Sunday, 30 March 2014

Year of Giving - Mummy March

It's Mummy March!

I am really enjoying my Year of Giving so far. I love planning who to surprise and this month I have decided to make it around the theme of Motherhood. I have a lot of friends who are either pregnant or who have recently had babies. It's a really tough time whether you are carrying your child on the inside, in your arms as a baby or on your hip as a toddler. Unhelpfully, children do not arrive with a manual or a how to guide and it's not always rosy, especially in the early days. I thought of a few mums in my life that I felt needed an extra boost and set about my scheming.

Feeding New Mums

My first gift was to my friend Paula who has just recently had a beautiful baby boy. One of my happiest memories as a new mum was when my friend Christine visited me after the birth of JC and brought with her a delicious home cooked meal. I had been living on tea, cold toast and biscuits so this gesture really meant a lot to me. I decided to do the same for Paula and when I went over for a cuddle with Joshua I brought with me some of my homemade stew, mashed potatoes and veg. I also arranged for COOK Morningside to deliver 8 meals to their house the following week to keep their freezer well stocked. This means that she can have a night off from cooking each week for the next 8 weeks.

Pampering Pregnant Ladies
My other charge this month was my cousin Leanne. She is due a baby in June and is getting to that fed up third trimester stage. She has been really tired and run down lately. She is doing so well though as she has a 3 year old and looks after her 2 year old nephew a few days through the week too. I decided to give her a wee pamper kit. I drew together a few bits and bobs such as shortbread (her favourite), a magazine, bump cream, peppermint cooling spray for tired legs, some nice shower gel and a calming reed diffuser. I popped it all in a gift bag and surprised her after nursery. Leanne is a salt of the earth kind of person. She would really do anything for you and always goes the extra mile for others, expecting very little in return.

Babysitting Service
Sometimes it's the gesture that means more than the gift. My friend Laura has 2 beautiful twin girls but getting out for the night without them can prove difficult. Laura's mum did a lot of childcare for her but she lost her fight to cancer just prior to Christmas. Laura was telling me how she had taken the girls and her hubby out for dinner but had to leave after the starters as the girls were a bit unsettled. I remember this stage well. In fact, on Christmas Eve the same thing happened to me. We went for dinner in a lovely Mexican restaurant. It wasn't lovely. Jamie cried from the moment we got there and John wouldn't stay in his seat. We rushed down our food as quickly as we could and left with me in tears. I think that Laura deserves a bit of chill time so I have gifted her my babysitting services for the evening to let them go for dinner together without the girls.

Preloved Rehomed
The last instalment of giving is something I think most mums are good at. Rehoming the old baby stuff you no longer need. I know that Jamie is my last baby so there is no need to hold on to things like clothes that were never or barely worn. I have bagged up my newborn clothes to give to my sister's friend Holly who is due her baby in the next month. I am also planning to give away my baby books to Homestart Lochgelly (a local branch of the charity that supports mums with kids under 5) as my boys outgrow them. I used my commission from selling Usborne books to buy £200 worth of new books for Homestart this month and the rest of my commission has funded the gifting this month.

Being a mother is one of the most demanding jobs and like most vocations it doesn't come well paid. You end up working your holidays and you are emotionally invested and on call 24/7. You can't take a sick day without feeling guilty and sometimes your efforts are not appreciated to the degree they should be. Motherhood doesn't come with a manual. Even on your best day you can still feel like you are failing. It's not without its benefits though. The smile of recognition when they see you enter the the room. The way they stretch their arms up to you to be lifted. The way they cling to you when feel hurt or upset. The way they curl their finger round your thumb when they are feeding. They way their little heads always smell so delicious. The way the look so peaceful and innocent when they sleep. The way they look at you with love in their eyes when you see them performing in their nursery show. The way the run to you and wrap themselves around you after 2 hours of separation like it has been forever. Its not always the easiest job but it is definitely the most inexplicably rewarding.

Happy Mother's Day

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