I’m Karina, 34 and living in Cambridgeshire. I work part time as an Office Manager but of course my favourite job is being Mummy. I am married to my better half Ben and we have a very lively little 8 year old dancing queen, Moo! When Moo isn’t singing or dancing, she’s kicking our butts with her amazing Taekwondo.
What I’ve learnt since being a mummy
There is no right way to be a parent-
A lot of pressure is put upon us as mums/dads to be perfect. To conform to what society deems to be the best way to bring up children but if they are safe, their needs are met and they are happy what does it matter? Moo had a dummy, she was both breast fed and formula fed, she was rocked to sleep and co-slept when poorly…as the saying goes “if that’s wrong then I don’t wanna be right”. As a first-time mum, I read every book from what stage the growing baby was at to which foods to blend down to make food. Everything I read contradicted the book before and I became a confused mess. I would have loved to have been one of those people that goes with the flow. Moo is happy…she’s fine…end of.
Other parents can love you or hate you-
When I became a parent, I had this idea that you suddenly became a member of this exclusive club where you can talk about how cute it is that ‘Betty’ is now walking and how ‘Jamie’ says mama now. Don’t get me wrong I have some amazing friends with children, we have the best ‘playdates’ where we drink endless amounts of caffeine and rotate round each other’s houses so the children can trash the house…wait…its called playing 😉 but we all have fun.
On the other end of the scale there’s the other parents…. the ones that judge and make comments, the ones that make you feel so uncomfortable on the playground its just like you right back at school again. I can’t quite get why they are like that, I just put it down to their own insecurities but rise above it and kill them with kindness. I have one mummy who blatantly ignores me but our children play together so I always go over the top…even if I’m ignored I’m guessing Moo is seeing I can deal with it.
Its ok to ask for help-
So, me and Moo’s dad split when she was very young. I won’t go into details as that wouldn’t be fair on him or Moo but parenting tested our relationship. One of us adjusted a little easier than the other. I’m the first to hold my hands up and say I maybe became depressed when she was very young. Through lack of sleep (yes, we’ve all been there) and Moo being sick, I didn’t have a supportive family so did it all on my own. We had a local Children’s centre around the corner from our house so I got out and went every day. Just being around people helped. These places and people are amazing, I know they have shut a few of them down now which is a real shame. Parenting can be very isolating at times and its good to have people around you.
You never sleep the same way again-
So, I guess I thought once moo slept through that I could go back to my lovely sleep and wake up all happy and refreshed…. Well I guess it doesn’t quite work out like that. Every time Moo murmurs in her sleep I’m awake and I’m pretty sure I slept through snoring before? I must admit though, I do feel a little superhero-ish when she has a nightmare and calls for me, those mummy hugs are powerful things. Moo slept through when she got to two but I’m pushing on to 35 and I’m awake earlier and going to bed earlier it’s a crazy life.
Other kids can be shits-
You will love so much your heart will explode-
Before children I never understood why people celebrated the fact that their child finally walked, I figured that the child had to do it one day right? Well fast forward a few years and I’m the one in floods of tears because Moo fed herself or became toilet training because these things matter. This little human who I created is getting bigger and time is going faster. However, much I mess up and however much I question every choice i have made along the way that little person adores me and calls me mum. We become fiercely protective over our children and rightly so because I’m sure my heart doubled in size when she was born.
How is parenthood different to how I imagined?
Being a parent is far more challenging than I erer though it would be. I had this naïve idea that as a mummy, you said it and they did it, crazy I know! Moo is a mini me so argues most things but she is also the most amazing human being I have ever met. Parenting makes you so protective, sometimes causing you to lose the plot! I’m still learning now but I love being a Mummy. It has made me into a right softie who cries at anything!
Would I do anything differently?
I’d give myself a break. I mean a mental one. I feel like i’m forever running around, trying to be super mum and it is exhausting! Moo knows I love her and so does Ben, so that’s all I should need to make me happy.