When I first became a mum, I had huge expectations of exactly the type of parent I would be. There were moments where I used to think the TV wouldn’t be a babysitter, that my child wouldn’t be using an iPad, and let’s not forget the visions I had of my child eating only nutritious food and wouldn’t be the chocoholic he is today. But fast forward to today and I am not that mother, far from it. There are things that have turned out great, but there are situations that I assumed I would react differently to.
1. Mum guilt will never leave you
Being in some form of lockdown due to Covid-19 since the end of march has taken its toll, there is no denying that. Mum guilt would always rear its ugly head every now and again, but this year has certainly taken the biscuit. This week has been half term, and in tier 3 restrictions mixed with typical Manchester weather, it has been tough. We have had to stay at home. With our baby being 7 months old, she’s full on right now, and with a 7 year old boy that wants stimulation and attention, I have felt stretched. The guilt has been unreal. Logan has spent way too many hours playing fortnite, and not enough time spent with me. The mum guilt reached a climax come Halloween, with no trick or treating allowed, I genuinely felt like I’d let my son down. It wasn’t my fault. It was out of my control. But yet here was the guilt once more. I ended up creating some sort of make shift spooky Halloween bath time surprise with slime. Logan seemed to love it and it eased the guilt momentarily. Mum guilt will never leave you, but know this that there will be times when it peaks and when it subsides. Don’t let it get to you!
2. You cannot fight your sons battles
We are at that stage right now with Logan where he is loving playing video games and talking to his friends online. Fortnite is the game of choice, and while I am not so keen on the game itself, or the amount of time I let him play on it, queue mum guilt once more, it certainly got us through lockdown and times after school where I have felt torn between my children. The one thing I have had to learn, especially this week it seems, is that I can’t fight my sons battles. As much as I want to. Being kicked out of games, hearing them say to leave him out. It’s not easy. Don’t be fooled, Logan can be just as bad, but all I want to do is put that headset on and say stop it! I can’t fight his battles. He needs to learn that actions have consequences, and subsequently that things won’t always go his way. I know I have more battles of this nature to come, and will have to resist the urge of interference again in the future.
3. Meal planning helps, do it more often
There has been way too many nights this week that I have scrambled to the cupboards wondering what I am going to cook for tea. It’s a short and simple solution, meal plan. Write it down, stick to it, and shop in advance. When I do it, and I stick with it, there is less stress, less pressure. Will I ever learn?
4. I am not a Pinterest mum, and that’s okay
Who else scrolls through pinterest and gets many ideas of crafts, bakes and play inspiration thinking that they can do the same? Me! Am I the only one? Pinterest is a great site. I love it. But I have to be honest, I am just not a pinterest mum. I long to be able to do the crafts, and create the wonderful things I longingly browse through on a Sunday morning. However, I just can’t do it. This week I tried to create my own wrapping paper for my husbands birthday. Hand prints of Logan’s and Luna’s footprints. In my head, it was going to look amazing. While the end product looks, at best, mediocre, the carnage of creating it was something else. Logan was easy to sort out. He did his handprints, then straight in the bath. Great! Luna was more difficult. How do people manage to get wonderful prints of their babies hands and feet? It ended in tears, me and Luna. The thought was there, I guess.
5. That no matter how terrible you think you are, your children don’t have the same view
Tonight, as I tucked my son up in bed, I apologised for being such a rubbish mum recently. I’ve not had much patience recently, and I have felt so guilty because of the current situation, the changes in his life, and well, having a new baby has stretched me more than I thought it would. He simply said that I wasn’t a rubbish mum, that I was the best mum ever! He loved his slime bath that I panic ordered through Amazon Prime, he’s loved having extra time on his game, and he understands more than I give him credit for that things are hard right now. I’m the best mum to him, he’s happy with me, and well, what more can I ask for?
So there you have it, five things on motherhood this week. Have a great week ahead.