Today’s post was written by Barbara Briggs-Davies, who blogs at Amateur Mommies.
Between training for an ultramarathon, a full-time job and being a mom to a rambunctious 6-month old, my days are pretty full. Most days start at 04:30, either because I need to be at running at 05:00 or because our little bundle of joy has decided that’s a good time to wake up (often for the 5th time). My wife and I are both keen runners (although she’s a lot more sane than I am and has no desire to run further than 21kms – yet), so we take turns, running on alternate mornings and on our early mornings “off”, we’re on mom-duty. We’re blessed to have a wonderful nanny who looks after our son while we’re keeping the economy ticking over. When I get home it’s a whirlwind of playtime, suppertime, bath time, bedtime and getting dinner ready for us. Once our little man is down for the night, my wife and I are purposeful about connecting as a couple – talking through our day, chatting about ideas we’ve had to grow our “empire-in-the-making” and sitting down to a meal together.
Motherhood is a totally unquantifiable experience for me. Growing up I was never a maternal person. When my friends had kids, I thought they were cute, but I was never overcome with broodiness. When my nephew and niece were born, I loved them, but I didn’t want one of my own. But when I got married, I started seeing things in a new light. I always said it was because there was so much love in our marriage that we had to create another being to put the overflow love into. And so, we started discussing our options. Being a same-sex couple, we would obviously need medical intervention to conceive and after a few ups and downs we were able to excitedly shared the news with our friends and family that we were expecting a Christmas present to end all Christmas presents. When our son was born two days before Christmas our lives were forever changed for the better.
We’ve had our share of parenting challenges thus far, but thankfully nothing dire. I struggled with breastfeeding as I wasn’t producing enough milk to satisfy our hungry boy, who would get frustrated and scream himself horse. Feeding times inevitably ended with me in tears and Fletcher drinking a formula bottle anyway. Even expressing did nothing – I’d sit like a cow attached to the pump for 20 minutes on each side and have a whopping 30ml to show for it. After a month, I made the difficult decision to give up and opted to exclusively formula feed. Fletcher is now a healthy, happy 6-month old, cracking along in the 95th percentile for height and 75th for weight, so I’m happy to say I feel I made the right decision for us.
Our son is the light of our lives, the centre of our universe; everything we do, we do with him in mind. His laugh lights up a room and his happy little personality is just the most fabulous thing. We’ve been really lucky so far as he’s been generally very healthy – we didn’t battle with colic like so many of our friends did, he’s been on the same formula since day one and he’s only had a cold once – touch wood. He’s just a happy, healthy 6-month old and we thank our lucky stars every day that he chose us to be his parents. One day, we hope to give Fletcher a brother or sister, but until then we are so much more than content to be “parents of one”.
When we went public with my pregnancy we were inundated with questions from friends, wanting to know which doctors we’d used, where we’d got the sperm, whether we’d used an anonymous donor or someone we knew… We were flooded with so many questions that we actually considered hosting a forum. And that’s when it hit me: we should start a blog, create a space where we can share our story with everyone. And so Amateur Mommies was born. When we started it, we never considered it would be so successful or popular, but within a few short months we had over 1000 subscribers and the blog was getting hundreds of hits per post.
After Fletcher was born I was a bit slack about regular posting, but recently have made a personal commitment to post more regularly. I recently reached out to a friend who works closely with some incredible baby product brands about possibly doing some reviews for them and she opened my eyes to a whole new world. Firstly, she suggested I google our blog and see what came up – I am horrified to announce, it’s all porn! She also suggested we more actively start promoting the blog to increase our following, which to-date has grown entirely organically. Since then we’ve launched a Facebook page and an Instagram account to help promote our content. We’ve yet to launch our first promoted campaign, but it’s definitely on the cards for the near future. I enjoy writing and love having a space where I can freely do that, but I’m the first to admit that I’m no expert when it comes to blogging. That said, I’m learning. Every. Single. Day. I’m still working on being better about time management and purposefully creating time in my day to dedicate to growing our blog and sharing our stories. But I think we’re definitely taking steps in the right direction, even if they are just “baby steps”.
Mom to gorgeous little Fletcher Jude and loving wife of Rebecca, Barbara is an amateur mom trying to survive the ups and downs of parenthood in a same-sex couple. After many years of being the “cool aunty”, Barbara fell down the rabbit-hole of sleepless nights, vomit on all your favourite clothes and unending love that is motherhood.