Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet Annalese!

Annalese is my Cousin-in-law, our babies are very close in age and she is wonderful to confide in at any time. We use each others ears often. This is Annaleses story.

Annalese Peterson
Mother to Arden David (8 months)

A typical day involves...
I'm a stay at home mum until July when I go back to work part time. My partner Brendon is a shift worker and works two 12 hour day shifts, two 12 hour nights then four off.
Arden sleeps in our bed from about midnight on and has just started to only wake once after that anywhere between 2 and 6:30am, which is so awesome because he was waking every 2 hours only a month ago.
Some days he'll wake at around 7:30 others it'll be 9am, and I'm usually still half asleep until he jumps all over me to get me to wake up. If Brendon's home I'll ask him not so politely to get up with him so I can have a lay in.
When we get up we jump straight into the shower or sometimes he has a bath, to get the day started.
From there it's only a matter of about an hour to get him to have his weetbix or oats before he goes back down in his cot for a nap which lasts between 30-90 mins. In that time I get our tea prepared and pretty much all the housework done.

He gets distracted really easy at lunch and doesn't want to eat, he's too busy worrying about chewing his bib. So I've found a way to make him automatically open his mouth..... I play the "Landcare Australia" commercial which I have bookmarked on youtube. He just loves that ad and it makes his meal times so much easier and quicker! He has home made vegetables and cous cous. I've recently started giving him chicken. Bedtime is usually around 8:30-9pm. He goes to sleep in his cot after reading 'Hairy Maclary', a bottle and a little cuddle. We will visit a friend with a baby or Ardens' cousin usually one day a week. He loves playing with other babies. I'm going to start taking him to a playgroup this year.

The best part about being a mother?
I never thought I would love being a mother as much as I do and I never realised that motherhood would be the best thing that could ever happen. I love when he wakes up and is having a little cry, then sees me and laughs. When I pick him up he wraps his arm around my neck like he's a koala. The open mouth kisses he gives me when I ask for a kiss, the finding something new to play with and discovering what it does or how he can fit it in his mouth...That is the kind of thing that melts my heart. When I'm in an elevator or shop and people have a little chat to my boy makes me such a proud mum. I love chatting with other mums about babies and products. Everyone has different stories to tell and things they do, this is where I get most of my advice from. I used to hate it when I was pregnant and people would tell me this and that. Now I'm one of "those" people with my own thoughts and advice.

The hardest part of parenting?
The hardest part is my worrying if he's safe. In the very beginning I didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I was learning to breastfeed which took around 3 months for it to feel natural. That was probably THE hardest part.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by people that can successfully lose weight. I know it's an odd thing to be inspired by, but I just love finding out as much as I can about being healthy and exercise. It's so much harder now that I have Arden but I know I'll get there. The Biggest Loser is a show that I will not miss. I love seeing the training. I love seeing people riding a bike or running, not just to get somewhere but for the fun of it too. It makes me miss what I once was, but I'd never give up the life I have with my boy just to go back to the days when I was a skinnier version.
Also, on a completely different note; running an efficient household and being a mother, a lover and a friend is the hardest job. And most of the time isn't getting paid by money, but love for the hours she puts in.
Time is so valuable and if one can fit all of that into a days work then she's the greatest inspiration.

The effect on your relationship since having a baby...
After 9 years together, I thought we'd be pretty good raising a child. I thought we both had the same opinions on how to do things. When Arden came home for the first time it was winter. He didn't go to sleep in the bassinet through the day, so I just sat on the couch and held him to sleep. This continued until he was about 4 or 5 months old. Brendon thought I should be putting him in his cot and letting him cry himself to sleep. I wanted to show Arden that I loved him and for him not to feel sad. It was also 'time out' for me too.
So, We've had our share of arguments and also about who does what.

 I'm a stay at home mum so I know I have to do the majority of the housework and parenting, but it's nice sometimes to get home from the shops to have the washing hung out or for him to offer to change a nappy. Sometimes I get in my own little stubborn mood because he hasn't read my mind to know what I want. I also wouldn't mind a "day off". It sounds silly but I need "me" time every now and then. It usually means Brendon will take Arden to visit his Nanny and Poppy so I can go for a run and have a bath. It's the little things that he does without me needing to ask that makes me love him that much more.

I am a "let herself go" kind of woman. I constantly struggle with my weight after putting on 24kgs and only losing 16. So I get around the house in daggy trackies and tshirts because I'm determined to not stay this way and refuse to buy bigger clothes. I wear my hair the same all the time, pulled up in a ponytail and all tucked away and wear make up only on a special occasion. After all that, Brendon looks past it and still tells me he loves me. So I guess I can't complain too much?

I could never imagine how hard it would be to be a single parent. Having a little life that relies on the love from a mother is the hardest and most emotional thing. Having that someone to back you up and take over if you just want to scream and cry for half an hour because he won't eat his tea or go to sleep 'til midnight.
I have so much respect for those who do it alone because it is so so hard even with a partner. I'd be an absolute wreck if I was on my own.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely blog Annalese - I can relate to some of that!