Things I’ve learned since becoming a mummy.

June 29, 2011 · 21 comments

I’ve been a mummy now for seven years – almost eight if you count pregnancy time.   And it’s been an interesting ride.  The scenery, and my emotional responses to it,  have been both breathtaking and character building.  I’ve watched in pure delight as my children have developed, and cheered on their milestones with happy abandonment.  But I’ve also hidden myself away in my room and cried hot bitter  tears  at the thought that I’d have to face another day without sleep or relief from the ongoing pressure of being mummy.  What a ride this little adventure turned out to be and despite all the ups and downs it’s one I’m very glad I bought a ticket for.   How could I not when, at the end of each day, I have three beautiful little people to hug and kiss goodnight.

5 lessons I’ve learned while being a parent:

  • Resist the temptation to judge.  This is almost a blanket rule for me when it comes to parenting.  You simply  can’t know what a parent has been through before they dragged their kidlets to the supermarket, school, kinder, park or wherever.   This journey has some steep, and at times soul destroying, hills that need to be conquered and I want to be the one cheering my fellow parents on – not dragging them back and adding weight to their packs.  Only ‘perfect parents’ should ever be allowed to judge other parents anyways – and I am in no way a ‘perfect parent’  .  (I’m actually pretty sure there isn’t such a creature as a ‘perfect parent’ – it’s just a fable someone made up – like the unicorn.)
  • You have to look after yourself in order to look after others well.  Sheesh it took me a while to understand this one.  My hand waved high in the air when God put a call our for marters.  It’s taken me the full seven years to  come terms with the need to put myself first sometimes.  Mother guilt has a lot to answer for!
  • Let go and have fun with your kids as much, and as often, as you can.  Someone told me early on that the things your kids will remember more than anything else are the times you left the housework and just played with them.   I really try to do this regularly (although I do occasionally need some reminding.)  I paint. I dance. I play with play-doh.  I dress up and watch Wiggles.  There is nothing better than the light in  my kids eyes when I come down to their level.  And 30 minutes at a time isn’t much (much more than that and I start to go a little loopy.) 
  • Allow yourself a creative outlet – even when you’re far to busy to have time.   I’m convinced that there is something akin to spiritual about creating.  It’s healing, empowering, restoring and well worth the effort.   My heart cried out to create when I was stuck dragging myself up the dark side of the mountain of sleep deprivation.  Feeling empty I’d come to write, bake, take photos or sew and a little piece of myself would return and spark a glimmer of relief inside me.  I don’t think it matters what or how you create – but just that you do.
  • Share with other parents.  No man (or woman) is an island.  We’re social beings and need the company and feedback others supply.  With parenting it’s no different.  Getting involved with other parents and sharing stories and experiences made a huge difference to me.  As they say ‘most of us are like the rest of us’ and the comfort you get from knowing this is very reassuring.

Have you learned anything unexpected since embarking on the path of parenthood?  Share some of your wisdom with me.



{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy July 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Keep listening! One of the things I’ve learnt this year with my eldest starting school is that she can teach me a few things if I take the time to listen and she loves that 🙂


2 B July 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

I didn’t realise if I wanted my children to learn something, I would have to demonstrate it first… Sharing… Cleaning up… Loss… Self-control… Being responsible… Keeping it together when tired… Sigh. Thankfully, my children are pretty well behaved, this must mean I have been learning well huh?


3 Julie July 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

What a fantastic post Caz, I was nodding along in agreement to ALL of those points. To be honest, after my week, they also made me feel a great deal better about some of my own thoughts.
The judgement one is a biggie! At times I wish that people in public could be a little more understanding with their looks or tone. The majority of parents are just doing their best and it doesn’t always go to plan when you’re at the shops, or the doctors or waiting in line at the bank. I remind myself of this every time I go to judge a situation I’m witnessing, because really, what do I know about that person anyway.
A real quality post Caz xo


4 Naturally Carol July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

Hi’ve done really well to learn these lessons in this short time..I think it has taken me a lot longer!


5 Caz July 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

Oh yay! Your back 🙂 So nice to see you popping up on my comments again Carol. Thanks – but the learning is ongoing!!


6 Christie-Childhood 101 June 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

What a wise woman you are, this is a great list, I especially love #3 🙂


7 Caz June 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Thanks Christie and thanks for dropping by too 🙂


8 MummyK June 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

That having fun bit hits home. I need to focus on that more than chores and work. Sigh.


9 Caz June 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I know how you feel Mummy K 🙂 I still have to make myself remember this – it’s so easy to get lost in the workload of being mummy!! Thanks for stopping by.


10 Caz June 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hope all is okay Kellie! Have you had any more news? I’m sure it will all be fine – but worry does seem to be part of the job descriptions with us mummmies!!


11 Kellie June 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

These are all fantastic, Caz. I’d have to add: “try not to worry”. Trying to learn this lesson today… and failing!! 😉


12 Kellie - Good, Bad & Unnecessary June 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned is I am capable of more than I ever gave myself credit for.
Motherhood has been at times quite a rough ride for me but we’ve all come out on top.
I need to celebrate that more often!

Great post Caz, as always 🙂


13 Caz June 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thanks Kellie and I %100 agreed with you. Celebrate lovely lady – you’re doing a fabulous job!!


14 Caz June 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I hear you Lee – I was the same. Had all these unrealistic notions of what a parent should be/do. Few kids sorted me out thou 🙂


15 Lee June 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

All your points are spot on Caz. It’s taken me almost 3 years to start to reconnect with who I am. I didn’t realise that this would have to be a conscious process.

I was sooooo judgemental of parents before I become one. I am ashamed of myself.


16 Kellie June 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Love this Caz and agree whole heartedly. I have learnt so much. I would also add be prepared to learn from your little ones. My ladies teach me something new everyday. Whether it be to look at life with fresh new eyes, to live in the moment or just that simple reminder of how wonderful it is to be a child again. I think we sometimes get caught up on what we can teach our kiddies and forget how much we can learn from them.

Above all else my munchkins have taught me to be grateful for all I have.

Lovely post Caz. xx


17 Caz June 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

So true Kellie!! They sure can teach us (or maybe remind us) of a few things.


18 Louisa June 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I love this Caz. The past couple of weeks I’ve been rewarded in great abundance by my girl when playing with her. It’s been a small rebuke that there hasn’t been enough of this happening but such a sweet reward.


19 Caz June 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm

They sure do love the time we spend with them. I just keep thinking of the type of memories I want them to have. And I need something to balance out the grumpy sleep deprived side of mummy too!!


20 Melissa June 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

All of those points are spot on! I’m a huge advocate for ‘me’ time, as well as the time that the washing up gets left and I roll around on the floor with the kids before they go to bed – washing up can be done after they’re asleep!

Best thing I have learnt is that you need to remain true to yourself, despite what other people think/say (I guess this follows on from your ‘judging’ point above). We are still the same people we were before we had kids. Good friends recently said that we have fast become their closest friends because we’re the only ones who have a sense of humour since having kids – everyone else became too serious and/or changed the people they were. If you can’t be yourself, you can’t be a good parent (again, follows on from your 2nd point above about taking care of yourself to be able to take care of others). How can we teach our kids about integrity and independence if we don’t show them either?

Great post!


21 Caz June 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Melissa 🙂 What you are saying is so true! Shame its taken me a while to learn these things hey!!


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