Monday, 18 July 2011

I Do!

We have entered the wedding season. Our mantelpiece has been strewn with invitations for months, gifts have been bought, accommodation booked, outfits scrambled together and now we begin the weekends of
wedding extravaganzas. 

Husband and I enjoyed our first night away from the baby at the first wedding this weekend. Leaving the baby in the crazy, but capable hands of his beloved aunts we headed off.  Hubby was best man and I was going to be set free from my 5am wake up call. We planned a few drinks, but after the initial excitement of the reception and the bubbly (I always guzzle and then realise too late that I am peaking way too soon) we decided we couldn't face the 4hr drive home with hangovers and we were very happy to just have an evening together.  How grown up and boring are we? Or is that the way all new parents feel?

I love a wedding, I want to cry the minute I sit down, you cannot help but get caught up in the electric emotion of the day, feeling the nervous tension in the room as the groom squirms in his seat awaiting the first sight of his future wife. I remember that moment of walking up the aisle so well. It hadn't really dawned on me that all these people would be in the church and  my bridesmaids have never forgotten the look I gave them as I realised that this is it!

Over the past few years I have often thought of that moment and all our lovely friends who gathered to celebrate our wedding. When times are tough (and they are, I may be married to a saint, but I am still quite high maintenance!) I think of the vows we made to each other and the promises we made in front of all our friends. They believe in us and we can draw on them for support and love whenever we need them. When I am tired, fed up or just plain bored of the endless round of chores I let my mind wander back to that blissful day, when I married my best friend in front of all our best friends.

And so though we have entered a treadmill of weddings, I know how important our presence is at each and every one. By attending we are saying to our friends we believe in you, we support you and we love you. Go for it!

We drove home, refreshed, renewed and ready for our bundle of destruction to be waiting at the front door for us.

The wedding is just the beginning, it may only be a day, but the memories will be drawn on forever and my vows to my husband will last for all eternity.  So here's to all the husbands out there. The support they give us, especially as new mums is invaluable and that cup of tea handed to us at 3am will never be forgotten. I love my husband, I love him more everyday as I see the wonderful parent he is becoming and I love being lucky enough to be his wife.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Everyday Race

An early waking baby has started to leave me feeling really drained, days have become weeks that I am up before 5am. We have tried every bit of advice to get him to sleep later, but nothing works and I have succumbed to the fact that's its us, not him, that has to change our body clocks in order for our lives to work in tandem.

There is so much information out there and as more and more of my friends have babies you see everyone go through the same realisation- first few weeks of bliss as baby sleeps for most of the time, just waking to feed or stare nonsensically at a visiting face. Then WHAM the baby wakes up and suddenly evenings become a screaming match and days blur into a milky reality. Slowly you and the baby swing into a routine, whatever works for you, works (in my opinion). It doesn't matter what you do as long as you always do the the months go on I am realising more and more that all babies really require is stability and predictability just like us.

I have struggled with this stability over the past few months as my life is repeatably thrown off kilter. And it doesn't seem acceptable to say out loud that actually life with a baby is exhausting! Bring back ironman training and full time work any day....this is never ending! The cleaning, the wiping, the washing, the cuddling, the playing, the demands are 24/7 there are no rest days or easy days for this athlete! You have got to be on full time race peak all day till that blissful evening moment when you shut the nursery door and switch the kettle on (or pop the cork!) and sit down.....oh no wait the washing machine needs unpacking!

Trying to fit in any serious training is not that tricky with such early get ups and light evenings, but I just cant cope with the exhaustion a long session brings to my day and I don't feel its fair to not be in great shape to look after my baby. Without quality sleep the muscle repair and rest just isn't happening and as I saw in the last few weeks I end up going into deep exhaustion with nothing really to show for my efforts apart from crankiness and tears!

So while we are going through this phase I have cut down my training to let my body cope with the demands a very active 10 month old is placing on it. To most the amount I am still doing would seem a lot, but getting out of the mindset of ironman training is tough where if you are not doing at least two sessions a day its hardly worth talking about!

All of this is so new to me, being an athlete has meant being selfish for the past few years and people (notably my husband) fitting in with me and my schedule. Suddenly the tables have turned and I am fitting in with someones else schedule. I am learning to do this and am enjoying seeing how much he is flourishing with this care and security. I realise it really doesn't matter whether I can smash out a 5km in record time or fit into my size 10 jeans, but what matters is our little family is happy and healthy in our own little training schedule where everyday is a race and everyday is a prize.

Friday, 1 July 2011

To my Mummy

One of the best parts of becoming a mother has been the change in my relationship with my mum. We have always been close and apart from a regrettable incident with a bottle of Archers and the school disco we have never had more than a few tense words between us. She helped me plan my wedding to perfection, so much so we nicknamed her 'J-Lo' and through these actions I began to realise how much her daughters meant to her. Now as I am taking my first tentative steps into motherhood I have this new found respect for her. I never realised how hard being a mother was. Never realised the endless drudgery, chores, sleepless nights, manic days and she had 3! What makes me so proud is I never realised...she never complained, never moaned. All I remember of my young childhood is many blissful days in the garden, endless rounds of meals and endless games with my beloved sisters. I know both my parents were very busy, but Mum was always there in the background to pick up the pieces when we fell and to tuck us in at night.

Now as I watch baby and 'Granny' together I am in awe at her ease with both my son and to how well she has adopted to her role as the 'supporter.' Never once has she judged me, criticised or contradicted my mothering skills. For this I am so grateful. She is there to help with baby and they adore each other already, but I know equally importantly she is watching out for me, her daughter and her baby. I have always loved her dearly, but now I feel our bond is changing, life is moving on and I am stepping into her shoes as she is moving into a new pair.

I know I am lucky. I know others have strained family relations...but don't worry she isn't all perfect! She HATES all things Ironman related and so I have kept many a race and result to myself. I didn't tell her about the 40 mile run I did a few months ago (though had to confess the next day when she saw me walking down the stairs). She doesn't get my need to push myself to the limit and cant understand why a good dog walk isn't enough!? But in some ways this has served its purpose, I have nothing to prove, no pressure doing my sport, it is purely for myself and no one else. When I go home I can just be me, her daughter and now the new mummy.

I love you Mooms x