There are so many blogs online about ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ as parents, so I thought I would write an honest blog about my life as a mum and just how dysfunctional and lazy it can be! Yes I am going to expose my perfect mums’ life to you all …. Scared, you should be!
I have two girls with a 20 month age gap, so it’s safe to say they can be hard work and that sometimes I just get it all very wrong or do I? Or is it just that society puts such pressure on this perfect way to be a parent? I am going to go with the second as it makes me feel better. It may sound really bad but I have never really been one for feeling guilty about parenthood as it’s just something I let go of straight away. But I know for many of you it’s such a time of second guessing and guilt. Don’t worry by the end of this blog you will feel like ‘Super’ mum or dad.
I created a routine very early on with my children and gradually took their bed time down to 7pm once they slept long enough. Why? Because I recognised that my marriage needed to come first. My children needed to have parents that were unified and happy, so that they could thrive. When our kids are all grown up and leave in years to come, my husband and I will be left with the rest of our lives ahead of us. We want to ensure that we actually still like each other and have a lot in common. If you just can’t seem to get your child to sleep don’t worry, just ensure you still find time for each other, even in small ways. Now to make this happen, sometimes my children go to bed in the clothes they had on that day. No one is getting hurt and they still go to bed feeling loved and that’s all that matters. I don’t bathe my kids every night, I don’t have the energy for that, so I just do it when I find a gap in a day that’s quiet. I found bedtime far too stressful when I had to start the bedtime routine at 6pm. Instead, I enjoy playing and laughing with the kids. We are all far less stressed and ‘Oh my Gosh’, still alive!
My kids watch far too much TV, like far too much and oh my, I just don’t feel bad about it! I remember the first time Scarlett came to me and told me all her shapes. I definitely did not teach her this and realised it was from watching TV. When they are watching TV, I do my housework and God forbid I sit down with a mountain of chocolate and tea and join them. Some days we stay in our PJ’s all day and just get dressed for nursery drop offs (although little do the nursery know my PJ top is often under my jacket!). My point is this, sometimes when we stress ourselves out trying to be the best mum we can, that stressed out mum, trying to be perfect ends up so worn out, that she does not even live up to her own crazy expectation!
I am blessed to have a support network around me, so if you have one, then please use it. My kids love being around my family and our close friends. We slowly built up trust with people close to us and now our kids jump openly into their arms and want to be with them. My husband and I love going out on date nights and we have even left the kids for a whole weekend! If I am honest, it feels good and I don’t feel bad when I do it. When I come back, I am refreshed and nicer to my children. I also believe we need to let them go, so they can grow. If someone offers to take my kids to the park, I am straight down to my local coffee shop as fast as I can and boy do I love it! Does that mean I don’t love my kids? Totally not true! In fact I am head over heels for them, but sometimes ‘momma’ needs a break!
Do what works for you as a family and forget about other people’s opinions. A funny phrase I am always reminded of is ‘Opinions are like bums, everyone has one, but they often stink!’ Everyone will have an opinion on how you parent and unless it’s a good friend of mine, I just smile politely, shrug it off and keep on going with my wee version of family. The problem is that most people mean well, are actually amazing people and we do need their company. There is STRENGTH IN NUMBERS right? I love being around other mums, hearing how they do things and picking up bits that work for me.
When my kids are acting ridiculous sometimes, I just go into another room and laugh because what else am I going to do and besides it does help a lot! They do the craziest of stuff and sometimes it is just too funny to get angry! Don’t let me fool you though, I have been that ‘Monster’ mum, a good amount of times too, you can relax! If I feel like they are being particularly annoying we dance it out, which is just such a laugh! It gives me the opportunity to get their madness and energy out. I may not have the answers to life’s big parenting questions, but I can do a mean ‘funky chicken’ and that counts for something, right?
I love being a mum, it’s such a privilege bringing up my girls. I would not change it for the world. Those special cuddles and kisses are better than all the riches of the world! I may not be the perfect mum, but I am one loved mum, with happy healthy cherished little girls.