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.

The finest moments

I know I’m not the best mother. I’m nowhere near perfect. I don’t ever claim to be. I yell and I scream (who doesn’t?). I probably rant and rave a fair bit too. I sometimes pretend to throw tantrums back at my children too, not necessarily because I think it’s funny or I’m trying to teach them a lesson. But because I’m frustrated by the situation as well.

As parents, yes leading by example can be a good thing. But when you’re tired or your last nerve has been fried, sometimes you just respond rather than react how you should. We are only human too. Our decisions don’t always reflect the best choice but maybe just the only choice at the time. It’s so easy to judge, whether it’s others or yourself. You’ll often find me judging myself, story of my life!

I’m sick of pretending like everything is okay when it’s not. Sure, I can fake smile with the best of them but what’s the point?
I’m tired (who isn’t?), my kids are driving me nuts and at times I’m not sure how much I like them. I’m allowed to say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It means I’m human and I’m going through the ups and downs of life.

So why do we have to pretend we’re all Supermums? What does that achieve other than setting a fake precedent for the next round of women looking to raise a brood?
Yeah I know, we’re not chickens either but the way kids can carry on sometimes, it’s like being stuck in the middle of a squawking mess. I could use stronger words there but I think you get the idea!

But you are allowed to have bad days. You are allowed to be unhappy and, at times, not actually like your snotty nosed pain in the bum feral children. That doesn’t ever have to mean you don’t want them or love them….well most of the time anyway. Mum Guilt will always haunt you and it will never go away, no matter how old your children are (or so I’m told).

No one is born knowing exactly how to parent, it’s a massive learning curve and I’m happy to admit I’m still winging it every day. Explains a lot really, haha! But as I’ve said many times before my girls are still alive, so I must be doing something right! At least I try to remember that when I’m having “one of those days”, which is almost every other day some weeks. I know my girls being little will be over before I know it (thanks mum) but will the attitude ever end??!!

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!).

Keeping it real (ish)

I am a mum.

It is a hard job.

Yes I said “job” and yes it is something I chose to do, much like other things in my life.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it can be one of the worst jobs to take on.

You can be pushed to frustration beyond belief followed by pure joy in the blink of an eye.

You will, at times, wish to return to pre-children life.

It’s a normal thought process and does not necessarily mean you don’t love your kids, but maybe you might not like them a little bit at times (haha!).

Like I’ve said so many times before I love being a mum, my girls are my world.

More often than not my decisions centre around how it will affect them and yep you guessed it I usually put myself last.

“Me time” is rare but even when it happens the girls aren’t far from my mind, it’s just the way we mums are!

But in the very short time I’ve been a mum I’ve learnt many lessons and I’m still learning……

•Two against one takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to kids.
Some days are better than others but I’m surviving with the two girls….well chocolate and the occasional glass of wine might make it better!

•Multi tasking
Sure I can read a book to my toddler, interact with the baby and hold a conversation with someone else all at the same time!
But I’m not so sure the conversation makes much sense…..”that’s not my pony, it’s….aren’t you cheeky….yep that happened last week”.

•Lists
Yes I’m a bit OCD but if it’s not on the list or in my calendar it probably won’t happen!

•I’m even more creative with words!
Yes I’m well known for being the wordsmith but I’m leaning more towards the use of bad words or trying not to use them! Fudge and sugar have become more popular these days…

•Sleep ins don’t exist anymore (well 7am feels like a sleep in) and don’t even think about staying up late because the kids don’t care if mumma decided to head to bed after 10pm!

•Enjoy the simple things (or reminisce about them)
A trip to the toilet in peace doesn’t exist anymore and having a quiet shower…..hahahaha!

•Karma really can bite
I must have been a cheeky toddler back in the day, I can sense a little bit of history repeating with Miss Izzie and I bet my parents are quietly laughing!

•Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Two-year-olds remember them….they don’t listen to you telling them to pick up their toys but they know if there’s a promise of chocolate or ice cream days after it was meant to happen.

•Cheeky smiles and big hugs are really worth the effort. Lucky they’re so cute….I guess I can’t put them back (just kidding!).

•Unconditional love is real, enough said!

Whether I’ve made you laugh, brought a tear to your eye or made you shake your head, remember that we’re all in this together and there is light at the end of what feels like a very long tunnel!

To all the mums, mums-to-be and those who step up to the role, but as always especially to my beautiful mum, you really are amazing!
From one tired, frazzled, proud mumma to you all, have a very Happy Mother’s Day!
Enjoy being spoilt, pampered and showered with love (and maybe presents) from all the children big and small out there!