Mama goes to work:
I have a necklace with an ‘M’ on it that I wear every day I go to work. One day, when I’m ready, I will take it off. I’m going to put it away and when she’s old enough it will be Mia’s. I was really nervous about going back to work; my job is demanding and I was going back 4 days a week. Like lots of Mamas I wasn’t sure if I could be away from her for that long, but actually I was fine from day one. I adore my daughter and being with her but it is also wonderful to go and drink an entire cup of hot coffee (more or less) uninterrupted – I am an office manager so read ‘chief cook and bottle washer!’- and I can talk about Game of Thrones instead of Peppa Pig.
So often when women become mothers we lose ourselves in being Mummy, being Sue for a few hours 4 days a week really makes me feel much brighter and it helps me engage with Mia more. It certainly wouldn’t work for everyone and it’s not easy. The necklace symbolises so much to me; it’s the fact that no matter where I am or what I am doing she is always with me. It illustrates that I am walking around with my heart outside of my chest…5 miles away with her Grandparents. When I pass it on I hope it makes her think of her Mama every now and then.
Mia on Mama going to work:
Some days I have Mama all to myself, some days I have Dada and Mama which is fun and some days I am with Nana and Grandad. I used to have Mama every day and that was good too. They’re all different and they’re all fun. I like Nana and Grandad’s, they have different toys from at home and different places to explore. I have my own special chair there and Nana let’s me bounce on her bed. When Mama comes to get me she looks really excited to see me and I get really excited to see her. I did like it when I had just Mama to myself all the time, but she always tries to make sure we do fun things when it’s just me and her; we go to the park and watch other children and I go on the swings, or we go on adventures or to soft play. She has more energy now and is happy a lot and that makes me feel happy too.
Mama’s fierce girl:
When I found out I was having a daughter, I knew what kind of girl I wanted to bring up; fierce. Her middle name is that of her paternal great-grandmother’s. She is named in honour of the woman I want her to become; tenacious, but kind. Loved by those she loves but takes no prisoners. Feisty, Fearless and Fabulous. I want her to push boundaries, to be whatever she wants to be regardless of whether that is a ‘male dominated’ field; that will not deter my daughter, she will move mountains if needs be.
I forgot two things when deciding all this whilst pregnant and feeling her kick and roll around inside of me; firstly that it’s not me that gets to decide any of this, it was either already decided in her DNA or she will be decided by her through her own thoughts, opinions and experiences. She is a part of me, but I am not a part of her. The second thing I forgot was that it’s all very well to raise a feisty woman, but I have to live with a feisty child in the meantime.
Mia’s fierce response (or not):
I’m a pretty relaxed, easy-going kid. I know what I want though and I won’t stop until I get it. Like when I climb all over things and Mama to get to the remote, which clearly shows I want Peppa Pig on. Dada laughs when I do this and says to Mama “well you wanted her to be feisty”.
When I say “No!” and shake my head Mama laughs and tells me: “I gave you the right middle name.” I didn’t crawl for a long time because if I wanted a toy on my play mat I would just pull the mat until it was close enough. Easy! I am not walking yet either. It’s ok for getting around furniture if you want to climb but it’s so much quicker crawling. Mama worries about this and speaks to lots of people about it. She always wants me to do the next thing but I’m cool with doing it whenever. I like to keep her guessing, it’s fun.
Mama’s Feeding Story:
My feeding story is very simple in some respects. I wanted to breastfeed. We tried desperately to breastfeed. I couldn’t breastfeed. She was so small and I couldn’t figure out how to get her to latch. We didn’t manage it. I felt like I had failed so badly and used to cry a lot about it. I felt that I wasn’t giving her the best. But sometimes in parenthood you have to make really hard decisions about the best thing for as a family. When we started bottle feeding it was like a weight was lifted. This was when our bond really began. Mia is my everything.
Mia’s Feeding Story:
When I came into the world out of Mama’s tummy everything was very confusing. Everything seemed so big. Mama kept giving me her booby but I couldn’t figure out how to make the milk come out. It was OK though because she gave me milk in a syringe and then a bottle. It would make me feel all full and lovely and sleepy and it tasted yummy. Mama used to cry a lot though. That made me sad because she’s the best. One day she stopped with the booby which was nice because it used to annoy me that I couldn’t get the milk out when I was hungry. She started giving me a bottle and the milk tasted a bit different but was still yummy and filled me up. Mama still cried sometimes but it was like a weight was lifted. She felt happier and that made me happy. Now we laugh and play and go on adventures to different places together. She is my everything.