sitting down to do this entry I was just going through all the baby clothes I recently inherited and was sorting it all out into sized piles. I seriously don't know how it happened but I have loads of clothes now. I have gone from having next to nothing to a plentiful wardrobe for bubs.

Hospital bags are pretty much packed, well the essentials are! Bubs bag is jammed packed with cloth nappies and covers etc. I am very excited to be having this bub in cloth from the first nappy. In MY bag apart from the ordinary stuff you would expect in a mummas bag, the next most exciting thing I have in there is my HAB ring sling as I hope and intend to start my baby wearing early. With Co being such an active tacker I still want to be able to interact with him as much as I can whilst caring for a newborn, and I see slings and wraps as a potential lifesaver for me. I am also hoping that it will work in the early days of managing and navigating the world of tandem breastfeeding and how to accommodate the needs of two children. That's right Cohen is still going strong (recently celebrating a year on our re lactation proud of us) so I am doing all I can to be prepared for him to want to continue. I have been flicking through a tandem breastfeeding book from the ABA library, and I have already spoken to the hospitals LC and I also have the wonderful advice and assistance of some other tandem mummas I know in real life and on line. I hope all that bodes well for the best chance of making tandem feeding work for us, that's if Co wishes to continue once bubs arrives.

There has been so much more happening of late, and a lot of it I have been back and forth in my mind about wanting to share it with you all. But a lot of it is so complex and involved with managing my pregnancy, PTSD and OCD that I would rather share other adventures and happenings with you at the moment. In saying that though I am very much looking forward to sharing more with you all very soon and also the announcement of our bubs safe arrival.

I shall retreat for now back into my nest, I may step out again before bubs arrives but we will see........otherwise the next time you will hear from me I will be basking in newborn snuggles.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

In 2011 I'm going to be.....

Everything I have always thought I could be or at least give it a bloody good shot! I to am one of those ones who doesn't like to say they make resolutions. I hate the term resolutions around the close of a year and the start of a new one. It gives me the feeling of having to start things from day dot and all the pressure and expectation of that! Anyways I prefer to just say there are things I "would like to achieve" that way if I don't achieve them I don't feel so bad about it, because a lot of things in life are out of your control anyways!

In saying goodbye to 2010 I am saying goodbye to some really bad times and some of the most joyous and enlightening times of the year are coming with me into 2011. So here I go with my rambling list of things, thoughts and feelings about 2010 and what I am hoping for or looking forward to in 2011.

* well it being the 1st of January 2011 sees us in the month of last year where my re lactation journey with Cohen started, after I had another miscarriage! In a few short weeks we will mark a year on this incredible second chance journey together. So I am looking forward with hope that he will still want his boobie time with his mummy when belly bubs arrives very, very, very soon! Of course if he decides between now and then or after bubs arrives it's the end of this journey I will be sad and mourn but at least I know he will have made the choice this time and not me!
* in next to no time I am going to be the mum of two, WOW! So many thoughts and feelings about that excitement and nervousness and many other things that I can't really put into words but it's all good.
* along with my nesting that is still in force, I hope along with that comes a new found sense of proper organisation in this house which will bring more peaceful calm and flow to our day to day life.
* I am so driven this year to find a way to manage 2 kids and continue to give myself creative time that I have so been enjoying in the last 6 months. I must say the one true "goal" I have this year is to have things under control enough that I can get enough done with my business MY VINTAGE VOW to start venturing out to the weekend market scene. Big plans and big goals there, I really want this more then I have wanted anything else in regards to appeasing those creative, artistic, entrepreneur desires of mine for the longest time.
* I would really and truly like to pull my finger out to write that book I have always said I wanted to do.
* and aside from all that I want to be a good mum and laugh, play, sing, create and more with them. I want to give baby wearing a good go with belly bubs and I want to handle having 2 in cloth on my ear (which I am sure I will). I want to tandem breastfeed if Cohen is open to it. I want start studies to be a breastfeeding counsellor with the ABA (which is something I am leaving to think about until the other half of this year). I want to just live life, be happy, reduce chaos that affects this family from my own family dramas, I want to be grateful for all that I have and more and the potential of what a new day may bring!

I hope that everyones year is all that they dream them to be and deserve for them to be. May you and your families lives this year be filled with joy, and even if it is filled with sadness at times, may it be just enough sadness to allow you to further appreciate just how special life's magical moments really are.

Happy 2011 everyone!
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