Daily Mail Mother Hating.

I read an extremely rude article (obviously a daily mail special) about how fashionable it is to be a selfish mother, drink a lot of gin and confess to the moments your mothering has been a little under par. I get it, I write openly about how hard parenthood can be and I want so desperately to remove the stigma that plagues us all with having to be the best at something that is so notoriously hard for many of us but we need to do this with a degree of restraint because glamourising dysfunctional behaviour can be very damaging. The ‘instamum’ fad is something that I follow because it’s somewhat interesting but it is far from my life, I often blog about the difficulties of every day life with a baby and child and all the washing and the bloody bottles and before that the problems I had with boob feeding but it is all required to raise my little humans. I laugh at the size of my butt and the hangover I may have once a year when I dare to make that trip back into normality, BUT to me and many other mums it is not normality! I cannot afford to drink fancy gin infused with the flowers from a Beatrix Potter like garden, I cannot afford the beautiful shoes and all the fancy clothes, I cannot afford to resume my previous job and benefit from some of the freedom that may allow. I am not bitter, I have two gorgeous children and the last thing I want to do is be judgemental but what we should do is take the things we see with a pinch of salt because these mumma’s with the thousands of followers on social media may not be portraying the reality of their life (barely anyone does these days) and in allowing others to see what makes them popular as the norm of their life may lead to the imitation of this and it could become dangerous. Let’s face it all that gin they apparently consume may be a lie, and if it isn’t they may have a really good support network of people that help them out with their busy social life.
Essentially what I am trying to say in the most nonjudgmental way possible is that for the vast majority of us parents we cannot simply (and I do not believe we should either) slip children into our lives, we need to adapt and change to what they need. It is hard to retain your original identity when you have children, and I am not saying that you will never get it back or that at times it is not okay for it to make a comeback whilst you are at the bar drinking shots but that is not the reality your children need as a common occurrence. Children need to come first, that’s right I have to take a back seat with my own needs and wants to fulfil what I want for my children. I choose to populate, I need to ensure that I do it to my best abilities.
I also am suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety and whilst I do my best at as mum I can sometimes see the lifestyles of others who are more confident, outgoing and relaxed mothers and want a slice of that, I know my limitations and I cannot afford myself to slip into the bad habits of lazy parenting because it would be so detrimental for me. Remove the stigma of accepting that some days are a little shit, some weeks, some months even, do not glamorise the notion of being a mother that doesn’t care (not saying that they don’t) is okay. You get me?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4508726/Why-women-boasting-slummy-mummies.html

 

I Hate Everything.

So as I ponder what might be a fun activity to pass the many hours until bed time I am reminded of how much I hate activities. These are a few of the many things that I have the displeasure of doing quite frequently:

I hate Parks.

I cannot remember a time young or old that I enjoyed parks, they seem to be an area containing an inexplicable number of climbing apparatus designed to both entertain your children and very likely damage them. I swear half the ‘play things’ found in our local parks have been designed by people who hate parents and they just keep getting higher and faster as though there is any actual need for this. I know that I sound like a grumpy mumma who hates the idea of fun but actually I am just a chronic worrier which is undeniably worse. Then there are the things that really shouldn’t be in the park such as dog shit, smoking swearing teenagers, and often the very distinctive smell of weed so if we combine the antisocial behaviour and the risk of death I like to avoid parks where I can but unfortunately with two children I cannot. Bravo.

I Hate Soft Play.

Probably one of the worst ‘child friendly’ activities for the attentive parent, these places breed the notice that as long as your child is okay on their feet and they are passed a certain age (massively variable from parent to parent) it is totally acceptable to have a cuppa and stare at your phone for two hours. I also begrudge paying for my son (when taking my daughter) who is under a year old when he is confined to the smallest area of mat with a few balls and soft toys, the real issue I have with this is simply that I have to police this area for it to be safe because all those big children who cannot read the sign saying ‘babies only’ jump through it knocking over all the little ones, whilst their parents are still sipping that cold coffee and checking out what Susan did over the weekend. And breathe. Also who cleans that place? How do they clean that place? They are normally not very well ventilated and full to the rafters of children sweating like they are in a night club; I have found old socks, plasters, bits of tissue in these places. Also like if those points were not nearly enough to have to deal with let’s talk about colds, these areas of play must be a haven for germs and with the lack of possible ways to clean an establishment that has 15 ball pits in I very much doubt the child with the snotty nose and the cough is keeping himself to himself.

I Hate the Swimming Pool.

Now swimming pools are not that bad, they are clean (regardless of the amount of child piss that must be released) they are well manned by people ready to save your life and very often the baby friendly area is lovely and heated but if like me you are still carrying some baby weight mixed with some emotional weight and a good serving of exhaustion weight you might wish to avoid them anyway. There is nothing that feels me with anxiety like the idea of getting down to even a one-piece for all those people (who are not actually watching) to see, it is not just the extra padding that has found its way onto my arse, my thighs, my arms, well let’s just say everywhere it’s those unwelcome fucking friends it has also brought like Mr Cellulite and Mr Stretch-Marks (they are Mr’s for obvious reasons). Consider the time it takes just shaving for such a catastrophic event, especially when that time isn’t given freely by your baby. If like me you are also scared of the hairdressers you will know the very real threats of having people see you with wet hair, it feels me with horror that a women being paid to sort the birds nest I call my hair has to see it let alone people just heading out for some leisurely fun.

School Fines. 

So this has been very heavily shared on Facebook today and I kinda wanna explain why I’m pleased he lost. 

Other mum’s  are the worst for telling you what they think you should do and being massively pushy and judgmental when you don’t follow their led. Well they fucking hate it when the government sets guidelines and rules about the expectations of the education system and trying reinforce that fact that kids should not miss school and that education is paramount. The majority of responses were comments surrounding the cost of holidays during half term and how they’re saving £100’s taking their children out of school. Well with that saving pay the fucking fine. You’re going to do what you want to and you’re going to pass Disneyland off as more educational than the day they learn the fundamentals of fractions that you have since long forgotten. Obviously everyone varies as do holiday destinations and educational learning whilst abroad. 

This fine may actually work as deterrent for much bigger issues such as teenagers skipping when their parents suddenly have to pay for this. 

Oh and then there are all the comments about teacher training and strike days. Well as far as I know teachers strike for many a good reason, pay, work conditions, lack of school funding not because they are going to Spain on the cheap. Also god forbid we allow teachers to be trained during term time instead of making them use their holiday, it ultimately benefits your children. Do you know a teacher? Did you know a vast amount of their holiday is spent preparing classes for the next term. Did you know they also don’t fucking fine you, this is government legislation? 

Also there is uproar about a fine, fuck what the conservatives are doing to school system right at this moment and how it may go on to affect future generations? 

Don’t like the rules of the school system we have in place as a country that has education for EVERYONE? Home school, move to Australia where they aren’t like this ‘nanny state’ (so many comments about Australia). 

Ps Australia doesn’t want you so you don’t have to send your children to school everyday. 

We are trying to give our children the best of everything and prepare them for life in the big bad world, it’s hard to get that balance but just imagine what would happen to you at work if you just decided not to go in. I’d imagine it would be worse than a fine. Also I get that everyone has ‘exceptional circumstances’ but probably not all of you. 

Oh no she didn’t…..

….oh yes she did!

Now let’s make something very clear, in the words of Bridie Larter ‘it’s a blog not a fucking rule book’. This is something I do for enjoyment, it’s something I do for my sanity and you are all welcome to read, ignore or even slate but this is not a guidebook and I do not want anyone to feel that what I am or anyone else featured on the blog is doing is better than you or that you suddenly have to stop and do it differently. You’ve got this, you don’t need my shitty guidance nor my acceptance. In fact I wanted to involve loads of you to demonstrate that one size does not fit all, I am a very different mother to my son than I was to my daughter at his age and do you know why? They are different children. So what I let my baby cry and learn to self settle, I did that and you don’t have to and just so you know I actually settle him myself (rightly or wrongly) during waking hours but during unsociable ungodly hours he is feed changed and put back to bed. Mother like no one is judging, own what you fucking do, celebrate your motherhood and above all spread love like is butter! 

I was told I sit on the fence, that I was diplomatic and therefore not as honest maybe as someone standing for a cause or a style, do you know what I stand for? Being allowed on my bloody fence, taking it in, being objective, never turning down or away. If you want professional advice on what is considered best for your baby go to a professional not to me, I’m just a dummy plodding along with 2 wonderful children from 2 amazing dads, a Labrador and a really fat cat. 

I would however like to express apologies to anyone offended by this blog that is SERIOUSLY NOT what I’m about, and confirm to them I’m not biased, I’ll cover any baby mumma style but what I am is not a great writer so maybe the odd thing (maybe a lot of things) slip in and I don’t own Bernard’s watch which means I have all sort of time restraints. 

Peace out ✌🏻 

Mothering By Mothers (3)

I’ve spoken about work with lots of mums, some do and some don’t. Childcare cost are so high that it can mean if you are not returning to a career than you may even be worse off. 

But what fucks me off is that I have a ten month old baby, my previous job has moved further than I can go, my notice period isn’t even up and some think it’s totally acceptable to ask me questions about work and offer their opinion on how I should be working because my partner does. The logistics of working are mental hard when you have kids, I’m going to find a job but it will have to be one that pays enough to cover childcare, is conducive with the school runs and is possible on 4-6 hours sleep. My baby doesn’t sleep, and whilst I will return to work this particular moment is so fucking scary and full of pressure you might need to give me a bit of time. 

Just think, do I ask you when you are going to have babies? Do I then assume knowledge of your home/professional life and then to convince you that in fact you are ready? No. Also if I ever hear that my partner goes to work on the same amount of sleep I get and he copes so why can’t I again I’m going to stab him.  Well firstly he doesn’t, secondly he doesn’t keep the house, thirdly those words clearly came from his mouth and he chats shit. 

Working mumma:

I was delighted to get to talk to a working mum Bex that I had the pleasure of actually working with! Fresh out the shower we shared the notion of ‘mum guilt’ and just hearing it from someone else reaffirmed that this shit is real. 

Bex has two boys and between working full time she spends all her ‘mum time’ doing the practical stuff instead of the fun stuff she’d like to be doing. For many mum’s it’s all getting dressed, getting off to childcare, picking up, dinners, bath, and bed and man can that feel sucky. 

It was hard to hear that Bex eldest has noticed the differences his lifestyle has from other children who have at least one stay at home parent, and being someone previously in this boat it really rang true, it was nice however to have the reassurance that he too understood why he went to a childminder. It’s more than understandable that children want to spend time with their family and juggling their wants and the needs of family finances can be hella draining. 

Childcare was another subject we touched upon and the worry that has plagued families for years, yep you know it, the cost! With additional funding being available for older children with two working parents there has been a massive step forward to help with this but as Bex confirmed this funding will not be available to her for another 18 months. 

Another factor is that kids get ill, and as I have been told by the doctors it’s likely to be a fuck load more than an average adult which only leads to more mum guilt. As Bex noted it becomes a job in itself to negotiate the requirements of her work with the demanding regular health issues children pick up from everywhere! As her partner earns more the sensible thing is for her to stay off with whichever sick bug is ravaging her boys, the youngest of which she refers to as ‘sick note’. 

Regardless of all the guilty coming from so many directions Bex has two not only incredibly cute but also happy boys who benefit from her working. 

Basically we have working mum’s and stay at home mum’s both of which are effected by some sort of guilt. There is no changing that, it sucks, regardless of which one you are your mumming it up!

Mothering by Mothers (2) 

I want to take some time to tell you about Becky, super mum of two, who was signed up to talk all things co-parenting, mixed family and her amazing commitment to adult learning but as we were about to sign out she whipped out a boob and started to feed her daughter! Well as you can imagine I wanted to here about breastfeeding and what that meant to her and her family and it was so refreshing! 

Firstly Becky told me about breastfeeding her son to the age of two and instantly I wanted to know more, there is sometimes a stigma to extended breastfeeding and although she said she had some conflicting views ultimately she did what she did for her son and that to me is what mothering is all about! Becky also said that whilst that this time she felt confident that her daughter would go for a year before being weened off the boob. This indicated to me a knowledge of what was best for her and either of her children and whilst I do not need to praise or big up her choices I couldn’t have happier to hear such confidence in her muming! 

When questioned about her views on formula I was also happily stunned by Becky who actually said to her breastfeeding was what felt natural and that she needed to do it and that formula is so the way for some mum’s but that we need to recognise and adjust the way we perceive it. I got this. A formula feed baby doesn’t always sleep, it may not go longer between feeds, so when I gave up breastfeeding for these benefits I didn’t get them. 

Becky is a supporter of her sister boober and often praises others finding their comfort zones and offers advice and guidance where needed being an active member on a local breastfeeding support group. Her confidence in her feeding is quite clear as she regaled a story of walking around a supermarket with a young baby feeding and doing the necessary shopping! Talk about epic. 

It was also mentioned that during her breastfeeding journey she has had the occasional strange look and a comment once but wants to implore would be breastfeeders not to let nasty stories about other people’s experiences put them off, there is not always huge truth in this. 

However you feed your baby you are doing a great job, but in this post I want to here it for the boobing ladies keeping it real and often very much in sight (where it should be). Thank you Becky! 

Sharing

You would imagine a baby/toddler/child who is constantly demanding that they are entitled to half if not more of everything you have would get the concept of bloody sharing but hay it’s just not that easy. With the eyes (and later mouths) that scream ‘I want that food’, ‘I need the remote’ (regardless of the fact that they are indeed about to change their channel and then hissy fit about that shit) and the most parent humiliating ‘give me that toy before I end you’. Nope. Nope. Nope again. Sharing is the super hard thing that not only teaches the child a valuable life lesson I would hazard a guess shortens a parents life by approximately 5 years, it can be utterly gruelling and you may find yourself saying the same sentence more times than you thought possible. The other real fucker about this sharing malarkey is that, of course with every other achievement, it comes at different times for all children! It is hard to find the tactics that work and sometimes it’s a case that they get there eventually after a painstaking play date where you nearly drop kicked little Sally. Another thing, when do the little grabbers even have the require capacity to learn this important social skill? Socialising with your tiny human can indeed be traumatic, I find I worry a lot less about the other children participating than I do mine which I watch like a hawk to make sure they are sharing but with that there is always the secret judgement of ‘that parent doesn’t care that their little boy has jumped the queue to the slide 15 times’ thought in the back of your mind. Now this is where we need to be giving that parent a break because who knows what sort of parenting shit they need a break from, we all do it, we all let these things slip and the benefit of the doubt goes a long way. However repeat offenders will be hung for their sins (just kidding). I guess I’m asking for patience for those still teaching the value of sharing and a little bit of slack.