I am so excited to launch my new series ‘The Mama Files’ with a post from one of my most favourite blogger buddies. Sarah from Slapdash Mama is a kindred spirit. Funny, warm and intelligent, I knew she’d be perfect for this series.
I encourage you to check out her rather excellent blog.
Thank you Sarah! xx
Hello readers. My name is Sarah and I write a blog called “Slapdash Mama“.
Mez has very kindly allowed me to kick off her guest post series about real mamas, to talk about that crazy, mixed up, crazy old mixed up crazy journey that is motherhood!
I always feel a bit weird talking about parenting, even though I do it a fair bit because, well, I am a parent! So, you know, it is kind of unavoidable. I am dead set RELUCTANT to proffer any parenting advice to anyone ever. I mean, my parenting style tends to run along the following lines most of the time;
Exhausted and fed up with a sleepless toddler and baby and it’s raining outside? Put Peppa Pig on the TV! Feeling nauseous from morning sickness and need something to entertain the toddler while you lie moaning on the couch? Put Peppa Pig on the TV! Exhausted and fed up with a sleepless toddler and baby and it’s sunny outside but you are too tired to take the kids to the park? Put Peppa Pig on TV! Want to get some shit done while the baby sleeps but the bloody toddler has given up her daytime nap? Put Peppa Pig on TV!
No, I’m just kidding, as if I would sit the kids in front of Peppa Pig all day long, what kind of mother do you take me for?! I mean, sometimes I put the Octonauts on just to mix it up. We all need variety. Sheesh.
Anyway, probably the most important thing I have learnt over the last few years, and after having two kids of my own, is that the parenting advice people throw round the traps is often conflicting, mixed up, crazy, annoying, and sometimes just fucking wrong and mental and judgey.
My husband and I even burnt one of our shitty awful preachy crazy baby books on the BBQ. For realz. It was satisfying to the max.
I made a mental note to never bandy about random advice to worried new mothers because, you know what? I just don’t think it helps.
Still, I hate to say it, but it looks like even I just cannot bloody help myself sometimes! Since we are talking about motherhood, I thought I would just collate a lot of random dot points that hopefully will sum up what I have learnt about motherhood so far. You know, seeing as how I am an expert now what with my two children and all*.
So get ready for some RANDOM ADVICE, worried new mothers! Let us proceed.
– Do what makes you happy and comfortable. If you are happy, your child is happy. The longer I am a mother the more I realize that sacrificing my own needs and time out just makes me enraged and shitty and awful and makes the kids clingy and sad. If I spend some time just doing my own thing, I am better and everyone is happier. Our whole family is happier since I went back to work 2 days a week and started writing a blog as a creative outlet, I am sure of it. A night out with my beloved girlfriends energises me as a parent for days and days. Hanging out with my best friends and drinking tea and ignoring the kids while they play is the best therapy in the whole world.
– Don’t overthink it. As a mother, you have a duty to love your child, to offer the child healthy food, to keep them warm and as safe as you can. That’s it really. Also you should read them books. .
– Sleep is essential. If you do not get sleep you will go crazy. Do whatever it takes and don’t worry about how you get it. I mean, put the baby in bed with you, drive them around in the car and park somewhere and sleep there too, put them in a sling all day long, rock them to sleep, feed them to sleep. Make your partner take them out so you can sleep. Make your partner get up at night with you. Get your partner to sleep on the couch while you and the baby sleep together in your bed. Whatever. If you are sleep deprived you will go crazy. If you need someone else like your mum to come and stay and help you, ask them. GET SLEEP.
– Don’t get into the labeling. I am still breastfeeding my 14 month old and probably won’t stop til he does – does that make me a hippie? Sometimes we use cloth nappies, sometimes we use disposables- who cares? When the baby won’t sleep we put him in bed with us – co-sleepers? I work part time and stay home part time. SAHM or working mum? Crunchy mummy? WHO CARES!? I don’t care if you make intensive crafting activities for your kids every day of their life, or if you just read books to them all day, or if you enrol them in toddler gym, dance, playgroup, swimming, or if you spend every day with the kids at your mum’s place. We are all different.
– Near enough is good enough.
– Sandwiches and beans on toast for dinner are ok.
– Don’t hang out with people who make you feel like poo
– Do what you are good at. Don’t do what makes you feel like shit. The kid doesn’t care. Truly.
– Lie around reading books and ignoring the kids sometimes until they play by themselves.
– Do stuff that you enjoy yourself.
– Don’t read too many fucking memes on the internet that tell you things like “Oh mummy, I see you looking at your iPhone and not at me when I am on the swing. Mummy, why, why, why oh why, Mummy – if you are not looking at me 24 hours a day all day every day forever I WILL BECOME A MENTALLY ILL DRUG ADDICT AND WILL NEVER HAVE SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS AND WILL BE UNEMPLOYED AND HOMELESS AND IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT!”.
Because that, my friends, is BULL SHIIIIIIIIT!
There, I think that says it all. Take my advice, like anyone’s, with a grain of salt. And good luck.
*DISCLAIMER: I may not actually be an expert.