I started this feature to celebrate real mums. Mums are amazing and come in all shapes and sizes but sometimes we can feel alone, we can feel as though we are the only ones struggling to keep on top of things. I want to lift the lid on motherhood so we can all feel part of a sisterhood, to feel proud about our own achievements and know that we are doing the best we can!
Without further a do let me hand over to Tania!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
My name is Tania. I am from Alberta, Canada. I have two children from a previous marriage, a boy aged 6 and a girl aged 4. Right now I am in University taking Public Relations and will be finished next year. I am getting married at the end of next month and planning to add more children to our family!
Describe a typical day in your life
On a day when I have to be a school, things can be a little hectic around here. We wake up, and my son would much rather stay in bed. His sister has a temper tantrum over absolutely anything, every.single.morning. Once that has calmed down slightly, I pick out their outfits and tell them to get dressed. It looks a little like this:
Me: “Ok guys, time to get dressed. I left your outfit on your beds.”
5 mins later..
“Why the hell are you both just laying around naked? I told you 5 minutes ago to GET DRESSED”
5 minutes later…
“SERIOUSLY WHY AREN’T YOU GUYS DRESSED!?!? WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE! AGAIN!
5 minutes later…
“Alright eff it, I will help you get dressed..like a baby.. and I’ll get your shoes and jackets on you and get you in the car!”
Then I run to the pantry and grab a granola bar, a pop tart, or a muffin for them to eat in the car on the drive because they took too long getting dressed.
I drive 30 minutes to drop them off at school and daycare, where girl has massive tantrum because she doesn’t want to go to daycare and hates all the other kids. Peel her off my leg and run like hell out the door and lock myself in my car. Now I head to school, most likely late for my first class.
After I am done my classes I head back to pick the kids up, wrangle them into the car because now they don’t want to leave daycare. Now we begin the 30 minute drive home. Get to our house, and the kids want to play outside, except we don’t have time, so they scream at me for that. I let them play in their rooms or watch a bit of Netflix while I make supper and then we do homework, a bath (sometimes) and then bed. Sometimes after bed they get up 500 times for 500 different reasons, and I feel like I will never have my life back.
Some days we also add sports to this mix after school as well, and I am always glad when the sports season ends, so I can check that one extra thing off the list!
What is the best thing about being a mum?
The best part of being a mom for me is, watching my kids grow up and learn new things. I am always amazed at the things they say and do. I love listening to the two of them playing and using their imaginations to pretend they are other people. You never know what kind of interesting conversation you might get to eavesdrop in on.
I also love the snuggles and hugs and kisses. My kids are both very snuggly and like to take some time to snuggle on the couch with us. They must say “I love you” to myself, my fiancé and each other hundreds of times a day, and I will never tire of hearing it.
What have you found hardest about motherhood?
The hardest part of motherhood for me has been when my ex-husband (the father of my children) decided to get divorced. All of a sudden I was living alone for the very first time. I had to take care of the kids all by myself, as well. This wasn’t much of a problem during the day, but at night when I was tired and felt like I needed a break suddenly there was no one there to give me even a 5 minute break.
My ex-husband wasn’t always home much to begin with anyways, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but it was noticeable. It was also very hard to balance my time and try to figure out how to support a family of 3 on a part-time income. I was a hairstylist before I had children but when I went back to work after maternity leave I just got a part-time job in retail. Problem is, the hours were very, very part-time. I had to enrol my children in daycare which killed me to do, as I had always been against daycare (I no longer am, and think it has actually been wonderful for my children to play and learn with others).
I still was not making enough money to get by and had to figure out what I was going to do. This was very hard as a mother. I had to be able to put my children first and make sure they had everything they needed, and at times I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do a good enough job. I eventually decided to go back to University so I could get a job that would be full-time with good benefits, and be during school hours so that I could be at home with my children as soon as they were done school, as well as be able to provide for them financially.
How has your body changed?
My body has definitely changed since before my pregnancies. I have gotten fairly lucky though, as I have an inverted uterus so my babies grew more towards my back than my front. My belly did get big, but not too big, and I managed to get through both pregnancies stretch mark free!! (YAY!) Another contributor to my body staying fairly small was the constant morning sickness (BOTH TIMES!).
I lost 15 pounds at the beginning of each pregnancy, due to morning sickness. I’m not sure if I should call that lucky, or not! My hips have definitely gotten wider which makes buying jeans a challenge, so I am usually spotted wearing leggings of some sort (yes, as pants) and a long top. Like everyone else, my boobs are not quite as perky as they used to be, although I didn’t breastfeed, I’m guessing all the enlarging and shrinking gave way to sagging.
Do you wear makeup? If so what does your routine look like?
I used to wear a lot more makeup than I do now. I would get up every morning, layer the foundation, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, bronzer and make my hair look fab. I wouldn’t be caught outside without my makeup. Now things have changed a bit. I’m usually in such a rush in the mornings, makeup isn’t even a blip on my radar. I might, MIGHT, run a brush through my hair, but sometimes I don’t even bother with that!
What’s in your handbag?
My handbag consists of my wallet, my phone, my keys, kids toys, receipts, lipstick with a missing cover, pens with missing covers, tissues, wet wipes, candies, tampons, and sand. Lots of sand at the very bottom, from playing at the park with the kids!
What is your relationship with housework?
I really struggled with housework when the kids were babies. I was always tired, everything was messy and I couldn’t seem to find the time or energy to get anything done. Now that the kids are older and able to take care of their own messes and do simple chores, like putting their dishes in the dishwasher, and cleaning their rooms my house looks a lot nicer. I am not as tired as I used to be and have found if I just put everything away as soon as I am done with it, it’s not that hard to keep things at least tidy.
How do you relax?
Once the kids are in bed, I usually spend a bit of time on my phone or computer checking out all of my social media. Then my fiancé and I will usually sit down and watch a show or movie on Netflix, before heading to bed.
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever been given?
Pick your battles. Decide what rules are really important to you and focus on those. You need to know what is really important and what you can let slide. Also, be consistent. This is probably the best advice but hardest to follow through on. Some days I feel like just letting my kids away with whatever rule they are breaking because I am too tired or frustrated to deal with it. I think the kids also know and will figure out very quickly which ways they can go about not getting in trouble. It is confusing for kids if the rules change on the daily, so even if you are tired and the kids have drove you nuts you still have to be consistent with the rules.
For any new mums out there, what would you like to tell them?
I think we all need to be a little more honest about what happens to your body, and mind after you have a baby. There are so many things that happen and no one really talks about. I will definitely have future blog posts on this. For right now though I will say the two most important things to know is that
1) Postpartum Depression is real. It is not some little thing that just goes away, we cannot chalk it up to “the baby blues” and ignore it. This is a serious issue that so many mothers have, and feel ashamed about. That should not be the case. We need to be talking about it more, and be supportive of the women who are struggling through it.
2) Every stage your baby goes through will end. When you are in the moment and the baby is screaming and doesn’t ever seem to stop you need to know that it will end. This is just a stage. It may last 6 to 8 months, but I promise you it will not last forever, even though at the time you think it will never end.
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is that I have managed to find a man who completes our family. He is a wonderful (soon-to-be) husband to me, and the best dad to my children. It makes me beyond happy to seem him playing with my kids, and helping them with projects and teaching them new things. He has accepted the children as if they were his own, and they have also accepted him. I let my children decide if he could be a part of our lives, and they already loved him and were more than happy to let him stick around. I am happy that we have been given a second chance to be a part of an amazing family, to have more people join our family and hopefully continue to expand the family.
And finally, complete this sentence:
I am a great mum because….. My children are happy. They always feel loved, they have everything they need to thrive in life. Both my children are happy little humans and they have fairly good manners, which we are always trying to improve on. They are always smiling, always laughing and so much fun to be around.
This was so lovely to read, I am so glad you have found a lovely man. A huge well done for going back to university to enable you to get a better job- that must have been so tough! I know my brain is mush after two kids!!
You can find out more about Tania and her world over at her blog, Mommy From The Park
If you would like to take part in my Real Mums series then email me at email@example.com. x