A blog all about family life, honest parenting, motherhood struggles and everything in between
Author: Life as The Lonsdales
Hi, I'm Kirsti-Marie but you can call me Kirsti, Kirst, Kir - whichever. Welcome to my blog ‘Life as The Lonsdales’ where I talk about motherhood struggles, honest parenting and everything in between. I started blogging on Instagram just for fun but after a while I decided I wanted to get more serious about blogging and that’s when I started using Wordpress. I am engaged to my long term partner, Rory. We have been together since we were kids. I am mum to my beautiful children, Kory and Kora and I’m mum to our fur babies, we have 2 cats and 1 dog. If you follow my blog, you'll be hearing a lot more about me, our family and what we get up to. Other than being a mum, I enjoy reading, blogging (obviously), binge watching netflix and shopping. Sorry if you were hoping for something a bit more interesting - I'm actually rather boring! If you'd like to know more about me or my blog, feel free to contact me.
Yesterday me and Kora had some well over due mummy and daughter time.
I took Kora to the park after the school run Friday morning and her face was a picture. She asked for Kory a few times because she loves her big bro and of course it’s fun for them when they play together but she loved running round the park solo, going down the slide and being pushed on the swing and I loved watching her.
Although I felt a little guilty because I knew Kory would have loved to have come to the park as well but was unable to because he was at school, I felt more guilty for not doing more of this type of stuff just with Kora. I know why I’ve struggled with this as I have spoke about the way I feel towards this previously but it didn’t take away the sting of guilt I felt when I looked at her and seen how much fun she was having and how terrible I felt for not doing it sooner. From asking myself why have I not done this? Why am I such a bad mum? I know it’s just my silly way of thinking… I get lost in my own head sometimes but so what if I take one to the park and not the other? I would never purposefully leave either one of them out and we can go to the park as many times as we want, we can always go again and again and again, together and one on one. Not to mention the many things that Kory gets to do that Kora doesn’t. He gets invited to birthday parties, he plays out… And I don’t feel the need to feel guilty for that so I shouldn’t feel guilty for this.
Kora loves spending time just with me and I love spending time just with her, just the two of us. And I don’t need to feel guilty for having that time. That time is important. I have no regrets with Kory, I spent all my time with him before he started school full time and I look back on our time together with so many fond memories, we did all sorts together and I don’t wanna wish I had spent more time with Kora, I want to make sure I have all that time with her as well.
Unless you have more than one child, I don’t think you’ll understand how hard it is to want to do everything for and with them both equally and how easy it is to feel guilty. But it is something that I’m continuing to work on.
Well, it was yesterday anyway but we had such a lovely, busy day that I’m only just getting the chance to actually sit down and write this post.
Yesterday morning I was woken by the kids who were eager to wake their dad also so that they could show me my gifts. Kory, bless him, had been dyinggg to tell me what my gifts were for a few days prior and almost crumbled a few times but had promised his dad he’d keep it as a surprise for me and he did. (Just about – had he had to wait any longer I think he might have exploded!) He did really well to hold it in for as long as he did though.
R had even gone to the effort of decorating the house for me with balloons and banners. I couldn’t believe it. All this effort just for me. I received some really beautiful gifts from R and the kids too. In particular, R had bought me a crystal jewellery making kit that I’d wanted for a while and Kory chose me a candle (because even the kids know how much I love a candle) and the cards I received from them had lovely, meaningful messages inside. Especially Kory’s card that he chose for me from him and Kora as it pictured a superhero mum on the front who he thought looked just like me. After opening all of my cards and presents, R made breakfast for us all before taking Kory to school for me. I was a little upset that Kory didn’t get to spend the entire day with me but I couldn’t let him have the day off as he’d been off school all week the week before with chickenpox and I didn’t really want him missing any more school – but I did get to see him once he come home from school again which was nice.
The day and the gifts didn’t just end there either. I received so many other nice cards and gifts from my family and friends too. My mum bought me lots of bath stuff, candles and wax melts, she knows I love anything like that and R took me shopping for the day while my Nan and sister took care of Kora for us. We went shopping for me but guess who ended up buying lots of things for the kids instead… That would be us. We’re hopeless and we always say we won’t but we always do.
We made the most of our very rare child free time. We went to Starbucks and actually sat down to drink! Our! Drinks! Most of the time the kids come shopping with us so it’s not often we actually get to sit down and enjoy our drinks, it’s usually more of a dash and go job! After that R took me to Pandora for a beautiful ring I had seen, he also surprised me and bought me two more charms for my Pandora bracelet. A lion head and a best mum charm. Then we went to Primark while I had a look around. R despises Primark but as it was my birthday he obliged LOL. We finished off by going to Five Guys for something to eat and drink before heading back home.
It really was the most amazing birthday. R always makes sure my day is really special. I love him and the kids so much. I owe a big thank you to all my family and friends for all their cards, presents and birthday wishes too. It means a lot to have so many people show they care, I feel incredibly fortunate to have so many people make an effort just for my birthday. I feel lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.
I don’t know if I’m just feeling all sorts of emotions today (thanks PMS) but I’m actually crying while typing this.
I love both of my children with all that I am, I couldn’t love either of them any more if I tried. I am by no means a perfect mum but I always and will always try to be the best that I can be for them. I am their mum and they are my babies. I will always fight for them, protect them, love them hard, care for them and do anything for them. I feel incredibly blessed to have been fortunate enough to have been able to bring two healthy, beautiful children into the world. Blessed with my son (although some days he can drive me nuts!) the one who made me mama and blessed with my daughter (with more sass than she knows what to do with!) who wasn’t my first but will always be my last baby.
I am proud to say that I have good, healthy, close relationships with both of my children. I spend a lot of time with both of them, together and each on their own but there is no denying that things are just different between your first child and your second child. Not different emotionally because I don’t love either one more than the other but circumstantially different.
When Kory was born, it was just me and him most of the time so of course we spent lots of time together just the two of us doing lots of different things and going to different places. It was easier to do this then with just having the one child as I didn’t have any other ties or children that I was responsible for. Then when Kory was 3 years old, Kora was born and so obviously thats when things did change. We didn’t have as much time any more just the two of us but that didn’t and still doesn’t seem to bother Kory. Occasionally we still have mum and son time and it’s nice when we do but just not as often.
Then when Kora was born, I found it hard to get out of the house with both children on my own for the first few weeks and then, in my defence, we did go into a national lockdown because of a global pandemic (that over a year on we’re still not fully out of might I add!) a few months after she was born which of course didn’t help my situation at the time but I still feel like I haven’t done as much with her as I once did with Kory and I feel guilty for that. It’s not that I don’t have as much one on one time with her because every day when Kory is at school, it is just me and Kora together but we’re usually just at home. We do lots of things together at home but we don’t really go anywhere and that’s my fault.
Being a mum of two, I find it really hard splitting myself in two. I feel guilty if I take Kora to the park while Kory is at school because I know how much he’d love to go to the park too, the same way I feel guilty if I buy Kory a new toy for achieving something at school and then not buying Kora one which then means I end up buying them both something because I just don’t want to leave either of them out. Of course that time with each of them by themselves just with me is important and we do have that time it’s just that I try to avoid going anywhere without them both as I really do prefer it when we go somewhere and we take both kids otherwise I’m just riddled with guilt the entire time for taking one and not the other. Am I even making sense? I feel like I might have gone crazy. I guess it’s just my way of thinking.
Growing up, I often felt left out and pushed out and I don’t ever want either of my children to feel that way and I think that’s why I worry so much about it. I love them both equally and so much and don’t want either of them to think or feel differently.
Can anyone relate to what I’m saying? Or have I totally lost the plot? I guess I just need someone to tell me that what I’m feeling is normal and that it’s okay.
I suck at using social media. Especially when it comes to promoting my blog. I realise that in order to promote my blog I have to have some kind of following online (otherwise who am I sharing my posts with?) which I do have a reasonable amount on Instagram already but the problem is that I don’t really engage with many of the followers I already have on there and so I’m not really going to gain any more as I don’t share much on there unless it’s blogging related. I don’t share anything personal and so I’m not really engaging with anyone.
Right now I have a Facebook account and a separate page for my blog and other than sharing my blog posts I don’t really use it for much else and the same applies to my Instagram account. Unless I am sharing one of my blog posts I just don’t really use it. I guess I’m just not a fan of posting a lot of the time and I worry that means that blogging might not be the career path for me after all as I understand that the social media side of things comes with having a blog and I’m just really not into continuously posting all of the time. I’ve tried and tried and honestly, I feel like I’m forcing myself to post about things that aren’t blog related. It’s become like a chore almost.
A few months ago I was like ‘what the heck even is a story post for?’ So I guess you could say I’m a bit of a technophobe and at 26 years old, I’m one of the few as it seems everyone my age is all over social media, forever posting on their stories and I just for whatever reason – don’t.
I mean, I love love love my blog and writing, I just don’t enjoy using social media but i’ve decided I want my blog to be successful and without readers, how can that be? Do you see my problem…
But I’ve decided that I’m going to continue posting as I am anyway and only share more on my social media platforms if I feel like it. Some people reading this might think that that’s quite stubborn of me which is fare enough, I mean if I want to find a way to make my blog work then surely I should find a way to make social media work for me as well as they go hand in hand but the way I see it is that social media isn’t for everybody and it certainly isn’t for me and that’s okay but that doesn’t mean that my blog can’t be a success. I believe in what I write and I try to be as real as I can with what I write and I believe that my readers can appreciate that. I check my stats all of the time and I get views every single day so some people somewhere out there must enjoy reading what I write. Thank you to those people!
What I am going to do is I’m going to keep writing because that’s what I love to do and if people want to read what I write then they can and they will know about it as I have no problem sharing my blog posts on social media, I just have a problem sharing non related blog stuff as I don’t feel the need to post about my every move. I won’t be pressuring myself to post more than what I feel comfortable with on my social media accounts as I don’t feel that it’s necessary. If people want to know me more than just my vague social media posts then they can get to know more about me through my writing. By reading my blog. This is where I’m my most honest, this is where you will find me speaking openly and honestly about my life.
There are other ways I can grow my blogs audience that don’t need me to change my habits on social media. I could:
Ask readers to sign up for my blog (for free) so that they get notified by email whenever I post.
Ask family, friends and readers to like, comment and share my posts.
Keep sharing my blog posts across my social media platforms.
Keep on writing.
I really do believe that I can make something of my blog without changing the way that I use social media. For anyone reading this and rolling their eyes and thinking ‘oh just another mummy blog…’ I’d like to tell you that you’re entitled to your opinion but that I think you are wrong. Everyone’s parenting journey is different, no ones child is the same, no two parents are the same and so motherhood is a different experience for everyone and although we can all relate to each other on many things we all experience as parents, we also all may handle things differently from one another, we all may feel differently about different things from one another and so for me at least anyway, I don’t feel it matters that I might be ‘just another mummy blog’ because I’m writing honestly about my own family, my own kids, my own parenting struggles, my own parenting wins and my own parenting journey that is unique to me. And if writing about that helps a single person, or makes another parent feel less alone, then I’m more than happy with that and anyone who wants to read what I write is more than welcome to. Or even if I’m wrong and my blog never becomes of anything, you will still find me writing. I don’t just write for others, I write for myself too. My blog is a way for me to rid myself of any thoughts or anything that’s been weighing me down. It’s good for me to get that off my chest.
So yeah, I’m fully aware that I suck at using social media, I’m fully aware that I don’t have tens of thousands of followers and that I probably never will (because I suck at using social media like I said!) but I’m also fully aware that I love my blog and that I’m positive and determined that I’m gonna make this work. With or without social media.
Those are my thoughts on social media. How do you feel about using social media? Please let me know by leaving me a comment and if you liked this post, I would be most grateful if you could leave me a like or even better, give this post a share.
Thank you so much for reading my post. I really do appreciate each and everyone of you.
So I know I explained briefly in my last blog post that one of the reasons I had been away from my blog again was because that Kory had caught the chickenpox. I have wrote about the first time Kory was ever ill and I’ve spoke about other times when Kory and Kora have both been off side but Kory has never been quite as ill as he was when he had the chickenpox.
And oh boy am I glad that is over with.
On Monday last week he was sent home from school, along with 9 other children out of his class who had caught the chickenpox – it was clearly spreading through his class quite quickly. I went to his school to pick him up that same morning and he just had the one spot on his neck and was completely fine in himself but within a matter of hours and after having a bath the spots quickly multiplied to more and more until Kory was totally covered in the pox from head to toe. Kory had quite a bad case of chickenpox, which I’ve heard (let me know if this is false) will mean that it is unlikely that he will catch the chickenpox again as opposed to him having a milder dose which if true, I suppose is a good thing. I wouldn’t want him to have them ever again!
Anyway, Kory’s body was covered all over with the pox, they were even all in his mouth, under his tongue and at the back of his throat (who knew you could even get them in your mouth?!) meaning it was painful for him whenever he tried to eat or drink anything and he had a raging temperature to go with it too. I felt so sorry for him and I felt so helpless. I could tell he really wasn’t feeling well, my child is not one to sleep during the day but having the chickenpox wiped him out and all I wanted to do was take the hurt away from him but instead all I could offer him was calpol and calamine lotion which helped of course but only briefly.
The first three days were horrendous and so were the nights. Kory would be up the majority of the night just crying and all I could do was hold him. I think the fact that his throat was so sore was what was bothering him the most, he didn’t complain about the other spots on his body which are usually very itchy but he did well not to pick any of them. It was a heartbreaking experience and one that I am not looking forward to going through again with Kora someday. However, at least the next time round I will be more prepared and I will know what to expect.
If your child hasn’t had the chickenpox yet, here are some tips I found helpful that I hope will help you and your child when/if the time comes:
With Kory having the spots in his mouth, it caused him to have a red, swollen, sore throat. Plenty of cold drinks and nice ice cream for him to eat definitely helped relieve the soreness.
Calpol will be your new best friend. (Never give a child with chickenpox ibuprofen as it can make symptoms worse and cause serious skin infections by reacting with the chickenpox, causing them to go deeper into the skin which can then make your child very unwell.) the Calpol will help with any temperature and/or itching and pain.
Daily baths that are not too hot but that are nice and cool, this helps to soothe any itchy pox and is relaxing for your child too. Throw in some bath toys and make it fun!
Avoid using soaps and bubble bath during this time just to avoid any more irritation to the skin.
Gently pat skin dry after a bath (do not rub as the chickenpox will be tender to touch) once dried, finish off with covering any pox with calamine lotion.
Loose fitting clothes such as pyjamas are the best for your child to wear to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible.
Kory had little energy during the worst of it, we spent a lot of time just lay in bed and when he wasn’t sleeping we would just watch tv and play on his iPad together. It might be a good idea to buy some activity books and that sort of thing to keep your child entertained.
If your child is more sleepy than usual, don’t worry about your usual routine, let them sleep. They’ll need the rest and you will too.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The first 3 days of Kory having the chickenpox were the WORST but once you get past that things do start to get a little easier again.
Having the chickenpox meant that Kory needed to have at least 5 days off school, which meant that we got to spend 5 days at home together and although it wasn’t always a pleasant experience I loved the extra time with him. No hectic school run in the morning, no rushing to play out once he gets in from school. Sometimes it can feel like I barely see Kory as much as I used to. My once little boy who always wanted to be by his mums side is now a soon-to-be 5 year old who wants to play out with his friends most of the time which is great but it was also nice for me to have that bit more extra time with him, just doing the things we don’t usually have the time to do.
Lastly, if you have any concerns about your child’s health or well being, do not hesitate to contact your doctor – I did and even though it turned out to be nothing I needed to worry about, speaking with Kory’s doctor reassured me and put my mind at rest.
So those are my tips for helping your child to deal with having the chickenpox, I hope you find my tips to be helpful. If your child has had the chickenpox, do you have any tips to share that I haven’t already mentioned? Please share them with us by leaving a comment!
So that was Kory’s experience with chickenpox, it was dreadful and after going into a bit more detail, I think you can see why taking care of Kory when he was ill with the pox didn’t exactly leave me with a lot of spare time for my blog. I hope you can understand.
As always, thanks for reading. If you liked this blog post, please leave it a like and/or comment.
So I know I’ve been away from my blog for a short while – again and i’m not here to make excuses for that. I would love for my blog to be a success as well as something I truly love, who wouldn’t want to be able to do something that they love every single day but at the same time, my blog is my hobby and I don’t want my blog to become something I feel obliged to do. For me, that takes the enjoyment of writing away from me. I simply write when and if I can and whenever I feel compelled to write or if I feel particularly inspired and if people want to read what I write then that’s amazing.
The truth is, life has been a bit hectic for us lately. We’ve had a lot on and it just means that I haven’t had the time to sit down and write anything. Of course if I want to make something of my blog then I should prioritise my blog and set time for that but as a mum with kids and pets to take care of and a house to run, it is easier said than done. We’ve had a wall knocked down in our house, you can only imagine the mess, we’ve decorated which with two young children running around has been quite crazy and then Kory caught the chickenpox and had to have a full week at home off school. (But more on those later… Perhaps for other blog posts.) Having the house renovated and decorated and then Kory being poorly didn’t exactly leave me with a lot of free time and I missed my blog. I truly missed writing, sharing how I feel and interacting with you guys.
There was a couple of times when I sat down to write something but I just could not think what to write, I think like my house at the time my thoughts were all over the place and I couldn’t put thoughts into words and think what I wanted to write. Then with having so much else to do, I think my motivation was elsewhere but now that we’re a bit more straight again at home and now that Kory is feeling much better, I hope I will be able to share another blog post with you all again soon.
So, that’s all from me for now. I just wanted to pop on here and explain a little bit about my absence. I know this blog post was short and sweet (like me LOL) but for those of you who actually read what I write, hopefully I will have something to share with you again soon. In fact, I will. So much has happened since I last wrote anything that I need to catch you all up, don’t I!
For now, take care and as always, thanks for reading.
I’ve been feeling pretty positive lately and I really do believe it’s because I’ve been making a bit more time than I usually would for myself (and not beating myself up for that!) which is why I’m here to tell you to do the same.
Do more of the things that make you happy.
I’d like to begin this post by making it clear to anyone reading this that I don’t think that I am an expert on happiness nor am I claiming to be some type of therapist. I am not trying to tell you what you need, I am only speaking from personal experiences of my own. I do not have my sh!t together 100% of the time, I just want to share with you all what helps me in the hope that it inspires you to do more of the things that bring you happiness.
As parents, we often put everyone else and their needs above our own and there’s nothing wrong with putting ourselves and our own needs first sometimes. In fact, sometimes it’s completely necessary and not at all selfish. This is something that has took me years since becoming a mum to come to terms with. I used to always give myself such a hard time and treated self care more like a reward instead of a necessity. If I’d had a particular bad day with the kids and shouted more than I’d have liked to, it’s almost like I would punish myself. I’d tell myself I didn’t deserve to relax once the kids had finally gone to bed and I would just feel guilty for the rest of the evening when I probably needed that time to wind down even more than I would have on a better day! It wasn’t a healthy way of thinking and I am glad I have made these changes in my life. No matter whether we have a good day or a bad day, I no longer punish myself for that. Instead, I soak in the good and remind myself that tomorrow is always a new day, the past cannot be changed and that’s where it should be left, in the past. With a new day always comes the opportunity to do/be better.
I know how important self care is because without taking care of myself, how can I possibly take care of my family to the best of my abilities? It’s impossible to give your all when you’ve nothing left to give and I, as an individual matter too.
I know I’m not the only parent who feels guilty when they do something that is just for themselves, who convinces themselves that they shouldn’t be watching that movie or reading that book once the kids have gone to bed because there’s otherwise ‘more important’ stuff they could be doing instead, like washing those pots or hoovering up but what could be more important than taking care of yourself? We are so used to putting everyone else before ourselves that we often forget about ourselves and our own needs. When what we need to be doing sometimes is forgetting about what we ‘should’ be doing and actually making more time for the things we actually want to be doing. Being a parent doesn’t have to mean just taking care of everyone else. It might not come naturally to us because we’re not tuned that way as parents but we need to remember to take care of ourselves as well and that it is not selfish to do so.
Who cares if there’s pots in the sink? They’ll still be there in the morning, but that quiet time when the kids have gone to sleep, well that only comes round once a day in our house! And if you’ve made time for yourself, chances are you’ll feel better for it by the time morning comes round anyway and you’ll feel up to facing those pots.
For the longest time I’ve been telling myself that I simply ‘don’t have the time’ for the things that I want to do but the truth is, there’s always time, we just have to make time for the things that make us happy. So if that’s means sacrificing washing up so that I can read a few more chapters of the book I’m currently reading before I go to bed then so be it. I suddenly find myself having more time for lots more things that I didn’t think I had time for before. I’ve been blogging regularly, crocheting again, spending more time with the kids and R and I think it’s as much to do with my mindset towards it all as it has been to not trying to get through my never ending to-do list every day.
I no longer feel guilty for doing things that are just for myself. Self care is not selfish. If I see something that I want, I don’t talk myself out of treating myself anymore. I treat my kids all the time and I deserve a treat sometimes too! That doesn’t make me a bad mum. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Just the other day I treated myself to this book and this pretty necklace which were both in the sale and it cost me a mere £1.50 for both and I was really pleased with that. I love anything to do with my star sign and/or birthstone, ect.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments when I find myself talking myself out of doing things or buying things but I’m also getting better at telling that little voice to shut up now and you should too. This new me has been taking better care of me and I feel fantastic for it. I’m a better mum for doing so as well. I’m genuinely happier, I have more patience and I feel a lot lighter, I’m not carrying nowhere near as much mental weight around with me.
So no matter what you do today, don’t forget to take care of yourself. And absolutely do more of the things that make you happy.
We use so many different baby brands that I thought I would share a few of our favourites with you and explain why:
Mamia wipes (Aldi) – I always used Mamia wipes with Kory when he was a baby, we have tried other brands of baby wipes but I just prefer these ones. The wipes themselves have been so much softer on Kora’s skin and they are also a lot cheaper to buy.
Mamia nappies (also from Aldi) – When Kory was born, with him being premature, he was small and sometimes even some of the first size nappies were still too big for him! Pampers first size nappies fit him but we found that they didn’t seem to hold as much so we decided to try the first size Mamia nappies with him instead and they fitted him a lot more snug and also seemed to hold more than the Pampers nappies too. Ever since then, we’ve just always stuck with the Mamia nappies and that’s what Kora wears as well.
Sudocrem – This is a must have! Kora had a bit of a nappy rash and it was looking a little red but after using Sudocrem after just one application it soon cleared up and we still use it now to prevent any other future nappy rashes! We always used to use it on Kory too.
Baby comfort conditioner (Aldi) – This fabric conditioner smells so nice, it also costs just a fraction of the price of other branded fabric conditioners and it leaves Kora’s clothes feeling soft and smelling lovely.
Baby clothes (Next’s tiny baby range) – With Kory being premature, he wore clothes from the tiny baby range, we’d bought this size from a few different places but I have to say that Next’s tiny baby clothes fitted him much more fitted. Now that he’s bigger, we shop for clothes at lots of different places.
Supermarket kids clothes. (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Matalan, Morrison’s – just to name a few.) I love supermarket clothes for both kids, especially if there is a sale on! You can always find yourself a bargain. I also find the clothes always wash nicely as well which is really important to me as I’ve bought them clothes from other stores and they’ve shrunk in the washing machine!
Thanks for reading about our favourite baby brands and why. What are some of your favourite baby brands that you like to use and why?
I used to care what others thought of me a LOT. When I was younger I used to care whether they thought I was weird or even ugly for being different. As I grew older and became a mum, I stopped caring about what others thought of me and the way that I looked and worried more about what they thought about me as a mum and the way that I parent. Over the years, I thought I stopped caring about what others thought altogether but as yesterday proved, what others think does still bother me occasionally. Sometimes I still catch myself hesitating before I post that photo or carefully considering whether I should share talking about a particular subject in case someone says or thinks something negative about it. The more I think about it I’m not quite sure whether I actually care what they think or whether I just can’t be arsed reading people’s opinions of me. Either way, I shouldn’t let the idea of someone having something to say about what I post stop me from sharing the things that I wanna share.
Yesterday Kory learned how to ride his bike without the stabilisers on! Kory had been asking us for a while to take him out on his bike but either the weather hadn’t been great, we otherwise had plans or one of the kids had a cold but yesterday we finally got round to taking him and within five minutes he went from laying on the floor saying to himself ‘I’ll never be able to ride my bike!’ To riding it completely on his own, turning corners and using the breaks! This is such a huge milestone and a massive achievement for him that I wanted to share this with all of our family and friends on social media. I was just going to share the video of him riding his bike and not the picture you can see of him above having a meltdown just minutes before getting back on his bike and taking off on his own. R asked me why and I said because I couldn’t be bothered with anyone commenting anything negative (whether they would or I was just thinking they would) but it was R’s little pep talk that convinced me otherwise and why I’m writing this blog post to say the same to you so I guess all the credit for this one goes to him.
We shouldn’t care what others think because every child does things differently and in their own time, yes even Karen’s kids. Kory did not just hop on his bike and know how to ride it perfectly, of course he didn’t. He had to get on, fall a few times, get angry and then try again. Kory was about to give up but it was us telling him to keep trying and that he’s getting better every time that encouraged him to keep on getting back on the bike and within 5/10 minutes, he was doing it all on his own. Now, that’s not to say that everyone’s child will be the same. I know kids Kory’s age that already know how to ride their bikes and others that don’t but if we’re going to share something then why not share it honestly. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with social media. We compare ourselves to these ‘perfect’ shots that we see that probably aren’t even real, it makes it so easy for us to doubt ourselves, to compare ourselves to others and worry if we aren’t doing the same and that we’re somehow failing or not good enough for doing things differently and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If we all were a bit more honest when it comes to parenting and shared more of the real than the perfect then there would be a lot less judgement.
There are kids that could ride their bikes before Kory could but there are also kids that still wore pull ups when Kory didn’t. Kory stopped having a dummy at 1 years old but his baby sister is going to be 2 years old in a matter of months and she still has hers. I’m not judging anyone at all, what I am saying is that parenting isn’t a race. No parent or child is better than any other and we’re all parenting our own children who are different from each other in each and every way. They each will achieve things at different times, some before others, they will each react differently to different things, they will each behave differently from one another and what works for one may not work for another and that’s okay. That is what makes your parenting journey with your child so special and unique because it is your own and like no other. So please do not compare yourselves to others or worry what they may or may not think, focus on yourself and your own children.
So from now on, I will be making a point of sharing all things that come with parenting, even the more ‘shameful’ stuff. Like throwing themselves on the floor and having a tantrum in the middle of a basketball court because they couldn’t just ride their bike because that stuff is what’s real and if it means another mum will see that and think ‘Actually I’m not the only who’s child gets upset when they can’t do something right away’ then that’s what I’d like to be able to do. As well as let anyone else’s less than positive comments go straight over my head because I am done with caring what others think and I am incredibly proud of my son, even when he does embarrass me in public. Yesterday he learned how to ride his bike and he won’t remember the tantrum and when we look back in years to come we probably won’t either but we will remember watching him ride around and around that same basketball court.
Me and R are both so proud of Kory. We decided to treat him to ice cream yesterday for learning to ride his bike and all in all, it was a really good day.
So remember, the next time you’re worrying about your child not doing something because such-and-such-a-persons is or you feel like you’re being judged, just know that whatever it is, your child will do it in their own time, you don’t know what that parent might have had to go through to get their child to achieve whatever it is that they have, it’s not always straight forward. Which in our case was our child throwing themselves on the floor BEFORE they learned how to ride their bike, they did not just have the ability to ride their bike without stabilisers, it was something Kory had to learn and it took tantrums and trying. Your child will achieve whatever it is in their own time, it is not for you to worry about. In fact, there may be something your child can do that theirs can’t and that’s okay as well. And lastly, if you ever feel like you’re being judged, hold your middle finger even higher (because yes Karen, sometimes parents do swear) and carry on parenting as you are because you’re doing a fantastic job and I don’t rate parents on whether their child is potty trained yet or whether their child can write their name on their own, I rate parents by their realness and the love they have for their kids.
Thank you for reading my blog post, I hope it made you feel a bit better. I know writing about this and getting it off my chest made me feel better and allowed me to realise what it is that I need to do from here.
And thank you to R for always supporting me. You are the best partner and daddy to our kids, me and the kids are so lucky to have you.
If you’re a mum like me who’s been there, done that and bought the T-shirt (However still learning on the job!) what advice would you give to a first time mum or what advice do you wish you had been given when you first became a mum? I have shared my top tips for new mums before but I thought I’d do a refresher and share some more of my mum to mum advice with you. Since my last tip sharing post I have become a mum for the second time and I think I’ve learned a thing or two more since then.
Being a new mum is a tough job and that’s no secret Here is a list of advice I have for you. From one mum to another:
Go with the flow. When I was pregnant with my first, I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for my expectation of what pregnancy, labour and motherhood was going to be like and it all went out the window. For starters, my son was born 6 weeks earlier than expected which no one could have predicted and obviously through a massive curve ball our way. Thankfully he was okay and I’m blessed with two healthy children now. I’m not saying don’t be prepared, of course be prepared and if preparing is what helps you feel more comfortable, prepare away! But also be accepting of the fact that things might not always go to plan but that doesn’t mean things won’t be okay. Let it go and just go with the flow.
Don’t worry if you don’t bond with your baby instantly. There is nothing wrong with that or with you for that matter. That feeling of love between you and your baby will come even if it isn’t instant. For some mums it takes day or weeks and for others even months. If you have any concerns you can always speak to your family or a professional without the fear of feeling judged.
Accept help. Don’t feel like you cannot accept help for whatever reason. If someone offers their help, they offer to make dinner for you, tidy for you, even hold the baby for you, say yes. It can be hard at first to trust others with your newborn but there is no shame in accepting help. I was reluctant to leave Kory with my own mum at first, not that I didn’t think he would be in safe hands, it was just daunting for me and I can still remember the very first time I ever left him to this very day. But I’m glad that I did. I think I went and got my hair done actually!
Breastfeeding vs formula. Breastfeeding is hard. You might be surprised to find out how passionate some people are going to be for you to breastfeed your baby. You’ll hear many times ‘breast is beast’ and the importance of breastfeeding which is fine but if breastfeeding isn’t for you that’s totally okay as well. It wasn’t for me either. I never wanted to breastfeed, I never intended to and I never attempted to. Both of my kids have been formula fed and that doesn’t make me any less of a mum. If you want to breastfeed, that’s great too but don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be quite tough. I guess what i’m trying to say is, just do whatever you feel is best for you and your baby, no one should be passing judgment on anyone for how they choose to feed their baby so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about whichever you decide to do.
Join a new mums group when you feel ready to. A lot of the time, most of the other people who attend these groups will be other parents with babies similar ages to your own who will then be able to sympathise with you as they will be going through similar baby aged related issues at the same time as yourself and will be able to offer you support, even someone to talk to. It helps to speak to someone who understands what you’re going through and might make you feel less alone. Who knows, you might even make some new mum friends!
Your relationship will be pushed to its limits. I’m not trying to frighten anyone, if you have a partner by your side throughout this, your relationship is going to be tested but in turn, the limits your relationship will be pushed to will also be what strengthen your relationship. There are going to be ups and downs, for example, when I see my partner with our children, I think to myself ‘I love him even more now than I did before we became parents’ and sometimes when I’ve been up in the night with Kora while I can hear him snoring on the other side of the bed, I’ve wanted to push him onto the floor. Balance.
Give yourself time to recover. Do not put yourself under any more unnecessary added pressure to lose weight or fit into pre pregnancy clothes. It takes about 6 months after giving birth for our bodies and our hormones to begin to normalise again. You have just grown and birthed a baby, you’re already amazing.
It’s okay to cry. Becoming a mum, going through all those changes as well as sleep deprivation is tough and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. The baby blues kicked in for me on day 4 after having both of my babies, I cried about everything. Just remember that you’re doing your best.
Do not compare yourselves to others. Do not compare your parenting, your partner, your baby or anything else. Everyone’s parenting journey is unique to them so nothing is going to be identical to the way someone else may experience motherhood. Guidelines are just that – guides. There is nothing wrong with your, your baby or your parenting.
Trust your instincts. With all the advice that will be thrown your way, all the opinions that people will think you want to hear, you should just do what works for you and your baby. Don’t feel pressured to do anything that does not work for your family.
This too shall pass. In the beginning, it can be tough but the waking in the night, the teething, it is all just a phase or a stage and you will get through it. This too shall pass.
You might not enjoy every moment. Some days will be harder than others and it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible mum, it probably just means you’re overwhelmed or exhausted.
You’re allowed to complain. Almost 5 years of being a mum, 2 kids later and I’m only just realising this. I am allowed to complain and no one will think that I don’t love my children.
There will be good days and bad days. You’ll have days when you feel like a boss ass mum and you’ll have days when you wonder if you’re even cut out for this and the answer to that is yes you are. You absolutely are.
Lastly, you are doing a fabulous job and your baby is so lucky to have you as their mama.
Thank you for reading my mum to mum advice. If you are a new mum, what advice have you found helpful? (Or not so helpful) please let me know by leaving me a comment!