Tuesday 4 April 2017

I’m Rocking Motherhood – and spinning and flapping and bouncing…..

When I first became a mum in 2009 I was absolutely elated and terrified all at the same time. I was besotted by my little girl and vowed to do anything and everything to protect her and help her to grow. But I was terrified that I would stuff it all up. In the following few months after her birth I had quite a few doubts about my abilities and was subsequently diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. Being put onto medication helped me to realise that I was doing a fine job at the motherhood gig.

After just over 8 years of motherhood and two little superheroes later, I know that I am not perfect but I do try my hardest to be a good mum. I have my good days and also my not so good days but I am rocking motherhood to the best of my abilities! I still have moments where I doubt my abilities or second guess myself, don’t we all, but these days I try not to beat myself up about it.

I saw this rocking motherhood challenge a few months ago and thought that it was a brilliant idea. We, and I’m talking both mums and dads here, spend a lot of time beating ourselves up, that at times we fail to recognize all of the great things that we do as parents. It’s as if we take for granted how we are rocking this parenting gig. I am slowly learning to acknowledge all the great things that I do for my little superheroes and I am becoming better at accepting the recognition from others. But it has taken me a long time to get to this point.

Thank you Tina from over at No You Need to Calm Down for nominating me to complete the 10 Ways I’m Rocking Motherhood Challenge. By the way Tina I love your blog title, I’m sure that I have said that phrase numerous times over the last 8 years! When you’ve read my Challenge response, why don’t you head on over to Tina’s blog and read what she had to say about how she is rocking motherhood.

When I accepted the challenge to show the ways in which I am rocking motherhood, I then had to start thinking about 10 different ways in which I am rocking this gig. Mmmmm, not as easy as I thought.

I came up with a few ways but then came to a complete mind blank. So I did what Tina did – she pretended that somebody told her that she was a bad mum and you can imagine the response that that evoked. Well, I too would tell them “#@#* off” and remind them that they really should start sleeping with one eye open.

Then I came up with the rest of the ways that I rock motherhood!

I don't always put my little superheroes first.....

Now when you first read this you're probably thinking that that is really poor form on my behalf but it really isn't. I always ensure that my little superheroes are fed, clothed and looked after, their medical needs are always attended to and their schooling needs are always met but to do all of this I have to look after me first. This has literally taken me 8 years to fully understand the importance of. There are times when I need a break before I can attend to my little superheroes needs. At times I do need to walk away from situations and take some deep breaths before I go back in.

There are times when I do need to complete chores before I can help them out. And personally I think this is a good thing as my little superheroes are learning that they're not going to be waited on hand and foot. They're learning patience and sometimes, just sometimes, they start doing whatever they want done by themselves so they are also learning independence.

I can turn everyday run of the mill household chores into a therapy activity.....

Everything at superhero headquarters can be turned into a therapy activity at the drop of a hat. Helping to hang out the washing on the line helps develop their sensory proprioception awareness as they are carrying items of different weights. Using the pegs to hang out washing develops their fine motor control. Drying dishes in the kitchen helps with crossing their midline. Putting toys away is another activity that helps develop their proprioception awareness. If I can see a therapy opportunity, I will make the most of it!

I learn from my mistakes and own up when I make them....

I am not perfect, I do make mistakes and when I do I always own up to them. I think that it is good for my little superheroes to see that I do make mistakes, that I do forget things at times as they can then see that you don't have to be perfect. My little superheroes will learn that everyone makes mistakes. They see and hear me saying sorry and taking responsibility so that the next time that they make a mistake, they know that it is okay and that they should say sorry too. For me it is important to admit when I am wrong and to then try to do better. This is something that I want my little superheroes to understand.

I play hide and seek with my little superheroes......

And I join in on their water fights. We read books under the dining room table. We eat icy poles in winter. I dance in public with them, well I try to and usually get shot down! I wear the superhero shirts and outfits that they choose as presents for me. We bounce on the trampoline at 3am in the morning, although not sure how the neighbours feel about that! I join in on their games even when the games make no sense to me what so ever! It is these little indulgences that bring me most joy! I try to teach my little superheroes that they don't always need the television on. I want them to stretch their imagination and not always have to depend on an external source of entertainment. I want them to have fun!

I have taught my little superheroes all I know about manners......

Please, thank you, you're welcome, thank the chef, bless you and so on. Basic manners seem to be disappearing from society. I am determined that my little superheroes will know what manners are and be able to use them. Although when we're at home, you'd be wondering where my polite little superheroes have disappeared to as when we are in public they are both always being complimented on their manners.

I am letting my little superheroes learn the skills that they need to navigate through life......

At times it would be much easier to do things for my little superheroes, but they have to learn how to do things for themselves. Independence is a skill that does need to be practiced and I want my little superheroes to try things by themselves first before I step in. From doing household chores, to tying their shoelaces, to letting O do research on the computer and learning how to manage her anxiety and everything in between. I am always there to help them back up if they fall and to help them with a step if they are truly struggling but I do want them to pave their own way in this world. Doing it this way I am also enabling their confidence to grow!

And on the occasion that they whinge and whine at me and tell me that it isn't fair that I am "making" them do things, I politely tell them that no it isn't fair, it's actually raining outside! Seriously we do that in our place! I remind them that life isn't always fair, we do have to suck it up and get back on with life but at the same time I show them empathy and explain that I do understand why they are upset. Then I explain why I am asking them to try something first before asking for help and then the penny drops.....

I am patient, well most of the time......

What is the saying, that patience is a virtue? In an ASD house, patience really is a virtue. One of the crucial things that I learnt very early on in our autism journey was that patience is a must. Like when my little superheroes are tripping over their words or when L is changing his clothes for the 4th time on a Saturday morning or when we're trying to get L back to sleep at various times throughout the night. Becoming frustrated is a fruitless activity, all frustration does is make the situation worse and O or L will usually end up in a meltdown.

I am regularly told that I have the patience of saint but really I don't, you just don't see me grinding my teeth or biting my tongue so that I stay silent! And when I do find myself becoming impatient that is when I will walk away, breathe and count to 10!

I am my little superheroes advocate....

Being my little superheroes advocate is one thing that I am very proud of. Until my children find their own voices and become their own advocate, I am doing that for them - that is one of my roles as a parent. Every child deserves the best, every child deserves to have their health, well being and best interests to be taken care of. Raising children with special needs is complicated and you do have to take on the role of being an advocate as well as being a parent. Being an advocate does make the parenting gig a little harder but seeing my little superheroes progress makes it all worth while.

I have learnt when to push and when to let it slide.......

I really do pick my battles and on a daily basis.  Is that fact that L is dressed in a power ranger costume with his school uniform underneath really such a terrible thing? Nope, at least he has clothes on! If they want spaghetti or baked beans most nights for dinner, at least they are eating something. There are times when I do need to push them, like when O needs to do her homework or when L needs to brush his teeth, and I have no hesitation in pushing them to do these things. But if it isn't essential and by pushing my little superheroes means that a meltdown will occur, then we'll let it slide. That's not to say my little superheroes get their own way all the time, we just find different ways to approach the situation. We become creative!

I love my little superheroes unconditionally......

No matter where we are or what has just happened, my little superheroes know that they can always come for a hug and that I love them. Life with meltdowns can and is hard. At times my little superheroes say and do things that they aren't fully aware of and that they don't mean. They have said some very hurtful things. But at the end of the day I still love them and I will always love them. And I want my little superheroes to know that I do love them unconditionally, no matter what.

At the end of each and every day before I go to bed, I go and check on both my little superheroes, more so O as she does sleep in her own bed. I gaze at their peaceful faces and I kiss them goodnight. And then I think, yep I am doing a great job at this motherhood gig!

My hope in writing down my 10 ways in which I am rocking motherhood is that others will start thinking about and acknowledge the ways in which they also rock motherhood.

The following mums inspire me, I think they are rocking motherhood and I am hoping that they too will take up the challenge to list the 10 ways in which they rock! So the challenge is being passed to Breyona over at Savage Seven Blog, Trisha over at Plant Based Mummy, Whitney over at the Modern Chic Mom and Dre Deoshree over at Ethnically Mom.

I'd also love to hear about how you are rocking motherhood, or parenthood!


  1. I am also patient at times, not always. I need to get better with my patiences, I know its something I have to work on. I really like how you wrote this about your kids.

  2. We're not perfect and it's ok. You are doing great.

  3. It seems like you have a good balance of teaching your children proper etiquette and life lessons, while enjoying their childhood with them. Very sweet!

  4. I'm not a mum but I love playing hide and seek with my niece. She's 2- nearly 3 and it so cute. So I'm rocking aunthood. xx

  5. When you become a mum it must feel like the most terrifying thing in the world but then must become the most amazing job in the world! Your superheroes sound like so much fun ☺️ Even if they push you, they will always be there to look up to you and love you forever!

  6. Wow. It sounds like you really have this motherhood thing down! I love that you don't always put your kids first. I think more parents need to do that. Their NEEDS should be met first - but their wants can wait - or they can earn them sometimes.

  7. Your thoughts on patience really resonate with us. We've been prioritizing that a lot ourselves lately. The world is just moving so fast these days, so much information, so much to do, just so much. Patience is a real key for sure.

  8. What a beautiful post!! You are a lovely mother <3


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