Monday, February 21, 2011

Meet Zoe!

Zoe is one of the Mothers I met on facebook who I chat to regularly and she gave me some great ideas and feedback and my posts. This is her story in a nutshell!
Zoe Somers
Mother to Imogen Grace (4 years) and
Isabel Jasmine (5 months)

A typical day involves...
I usually have 3 feeds before actual 'wake up time' of a morning. One at 1am, another 4am then at 6:30am, usually exactly those times to the minute, Isabel has some sort of internal clock! Our wake up time is around 7:30 - 8am to get up and get Imogen ready for Kindergarten. I get up and get Imogen dressed, do her hair and tend to Isabel, while Dan makes Imogens breakfast and gets her lunch ready. Usually I get Dan to stay home with Isabel while I take Imogen to school, its much easier that way, plus Isabel is due for a sleep by the time I head out.

My partner, Dan leaves at 3:30pm most nights to start work at 4:30pm as he is a chef. So I get dinner ready while organising a tired 4 year old and a baby. 6pm and its bath time then 6:30pm I take both girls into Imogens room and read a bedtime story to them both.

I find this time really nice. Its beautiful the way both girls will sit quietly and listen to the story, the perfect wind down time. It usually takes an hour to and hour and a half for Imogen to actually go to sleep, she spends a lot of time playing and talking to herself, or she gets up several times to go to the toilet, ask for food/drink, tell us she loves us.. really any excuse to get out of bed. I like to try to get Isabel to bed between 7 and 8pm most nights. She hates her cot, so its usually half an hour of crying and dummy returns. But once she is asleep she will stay asleep till 1am.
Then its mummy time!

The best part about being a mother...
The unconditional love, the smiles, giggles, hearing every new word, watching them sleep, seeing a 'new first', watching their little faces light up when you walk into the room, knowing that someone relies entirely on you. Teaching, I love knowing that these children are learning from me. I am their main influence, and when I see they are doing well, learning fast, that is a great feeling.

The hardest part of parenting...
Lack of control and not knowing what is actually wrong with your baby until they are old enough to talk.
Also advice; I find it hard to know what 'advice' to listen to. You are always hearing different peoples opinions on every subject, Sleeping, eating, teething and every other person seems to know best. It makes it very confusing.

What inspires you?
This is a hard one because I actually dont know what inspires me. I like to think I inspire myself. I know what I want for me, and what I want for my children. I have spent a lot of time finding myself and who I am. I was only 18 when Imogen was born and I found it hard to adjust to parenting. Now, I have a whole new outlook on the parenting game and I know how I want to play it.

Thoughts on Single Parenting...
Only a few days after Imogens 2nd birthday, I realised I no longer loved her father anymore, so we split. For around 3 - 4 months I did it alone. And it was hard. She had to adjust, it was a lot for a small child to grasp. So she did what any child would do and she misbehaved. Bed time was hard, eating was a game, and toilet training had to be put on hold for a while. But I understand completely why she acted this way. It was a big change for her, it was also hard on me. There were many tears, from us both. But it is so rewarding to know that you got through those times on your own, some nights I had help, but the nights I didn't, it was an accomplishment to know that 'I did it' and I did it myself.
Parenting is hard, but single parenting is the hardest. I couldnt imagine doing it alone these days. And I think anyone who is a single parent now, and surviving (whether they are pulling their hair out or not) are obviously doing an amazing job.

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