Jude is a teacher by profession, but when Motherhood came calling, she decided to focus her talent and energy on nurturing the talent of her children. She is a stay-at-home Mum to two girls. Here she shares with us her story as part of our Mother’s Day celebration of Kiwi Mums.
Jude, tell us a bit about yourself.
These days I answer to the call of Mummy more than Jude, but here I am as a 38-year-old stay-at-home Mum to my two daughters Elsie (5) and Rose (3) in Auckland. Before we even had children we had discussed our plans if we were fortunate enough to have them. I have embraced the role of stay-at-home mum with open arms. Some days are hard, the tantrums, the lack of sleep, the toilet training and I think that going back to work as a high school English teacher may be easier, but the grass isn’t always greener. You see I am a bit of a perfectionist and if I am going to do something, I like to do it well. This is why I am more than happy to attempt to be the best mum that I can; it works for our family.
Can you share some thoughts on your motherhood journey so far?
Life as a mother for me has changed a lot recently with my eldest starting school and youngest in kindy three days a week. I feel like I am in an odd transition period as a mother. At times, the “working” bit of being a mum, the cuddles, the play, the cooking seems part-time. I feel like I am on the path of rediscovering who I am. My plan is to go back to teaching full time once they are both at primary school. Now is the time to click my brain into gear again and remind myself what it is like to be an adult.
Knowing who you are as a person is sometimes difficult when you are a mother. It is easy to lose sight of yourself as a wife, a friend or a daughter. After all, you have one of the most important jobs in the world. It can be a struggle to find time to be yourself amongst the mess, toys and washing, but it is a struggle worth having. I love to see my girls smile, though, love to see them play, love to see them learn. It makes it all worth it.
Looking back, what advice would you give your pre-Mum self?
The biggest piece of advice I would give to myself before children if I could is to be a realist. I am proud to consider myself a realistic mother now but it has been some journey.
In a world dominated by the internet where everyone has an opinion, it is easy to feel you are not matching up to some unrealistic standards, and by the same token, it is easy to judge other people’s parenting. Simply, don’t.
Be the mother you want to be, not what someone else thinks you should be. Do what is right for your family.
Being a Mum is extraordinary because…?
Being a mum is extraordinary because I see my daughters grow every day in every way. To watch their relationship as sisters develop is an absolute privilege. I hope that they will remain close for the rest of their lives. I see motherhood as an absolute blessing that has made me into a better person. It hasn’t always been easy but I wouldn’t change a thing. Every day I learn something new about myself.
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?
In our house, Mother’s Day is very much a family affair. I get the long sleep in on the Sunday morning and definitely no chores like washing or cooking. My mum has moved to New Zealand from the UK and we have a close family bond so we always go somewhere nice for lunch. I’m looking forward to sharing the day again with her, my husband and my girls. I am bound to get some beautiful artwork from the girls to grace my fridge too. I hope my children learn how to be a good mother from me and my mum. If I could wish one thing, that would be it.
If you could choose one of The Sisters Wine, which would it be?
I would choose a glass of Sisters Pinot Noir, a large glass, to snuggle up on the sofa with once my girls are fast asleep. It’s lovely by itself and its fruitiness is warm and soothing.
Jude shares her thoughts on life and motherhood on her personal blog Miracles of Matter. She is also on Instagram and Twitter. Most recently, she has been sharing her perspective on motherhood on snapchat @NZ_judester
In another world, she would have been a Take That Groupie for sure!