Before I was pregnant with Che I drove around in a mint green 1978 Triumph and spent my time going to yoga classes, writing freelance for magazines, going to the beach, reading books, studying yoga and catching up with friends. In retrospect I had all the time in the world. Daniel and I had been together for four months when we moved into a little (love) shack. Within the first month I was pregnant with Che.
Currently I’m the main breadwinner in our family. I work from home and every day I remind myself how lucky I am to have that opportunity. My primary job is freelance writing for a variety of magazines. I also teach prenatal yoga and birth workshops at my mother-in-law’s yoga studio nearby. Daniel is trying to break into the film industry as a camera assistant – it’s hard work but I believe he’ll do it. When I’m working he takes care of the kids. When I’m not working we wander down to the beach, got for coffee at our local cafe and hang around at home. Our life is very simple, just how we like it.
When I had Che someone said to me: “You’re a mama forever now.” Of course I had never thought of it that way but I think as a statement it’s all encompassing of this motherhood journey. It’s 24/7, every day for always. It’s hard work but by the far the most rewarding. I really love being a mum. Letting go is hard. I remember during my pregnancy with Poet – the house was immaculate, everything was in order and I found that incredibly satisfying. I often reminded myself that it wouldn’t be like that with a new baby. I don’t cope well with mess or chaos but there’s some days where I just have to ignore it and get on with the day. I tell my students all the time that letting go and surrendering is the essence of birth and the essence of motherhood. The sooner you surrender to the enormity of the role, the easier it becomes. “I am here now, being a mama, looking after my baby. For now this is what I’m doing.”
I love them so. They just exude joy; happiness follows them everywhere. It’s a blessing to be with them. I loved the journey of pregnancy, I love that I birthed them in the gentlest way possible and I’m proud of the way we are choosing to raise them. My happiest days are spent with them. We all went to Bunnings yesterday and we bumped into a friend of ours. She asked if we were going to have more kids and Daniel and I immediately said: “Yes!” We love being parents, we love growing a family. It’s chaotic and challenging and tiring but wrapped up in the normalcy of it is pure joy.
Rhythm is the golden word. Once I found a rhythm with Che life became so much easier and I really feel that I settled into the groove of being a mama. While my days are a little unpredictable now I do try to find rhythm – we wake, we eat, we play, I work, they go out, we have lunch, they nap, I prepare dinner etc. Flowing from one activity to the next.The Steiner education believes that children thrive when they have a rhythm but I would go as far as saying that families thrive when they have a rhythm.
I always tell my Mums & Bubs students that it really takes one year for you to feel like you know what you’re doing as a mother. They all look at me rather shocked. A year?! Yep, one year. We used to live in villages with three generations is one household. Can you imagine the help the new mother would receive?
Nowadays our society very much expects the new mum to be out and about within a week of birthing. That’s just cruel. I planned a babymoon for both my babies – I stayed at home for three weeks after I birthed them and it was the best thing I’ve ever done as a mum. I established a really good breastfeeding rhythm, my babies were settled, I had the time and space to recover and gain my strength and not once did I feel stressed because I had to get ready to go out.
The best parenting advice I’ve been given is to go with the flow. A midwife friend told me that when I was pregnant with Che. I have kept those wise words with me since.
Jodi Wilson blogs at Che and Fidel.1 Comment