I’m Shellie or officially Shelly (Don’t ask, but everyone does)
I’m a your classic INTROVERT. I LOVE nothing more than being at home on my sofa. Seriously, I do, that is my ‘me time’, my space, my relaxation, where I feel good and de-stress. Nothing like getting them pj’s on and relaxing and I LOVE a glass of VINO!
I’m a mum to three children. Two boys and a girl. Oh, and a dog
named Zeus, God only knows how I ended up with a dog. I’m really not an animal lover but then I guess it’s the things we do for our kiddos right? Anyway, he’s part of the family now and most days I’m glad I have him, although it’s much like having a toddler again! He shadows my every move and is rather a ‘spirited’ staffy!
Much like my first son actually, he was and still is a spirited or (challenging) as I call him….
So lets talk about my initiation into motherhood then shall we. The dictionary definition couldn’t be more right could it?
Dictionary definition: the action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual.
I’m never one to say I found parenting easy. I tell it how it is. I’m honest if nothing else. There is absolutely no point in seeing everything through ‘rose tinted spectacles’ is there?
Anyway, back to the story. My initiation into motherhood hit me like ‘A tonne of bricks’ I certainly wasn’t prepared for this feisty little character that I’d brought into the world. It didn’t take me long to work out that he was a strong willed little mite who really gave me a ‘run for my money! Still does come to think of it.
Nothing was ever easy or ‘plain sailing’ with the first born. Oh no, I certainly knew I had him. He was always busy, on the go, full of energy, not stop, wanted conversation, company, entertaining 24/7. He is a true extrovert in every sense of the word. Doesn’t bode well really for me as an introvert as I found his boundless energy and personality difficult to understand at times.
The battles I had with him, dear me he wasn’t a child to give in. I must of been mad, but I went on to have another son 5 years later. They are very different apart from one thing (they say you never get 2 the same, thank GOD!) The TANTRUMS, the big MAHOOSIVE Meltdowns they both used to have. Oh me, oh my! I defy anyone to suffer those TEMPER TANTRUMS worse than I did with my boys. So, much so I like to give myself the title #Queen of Tantrums. Hey not just because of their massive meltdowns, but mine too. They truly nearly drove me to distraction!
Funny thing was, I went on to have a third child. Now as i’ve made no bones about the fact that I found motherhood challenging, you might be wondering “what on earth where you thinking?” But, let me tell you, my second son was a really easy, laid back little one until that is he hit 2 years old and the new baby arrived.
I was blessed to have three healthy children, 2 boys and a girl. I’d always secretly dreamed my little family would be like that, in that particular order, so I couldn’t be happier. BUT I ended up with PND and really truthfully found that first year with my daughter so difficult.
I remember feeling like I couldn’t cope, my head was full. So full, I couldn’t think straight. My head felt disorganised, you know when people say “My head’s a shed” well that was me. Everyone around me seemed to be managing, so why couldn’t I?
Fast track a few years later and I began working on a Postnatal Ward of a large hospital. I loved the contact with new mums and their newborn baby’s. It made me reflect on my own journey. I wanted so much to help them. The rest is history.
I went on to study at university with the largest parenting charity in the UK and qualified as a ‘Birth and Beyond Practitioner (all things birth and parenting to you and I). It was life changing for me. I began to piece together the journey of my transition into parenting. How and why it had been so challenging and what would have made it better. You see, your journey isn’t just about you, it goes back, way back, events that happen throughout your life, your circumstances, your upbringing, your social status, education, family history, everything and more effects your transition, your experience of parenting and the decisions you make. You don’t always have control of it, but you can understand and prepare to make that journey easier.
Anyhow, this is where I’m at today. I understand, I get the fear of birth, the breastfeeding struggles, the sleep deprivation, the complete lack of confidence in your abilities. The confusion, the mixed messages, the guilt, the Postnatal Depression. The LOT I get it.
But, its ok to struggle, to feel challenged, to not enjoy motherhood sometimes. It’s ok to be you. It’s ok to birth and parent how you want to. There really is no ‘one size fit’s all’. NO PERFECT WAY, NO RIGHT WAY, just your way. It’s never ‘black and white’, circumstances, values, family, beliefs all have an influence and much more besides.
Yes, there is no disputing that some parenting practices have better outcomes than others, (if only it was that simple eh?). For me I never felt that I fit one particular approach or style of parenting and if I’m honest (which I am, totally) it made me feel a bit guilty when the latest parenting buzz words didn’t quite fit with me and so I decided that it wasn’t necessary to ‘sing from one particular song sheet’ it wasn’t necessary to label parenting as an approach or style and so The Mummy School – Parenting without a label was born.