Muddling through motherhood

24 Oct

Motherhood is something that I grew into slowly. It kind of crept up on me actually. When Matilda was born, I didn’t feel at all grown up enough to be a mum and I think I spent the first year feeling completely bewildered.  So many fears and anxieties – am I feeding her right, am I putting her to sleep right, am I giving her enough mental stimulation – the list is endless. And then there is the complete loss of the self that you had before. It is an overwhelming experience. But I think it is important for parents to be able to say that they find parenting hard. It is hard. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. And it doesn’t always bring out the best in me. I get frustrated. I get irritated. I get bored. I get disappointed and I am not always the parent I wish I could be.

But you muddle on and you hope that your mistakes won’t cause too much damage. Before I was a parent, the thing I was most scared of was that my child would be a complete horror and I wouldn’t be able to control them. And now,  the scariest thing that can happen to a parent HAS happened.  And suddenly parenting gets boiled down to two fundamental concepts – love and happiness. Being a parent now is showing Matilda everyday how much we love her, and trying everyday to make her as happy as possible.

I am not naive enough to think that this is the way it should be for all parenting. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was though?


We had a visit on Thursday afternoon from one of the wonderful Occupational Therapists from Matilda’s school. She came to talk about various equipment needs for Matilda that they will be able to assist with.

As is pretty obvious from other posts, Matilda is a sensory seeker extraordinaire. Wherever possible, she likes to be moving, bouncing, swinging or rolling. I had read about sensory process disorders  but never quite made the connection until a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly, things started falling in place and we have been talking with the school about how best to manage Matilda’s need for speed. They tried her out at school with a weighted vest with a really great result. She responded to it well and it is something they can keep working with. I find the whole thing quite fascinating, that this vest can actually provide the stimulation that she craves.

I don’t think her sensory seeking behaviour is a problem. It is more that her need for constant activity can put her in danger and if we can find safe ways for her to meet her sensory needs then that is fantastic. I love that she loves to move and think that her drive will only help her as she progresses with this condition. She is a fighter, that one.

Tilda spent a very happy night with her Nanna and Pop over the weekend, she was extremely excited to see them both and apparently ate her weights  worth of bacon which is excellent news. I had a very pleasant night and day off which was wonderful but by the end I was pacing the house waiting for the return of my family 🙂

And so another week begins. No doctor appointments or therapy appointments on the near horizon. We look forward to the return of Grandma and Grandpa on the weekend and to another week of rolling and jumping.


9 Responses to “Muddling through motherhood”

  1. Danielle x October 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Love your honesty. Love you x

  2. kylie October 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    You have been tested more than most in this whole parenting caper……..and it’s brought out the absolute best in you. A best that everyone who knows you is blown away by. But I wish more than anything else in the world that you didn’t have to have it brought out at all. And apart from still making Charlie eat vegetables and go to bed on time, I subscribe to the tell them you love them and have fun theory of living a whole lot more now!

  3. Carole and Garry Laird October 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    There cannot be a person alive who would say parenting is easy.

    No matter the advice from our own mothers, all the books we read (Dr Spock when your Mum and I were young mothers), somehow you just do what you have to do at the time!

    You do the best you can with what you are dealt, and you Laura are doing just that.

    I am sure you are all looking forward to having your Mum and Dad back home in Melbourne soon.

    Love and best wishes

    Carole and Garry

  4. Natalie October 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    i have so much admiration for how you are carrying this weight on your shoulders.

    Tilda is so lucky to have a mother who is an incredible role model to parents; reminding us of the importance of being in the moment with our children and not sweating the small stuff.

    The sensory stuff is interesting isn’t it! That trampoline would be a hit with Tilda. Sounds like you are getting good support at school.

    XX Nat

  5. Ken and Wendy Brown October 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Hi Laura,
    We are friends of your mum and dads and have been reading about Tilda for a while now. You have shown great love, courage and determination to ensure Tilda receives the very best that is available in all aspects of her life. She is a fortunate girl to have such a loving family around her. We send you our love.

    Wendy and Ken Brown

  6. ann seddon October 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Dearest Laura thank you for your blog
    So amazing to hear about Tilda’s world and her “need for speed”
    Chris said when he was a little boy he couldnt understand why everyone didn’t need to run all the time like he did.
    Of course this is a different senario and it seems incredible that the life jacket with weights idea has a soothing affect on her
    What about a large canvas swing made especially for her soft and free and yet could contain her safely for a bit
    We think of you all so much and admire your ability to express the feelings re motherhood we recognise but can’t really articulate
    She is indeed lucky to have such a Mummy
    Sending you all much love
    Hope to see you soon
    Love Ann and Chris

  7. Cally October 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I do enjoy reading about the small ordinary things in Tilda’s life such as staying with Grandma and pa and eating her weight in bacon. Chuckled at that.
    And need for speed.
    Despite eveything that has happened in Tilda’s life she is still a little girl who gives joy and happiness along the way.
    Sensory process disorders- a new one on me.
    Each day I learn so much.
    Thank you for your lovely blog.

  8. Irene Davey October 28, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Hey Luvlly Laura
    Ive found the email…yeeeaaaah. You are such a trooper (not the killing with guns type)and take on so much from your own questioning and wondering. Sometimes it is OK to fall in a heap, sometimes it is OK to question the world and all it has given, sometimes it is OK to feel less than great and most of all it is ALWAYS ok to give yourself a HUG

  9. Aphrodite Doukas October 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I can’t imagine what it’s like for you how difficult life must be at times but it’s great that Tilda’s living her life with such abandon.It’s great to read about her progress and love of life through a five year old eyes.Even though all she’s going through it’s lovely that Matilda could show joy and a love of life.

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