Living Arrows 13/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

What a glorious weekend we have just had. The sun has been shining and it even hit 17 degrees.This is almost unheard of in Dundee in March! With beautiful blue skies we had to make the most of it.

We now have a new favourite park – Monikie Park, we went there last weekend and Riley asked to go back again this weekend. I decided to take a picnic with us this time. Riley, as always refused to eat the sensible food and tried to plead his way to a packet of crisps. We compromised and eventually he ate half of the roll.

The sun had brought lots of people out and the park was much busier than it was the previous week, but even still Riley had lots of fun running free.

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Last week we didn’t make it much further than seeing the ducks and the adventure playpark so this time we took a walk down to the reservoir. We took a walk up one half of the reservoir and had to head back. It was lovely, but the nice weather had brought out the midgees, at points it was almost unbearable to walk through, although Riley didn’t seem bothered. I am still a bit itchy from the bites, they do like to feast on my blood!

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Living Arrows

Becoming Mum

I’ve celebrated mother’s day for the fourth time this year. It’s a day that always makes me reflect on the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on since becoming a mother, the exciting highs and the extreme emotional lows.

A small tiny loud thing had just been thrust into my arms, it was the moment I became mum. I couldn’t believe he was mine. My own little human to look after and love for the rest of my days. I didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling of attachment, I thought I would right away. In fact I still remember in amongst the happiness that labour was finally over (why did no one tell me it could last over a day? 36 hours to be exact!), I felt an all over empty and slightly helpless feeling. He was here now and I suddenly realised I had no idea what I was doing. I naively believed everyone that said “It all comes naturally the second your baby is placed in your arms!”

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What a load of crap. I kept waiting for weeks after having him for it to naturally come to me. That I would just recognise which cry was a hungry cry, which cry was a tired cry. I kept beating myself up over the fact I still didn’t know what I was doing and made myself feel like such a failure and unfit to look after my baby boy.

I realise now that society places an unfair expectation on new mums. To be that perfect mum the second your baby is born; that knows instantly how to feed your child, knows exactly how to change a nappy. Even these simple things I didn’t have a clue. I was too scared to hold him the right way to wind him. He seemed far too small and delicate.  As a first time mum I beat myself up on a daily basis that I couldn’t get him to latch, that I had to use a bottle, that I couldn’t stop his reflux, that I couldn’t stop his crying.

It’s the hardest, toughest job I’ve ever had. I’ve wanted to throw the towel in at times, which is so not like me, I am not a quitter! However, motherhood is the most difficult, yet rewarding job, the most joyous but unforgiving role.

If anything motherhood has made me appreciate my mum all the more. She has done this three times over! For every time I felt I was falling apart my mum had been through the same thing, felt the same things and made me feel happier and better each time, all the things which she had gone through before I can ever remember. All the hardship and troubles we caused her and yet we all still turned out ok.

He makes me laugh with his crazy sense of humour, brings tears to my eyes with his cuteness, and makes my heart fill up with love and pride and that is when I realise there is no other job I would rather have.IMG_0837

So to all you mothers out there, who may be beating yourself up over not being the “perfect mum.’ Who cares, so what? You may not fit that mould, but you are doing a great job!

Have a wonderful mothers day! X

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Living Arrows 12/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

This weekend has felt very much like Spring is right around the corner. On Sunday we went to Monikie Park in lightweight jackets! We haven’t been to this particular park since a work BBQ in 2014 when Riley took his official first steps!

It has a big adventure playpark which is shaped a bit like a castle with turrets and this was a total hit with Riley. He made two friends as he was there and even encouraged an older boy to play dragons with him. He is such a confident wee boy and always seems to make friends wherever he goes. I only wish it were as easy as an adult sometimes!

I just so happened to capture this picture of him in-between diving in and out of secret hideyholes whilst fighting dragons. He is standing like a proper little model with his hands in his pockets. Its usually nigh on impossible to capture a photo like this of Riley. I usually have to have the fastest shutter speed and the quickest of fingers to capture this little wild one.

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He also dressed himself this morning, whilst you can see the new lego batman cap, what you can’t see is the lego batman jumper under his jacket. This kid is obsessed with lego batman!
Living Arrows

Living Arrows 11/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

I found myself taking a lot of pictures this weekend and have really struggled to pick just one.

Riley’s photo this week was from our trip to the park where he got to play football with his dad. Right now we are getting to appreciate the fact that Kevin is on secondment at work and no longer working shifts and every other weekend. Its to last for 8 weeks and I just hope it doesn’t go too quickly.

Riley loves having a kick about with the football so I decided it would be fun to take him along to the park where they had freshly painted lines on the pitch. He immediatly saw the goalposts and got very excited about the “score posts” as he has rebranded them. To true footballer style he took a couple of dives, skidded on his knees and got himself nice and muddy.

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Dirty jeans, tongue sticking out in concentration behind a massive smile; this is the look of a wee boy who was truly loving having his daddy back at the weekends again!

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Walking in your Daddy’s footsteps

I have always been one of those people that never thinks a baby looks like its parents. Everyone told me when Riley was born that he looked so like Kevin, I looked at this little bundle of perfection and didn’t see it at all! He looked like a baby to me. They pretty much all look the same at that point, little teeny wrinkly humans!

Two months down the line when people said he was looking more like me, I again turned to them and said really?! All I could still see was a baby!

Nowadays, at almost 4 years old it’s a bit different. I still think he looks like his own little person but there are times when I look at him and I see myself, other times I look and he is the double of Kev.

Back just before Christmas we went out to lunch with some friends that questioned how on earth it was possible for him to be the double of both me and Kev at the same time. This made me laugh because most of the time it is only his dad I see in him!

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I was always a daddys girl when I was younger, I wanted to do everything with my dad. Riley is the opposite. He is very much a mummy’s boy. Nothing but mummy will do. I do take great delight in being his favourite, but sometimes it is exhausting. So whilst he is a mummy’s boy through and through he does still loves and needs his daddy. I think whilst with me it is a comfort thing needing me around, with his dad it’s a looking up to him type thing. He is Riley’s role model, he admires his dad and tends to copy most things he does; whether its walking with hands in his pockets, pretending to play Fifa along with him on playstation or pulling funny faces at each other. It’s so special to see the man you fell in love with become so important to the new little man you have fallen in love with. Their bond is so special and cute to watch.

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Its in the little moments where you can see the friendship that they have and hopefully will always have.

Living Arrows 10/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

I have been away with work this week. Every time I travel with work I miss Riley so much and use the photos I have taken over the previous weeks to miss him slightly less. I am so glad I am one of those people who can’t help themselves but take a photo at every available opportunity.

The photo I have chosen this week is a typical Riley picture. Not looking at the camera and caught in the moment doing something cheeky. When I go away with work at the moment we tend to have a spate of bad behaviour after it, another reason for me to feel that all too common mum guilt! This weekend has been no exception to this pattern unfortunately and I became the shouty mum on Sunday.

I had no option eventually but to give myself a timeout away from him with a cup of tea and a few cheeky mini eggs. He came looking for me within a few minutes and sidled up to me with the look of innocence on his little face and apologised to me. Of course with that cute little face I couldn’t stay mad at him any longer. We had a cuddle and made up and he quickly wired into those mini eggs on the table. Should have known it was all to do with chocolate! He is such a little monkey and would pretty much do anything for chocolate, he has the worst sweet tooth. I tend not to have these wee treats in the house as he just begs over and over again if he spies something in the cupboards.

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Just look at those long dark eyelashes – why do little boys get the best eyelashes?!

Living Arrows

10 reasons why work travel shouldn’t make you feel mum guilt

I travel quite a lot with my job. Back before I had Riley it was common for me to be away weeks at a time and just stopping in at home for a quick day and a half before hopping back on a train for my next week away. Thankfully 2017 has only seen four trips from home for more than a day. Each time though, I still get wracked with that god awful “mum guilt.”

It’s been a routine part of my life as a mum ever since Riley was 7 months old. I was only back at work two weeks before I had to travel. The first time I felt the most crushing guilt and upset about leaving my little baby with dad for two days. Obviously not that I didn’t trust good old husband to take care of him properly, but it was the first time I had left him overnight. I sobbed in my hotel room for a good hour looking over pictures of my baby on my phone.

So when I met someone whilst I was away this week who was on their first trip away from their baby I felt I had to impart some of the awesome things she would learn to love after a few more times away.

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  1. Remembering that an alarm clock actually has a purpose!

I have lost count of the number of times I have crapped myself with Riley over my head looking intently at my face. Not being woken by a small child hovering over your face in the morning two hours earlier than you need to get up is a huge appeal to work travel.

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