A Love of Mothering…

This is Belinda’s beautiful account of being a mother of three. She has graciously accepted the ups and downs of being a parent, and sees mothering as a gift. Belinda lives near Newcastle, NSW and is expecting her fourth baby later this year.

I am a firm believer that there is never going to be a piece of advice that fits every mother and child, simply because every mother is vastly different – as are their children. I have three beautiful children (with a fourth on the way), and with each of them I have had to adjust things here and there to suit them (and me! J) – particularly when it came to sleep! My first daughter was a delight (though I didn’t realize this at the time!). She would generally put herself to sleep peacefully, ‘sleep through’ the night (or sleep for about 5-6 hrs at a time anyway!), occasionally wanting to come into bed with us at 2am, and woke at a decent hour. My second child however was and still is very much addicted to cuddles. He was intent on being wrapped for every sleep until he was well over a year old, and never slept for more than 2 hours at a time unless he was in bed with Mummy and Daddy – and even now at 3 he will still regularly climb in with us at some point throughout the night. The whole co-sleeping debate is something we hear almost constantly as parents, but I personally believe that if it is not a problem for us then why should it be a problem for others! My husband and I love having our children in bed with us, we feel like that is the safest place for them, and surely this must be one of the best feelings for child – to be wrapped in the warmth of your Mum on one side and your Dad on the other. My third child is again a delight (except I know it this time J). He at times was a bit unsettled and needed me to stay for an extra 10-15 minutes in the room with him singing his favourite nursery rhymes, or stroking his forehead – but instead of resenting this I learned to make the most of this time. I found it relaxing sitting on the floor next to his cot singing softly, and I wanted to take advantage of all the time I can have with him – after all he is my third and he doesn’t get that one on one attention all that often during the day.

I think it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day routine, and I know there are days (many days) when I am tired and stressed, worried about a uni assignment that I have due, or wondering why I am always the one that has to get three kids in and out of the bath and into their pyjamas and fed and settled ready for bed…night after night… and I wish sometimes that our families were closer so that I could have someone come and put that load of washing on because I am sick and just need to lay down for a bit… But then I look at these three beautiful precious little beings in front of me and realise how blessed I am to have such a wonderful little family when I am still only 29. I met the love of my life when I was 20 and we both knew the path we wanted and we now have our whole lives ahead of us now to enjoy each other and our precious family. I have learned to not to sweat the small stuff, the tantrums will pass, the infatuation with wanting to wear shoes to bed every night will pass, the attitude will pass, the sleepless nights will pass, but our family will be forever. There are going to be plenty of hard days, and weeks, and even months ahead of us, but it will all pass by in a blink of an eye and I know we are going to make plenty of wonderful memories to look back on when we are sitting on the porch in 60 years time… and those nights of sharing the bed with Lenny, sitting with Oscar singing nursery rhymes and stroking his forehead, and reading with Daisy will be up there with some of our favourites.

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