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Why we are the greatest mums

There is a song stuck in the back of my head lately, and that’s The Greatest, from Sia. My husband told me the other day that I probably like her music since it’s not the first time I’m talking about her. I thin he’s right. After a few years,  I’ve realised that yes, I like that singer.

Anyway, I’m not planning on talking about music today, nor that I wouldn’t mind cause I love the way music inspires us, brings memories to our minds, situations, smells, people…On this occasion though I want to share with you my thoughts on why we are the greatest mums. I’m including YOU too (sorry if you’re a male reading this, nothing sexiest here -just pass the message to a mum or apply it to yourself, either way it’s fine! :D)

SO..Why we are the greatest mums?

Let me explain it to you using Sia’s words:

Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina

How many times I’ve felt that I’m running out of breath! Too many since having our second child, who is 9 months old now. This week everything felt like chaos at home, all the clean clothes piled up, dirty ones spread all over the place, floor waiting to be hoovered, dishes multiplying themselves…where was I, oh well, I was chasing my son making sure he wouldn’t choke himself with the things that he picks up from the floor, I was helping my daughter sound the letters in a language that is not my mother tongue, I was sitting down with Sam, trying to help him organise his own goals and projects.

So many things…think about yours, you probably have a long list too. Let me tell you what you also have. You’ve got stamina, just as I did too. I was about to lose it this week thinking too myself, too many things, no time, and I feel SO tired, I don’t think I can go on. Then I realise that as soon as I had that thought something else got my attention (probably baby needing to be fed) and you know what, I kept going. I went and did the next thing on my list.

STAMINA is about keep going. Do what you’re supposed to do. Have the strength, the energy to achieve what you’ve planned. Why we, mums, are the greatest? Because we ALWAYS keep going. Being the greatest is not an easy job, nobody said it would be…so let me move on to the next bit of the song.

Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
Well, oh, I got stamina

We are the greatest because we know when to close our eyes and focus on what’s more important. Wonder-woman is a sci-fi character. Mums are the real super-women. Countless times I needed to close my eyes and see things as they really are. Again. We’ve got STAMINA, we can handle it. Life gets too heavy sometimes to carry all on our shoulders, but we have family, friends, we, particularly, have GOD as well, but even if you don’t have any of those things, you know what you’ve got? You’ve got stamina. Our own worth as human beings, regardless of our circumstances, should be enough to help us keep going.

 

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far from perfect but still the greatest.. 😉

 

And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb
But I, I, I got stamina

Being a mum is a constant challenge, whenever you think you’ve mastered something with your son or daughter there it comes, another mountain to climb. But, us mums, don’t get scared of those mountains, we dare them. We know that life can be a constant uphill path, otherwise we’d be stuck, don’t grow, don’t learn, and that is not good. You know the only people who are greater than mums? Grandmas, not for the sake of it, but because they’ve experienced motherhood, have the right perspective and enjoy the fruits of their children. They care for what matters the most. They do have stamina as well, and we can learn from them.

Uh-oh, I need another lover, be mine
Cause I, I, I got stamina

No please! No breaking marriages here, don’t add another lover to your life if you’ve already got one. 😉 But this just makes me think that we need to find the passion on the things we do. If we are living life everyday, just because we are breathing and we are just moving with the flow we are missing the greatest. Life is meant to have joy. I’ve discovered a new passion sharing my feelings and stories with all of you on this blog. We, mums, are the greatest because we find different ways to motivate ourselves, to help us keep going, to have stamina.

so mums…

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

 

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest

Are you alive? (rhetorical question obviously -I’m not talking to the walking dead) THEN You are the greatest. You’ve got STAMINA to keep going. I am and we are the greatest mums, cause you know what, no matter how many times we fail, how many times we think enough is enough, or how many we’d like to just give up, or sleep, no matter all that, we’ve got stamina. We wake up every day. We are strong and we can do it. Remind those words to yourself daily, you are alive, you’re the greatest, if you don’t feel like it, you’ve got the opportunity to amend it. I wouldn’t suggest that if I didn’t apply it to myself. Of the many times I’ve felt too tired for anything, I’m still here, I’m alive, and I’m the greatest.

 



Am I no longer the mum with “no village”?

I recently read a blogpost that it made think about my motherhood experience in this country. I recommend you to read it, it was called When You’re the Mom with no village by Jay Miranda.  I felt quite related to her feelings of solitude away from family. The phrase itself says “it takes a village to raise a child” and is basically talking about the support community that a child needs in order to grow and learn, being the community: family, friends, educators, etc.

But what about us, mums? Do we need a village as well? Back in Barcelona we used to have my family side on a 10 minute drive distance and my in-laws on a 30 minutes drive. Not too bad, right? It’s not only we had family close by, but for us, family equals friends, cause the relationship we have with them is so good that we love spending time together, having a good laugh and sharing moments. We also have good friends that we can hang out with so our life there was quite well-balanced except for our jobs and finances.

Moving to UK helped us settle our finances down and be more self-reliant but we lost all the other part of the equation. For quite a while I was and I felt like the mum with “no village”. We met people at church, we met people on other groups, some of them young parents like us, some of them older or younger than us and single, but we never got to “click” with them. I don’t know, it was maybe us, but so many times I wished I could hold a conversation with someone without actually trying to make an effort of bringing up topics, or being nice but it never happened. Well, being more accurate, it did happened with a few people, but apparently the feeling wasn’t reciprocate, so I was turned down! haha…

We are no longer without a village, more family have joined us in the UK, and even though they will live an hour away from us, I know it will be good for my children to visit with them regularly. Sam’s family are a hard-working loving people so it was a pleasure spending two weeks with “Tia Nati” (auntie Nati) and “Vovo” (grandma). J was so excited every day and her Portuguese skills increased significantly of just this exposure. Our little E used to fall asleep quite easily with his vovo, just like it happened with his yaya (my mum)…there’s something in a grandma’s body that seem to have this hypnotic effect when they hold a baby, LOL

I must admit though that for the first few days I couldn’t stop thinking on MY family, my mum and dad, my brothers, sister-in-law and my little cheeky super cute niece. I missed them more than ever and wished they would join us here as well. Something unlikely to happen…But I couldn’t be more grateful to God that is giving us the opportunity to have more family around. I wish I could tell you how to be the mum with a village, but unfortunately I don’t think my social skills have improved that much since then. My only advice, the one that I give to myself, is to keep trying, and among those many attempts someone will come your way, and you will have a village, you will be able to trust someone, to laugh with someone, to hold a conversation without making an effort.

What is your story? Do you have your own “village”?

 

Why I will never yell at my daughter again

“Children grow, and we grow with them. Childhood is fleeting. May our obsession to correct it don’t stop us of enjoying it. ” (Carlos Gonzalez – Paediatrician)

I was sharing the other day on a different post that I came to the determination that I would never yell at my daughter again. Now, I need to rectify here, cause I’m in the process of it and not achieving it 100%. It’s hard to acknowledge our weaknesses but it’s good to recognise them so that we can change. And rather of this post being some sort of “confession” is just a conversation, between you and me, where I’d like to explain why I have decided this and maybe you can come to the same conclusion, just like me.

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A few weeks ago, probably over a month I was going through much stress, but not on a daily basis, I would just have some peaks every once in a while, it might have been because of feeling too tired, or because I was losing hair due to breastfeeding, or feeling weight guilty…any how, if I continue with the list this post is going to sound depressing and I’m going to depress myself just by writing it! LOL …

The thing is that my patience with J was decreasing in inverse proportion. She was just HER, as usual, the cheerful cheeky monkey that likes to play around and many times wants things on her own way. But I, I was yelling more than usual, anything would drive me round the bend. It was so unfair for her and then I remembered some wise words I read a long time ago. It was actually when I was pregnant with her and I used to read all these books about parenting, childhood, or even watching “supper-nanny”! I remembered the words from Carlos Gonzalez, a renowned Spanish paediatrician, on his book “Besame mucho” (Kiss Me) where he explained that us, as parents have the ability to control our behaviour, that when we discipline our children there is no need to raise your voice or instil fear in them. It is wrong to say “You drive me crazy” or “You’re making me mad” The blunt truth is that we are the only agents who have made the decision to get angry because of an specific situation. If you think that’s impossible, try to remember that time when you were with your boss, or some friend or a stranger, and they did something to you that you didn’t like, did you raise your voice to them or could you control yourself because otherwise you would get fired or lose a friendship or feel ashamed? See, we CAN do it! we can control ourselves, there is no excuse, and specially there is no excuse for the person you love the most.

So now, I think before I speak, I breathe before I yell and I remember that my daughter is a child, that is growing, just as I am growing,..I remember that childhood is fleeting, and that I should enjoy it along with her, because I don’t want to get fired by her! 😉

You can read more about Carlos Gonzalez on this interview. (most of the content you can find about him is in Spanish but you will probably see some works written in English as well) He is an advocate of natural upbringing and I share his views in many of these matters.

Share your thoughts with me on this! Leave a comment. 🙂

The lessons I learnt from my father

This last weekend we had the great blessing of having “yayu” (J and E’s grandpa) with us and I couldn’t let pass the chance to share with all of you some of the lessons that I have learnt from my dad and that I have felt so vividly these days. I know he will read this post “in secret” cause he is not too keen on all the “social media madness” but I hope he won’t mind I write about it.

Laughing out Loud

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Anyone who’s ever had a chat with my family knows that we like to have a good laugh of almost everything! specially my dad and I have a bit of a dark sense of humour that usually would be my mum who would be suffering the consequences, but in general, laughing at ourselves, laughing of our mistakes, laughing out loud has definitely helped us go through life situations with a much better attitude. Now it’s something that I try to apply within my own family, and J’s sense of humour is much of a reflection of that.

Search for the good in life

My dad has the gift of seeing good in other people and good in things. Everything that falls to his hands he will have the vision of what he can do to make it look better, nicer or more productive. He won’t need that many tools or much investment but he will definitely work wonders with almost anything you ask him for. To be honest, I think in a much deeper sense, that is how he raised my brothers and I, with the eyes put on what we could become regardless of what we were then. And that, has made all the difference.

Be teachable 

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Don’t ever think you know everything! Once your bag is full there’s nothing else you can add to it so that will stop you from growing. My dad is always open to learn from his children, even the youngest one who is 11 y.old, or from his children-in-law, or even from his grandchildren. Anyone can teach us meaningful lessons if we are open enough to receive them.

Never stop creating 

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Building dreams, trying to make them real, it is never too late. And if age becomes an obstacle try to adapt and think outside the box. His spirit of entrepreneurship will always be an inspiration to me and my family. Stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things is hard but it will be worthy at the end and along the way.

Believe in yourself

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Love yourself, like yourself, believe you can do things. Self-confidence is probably one of the most attractive attributes and my mum would agree to that. Not a fool of themselves, not thinking of themselves better than others, just recognising your virtues and accepting your weaknesses. But if you cannot love yourself you won’t be able to love others.

With an eye single to the glory of God

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He is always taught us never to be afraid of dying. He sees death as a part of life, and thus you do your best while you’re here, preparing to meet with your Creator, and then enjoy the other side of the journey, while you wait for your loved ones to join you. He is an imperfect person who loves to live the gospel on his daily life and not just on a Sunday. And that’s how we try to be as well.

I’m pretty sure my dad has and will face challenges on parenting, loving others, ageing, and many other things, as we all do, but when you put life in the right perspective, and you see the example he is leaving with us, you see a man who tries, and because of that, you want to try as well.

<We love you yayu!! Thanks for these days with us!>

What have your father taught you? Don’t need to wait for Father’s Day or any other special occasion to share those lessons 🙂

 

Cuddle Fairy

10 absolute truths you will only experience with a 4 year-old

Having a 4 year-old can be quite an interesting adventure. They’re not in the stage of completely dependency as a new born baby but they’re not miss/mr independence either, even though they believe they are. So after a week where I have committed myself to not raise my voice to J again (I will have to tell you why in a different post) here comes, the 10″absolute” truths you will only experience if you have a 4 year-old.

Truth #1: I don’t like this food! I wanna eat out. 

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It doesn’t matter if they’ve helped you in the kitchen, or if you have tried to hide all the “good-green stuff” so it looks more appetizing, as soon as they sit on the table, they switch their auto-mechanism of “I’m going to give a hard time to mummy” and start whining about it.

Truth #2: (maybe only applicable to girls?.. I don’t know!) I don’t like these clothes!

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J at 18 months…a very early fashionista

After taking off the closet 4 dresses, trying out 2 trousers, leaving them on the floor, trying to put a long t-shirt as a dress, and who knows what else! our little fashionista cannot decide what to wear! I can’t wait for school to start so the only options she will have will be blue and grey!

Truth #3: Power Rangers is serious stuff…

Power Rangers Movie

Really, how many versions of The Power Rangers are currently out there?! Dino Charge, Mystic something.., and how creepy can be that all the cast look alike from one version to the other! BUT she loves them! She’s into the pink one now by the way, she used to be the red one. Apparently pink is cool now. I still can remember the time when I was telling her off because of something she did and she started pointing at me with both arms extended and making a noise like “ssshhhh”..and I was like, “WTH?! what are you doing J?” -“Trying to destroy you! like the Power Rangers, mummy!”… 😀 such a cutie, right?!

Truth #4: Bedtime to infinity and beyond!

So now, all the characters from her favourite book stories have suddenly acquired new names… we will have “Snow white – Rainbow dash” and her “Prince- Apple Jack” and of course, the prince’s horse named “Beautiful Twilight-J.C.T” we can never forget to say the “beautiful” first please. That means that a story that would take less than 5 minutes to read is told in like forever! By the way, you can tell the influence of My Little Pony there…

Truth #5: I will always leave the park crying.

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It doesn’t matter how long you stayed, how involved you were in their games, they will never accept the words  “It’s time to go” For them “Home” means depriving them of their freedom and wildest dreams. And it gets even worse if you were on a play date with another friend. Then it’s a whole good bye drama “I’ll miss you J! – I’ll miss you too S! Come play to my house soon!”

Bless our little J though, she is indeed such a character, and this probably sounded as if we were complaining about her but let me tell you the other 5 truths:

Truth #6: She always accepts my apologies.

And this probably applies to your little one. It doesn’t matter your mistake, as soon as you say you’re sorry, they will be there kissing you and hugging you again, like nothing happened. No hurt feelings.

Truth #7: Any day is a good day to wear a princess dress!

Isn’t it right? Life is not to be wasted waiting for the perfect moment! just like a 4 year-old does it, you fancy wearing a santa dress in the middle of april? Go for it! they know it well, live life to the fullest.

Truth #8: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. 

They might not have consistency but they do have commitment. Specially if you’re the one who promised to do something. They will make you keep your word, every bit of what you said. They do it as well. They’re quite serious for that, specially if it involves playing. 😉

Truth #9: You will always be their hero.

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Embrace this stage, I heard it gets quite difficult in a few years! so this is a time to enjoy because no matter how tired you are and look and feel you will always be beautiful to them, daddy will always be the strongest and mummy…mummy will always be “mummy” (I think that implies a lot!)

Truth #10: they will always appreciate your time.

No matter how expensive the toy or if it didn’t cost you anything at all, if they don’t have anyone to play it with, it will be pointless. They will always appreciate the time you spend with them. The memories you are building will be the ones that will stay with them. They are your perfect boss, the one that really acknowledges that you are needed and loved, and abundantly rewarded for spending time with them.

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These are not “absolute truths” at all! every child is unique, but these are our truths, the ones we embrace and we learn every day from our little J. What have you learnt from your little one so far?

 

Cuddle Fairy

My mum is the worst mum in the world

My mum is the worst mum in the world. Let me go back in time, since we’re celebrating Mother’s Day in Spain and other countries, and tell you the “horrible” things my mum did to me:

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Being an unbearable fussy eater, stage that lasted up to 4-5 years of age, my mum was so “mean” that she used to blend all these natural juices, almost daily, and frequently with some “delicious” beetroot and other vegetables added to them. Luckily for me, she would put some oranges in them to hide the taste of iron from the beetroot! Without those smoothies I would have probably been a very malnourished child, because, couldn’t I be more difficult, could I?! Sometimes keeping the food in my mouth for over an hour…but you know what? My mum knew better.

IMG_1919IMG_1920With every changing season and specially in winter, she would wrapped me around and around with the scarf and zipped up my coat up to my nose or even putting me a pair of warm tights under my trousers if needed, because “darling, if the air is rushing through your mouth you’re going to get sick!” I would look like a giant marshmallow walking down the street, but how many colds or pneumonias did she save me from?

Because, definitely, my mum knew better.

We can’t forget the countless times that she stay in my bed with me, listening to my stories, life-changing experiences for me, dreams of a little girl to her probably, but she never showed a sign of exhaustion. She might have even been thinking to herself “Oh gosh, when is this little one going to fall asleep so I can go back to bed?” However, my mum knew better.

ENG: “Today an angel came to our house, just when I needed it, you’ve got the best mum in the world!!!!”

Let me tell you, my mum was so “cruel” that in my teens she would make me go with her to these care homes for the elderly where we would stay there for quite a while, me watching how she would talk to them, hug them, and moreover, listen to them. Couldn’t it exist anything more exciting for a fifteen-year-old than doing that! But she liked “torturing” me teaching me values like loving thy neighbour and service must overcome our convenience and selfish desires. Because, again, my mum knew better.

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There’s not enough space in this post for me to really tell you how wonderful my mother is. It is my earnest hope that some day E and J can say that “I am the worst mother in the world” A secret-keeper, a pillow for their tears, a shopping companion, a therapist for their fears…on this Mother Day, I wish that all of you can have a mum as mean as mine, because only then, you will know what it really feels to love and be loved.

*Love you mummy! I know you will be the first one reading this post! :)*

(because, oh yeah! she is also our number one follower!)

And to you all, what lessons did your mothers teach you? Leave a comment and let’s spread the good values we learnt from them on this #mothersday.

Life with 2 under 5’s!

This is the Step 2 and the last one on our series of Maternity Leave Posts. We’ve decided we’ll talk about how we are adapting ourselves to living with two children, which can be an incredible exhausting but rewarding experience! By the way, if you have more than two you are probably thinking “Oh yeah, wait until you get another one!” haha

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Sam and I have been talking about the main differences compared to when it was just the three of us, and maybe what advice we could give to those wanting to grow the family but in all honesty, we haven’t mastered it ourselves too much yet, so before giving any advice we’d rather stick to the facts, and when I say facts, I mean, OUR facts, not that everything of these applies to you..but, who knows! So here they are:

Number 1. Loving the sibling to death!

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This is when the Parent needs to keep watching ALL the time, cause it might be that Big Sister is “killing” the baby softly to kisses and hugs… and sooo much love can be dangerous.

Number 2. The Present competition

Why is life so unfair that baby E got a gift but J didn’t? What did she do to deserve such injustice! Luckily for us many friends and family thought of J when giving something to E, but when it didn’t happen like that..oh yeah, the DRAMA was on!

Number 3. Bath time or the time when mummy gets all wet and I get half cleaned

J will try to help with baby E before her bath is ready because obviously she is highly experienced on giving baths to dolls, little people and plastic ducks. So, what we usually do is let her rub some soap on him and wrap him in the towel at the end. She’s actually quite good on this.

Number 4. Priceless siblings conversations

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Apparently E tells J when they need to have some sweet or when they’re not sleepy and don’t need to go to bed, or when he’s scared of the dark, and many other things that just by “coincidence” will affect J in some way. By the way, the last conversation I heard was very cute actually: E was crying, I was in the bathroom so I couldn’t go there to comfort him, but there it was, his big sister giving him all the support he needed, telling him           -“E! Don’t worry, don’t need to cry! You’re not alone E! I’m here with you! don’t cry, everything will be ok!”- hahaha…you can tell she is quite dramatic.

Number 5. Multi-tasking x 2

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When it was just one, you learnt how to do 2-3 tasks at the same time. Now, you’ve got two, but you still have only 2 hands so this is how it works: if dad is home, he will be in charge of one of them and I will look after the other one, and then we’ll switch. If only one of us is home with the two of them…oh well.. “Let the Hunger Games begin!” haha, no, basically one of them will need to put up with the other one, and this is when your skills for learning to prioritize will increase immensely.

Number 6. House chores? What house chores?

I don’t know how other parents do it but while typing this post we have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be fold and put back in their places. Could I be doing that instead of writing this? Yes, Do I want to do it? No, I need a life as well! 😉

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We just try to keep doing all we can without getting too stressed. I like a lot being organised and I think it’s one of my assets but I have learnt that sometimes you gotta feel good with yourself even if you just did only one tiny task of all the other ones you had pending on your list, because again,… PRIORITIZE… Is E sleeping and J wants you to play with her? Clothes, bathroom, hoovering can wait!

Number 7. Blind Date

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That is what our marital relationship has become, into a blind date! not because we don’t know who we are meeting with, just because, in all sense of the word, we don’t see each other on a date at all! Time for just the two of us is hidden somewhere and it might give us a surprise in a near future but not for now. What we do instead? Every once in a while, we pause, look into each other eyes for a few seconds, smile, thank God for the person that we are sharing our lives with and keep going, one in charge of E, the other one of J, and life continues.

There are many more differences that we could list here, but we would get to the exact same conclusion, we wouldn’t change a bit. Life with two under 5’s can be demanding, exhausting and stressful but it is also a rewarding, learning, and memorable experience that you treasure every time you see them smile, grow and become the great people you know they are.

 

Hey! What’s your life like with two or more children? We’d love to hear and learn from your stories as well. 🙂

 

Mumzilla