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.

Yes, No, Maybe…

“Is everything okay?”

It’s a popular question for new Mums.

I may have heard it myself on many occasions.

With both my girls.

And the response was often “yep fine”, even if things weren’t.

Why do we this to ourselves?!

Because we women, particularly Mums, like to show and prove we know what we’re doing, most of, if not all of the time.

Even if it means we leave ourselves floundering.

What does it achieve?

Well more often than not, it leaves you stressed to the eyeballs but possibly with the smallest sense of achievement.

But likely not always happy.

Not really an ideal place to be as it can often lead to bigger problems.

I have a few friends who are first time Mums or soon to be and I find myself their go-to person for advice.

Honestly it’s flattering they turn to me, but I’m hoping I’m helping, not hindering, my beautiful fellow mummas.

Because frankly I don’t always feel like I’m winning in the mothering role.

Yep, you guessed it I’m my own worst critic.

There are good days.

There are great days.

And then there are horrendously shit days.

I know everyone has them.

But sometimes it’s hard to find that balance.

Hopefully, whatever “magical” advice my lovely friends receive, is of some use.

Well they seem to keep coming back so I must be doing something right.

But let’s face it parenting really is a lot of guesswork.

I’m winging it most days and my girls seem pretty happy.

Well until the fantastically named witching hour (more like bloody multiple hours) kicks in and then all hell breaks loose!

I’m sure my neighbours must think I’m a crazy lady some days.

But if I can offer up any advice to new Mums or those waiting in the wings to take up their new role as a mumma: never be afraid to ask for some help if you need it!

There’s no shame in admitting you need a helping hand and it’s probably something I should have done a little more often!

After all, many hands make light work.

Just keep smiling (it keeps everyone guessing anyway) and know that whatever happens, being a mum in the early days is hard but they’re only little for a short time.