The things I swore I’d always do as a mother…

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This morning, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled across this article by Toilets Aren’t For Turtles aptly titled: Things I swore I’d never do when I became a mum.

I sat there just nodding, the.whole.time, and thought boy could I add a few things to that list.

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So here is my list of things I swore I’d always do as a mother…

Breastfeed.

Seriously, there was no way in hell I was going to formula. Nah-uhhhh. Besides all the doctors and mid-wives kept telling me how good it is for bubs and no one had mentioned to me the fact that maybe I simply couldn’t.

But then I had a PPH and I produced no milk and my child lost over 20% of his body weight and we started on the formula. And he was happy, and gained weight. I continued to mix feed until he was six months old at which point we switched him purely to formula so I could treat my thyroid.

And you know what, he was okay.

Clean my house, everyday.

We took Oliver home to a tiny apartment in inner Sydney. So it would be easy to keep clean, right?

Wrong.

Seriously, these kids produce more laundry than you have ever seen in your life. You also drink more coffee than you have every drunk in your life- using more dishes. Oh and once they get mobile, game over. Toys are absolutely everywhere.

My goals from keeping a tidy house changed to ensuring we had clean undies, clean dishes and clean floors. And yup, we survived!

Cook a healthy dinner every night. 

Because of my issues with breast feeding, once Oliver went on solids I really felt like it was a great bonding exercise. I loved cooking for him. By 18 months he was eating curry, all his veggies, salads- he was such a good eater.

Then I went and did something crazy and got this lil’ thing called a job. I remember the first time my au pair cooked him fish fingers- I was mortified. These days, fish fingers is a common item on his menu- as are chicken nuggets and chips.

And yep, he actually eats his veg too. Who’d have thunk it?!?

Exercise, everyday.

Well if chasing after a three year old counts, then I’ve nailed this one.

But you know what, some days I don’t have time. And some days, I just don’t want to. I used to beat myself up over this one, a lot, and now that I am pregnant I really miss running. But it’s okay to skip a day, or three, because sometimes you just can’t do it!

Still be the best.friend.everrr.

Man, did I pride myself on the type of friend I was. I have always had a large group of friends who can talk about anything with me, party with me, and just count on me in general.

But somedays, I can’t answer my phone. Some weeks I cannot make it out for dinner. And some months, I might purely be hanging with my kid because you know what, he is my numero uno.

I still value my friendships as highly as ever, if not more than ever. But I don’t bend over backwards for my friends as much as I used to, because often I am already bent in two looking after my son!

Put my career first.

I continued to study when I was pregnant with Oliver, and then straight after he was born. The first time I left him with a family member was to attend an exam. I graduated in March 2013, and got my first career-esque job in July of that year. Initially I got to work early, I stayed back late. I threw everything into my work. And I’d come home and my family would get a little less.

Then James got deployed, and I got an au pair so that I could maintain my commitment to my work.

After a mix of feeling under-appreciated and over-worked I got a new, more career specific job in my home town of Melbourne.

I did the whole career lady thing for about 7 months before it was realised that Oliver couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t do it anymore. After a heavily worded conversation with his speech therapist my entire attitude shifted, what the hell was I trying to achieve? Jobs come and go, and as much as I love my role, Oliver needed me more than ever. So I negotiated part-time hours with my work place and it was actually the best thing I have ever done! And not just for Oliver, but myself as well.

Show a united front with my husband on parenting issues…

We are two people working together to raise one. We are going to disagree, and that’s okay.

These days, I just try to disagree away from Oliver- mostly!

Tell my child just how much I love him everyday.

Check and check.

I remember the day I realised that I was a good mother. I was laying in bed reading Oliver a story and he looked up and said to me, “Mummy, I love you. You make me so happy.”

That is it, right there. That is the secret to being a good mother. Love unconditionally, laugh uncontrollably, apologise when you make a mistake and let your child know that you are there for them. No matter what. Whether they make a mistake- like the time Oliver came home from Kindy and told us in tears that he hit a friend that day- or whether you get to celebrate a victory- like on the rare occasion that Oliver actually sleeps in his bed for an entire night.

Being a good parent is not about being perfect, because none of us are. It’s just about being there for your child and do the best that you can!

So, what are some of the things you swore you’d always do as a mother?

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