When the lovely Bridget of Bridie by the Sea tagged me to take part in the #RockingMotherhood tag, I must admit that I thought it would be difficult to come up with 10 reasons why I’m doing well at this thing we call motherhood. On the whole, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, and find myself doubting my mothering abilities rather than taking pride in them. And I guess that’s why Pat at White Camillias originally wrote about why she was rocking motherhood, to make us mums that do doubt ourselves realise that actually, we’re not as bad as we think we are.
…I don’t mind messy play too much.
I must admit that sometimes the thought of messy play does feel a little overwhelming to me. But, I have to say that whenever we do attempt messy play, I actually really enjoy it, and any mess that is created is easily cleaned up. And so we do do messy play a fair bit.
During the summer months, we did lots of water play, with me setting up the paddling pool and lots of little pots of water for him to pour water from and stir with spoons and his bucket and spade. So far this winter, we’ve been doing painting and baking. I really want to invest in a Tuff Spot ready for this summer, so that we can do some imaginative messy play, too!
…Baby Lighty eats a fairly balanced diet.
I’m really pleased that Baby Lighty, on the whole, tends to eat a really balanced diet. We’re lucky in that he is a little fruit bat, and will happily eat fruit as a snack. Coupled with a couple of portions of vegetables a day, it’s a rare day when Baby Lighty doesn’t get his five a day. He’s also got quite varied tastes for a 20 month old, and isn’t afraid of a bit of spice. He will happily wolf down a whole enchilada, for example. And I don’t think we could have been more proud than when he happily tucked into the Indian food at a family Hindu wedding we attended last summer.
Having said that, we’re not too strict with treats, either. Within reason, he does have a treat a couple of times a week. I don’t want him to think that there’s anything majorly taboo about treating yourself, nor do I want him to be the kid that goes to a birthday party and makes himself sick on sweets, which is why we allow treats to a certain extent. Everything in moderation!
…I’m not too hung up on gender stereotypes.
There were a few raised eyebrows when I bought Baby Lighty a baby doll and doll’s buggy for Christmas. But quite frankly, if he wants to play with them, then who am I to stop him? Mr Lighty and I commented the other night that he’s got a really caring streak in him, as is witnessed when you see him say that the baby is ‘tired’ and pat the doll on the head sayinging “Night night baby”. Why would I quash that compassionate side?
Similarly, he also has a play kitchen and a toy Henry Hoover, because it’s not only women that cook and clean (and in actual fact, Mr Lighty does most of the cooking in the Lighty household, so Baby Lighty probably wants to be just like Daddy). And don’t even get me started on the pink Fisher Price teapot; it’s one of Baby Lighty’s most loved toys, but why oh why in this day and age do they only make it in pink and purple and not in more gender neutral colours?! Whatever its colour, he loves it, and all of these toys fire his imagination. This is not to say that he isn’t partial to playing with his Brio trains, or “choo choos” as he calls them, or his plastic dinosaurs!
…I’m Baby Lighty’s translator.
I’m probably biased, but I do think that Baby Lighty can say a lot for his age. Having said that, we are very much in that stage where there are certain things that only I can understand, as his mother. Mr Lighty has said quite a few times that I’m like his translator, when Baby Lighty attempts to say a word and I turn round and say “You’d like a drink?” and he nods, or “You want to do the Hokey Cokey?” and he starts dancing. I suppose that’s what comes of having a good bond with your child, and is something I’m quite proud of!
…I have a really good work-life balance.
I’m so, so lucky in that I only work two days a week, and then freelance as a copywriter during the evenings once Baby Lighty is in bed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty hard going, writing every night, and I never really have an evening to myself, but I can’t complain about the fact that for five days a week, I am at home with Baby Lighty.
…We get out and socialise almost every day.
I try to get out and about with Baby Lighty pretty much every day. Either we visit one of our regular baby groups, or the Rhyme Time session at our local library. If we’re not at a group, we’ll either have a play date at ours or at one of our friends’ houses. Of course, there are also the days when I’m at work and Baby Lighty is with our lovely childminder, and getting the social aspect that way. I feel like it’s really important that he does get to socialise with his friends, as it’s great for his social and mental development. Not to mention that it’s good for my sanity to see my tribe of mum friends regularly!
…I’m better at playing than I thought I would be.
Before having Baby Lighty, I was always the adult that felt awkward around kiddies. Indeed, I’d always be the one that they’d pass the baby to and it would immediately break into tears. And I must admit that when I was pregnant, I’d often worry whether I’d feel like this with my own child.
Well, I can safely say that I seem to have forgotten my awkwardness around kiddies, at least with my own*. Baby Lighty and I do lots of imaginative play, and so you’ll often find me drinking imaginary cups of tea, or pretending to eat plastic food, changing the baby doll’s nappy, pushing trains around a train track or making teddies talk. Similarly, if someone were to look through our living room window, you may well see Baby Lighty and I dancing around like loons, perhaps with him on the guitar that he got for Christmas, or the two of us doing the actions to his favourite nursery rhymes. I also try to incorporate a fair amount of learning into our play, and at the moment we are doing counting, colours and animal sounds as we play, and I like to think that I’m good at adding those educational aspects into our playtime.
*I still struggle a bit with other people’s kiddies, but we can’t have it all!
…I’m better with noise than I thought I would be.
Just as I worried about playing, the other thing I really worried about when I was pregnant was noise. Mrs Lighty is not good with noise. Particularly when I’ve got a migraine, and it feels like the entire world and its noise is going to climb down my ear and play the drums. One noise, such as the radio or TV playing in the background I can do. More than that? My hackles start to rise. So the thought of a small person plus children’s telly on in the background plus the inevitable
piles of noisy plastic crap educational musical toys really did make me worry. If you’d asked me what my biggest fear was as a mother-to-be, dealing with the noise levels would’ve likely have been my answer.
But, now that that aforementioned noisy small person is here, it’s actually ok. For the most part, I can deal with Baby Lighty singing, playing the guitar, and pressing the button on his pink teapot that makes it sing while Mr Tumble warbles on about the fact that we’re all friends in the background. Even when I’ve got a migraine. Although I don’t think Mr Lighty has quite got the memo yet, as he hasn’t realised that him adding a video played on his phone loudly into the mix is enough to tip me over the edge!!
…Baby Lighty is surprisingly polite.
At 20 months, Baby Lighty is surprisingly good with his please and thank yous. At about a year old, he was actually saying something that sounded suspiciously like “thank you”, and in the right context too. Then shortly after he started to say please. Now at 20 months we seem to have lost “thank you” a little bit but it has been replaced with “please please” instead! If you give him something to eat or drink, he will almost always say “please please!” unprompted, which is really cute. Quite where “please please” has come from and where “thank you” has disappeared to, I don’t know, but I can’t really complain as he is most certainly trying his best!
…I’ve got a never ending supply of hugs and kisses.
Even though Baby Lighty has now got to the stage where he says, “Mummy, no!” when I’ve kissed his birthmark for the hundredth time that day, there is and always will be a never ending supply of hugs and kisses readily available to him. And I know that he feels loved, because now when I tell him that I love him, he responds with a big “mwah!” and a kiss. Some of my favourite times are those peaceful moments when he’s snuggled on my lap for a cuddle. And if for no other reason, this one is the reason why I’ll be #rockingmotherhood for some time to come, because my arms will always be open to my beautiful baby boy, no matter how big he gets.
I’m now going to nominate some of my fellow lovely bloggers who I know are also #RockingMotherhood. They are:
Abi from Something About Baby
Azaria from Being Mrs Lynch
Cheryl from Tea or Wine
Looking forward to reading all of your excellent reasons as to why you’re all #RockingMotherhood!
Proud to be linking up with: