From strength to strength

You can do this. Yes, you.
I’m talking to the have been doing it for years mum, the new mum, the soon-to-be mum and everyone else out there who fulfils the parenting role.
Even on those terrible, no sleep, crying your eyes, exhausting days, where you feel like a complete mess, you’ve still got this.
So many of my beautiful friends are having or about to have babies, some for the first time.
It’s a foreign world but it can be a rewarding one.
You will feel out of your depth more times than you can count.
You will feel like you are a Supermum one minute and then a complete and utter failure the next.
But it’s okay. Even if it feels like it’s not. Trust me.
I’m no expert but I have ridden the rollercoaster of being a new parent and have two cheeky, defiant, attitude riddled but lovable little girls to show for it.

Since I became a mum for the first time five and a half years ago, I have discovered so many things (and this is definitely not everything!!):
• It’s ok to cry (for both you and your baby/child).
• Your baby can be left to cry for more than five seconds, it doesn’t make you a bad mum!
• You can never give your kids too many hugs, even when they’re pushing you away.
• Banana stains are painful to get out of clothes. Why??!!!
• Routine is awesome, kids thrive on it and then they start to tell you if you change it or get it wrong!
• You will not win an argument with a two-year-old (three-year-old, four-year-old, etc) so don’t even try. One day your triumph will come!
• You’re always wrong, even though nine times out of 10 you are so right! That other time doesn’t really count!
• Don’t take your kids to the shops unless you have to – they will tell you they have to have everything!
• You will still rock back and forth with a shopping trolley long after your kids are out of the pram stage!
• Always triple check (and maybe once more for good measure) how they want their sandwich cut! Hell hath no fury like a toddler who wanted triangles and not squares!
• Your kids will tell you they hate you one minute and then melt your heart the next (little turds!).
• You will always love them even if you think you can’t, it’s more a case of you don’t like them at times.
• Enjoy as much as you can, when you can, they grow up very quickly!

But above all else, no matter how big they get, they will always need you. You are their rock, their go-to, their safe place and their comfort. I know I still need my mum and I’m now her all grown up baby!
So don’t ever think you’re failing because they will truly show you that you are not!
But if things ever get hard and they will, turn to someone. Ask for help and don’t be afraid. It’s something I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t do enough of and I wish I had. Who am I kidding?! I still struggle to ask for help now but it’s my own fault and I’m working on it! But just know at least someone out there has always got your back.

A little bit of history repeating??

I can do this, I repeat to myself again and again. I count to 10 but it doesn’t work. Why do you both have to be so strong willed like me? Haha! Karma I guess. Yes, my beautiful and cheeky, but oh so attitude filled daughters are at it again, breaking Mummy! It’s not hard some days. It’s funny how one minute they are the best of friends and then in 10 seconds flat there are tears and cries for Mummy because someone’s world has been turned upside down, usually over a toy! I’m sympathetic to a point, but I do want them to learn how to sort some things out themselves.

I don’t know what it’s like to deal with a sister thanks to growing up with an older brother, although that wasn’t always fun, my brother on the other hand may beg to differ. But I do hear it can be a mixed bag of full-on moments, throw in some cute ones (probably to lull me into a false sense of security) and then some love/hate hair-pulling scenarios followed up by being the best of friends. In other words, never a dull moment…much like now…just to keep me on my toes. I’m not silly, I know a lot of it is about getting each other in trouble, pushing the boundaries and looking for attention. I may not have grown up with a sister but even with a big brother, the same rules apply for a lot of things, especially when my brother was always trying to get me into trouble (you can’t deny it bro!).

At least I can be grateful for one thing…for now anyway. They don’t tend to gang up on me too much. Most of the taunting is aimed at each other. Somehow, I can’t see this lasting. There can be a lot of copying, usually from Miss Phoebe watching her older sister of course! But then she sure knows how to try and get her big sister in trouble. Lucky I wasn’t born yesterday and have started getting used to some of the signs, haha! The joys of raising children, they can have you smiling, crying and then screaming in the space of about 30 seconds flat. It’s the best thing I have ever done (insert sarcastic tone here). Well, in a way it is the best thing I have ever done, having children, but don’t ever quote that back to me on a bad day!

I’ve said this before but I do love that my girls will always have each other. And when they aren’t trying to get each other in trouble, they actually have somewhat of a close bond. I can only hope this continues throughout their lives. I’m still a little terrified (okay, a lot!) at the thought of having two teenage girls to deal with one day. I may have to go into hiding or take up meditation, they’re both viable options, haha! My girls are pretty good kids, when they want something. I’m kidding, they are most of the time. I think everyone just seems to catch me on the bad days, which feel like they’re becoming more often, haha! I know I’d be lost without them and to be honest they give me some pretty good material to write about as well. Now excuse me while I go deal with the latest dramatic episode in sister life, someone has probably stolen yet another pony or barbie doll or even just looked twice in the wrong direction! Ahhhhh children, gotta love it!

Ups and downs

Every day with kids is a roller coaster. One minute you’re up, the next going down and let’s not forget always having to be prepared for the unexpected twists and turns.

Like now, I feel like a walking zombie again thanks to the joys of teething and the oh so fun tantrums….from not just one but both girls!

But it’s hard to imagine life any other way once you have kids. They do take up a lot of your time, day and night and everything in between!

I will admit though it’s still fun watching them grow, develop their own personality and take on the world.

It’s just a shame they feel taking on the world involves wiping me out in the process!

Each day often brings with it new challenges, new discoveries and a whole lot of questions.

Why really can be a horrible word, especially when your patience is wearing out.
Some days I’m prepared with answers, even if they don’t make sense to me, Miss Izzie seems happy enough.
And other days Mummy just spends her time losing her marbles. If you find them somewhere I’d love them back, haha!

I love her curiosity more than anything because I think it reminds me of what I was like and to an extent what I’m still like now. Always asking questions, wanting to find out as much as I can about what’s happening in the world.

Kids are always learning from us, even if it’s not always necessarily good things (haha).

Sometimes I think it can be a bad thing that my girls carry many of my traits but then I realize it has potential to be a good thing too. The bad temper maybe not so much.

As for Miss Phoebe, watching her come into her own and stand her ground more and more with her big sister can be both hilarious and exasperating at the same time. I’m already having visions of hair pulling in the not too distance future. And the thought of fights over clothes and shoes is another level altogether.
But at least they’re still up for the cute kisses and cuddles at bedtime. Awwwww!

I don’t know where I would be without them….okay maybe I could think of a few places….just kidding.

But like most parents, I hope that despite everything they go through that they grow up to be the best they can be, achieve everything they want and do what makes them happy without ever thinking they didn’t give it their best shot so long as they tried and gave it their all.

Sometimes I wonder if the same could be said for other things in life but that as always is another story…

I’m off on another fun roller coaster ride, it’s like they know the minute you sit down, they always know (haha!).

Timing isn’t always everything

Is there ever a good time in life to do anything??
Or do you keep waiting for the “right” time?

Life is a roller coaster of highly anticipated events.
From the moment you’re born, you go through your multitude of first achievements, head off to school, maybe study further and then launch yourself into a job/career/life path.

But if that isn’t enough, your personal life has its own roll of events.

Lots of questions are thrown at you from all those near and dear.
Have you got someone special in your life?
If you have been together for a long time, it’s when will you get engaged??
Once you’re engaged when will you get married?
Once married, it’s the dreaded inevitable question everyone is asked: when are you having kids?

Once you pop out the first one, when are you going to have another one??
Then repeat if there is the prospect of any more rug rats.

And so on and so on.

So you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this (hopefully you’re still reading)….

As always it is related to my beautiful girls, because let’s face it without them, I’m not sure what I’d write about.

They fill my life with lots of fun, drama, chaos, giggles and so much more.

I became a first time mum at 29 and looking back I think I still didn’t feel quite ready.
Hell I’m a mum of two at 32 and there are days I still have no idea what I’m doing.
Like most other mums I’m just fumbling through trying to make it look like I have a grip on things.

It’s not easy raising little humans. I don’t think it matters how much you (try to) prepare yourself for life as a parent, it’s still one of those things in life full of the unknown.

No parent is perfect and neither are their children, good luck to you if you think otherwise!

I’m far from being an expert but I’ve certainly got a small grasp on a few things in the (nearly) three years I’ve been known as “Mummy”.

Well I’m guessing I’ve done at least one or two things right because the girls are still alive (haha!).

Some advice/musings/general ramblings:
-Parenting is hard work and life altering! Like most things in life there really is no ideal time to have children, but they will change your life in good and bad ways.

– It is not quite the same as having a pet, although some days I’m not so sure….

-There is a difference to having a child full time and looking after someone else’s before you have your own.
If we could all try before we buy, it might be a different story (just kidding!).

-Kids will gang up on you, they sense fear and vulnerability! They know when you’re having a shit day and they don’t care so you really have to put on your big girl panties and keep going.

-Toddlers have serious attitude, they will make you question your every move. And yes they will push you to breaking point.
But it’s always great to remind them that you still have all the control over their toys, food and anything fun, some might just call it bribery.

But once again try to remember that when it comes to kids time will fly by. So hold on tight because they do grow way too fast.
Enjoy every kiss, cuddle, whisper and unconditional love like there is no tomorrow but always be prepared for the twists and turns that come hand in hand with raising mini versions of yourself.

And while they never hear the rules you make, you can bet they always remember the promises!!

Through their eyes

I was really at a loss as to what I was going to write about next.

Yes, dreaded writer’s block had hit me like a tonne of bricks.

But a scroll through Facebook proved fruitful, for a change.

I came across an interesting post on the Kidspot page.

I think what caught my attention was the headline ‘Manage bad behaviour with a simple question’.

Or maybe it’s the constant echo of the word “no” reverberating through my brain that made me read on.

Now while Miss Izzie can certainly be challenging, at times, we haven’t quite reached bad behaviour territory…yet.

I’m hoping we never do (ha!).

But what I read is really not what I was expecting.

Essentially it seems the best way to deal with kids and bad behaviour is to take a step back and look at things from their perspective.

Rather than get angry when things go pear-shaped, (me in an instant on a normal day) put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine how they see the world.

When you sit back and think about it (provided you have time), there’s more often than not a reason why they acted the way they did.

So your darling child’s crayon version of Mona Lisa on the wall is not ideal or your freshly mopped floor now looks like the backyard has come inside.

Before you react, apparently it’s best to stop and try to see what’s really going on.

If we try to understand, rather than go with our first instinct of screaming blue murder, we might see that our offspring wanted to add some colour to what they perceived as a boring wall.

Or they were playing in the backyard so you could clean the house without them getting in the way.

But then didn’t realise they were indeed dragging the dirt in with them.

My inner cleaning freak is twitching at the thought of it all.

Ahhhhh, fun times ahead!

Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

And if you think you are, good luck to you.

There’s no such thing as a perfect child either.

Although some people might argue that point….

But we all work hard to try to be the best parents that we can.

Our kids aren’t us (something I think we forget at times), they’re little people trying to find their own way in the world and trying to do the right thing, whether we actually see it or not.

So next time you get the chance, jump right into that giant ball pit or hop on the monkey bars, become the kid you once were or still long to be (just don’t hurt yourself).

You never know, you might just see the world through their eyes….