Friday, 24 September 2010

Keeping up with the Jones'

I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter how much money you have, or how many bedrooms you have. I'm all about the love and good solid parenting.

I make mistakes. I would love a bigger house. I would love to win the lottery or at very least have a good stable income for us both, in which we had the elusive 'spare' cash at the end of each month.
But do my children suffer? Do they mind that we have a small house? Do they care that we don't have a lot of money? Do they go without?

The answer to all of the above is no. They couldn't give a stuff.

They are very well cared for, they are very much loved (and they know it!) and they are extremely close.
This isn't by mistake. This was how they were and will continue to be raised.

This won't be every one's view of course, lots of people will want the complete financial security and the 5 bedroomed house prior to starting or at least expanding their families and that's right for them. But is my view so wrong? Is it so awful?
I could live in a beautifully decorated stately home, surrounded by enough grounds to put the forestry commission to shame. I could have a millionaires bank balance. I could be in the position to give my children anything and everything they could ever want.
Would this make me a better parent? Would it mean I'd love my children any more than I already do? Would giving them every opportunity and possession they could ever care for, handed to them on a silver platter mean that I have raised them better then I do at the moment?
Of course not! Those that would answer yes are very disillusioned.

I knew what kind of family I wanted. I had a picture in my mind. And I will strive and work my arse off every second of every day of my entire life to reach that goal. That dream. My family.

We don't have help with our family, and we don't ask for it. It is important to my partner and I to raise our children ourselves. Sure the odd sleep over at the Grandparent's house would be welcomed, but we don't ask and it's not offered. We don't expect. I'm proud of us for that.

My children are well balanced and well behaved. They are polite and caring. They are loving and intelligent. They are grateful and honest.
They haven't needed the perfect house, the designer clothes or even the £30 a week pocket money (that some of their friends are given (at the age of 6!)) to become these well rounded, beautiful young children.

My kids do however, have the best parenting their Dad an I can give them. (it's not always perfect, but it is honest) We work together as one stable unit. We don't fight and argue about how we should raise our children, because our fundamental nurturing abilities are strong and consistent.

Our children have exactly what they need. They have love, in abundance. They have a roof over their heads, granted not the biggest, but we manage. And we manage very well!
They have toys and games and books and other play things to keep them entertained.
They have interested parents. Parents who take an active role in their lives. Parents who don't simply plonk them in front of a TV or PlayStation and leave them to their own devices.
Parents who take the time to plan activities and walks, and bike rides and craft sessions. Parents who don't pay others or relinquish their parental responsibilities for these all important bonding moments to childminders, friends or family members.

This works for us. It works for our children. And I am shocked that anyone, having met me and my children would or could think that my family are not well cared for.

Possessions aren't everything.  I hold my hands up and confess aloud, with all of you as my witness' that we have outgrown our house. But this doesn't make me a bad parent. I don't have a car at the moment either, and this doesn't qualify me as a bad parent either.

I don't know if it is some kind of weird jealousy thing? (I'm not sure why someone would be, jealous, I mean)  or if there are just a handful of spiteful people out there that get their kicks from trying to pick on an easy target? And I am an easy target, where my kids are concerned. I would do anything in my power to protect them.

If you really want to get to me and you really want to upset me and push me over the edge, then carry on doing what you are doing, because, it's working.
No matter how confident I am in my parenting skills and love for my children and their well being, if someone knocks me I will trip and stumble.
Just know this - I will always get back up to my feet. I will always fight and I will always strive for the best I can give my children, no matter what my circumstances. Nothing anyone says or does will stop that. Ever.

I become stronger and more of a fighter every single time. If you want to save your breath it would be much appreciated. If you want to give up the stalking and nasty comment making, I would be immensely grateful. But try as you might, you will never break me.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Lifes little decisions..

I honestly hadn't expected to feel this way. I was sure, being pregnant with Che, that I was done. And when we found out that Che was the much longed boy we had waited for (not that we would have been disappointed with a girl, or that we would have kept going until we got a boy), I felt more confident that Drew's decision to have a vasectomy was right. And I agreed.

There's a huge part of me that really is done. I hated being pregnant. In and out of hospitals, doctors surgery's, midwife clinics and physio. I found it difficult. Painful. Worse each time.
There is, however, an equally huge part of me that feels devastated. Really and truly. Stupid, I know.

The thing is, even if we could, I'm not sure I'd want to. I think it's more the fact that I know we can't. No possibility. Never.

Four, surely is enough? I like four. I wanted four. So why on earth do I feel this way?

Maybe it's my age? Maybe if I were older I wouldn't feel this way? Maybe I'm simply feeling jealous of my numerous friends who are currently expecting? But, I've had four! FOUR!! Beautiful babies.

I love being a Mum. I'll moan and I'll get fed up and stressed and lonely. But I bloody LOVE being a Mum.

I love the baby stage. Many don't, but I do.I have developed my own system over the past 7 years. It works for me. I feel confident. Relaxed.

I'm not addicted to having babies. I would never have agreed with the vasectomy if I were. This is not about having lots of babies. Like I said, I'm happy with four. I'm not sure I'd have ever wanted more. Ever.

I'm saying that I hate not having the option, now that it really isn't an option. And yes, I still can have children. Just not with Drew. Even if, God forbid, we ever split up, I'm still not saying that I would want to go through it all again. I just didn't realise that I'd feel so disappointed about it not being a possibility!

You may think I'm being totally and utterly stupid. And actually I'd have to agree! I feel stupid for thinking and feeling this. Seriously, I do! I just can't control this. And I hate that. With a passion.

I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to resent my decision. Although, in all truth, it was never really my decision to make. Drew was adamant that he didn't want anymore children. Not with me, not with anyone else, not ever. I respected that. I still respect that. That was his decision to make. And he made it. And I was fine with that. I know that he wouldn't have chosen to have four. He was happy to stop at three. I wanted four. He knew this. We had always said even numbers. He would have stopped. But he didn't. I think he's actually quite glad of that now he finally has someone to share pints of beer and football with.

The thing is.. If he had wanted another, I would have, in a heartbeat. Although if it were left down to me, I'm not sure I would have suggested it, ever! (and wanting even numbers certainly would have disappeared from my mind!)

This feeling will pass though. Won't it?

When all of the children are in full time school and I'm able to have a bit of 'freedom' from the confines of the house and pushchairs and nappies and get back into a full time job. When my days aren't filled with clicky toddler groups, and endless repeats of Cbeebies shows. When my nights aren't disturbed with feeds and nappies that could give the sewage works a run for their money. Surely, this feeling will pass?

The climb to that finishing line is going to be long, and hard. And maybe it will pass a lot sooner than that? (A girl's got to have a dream!) Maybe in six months time, you'll be reading this very blog and I'll have posted about how I'm so very glad that Drew had the vasectomy when he did, and that four really is enough and I never wanted more than that. Not then, not now, not ever. And I will be happy and content, at last.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tis the Season

I'm not talking about Christmas, I am, of course, talking about birthday's!

I have a large family, and have at least 2 birthdays in every single month of the year, but October sees the start of my families birthday season.
Drew will be turning 34 and our gorgeous little boy, Che Lennon will be celebrating his very first birthday!
November sees our big girl, Lauryn turn 7, then just after Christmas, Ashley will celebrate her 6th year.
(We managed to plan Bailey's birth well, and she will start her 4th year in July)

Now as I said I have at least two birthday's in each month of the year.. These birthday's are just our little families, we also have (all family) 3 others in October, 2 more in November, 2 in December and 3 more in January! Add Christmas to the mix and these next few months are a real expense for us.

I have been reading various blogs regarding parties for their children's birthday's and I have to confess, I am panicking somewhat about little Che's 1st birthday next month. I know it's only his first birthday but all of the girls had a little party with a couple of friends either at a soft play centre or at home. The problem is I feel a little under pressure this time around. I know that that pressure is coming from me, but I feel quite strongly about this birthday.

Che is, not only our only boy, but he is also our last baby. There will be no more reproducing for us. And despite having 4 young children, I still feel a large pang that I will not ever be pregnant again. I will never ever have another baby of my own. I will never have the name debate, or the picking of the first outfit again. And, of course, I will never ever have the all important first birthday again. This makes me extremely sad.

My extended family are mostly female, thus another panicky moment approaching... I don't do boys!!
I haven't a clue where to start. Girls, no problem. Pink, sparkly, and cute.. But boys? They are alien to me.

I suspect that, this being his first, will be the easiest birthday and party for me to organise. Subsequent years will prove to be more difficult, with the inevitable messy, stampeding throng of charging pre-schoolers to try and contend with. So why am I so scared of this birthday?

I can't actually answer that question, without sounding like a complete and utter lunatic, who belongs in a straight jacket, accessorised with padded cell.

My baby has grown up. My last baby has grown up. And this will be my last first birthday.

Sad? Probably. Idiotic? Certainly. Emotional? Most definitely.