Breastfeeding isn’t the same for everyone

Breastfeeding isn’t the same for everyone

Today I have a guest post from my good friend, I will call her ‘2 Kids No Formula‘ on how her decision to Breastfeed affected her as a new mum.  Her 2 sprogs are now 7 and 4. Over to you 2KNF: *Hands over imaginary microphone*

“I found myself in that camp… where you eat moss and breastfeed…..

Did you ever realise that by having a baby you were going to make huge statements about your parenting orientation? No, me neither. I thought you’d whip this baby out and watch on lovingly while it grew up. Oh boy, how wrong I was. I fall into a very elite camp!

I am a hypnobirthing, breastfeeding, baby led weaning, front sleeping goddess who laboured for three days on no drugs. When I walk along the street my children glow full of my antibodies, a huge sign in neon lights above my head lights the moonlit after bedtime sky ‘hippy mother’. For miles around I am called upon to give my opinion on nipples and flow and whether your darling baby is getting enough milk, because I made it to that golden 1 year mark. But do you know… still no fucking medal in the post 7 years down the line!!!! I initially lap up the glory when we hit that emotive subject in the soft play, in-between shifting my darling child from one knee to the other so I can strain my teabag with one hand without shooting it across the table and scalding all the babies crawling around my feet; all because my sodding child wont actually venture into the soft child size boot camp.

Three other lovely mummies who I have found on my circuit of the baby classes sit round the table eagerly awaiting my input – how the hell did I make it to a year breastfeeding without my nipples dropping off??? Errr I don’t know… I basically persevered because I would rather my nipples dropped off in bed than actually crawl out of bed and venture downstairs waiting for bottles to ping in the microwave then spend 5 minutes cooling them under a freezing tap (this is pre Perfect Prep machine – like what the hell, has the inventor of this only just left school? All the inventors before him need to be sacked I think).

My story doesn’t have a very earth mother ring to it, and the three other mums smell weakness and pull rank on me, stating how unhappy their kids were until they shoved a bottle in their mouths. I am left feeling like a hippy again, one that starved my kids of thick yummy milk. But here’s the mental bit…. No matter your feeding orientation they still bloody alive, go figure!!!!

The problem with me is, I will do what I want, no health visitor pushing me to breast feed or lactation specialist being my best mate for the first month of my life will sway me, if my nipples had dropped off, that bottle would have been in my baby’s mush in a shot, but they didn’t.

My boobs however look like death, but I am planning to have enough children to save the money on formula to get them perked up a bit by a nice doctor….. and In that case I will take the drugs!!!”

 

For me, it was very different: I started by breastfeeding all 3 of my babies, but only for 3, 2 and 6 weeks respectively. I honestly found breastfeeding the worst part of having a baby. The pain from feeding was FAR worse than the pain of late pregnancy, childbirth, and recovering from third degree tears and infections afterwards (that’s a whole other post!)

With my first I had mastitis early on from a bad latch, really sore nipples because I didn’t know how to prevent it or help it, and I was too young/shy/scared to ask for help. Second baby had oral thrush and we passed it back and forth until I was so sore I couldn’t do it anymore. Third baby I probably had really bad vasospasm/raynaulds (so my breastfeeding guru friend told me!) and pain when feeding, he had minor tongue tie but with MAJOR pain. It was all over Christmas time and I didn’t want to ask for help, I thought he was my third baby I should bloody know better by now. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, the closeness the bond… but I just sucked at it. By 8 weeks all 3 of my babies were solely formula fed. I felt awful at first, but then I saw them thrive and develop and I’m happy with that. I still feel passionately about breastfeeding, but I just think every mum and baby experience it totally differently, no 2 babies or mums are the same. So I just say, feed your baby however you feed it, as long as it’s not Greggs sausage rolls (yet).

Breastfeeding.png

What are your experiences of the big Breast vs Formula?  Did you find judgement from the way you fed your baby?

The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

After having child no 2, I worked part-time doing admin for a lovely charity in the City (of Laaandan). It was a really nice place to work, and I loved it.

One Christmas, we did the usual Secret Santa within my ‘team’. The team was mainly women and the boss man of our little team was, indeed a man. He was a nice man, maybe in his 50’s… very odd a little bit odd at times, but who isn’t. It was difficult talking to him sometimes, he seemed very quiet and a bit reserved. He was the sort of man I imagined stayed indoors a lot, didn’t own a TV and read old books all day. He looked at me like he thought I was an annoying child.

The budget for Secret Santa was really small, as it was a Charity, understandably. £2 per person. I found a really lovely gift for my SS recipient, as you do. I wrapped it up and wrote a label in bold handwriting so she didn’t know who bought it. On the day of the exchange, everyone looked at the little pile of presents to find the one with their name on it. We all stood in a circle and opened the wrapping simultaneously.

As I peeled the wrapping paper off my gift, I couldn’t really tell what it was. It was something flat and light. As I pulled it completely out of the packaging, I felt confusion wash over me. Inside the festive wrapping paper was….. ……..wait for it……

No really…….. sit down……..  get ready……

A. Gift. Bag.

Like, you know, a GIFT BAG that you buy to put a gift into.  Someone had wrapped up a gift bag for me. Was this a joke? If it was, I definitely didn’t understand the joke. I tried to mask the confused look on my face by smiling and looking pleased. I peeked inside the gift bag, in case there was an ACTUAL gift inside. Nope. The bag was still flat and in the cellophane as it was in the shop. Everyone by now was holding up their gifts and telling each other what they’d got, laughing and joking. I stood silently looking at my Gift Bag, smiling still in case the person who bought it was watching me. All of a sudden it dawned on me that Odd Boss Man had clearly bought this for me. Who else in their right mind would buy someone a gift bag as a present?! To be fair, it was a very pretty gift bag. Very girly, with flowers or butterflies or something on it. It had a massive £2 label on the front, and was from M&S, which was the shop just outside the tube station. I pretty quickly worked out that Odd Boss Man had clearly walked into the shop, panicked at what to buy the irritating young female co-worker he probably despised. He probably clapped eyes on the gift bag and thought, brilliant, £2, job done. Maybe he thought it was a hand bag.

One of my lovely colleagues called out across the circle… “Jo, what did you get??” I didn’t know what to say… so I slowly held up the gift bag, smiling, as everyone in the circle turned to look at me. She looked confused too. Thank God.  I think she sensed my awkwardness so she changed the subject.

Afterwards we went back to our desks where Odd Boss Man sat opposite me. I couldn’t regale the team with the weirdness of the gift because he was RIGHT THERE looking at me. I popped the gift bag in my top tray and kept trying not to laugh every time I looked at it.

At some point that day he made a comment about me liking my gift. I said it was lovely. It was…  Very pretty. He looked pretty smug. I wondered if he really thought it was a hand bag.  Seeing his happy face at buying something I liked was sweet. Made me feel bad about it being so weird though, I never would have told him the error of his ways and burst his bubble. But it will always be the best Secret Santa buy ever. I often wonder if he ever bought anyone else a gift bag as a gift, because it went down so well!

I used the gift bag a month or so later, to put a gift in. I felt the bag needed to fulfil its purpose in life.

So anyway, I will always remember the time someone bought me a gift bag.

*It wasn’t this exact gift bag, this is a random pic from eBay. But you get the jist.

**I wonder if this post wins an award for the most uses of the words GIFT BAG???

gift-bag

 

CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

So, it’s allllmost December. Up til now you would have been in one of 2 camps:

Camp 1: It’s not Christmas yet. Calm the f*ck down.
Camp 2: It’s the season to be jolly, ding a ling a long long, *vomits tinsel*

Anyway, even those in Camp 1 cannot deny that December is almost upon us and therefore it is ALMOST BLOODY CHRISTMAS YOU ABSOLUTE GRINCH!

For parents, Christmas is joyous, it’s the time of year when you get to see your darling children’s little faces light up at the magic and wonder. You get to feel the anticipation of the day and all the excitement over again from when you was a child yourself.

Sometimes, the reality of Christmas isn’t quite what we imagine when we plan it out in our heads. Especially when involving Toddlers. Please see list below. I write this to prepare you for the reality. You are not alone!

christmas

Expectation: Excited Christmas countdown
Reality: Hearing “How many more sleeps til Christmas?” every day for what seems like 87 days

Expectation: Old school advent calendar
Reality: Nowadays its Elf on the Fricking Shelf. Exciting for first few days, annoying after that. Especially when you forget to move the Elf and have to get out of bed to do it.

Expectation: Christmas wish list wrote by child
Reality: Christmas list wrote by child amounting to over £5,000 worth of gadgets. Erm, what happened to wanting a hula hoop and a board game?  Having to prepare child that Santa can’t get you a Playstation 4 for every single room in the house, sorry about that dear.

Expectation: Watching your child in the Christmas play at school. How magical.
Reality: Watching the top of your child’s forehead in the school play because they’re at the back and you can’t see their face because TALL STAN in the other class is in front of them.

Expectation: Yummy food to be shared by family – boxes of Christmas choccies, drinks, nibbles…. joy
Reality: Toddler doesn’t care if it’s Christmas and WILL eat all the celebrations before you get to even smell them. Lucky if any Christmas treats make it to mid-December.

Expectation: Buying all your gifts in the January Sales or throughout the year thus being very prepared for this yearly festive period.
Reality: Did I mention panic buying? Buying crap that they don’t need just for stuff to open, of course your child needs more marbles for their stocking!!!!!!!!!!!! BUY BUY BUY

Expectation: Buying perhaps a Festive Jumper for the kids to wear on the day
Reality: Child needs a costume for the school play, a jumper for jumper day, to wear red green, and a special shade of brown on another day, money for the Christmas party, snacks, and a heap of other crap that you could do without

Expectation: Happy days visiting friends and relatives
Reality: Tired kids, enduring Uncle Ian telling you a story that you’ve heard 34 times already, downing alcohol to make it all bearable

Expectation: SNOW… children frolicking and squealing in delight at the white wonder before them on Christmas day
Reality: Cold, soggy if you’re lucky. They want to go and play on their new bike/scooter/skates in the pissing rain. Beautiful!

Expectation: Buying gifts for loved ones and wrapping them with care
Reality: Panic buying in mass and wrapping in haste when you realise it’s the day before Christmas Eve and you still haven’t got your shit together!

Expectation: Taking kids to visit Santa in his grotto. A nice picture as a keepsake.
Reality: Standing in a queue for 158 minutes to see a man who doesn’t even resemble Santa… Kids are scared shitless and cry. Picture is laughable.

Expectation: A beautiful Christmas Tree and house decorated beautifully to fill you all with the season of goodwill
Reality: A tree that looks like a child decorated it BECAUSE THEY BLOODY DID and decorations that are all REALLY high up otherwise the Toddler eats them. Tree ends up on side quite a lot and you wonder if maybe it looks better that way?

Expectation: Waking the kids at 8am on the big day because you’re so excited and want to see them opening their presents already!
Reality: Kids wake you at 3:06am and you wonder how you’ll make it through the day

Expectation: Kids playing with new toys all day, happy, laughing and full of wonder and joy
Reality: Kids are over tired, excited, full of sugar, and ungrateful. Especially Toddlers.

Expectation: A fantastic dinner
Reality: Squeezed around a table, hard to eat without hitting people with your elbows. Kids would rather have a Happy Meal

Expectation: Children have lovely new toys / gifts
Reality: Where on God’s Green Earth am I going to put all this stuff????????

So from me to you on this chilly November day. Merry Christmas parents. Hang on in there 🙂 x x

 

www.theunsungmum.com

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“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat…”

“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat…”

The words ring in your ears. Everything around you slows down and blurs. The words feel heavy on your skin as they sink in. You can feel your heart beating fast and loud and your chest begins to hurt. Your eyes swim with tears. You feel a slow numbness creep up your body from your toes, until you can’t feel yourself anymore.  You’re hot and numb.

It seems like you are rising up from yourself and looking at the scene from above. You are laying on the bed in the ultrasound room having your first pregnancy scan. Your husband is sitting down to your side, holding your hand. You feel his grip tighten, he’s stroking your hand now. The sonographer with the kind face is talking to you with a sombre expression but you feel as if you’re under water, you can’t quite hear her, but can see her lips moving. You want to scream & shout, even shake her but you are numb. You can’t move. You are laying there, hot tears running down your cheeks as you slowly start to realise you won’t be having a baby in 6 months time after all. The crashing realisation of what is happening engulfs you.

Your mind is racing with questions. Why is this happening to me? Did I do something wrong? Eat something wrong? Was I too stressed… did I do too much physically? Am I being punished? You glance at your husband and the look on his face makes you want to sob. You see your disappointment and anguish mirrored in his eyes. He puts an arm around you as the sonographer explains the next steps.

The sick pain in the pit of your stomach remains as you walk out of the ultrasound room. You’ve been asked to empty your bladder for an internal scan, just to be sure. You leave the room and it seems though everyone in the waiting room knows, they can see on your face that it isn’t good news. You look around at the happy, excited and expectant couples, all waiting for their own scans. You wish it was happening to them, not you. You’re jealous of their happiness. Why don’t they realise it’s not always a happy ending?

The vaginal scan confirms the same, as you knew it would. You see the consultant to book in your follow-up scan. The sheet of paper you are clutching in your hand reads ‘missed miscarriage?’ and you wonder how you missed this happening to you? Did your symptoms change? You question yourself over and over, and blame yourself for not being a good enough mum to this baby. Your body failed.

You leave the hospital, feeling exhausted, drained, and your head hurts from crying. The numbness remains. You’re walking and talking but you’re empty. Your husband doesn’t quite know what to say. You feel bad that he feels bad.

You find yourself waiting around for a week waiting for the next scan to double-check, just in case your dates were wrong. You know deep down that they are not, and that the next scan would not bring a miracle. You feel sick a the thought of living for a week knowing the baby inside you is not alive.  The plans you’d been making for this new baby have all been snatched away from you, in that one minute that you heard the words. You feel as though your whole life has changed now. This isn’t what was supposed to happen. It’s not fair. Why me? Why us?

In the days following, everyone tells you the same things over and over. It’s not your fault. It’s nature. It’s ‘one of those things’. It happens to lots of people. 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some people ask if you will ‘try again’. You don’t want to try again. You want THIS baby. The baby you’re carrying. They don’t understand.

But the more you talk to others, you hear the comforting words: “It happened to me too” and you suddenly share an understanding with other women, who have been there, and had their hopes and dreams crushed too. You can’t believe how many women this happens to. You take comfort speaking to these women. They get it. They understand your pain & they have been in your shoes. You feel like people expect you to be ‘over it’ quite quickly and you feel bad that you are most definitely not over it, and won’t be for a long time. If ever.

Now, 3 years on. I still remember. I’m lucky to have my rainbow who is nearly 2. I feel lucky every single day that I have had 3 healthy babies. I’m grateful that my loss was very early on, so grateful, words can not explain.

I’ll always think of the baby I didn’t have though… it’ll never leave me.

For anyone who has been there, hi, and I’m really, really sorry that it happened to you.

For anyone who is experiencing this right now, please please talk to others who have been in your shoes. It’s completely OK to feel how you feel.  I personally found lots of help, advice and support on this online forum on a website called BabyCentre…  please go and take a look and talk to others who have been there.  It will help:

http://community.babycentre.co.uk/groups/a180235/coping_with_a_miscarriage

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best things in life are free!

The best things in life are free!

I am the first one to moan about the downsides to being a mum. It’s bloody hard work and it can downright stink sometimes. However, I also realise that sometimes, when things are good, my kids are very easily pleased.  The simple, easy, and free of cost things really do make them happy – and help keep me somewhat sane.

At the grand ages of (almost) 2, 6 and 7 years old, they still enjoy the simple things in life….

  1. Bubbles, chasing, blowing you know the drill
  2. Walking in the woods, collecting sticks/leaves etc
  3. Painting and drawing
  4. Watching a film together under a big blanket
  5. Chasing each other around the park
  6. Singing, dancing and acting silly
  7. Having a ‘sleepover’ together (sleeping on the floor!)
  8. Feeding ducks
  9. Playing ball games
  10. Reading books
  11. Hide a small item in the house and all hunt for it…
  12. Being ‘animals’ – get on all fours and do your best roar/growl/meow!

Playing in leaves.jpg

I feel like kids these days are so bothered about their gadgets and an iPad serves more interest than anything else, but actually, they do love all the above and more. I need to remember that when they are older, it will be a lot harder to entertain them with the simple things, and I will long for the days when they were this age. Time goes so fast, in the blink of an eye your baby develops into a child. I need to stop and slow down every day to watch them and embrace their innocence and everything that makes them brilliant.

Fresh air is the best medicine for feeling low, having a bad day, or just the usual crap that comes with being a mum. Getting outside, letting them run around a burn off some energy and take in the beautiful colours of this lovely season… it really does help.*

*Just mind the dog poo. Oh and brace yourself for the toddler face planting the floor over and over.

**When you return home, a nice hot cuppa tea is always in order. Or wine. Up to you 🙂

”chasingnature”/

Shouty Mum loses her shit & her voice

Shouty Mum loses her shit & her voice

Everyone hates the sound of their own voice…. right? I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys listening to themselves. Well one of the utterly shit things about being a mum is you have to listen to your own voice. ALL BLOODY DAY LONG. It’s gross. I feel like I want to rip out my voicebox and put it in the blender.

I hate that I am a shouty mum. If you had asked me before having kids would I ever shout at them, I would have laughed at you and thought you were mad. Shout at your darling children, the people who mean more to you than anything in the world????! Of course not.

Then, the little honey’s grow up. They ignore you, they test you, they push your buttons, they don’t get dressed when asked, or do much when asked at all. So you end up raising your voice just a little, to be heard. Add 2 more kids into the mix, and the next thing you know, you’re barking at them like Miss Trunchbull. Shit, I’m a shouty mum. I hate it.

I try every day to not shout, or to shout less. But the little fuckers people don’t listen every day. It drives me insane.

Then, a couple of days ago, I called to one of the kids and felt a funny pain in my neck/throat. Like a sharp pain.  All of a sudden, every time I spoke, moved my head etc, I got a searing pain in my neck. Lovely. After consulting Dr Google I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve strained my vocal chords from mis-using my voice. No shit, Sherlock.  As much as this is painful, and embarrassing, I realise just how much I bloody shout, even my vocal chords have had enough. So from here on in, I’m going to stop myself raising my voice even more than usual, and hopefully they will listen because they feel sorry for me and my sore neck.  What will actually happen is, they will take the piss because woopiedoo, mummy can’t shout at us.

If anyone has any tips on remaining calm and not shouting to be heard, I would seriously LOVE to hear them. I’ve tried lowering my voice to get across my seriousness, but they can’t hear me over the racket. I want to be calm, cool mum. Please help me!

Monday morning school run fun! (NOT)

Monday morning school run fun! (NOT)

 

Step-by-step guide on how to be a mum with school aged kids on a Monday morning. You’re welcome!

  1. Wake up before dawn with Monday hitting you in the face like a frying panmondays
  2. Wonder why the toddler hates you so much
  3. Feed him lots of food – whatever keeps him happy and quiet
  4. Sip a coffee with one eye closed and wonder how this became your life
  5. Make the most of the partial silence as toddler watches Teletubbies because soon the big 2 will wake and all hell will break loose
  6. Older kids wake up and are pissed off that it’s not the weekend still. You and me both kiddo!
  7. They don’t want any of the 10 breakfast options that you have for them
  8. Can they have crisps for breakfast?
  9. Regret not doing packed lunches the night before – WHEN WILL YOU LEARN?!
  10. Break up 2 fights, clear up cheerios and milk off the table again because toddler has no self control and wants to wear the bowl as a hat
  11. Rescue toddler from standing on top of the table dancing in milk
  12. Shout at Remind bigger kids to get dressed 45 times
  13. Convince eldest that he does need to wear clean underwear every day
  14. Stop toddler putting random bits of uniform in the bin
  15. Listen to diva daughter moaning about having her hair styled for school
  16. Resist hitting her with the hair brush
  17. Get yourself washed dressed and ready in 2 minutes flat because HOW FUCKING DARE YOU DO ANYTHING FOR YOURSELF!
  18. Toddler empties 3 cupboards and starts eating something off the floor which you hope is something from breakfast today
  19. Oversee tooth brushing by saying ‘BRUSH’ over and over again
  20. Help find shoes because your kids have ‘selective kid blindness’
  21. Sort out an itchy sock
  22. Stop toddler climbing in the fish tank
  23. Referee argument over who got ready first or who gets to walk out of the door first… (yes really, kids argue over this shit!)
  24. Toddler decides to do a huge dump just as you are walking out of the door
  25. Leave the house looking like you’ve been burgled
  26. Wonder why school starts so bloody early

If you have these crazy morning experiences like me *please say someone else does!* I’d love for you to LIKE this post and SHARE with other mums who might empathise!

Thank you xx

 

You Baby Me Mummy
Parent’s meeting at school FML

Parent’s meeting at school FML

Parent’s meeting attendance with your spirited pre-schooler.

These sort of things may happen to you during a parent teacher meeting:

  • Toddler screams
  • Toddler tries to escape room 32 times
  • Toddler successfully escapes twice
  • Toddler touches teachers leg 45 times
  • Toddler wants to ‘paint’ aka draw and screams ‘paint’ 98 times
  • Toddler hides under chair and won’t come out 5 times
  • Toddler wipes snot on chair
  • Toddler finds sharp pins and begins to play with them
  • Teacher laughs nervously every time toddler does all of the above
  • Toddler doesn’t give any fucks about his siblings progress at school, not one
  • Toddler hates you for bringing him to this boring room of no fun
  • Toddler doesn’t want to watch Peppa bloody Pig on your phone! for the first time ever
  • Toddler for the first time in history, doesn’t want snacks or to play with the handy crayons you brought to keep him occupied either….
  • Toddler becomes angel of all that is good and pure as soon as you leave the school and begin walking home

Handy tips:

  1. Leave toddler at home with a trusted adult to supervise them in your absence
  2. It’s your own fault for bringing toddler to the meeting
  3. Go home and cry into your tea about how your toddler is such a dick and makes you look like an even bigger dick of a mum

 

 

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Having a child at Primary School – expectations vs reality!

Having a child at Primary School – expectations vs reality!

When your little angel starts school there’s SO many emotions running wild on your part. You worry that they will need help, no-one will help them, they won’t have friends, they will be lonely, they will piss their pants, or worse, shit themselves. You think they might wonder where you are and why have you left them with all these strangers. You want them to be happy, liked and to enjoy it. On that first day you feel your heart has been stamped on when you walk away from the gate and leave your most precious thing in the world with total strangers. In most cases they love school, they come bounding from the gate at home time and all your worries are gone! You now have a child at the school! Welcome to the club!

school

Expectations of having a child at school:

1. Mornings spent eating breakfast together, chatting about their day ahead, everyone is ready and out the door clutching their book bags and lunch boxes… leisurely walks to school admiring the clouds and trees.

2. Your child brings home beautiful artwork / maths sheets for you to look over and display proudly on the fridge, your child is a genius!

3. You engage with lovely chat with other parents at the school about your children’s new schooling, perhaps having a coffee with a few of them after drop off. Like minded people all brought together by their children’s education.

4. Your child speaks fondly of their day, regaling you with tales of what Johnny did at break time that was so funny or a hilarious joke the teacher made during Phonics. Along with their new understanding of times tables.

5. Homework. You sit with your child whilst they complete their homework, perhaps giving guidance and advice whilst occasionally stirring the delicious home-made dinner that’s cooking on the stove.

6. Friends. Your child will make so many new friends, after school play dates are a-plenty. Heartwarming.

7. Uniform. They look so cute in their smart uniform. Always so polished and grown up.

Reality of having a child at school:

1. Mornings are spent telling everyone to “HURRY UP OR WE WILL BE LATE!” or “PUT YOUR SOCKS ON FOR THE 10TH TIME!” Children do not want to eat breakfast / get dressed or leave the house for school. Getting small people dressed every day within a time limit is one of the most underestimated tasks of motherhood. I’m crazy shouty mummy in the mornings. Otherwise we would all be late. Every day. They forget shit. Book bags? What book bag? “THE ONE YOU TAKE TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY DIPSHIT DARLING!”

2. Your child brings home approximately 57 pieces of paper per week. Some of them are indeed lovely artwork that I treasure and put on the fridge. Most of it is random scribbles, notes from other kids, someone else’s work, and screwed up bits of crap. The kid then cries when they find said screwed up paper in the bin! “Mummy I brought that home for you!!” they say with a look like you’ve just shat in their cornflakes. I’ve been guilted into keeping lots of crap.

3. You enter into School Mum hell. It’s a bloody minefield. Don’t get me wrong, you can and will make friends with a few nice normal mums. I have made some lovely friends at the school. However, you will find more drama with the mums than with the kids. Mums in cliques, mums falling out, mums who look at you like your from another planet. The odd dad and nan of course. Smile and say good morning, and get in and out as quick as you can. Unless of course, you have a toddler that wants to run laps of the field on the way in and out every day. Then smile and scream internally. Someone should definitely invent a drop off toddler crèche place at the school gate, so those blessed with under 5’s can leave them at the gate each morning with trusted carers and not have to round the child up like a sheep twice a day.

4. Your child has no idea what they did all day. At all. “How was your day today?” you ask them wanting to hear all about it. “Good” they answer…. hmmm “What did you do today?” you ask. “Nothing” NOTHING????? NOTHING? YOU SPENT 6 HOURS AT SCHOOL GETTING AN EDUCATION AND YOU DID NOTHING! “Can’t remember” is another common answer. They can never remember what they did. Sometimes they will shock you by saying “Oh today, guess what…” and proceed to tell you a story about how someone was sick on the carpet and had to go home. Lovely.

5. Homework. Oh lord. Your child may be enthusiastic about homework, but eventually, they don’t want to do it. Boring. They want to do it tomorrow, they don’t understand it. As they progress through school, sometimes even YOU don’t understand it. Google is your friend here. Also helping children with homework sounds easy enough. The screaming toddler swinging from the light shade makes it harder. Do not be defeated.

6. Friends. Your child will of course make friends. However, they will also make enemies! Arch enemies. Girls are terrible for this. This one isn’t speaking to them anymore, they aren’t friends with another one. Jenny is now their best friend. “But I thought Jenny was mean to you yesterday?” you will ask. Don’t be silly mother! Friendships at school are cut throat and fickle. Just roll with it and hope they aren’t being violent to any of these people. Unless someone hits them first, of course.

7. Uniform will be the bane of your life. You have to wash and iron it and have it ready for them to wear EVERY SINGLE WEEK DAY. They walk into class all neat and tidy in the mornings and come home looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge, backwards. Their jumpers will have paint / yogurt / snot down in. Boys have their trousers put on backwards, you know after P.E. Hair looks a mess. Collars sticking up. They lose uniform. “Go and look on your peg again dear” you will say with gritted teeth for the 100th time this week. JUST KEEP YOUR BLOODY CLOTHES ON!!!

8. I have to add this one, even though there’s no expectation no 8. School may bring some nasties to your house that you never even dreamed of. Some kids may have already experienced this stuff in nursery etc. But school is a lovely breeding ground for:
– Nits. Head lice. Lovely creepy crawlies running around in your child’s hair. Gag.
– Worms. Little tiny white thread worms that make your kids bum itch in the night. Boil wash everything, clean everything in sight, cry into a cup of tea and wonder why on Earth no-one warned you about this sort of stuff when your baby was newborn.
– Chickenpox. Stay indoors for all eternity and go insane.
– Hand foot and mouth. Goody.
– Stomach bugs. There’s nothing that raises fear in a parent than to hear of a nasty bug going round the school.

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best
Mother knows best… doesn’t she?

Mother knows best… doesn’t she?

When you have a baby, usually it’s because you are in love with someone and want to produce little mini humans to share your life, hopes, dreams and family with. Sometimes you find yourself pregnant by surprise, and you aren’t sure you want a baby, but you decide to go ahead with the pregnancy and have a baby. Some people try for years to get their bundle of love in their arms, experiencing heartache, loss and many tears. Some fall pregnant easily. Some people adopt. Some have a baby via surrogate. Whatever your situation, however you found yourself here – you now have a new role that you’ve never had any training in (even if you think you have!), being a ‘mum’ means all of a sudden you are the whole world to a tiny person, who needs you, every inch of you. Being a mum isn’t a job you can quit from, you can’t call in sick, and lunch breaks are few and far between.


Babies are hard work, we all know this. They need feeding, comfort, love, changing, cleaning and constant care. When you have a baby you think this stage lasts forever, it feels like sleepless nights and nappies never end. Oh the crying! You are trapped in a cycle that means you put someone else’s needs before your own. You’re exhausted. It’s gotta get easier right? WRONG!
Then your baby grows, becomes a toddler (see here for my views on them at the moment:My Toddler is an asshole!) and the hard work continues, just in a different way. The toddler grows again, into a child, and all of a sudden, there’s a LOT of questions. The child questions you about the big wide world, how did we get here, why does this and that happen, and you start to realise you might not actually have all the answers. You in turn question yourself. Why don’t I know the answer to this? Should I? Where’s the mum manual? I don’t know all the answers! Help! Am I cut out for this?

 

There’s so much pressure to do things one way or the other. Are you a gentle parent? A routine based parent? Strict?  Rewards/naughty step? Attached, comfort, love, no punishments? Breastfeeding/bottle feeding? Weaning early/BLW? Is your child allowed screen time? Are you an outdoorsy mum? A craft mum? Football mum? How are you going to shape this child into being a decent, loving, happy, rounded, emotionally stable human being…. when you’re not even sure that’s what YOU are at the moment?

 

Well the point of this post (I’m getting there slowly!) is that yes you are the mum and you do know best for your own child. Trust your instincts. Of course ask for advice if you need it (we all need it!), but you are the BEST person to care for your child because no-one else loves your child like you do. No-one else has their interests at the forefront of their priorities like you do.  You are absolutely the best mum for your child/ren. You know best. Doubting yourself is part and parcel with being a mum. That mummy guilt that niggles at the back of your mind with every decision you make is only there because you care. Do your research, ask people but ultimately YOU know what to do. Even if you think you don’t!

 

Also, with this in mind, and on the flip side. You are allowed to not have all the answers. You are the mum but you are not the information central of the world. You may have to sneakily Google stuff, we all do (thank you Google!) How did my mum survive without Google? But it’s OK for you to not know everything. I’ve found my Big Boy doing stuff in first year Junior school that I didn’t do til Secondary. I can’t remember some of this stuff! But that’s okay. *

 

So this is sort of a shoutout to mums (and dads of course, but I’m a mum!) everywhere. You are amazing, you are exactly what your child needs and you are the best parent for your children. If you have the awful guilt or the constant worry about things then it just means you care and you want the best for them. Don’t beat yourself up for the little things, no parent is perfect. Even the ones that seem to be. Just be yourself, try to do your best every day. Some days you’ll shout, cry or want to run away. That’s okay, everyone feels this way at some time. Some more than others, but everyone is different, no two children or families are the same.

 

Trust yourself, give yourself the credit you deserve, and try to keep a positive attitude. Motherhood will be the hardest thing you ever have to do. But it also will be the best thing.

 

Please share this post with a mum who you think needs to hear those magic words:

 YOU ARE A FANTASTIC MUM!!!!

Disclaimer – I need to remember all of the above myself, as I am the worst for thinking I suck at this job. But today I’m giving myself a pat on the back. I am a mum and I am the best mum to my three demons darlings.

*Please note I have no idea on the trials that come with having teenage or older children – my biggest is 7 and this is hard enough! Here’s a nod to the mums of teenagers, you did it this long! Keep going! xx