This post is inspired by an article I read on a mummy site recently about unexpected benefits of being a parent. It got me thinking about the little things that I LOVE about being a mum – things that I wasn’t really banking on. Here’s my list…
Since having Little J 15 months ago, I have become a swinger. I love swinging! It’s ace! I can’t get enough of it. I do, of course, mean swinging of the park kind, rather than the “car keys in the fruit bowl” type swinging favoured by middle class semi detached people with pampus grass in the front garden.
J has just reached the age where he loves a good park and we are lucky enough to live in a lovely little country town with lots of fantastic ones, perfect for toddlers. I try to take him a couple of times a week to our local village park, especially if I’ve been working and he’s been at nursery all day. It’s a nice way to chill out, get some fresh air, and reconnect with my little guy after a day’s graft (sitting on my iMac in a coffee shop. Boo hoo.)
A few months back, I popped Little J in a toddler swing for the first time and he wasn’t massively keen, so I put him on my knee and got on the big swing. Oh my actual goodness! I realised then and there that I’d probably not been on a swing since I was a kid – it was like the scene in Ratatouille where the food critic eats a bite of his food and is instantly transported back to his carefree idyllic childhood. It was lovely! There wasn’t anyone else there so we enjoyed the sunshine and had a lovely old swing while I sang songs to J. It was so liberating. I was at one with nature. And It was something that will stick in my mind forever.
Ok ok, some kids TV shows are pretty ropey, and sometimes I feel like the Peppa Pig theme tune is engrained into the deep recesses of my brain. I can just…hear it. When it’s not even on. Even more since J has discovered YouTube (yes, he is 15 months old. Not 15.)
But little piggy madams aside, some kids telly is so nice. I suppose it reminds me of my childhood (again!) where I lapped up Button Moon, Playgroup with Floella Benjamin (showing my age now, eeek!) and Mighty Mouse. It’s a real return to innocence. Waybuloo and Night Garden are particular favourites in our house. And we are all big fans of the night night song on CBeebies (altogether now “Goodbye Sun! Now that the day is done, it’s going to be night time sooooon...”)
I even quite like Peppa sometimes (shhh!) and find myself quite engrossed in her shenanigans.
My name is Eve and I am an animal botherer. If there’s something cute and fluffy in the vicinity, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be cooing over it/stroking it/giving it bread/biscuits/nuts/grass (delete as appropriate). Over the years I have bothered numerous cats, countless dogs, many horses, red squirrels, grey squirrels, lambs, goats, bunnies, cows, snakes, several alpacas, lots of kangaroos, a parrot, two joeys, a quokka and one rather alarmed possum.
Thing is, it can look a bit weird to see a 36 year old gleefully skipping after an alpaca armed with a handful of grass, or shrieking with delight over a red squirrel spot.
Having a child with you instantly makes all of this ok. J isn’t that bothered by animals, but he LOVES birds. He’d watch pigeons potter about for hours and he’s an avid duck-feeder. I’m sure that when he’s older my fluffy animal love will rub off, but until then I can just pretend that my bothersome antics are aimed at him. “Oooh look J! A wittle BUNNY!! Weeeeeee!”
Staying in on Friday nights
Before I fell preggers I was out every weekend. In fact, now that I am a mummy I am rather alarmed by the amount of dosh I used to spend on…well, boozing!
I must admit, during those first few months of pregnancy, I found Friday nights really hard. They were usually the nights to bob out for a well-deserved drink after work with my colleagues, and then relax with a glass of wine and a takeaway at home before possibly popping again out to meet my friends for another…glass of wine! Or (as my good friends will testify) a Blue Wkd. (Whaaat??? They taste like blue ice pops!! Oh ok ok they are pretty horrific!). It was weird adjusting to Friday nights being like any other for a pregnant lady – no booze, heathy food, water and bed at 8pm! Yawn.
Nowadays I go out about once every three months due to my husband’s shifts and our zero childcare situation, but you know what? I don’t mind really. I love Friday nights in now, although I have clearly reintroduced a glass of red to the proceedings! Wine, Corrie, my sofa and a sleeping baby. What a lovely combo!
Going out every Friday and Saturday night and drinking wine means hangovers and 11am lie-ins, followed by bacon butties and lots of coffee.
Now that I’m a mummy I’m up with my boy with the birds, I get to enjoy the early morning sunshine streaming through the window (hangover free) and I’m very grateful to J for making me into an adult, at last!
I always used to wonder why my Grandma got up so early (she used to wake me up at 5.30am with a jam sandwich and a cup of tea when I stayed over as a kid!) but I understand now. Those quiet mornings watching the sun light up the green hills that I can see through my window are pretty special. Makes me feel very at peace with the world! And, going to bed while it’s still a bit light in summer and watching Seinfeld re-runs is also pretty cool…
Yep. I’m officially elderly.
Not sweating the small stuff
Before having J I was a bit of a worry wort. I was always worrying over something. Even though I knew it didn’t do me any good, I couldn’t help it.
Now I’ve had my little boy, I do still worry about some things, naturally, but I’ve stopped sweating the small stuff. The little irritating things about life seem to melt away really. I feel much more content, more of the time. Maybe it’s because your brain has enough to deal with, thank you, without freaking out over silly little things, so it doesn’t. On the flip side though, the news makes me sob every night. Oh well! You can’t have everything!
What do you love about being a mum?