What do you do all day?

I remember once telling someone that I was “just a Mam”, and their response being “so what do you do all day then?”

What do I do all day? As “just a Mam”…

I am intrigued by how society judges and treats people. How families have to defend their decisions.  Who earns the money, who does the “work”, is there an easy option, are some people making it harder for themselves??

I am a stay at home mother, I don’t have a “normal job” with a monthly wage, my work is not measured in an hourly rate. And that is fine. Another mother will be working full time,  maybe because she loves her job, maybe because she just wants to. Some mothers work part time, some work from home, some have their own businesses, squirrelling away during nap time and after bed time. I am talking here about mothers because I myself am a mother of young children. The exact same goes for anyone at any stage.

Your worth is not measured by this.

I believe that we are now so trained to think that our contribution to society is measured purely on how much tax we pay. I don’t see it that way. Whatever your “employment status”, it doesn’t change “how much” of a mother you are.

We all need money to survive. There is no arguing that point unfortunately.

I think of roles people take on as volunteers, how much that work adds to other peoples lives and to society as a whole. I have “side line” things I am involved in, some generate money, some don’t, none of them feel more or less worthy. I believe that my own “role” in this big world at the moment is to raise my little people. That is what I believe I am meant to be doing, it does not mean I think that everyone else needs to be the same as me. Really I am just tired of the competition and judgement that I feel is constantly pushed around. Everyone can feel the same sense of overwhelm whatever they are doing.

I have friends who fall all over the “working spectrum”, they all love and worry over their family the same.

Another time someone asked me when I was going back to work, I said that I was staying at home with my children, his reply “what a waste of a brain!”

A waste of a brain! I was so offended and wanted to shout or say something really clever.. instead I was too gob smacked to really say anything. I brooded over those words and then quote from Dr John Trainer came to mind “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” (This quote is often misattributed to C S Lewis.) I felt as though this man was saying that staying at home was somehow “beneath” some people. Maybe that there are some for whom its ok to stay home? Others need to go to work?

I bumped into this man again just a few days later while on my way to an appointment, child free, and had a moment to reply to him. He appeared to be a bit taken aback, assured me that it was “ok” to stay home for a while. There wasn’t time to expand on the point then, I still wonder what he really thinks.

It was a clear example of how I am sometimes made to feel, for staying home. And I can only imagine that mothers who work suffer even more judgement. When I have an appointment and need child care,  I am particular about who I leave my children with. Anyone who is leaving their children for longer periods while working, obviously puts a huge amount of thought, time and very careful consideration into where they choose.

But really, this post is just about the way culture has made us all feel as though we have to constantly justify our choices on this, casting this judgmental shadow over things.

I was at a seminar last year where the speaker talked about how our society has changed over the last one hundred years, the impact the war had on family set ups. It was the beginning of a lot of change and I am fascinated by that history.

Part of human nature is to judge, if I have ever come across as making someone else feel less for their choice I am so sorry, I really believe that everyone makes the choice that is the best fit for their own family and circumstances. I am starting to ramble now, so I am going to sign this off.

Hazel Ann x

 

When we met Henrie

If you follow me over on Instagram, you will have watched my pregnancy with Henrie (and if you’ve been there for a while – my pregnancies with Maxie, Drewie and Agnes too!)

With Henrie, I really did feel like I was “smashing it”, eating well, working out, taking time for myself, reading positive birth stories and affirmations. All the things that I tell other pregnant women to do. I was managing the anxiety that accompanies pregnancy for me. Taking my supplements, talking about things. As my due date approached I felt so full of excitement about the birth, ready for labour, to finally meet this little human we had been growing so carefully for the last 9 months.

Then that aspect of it changed for me, a scan a few days before my due date to check on the growth of baby revealed a large stumbling block to the plans we had been making. Our beautiful little baby was in fact breech. After three straightforward deliveries, labours with my second and third which I *enjoyed*, a breech baby at 39 weeks was not something I had been planning for. And I am a planner!

So we were flown away to a big maternity hospital, where we had been before for the birth of our first baby.  A valiant attempt, by a wonderful doctor, to turn my “upside down” child was unsuccessful. I was left with no options, no one who would entertain the idea that I wanted to try and deliver a breech baby in any way other than by C section. C SECTION! (If you know me, you’ll know that this was the very very thing I was not on for.) I don’t like being interfered with, I don’t like not being able to do things. I kept saying “I won’t be able to drive for 6 weeks”, but inside what I really thought was, and I do mean that this is what I felt, I am going to die. From when we were told this was what was going to happen, I was sure that I would die. I asked the doctors about it, they said “well the chances are very very small”. What I couldn’t get over was how normal this was for them. It didn’t really seem like a big deal at all! Oh it’s ok, we are just going to cut into you… hah.. no big deal, right?

The day before my “elective” C section I thought was my last day on earth. I was trying to have peace, give it all over to God. We went to the movies, bought a packet of super high waisted M&S briefs (these are the most comfortable underwear ever!), had a MacDonalds because if you are going to die anyway – why not!? I tried to have a good cry but I felt suffocated.

A sleepless night, an early start, taking my medication and drinking my lucozade. Walking down to the ward, speaking on the phone to my children, still thinking this was the last time I would hear their voices. I know I sound like a right drama queen. There really wasn’t a sense of excitement that I was going to meet my baby. One last scan to confirm that baby was still breech, yep. Surgery was very much happening. Got my gowns on, sat in the waiting area, people tired to talk to me but I couldn’t hear them.

In the theatre itself, the atmosphere was like a birthday party. The team were kind, supportive, understanding. They could see I was terrified but they didn’t laugh at me or play it down. They helped me help myself, practised the hypnobirth breathing I had been doing at home. Once I was lying down and the spinal kicked in, my body was numb and I relaxed and finally gave in to what was about to happen.

Then we met you Henrie. We found out you were in fact a boy! Realised you looked exactly like your siblings. The love was there full force.

And I was so grateful that I didn’t die.

Yoga photos on beach by Sophie Sunshine Photography

Thanks for reading,

Hazel Ann x

Scripture For Labour

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After going crazy looking on Pinterest .. I decided to make my own scripture cards for labour.

I found some printable verses, but instead of printing them out, I used some card and decorated them by punching out some patterned paper and sticking the shapes on.

Im going to use these during my pregnancy to remind me of the Lord’s faithfulness to us ❤️

Hazel-Ann x

 

This is a really old post I wrote when I was pregnant with Agnes,  which I never published at the time.