Don’t judge a book by its cover is one of my favourite sayings.
You never know what someone is having to deal with. You don’t know what’s going on inside.
I remember the early days after I had lost Ethan, looking around and thinking that everyone who had a baby where lucky. That they had everything they wanted and they where lucky.
The truth was I had no idea if they had suffered before like me. If they’d lost a baby, struggled for years to get one or adopted because they couldn’t have one.
That parent in a shop who’s battling with her child yet again, who’s probably close to tears. Look a little harder. It might not be a naughty child, may be there’s underlying problems they aren’t discussing with anyone yet.
Maybe they are battling a long term health condition. Maybe a loved one died. Maybe they lost their job. Maybe they are struggling in ways you can’t imagine.
Never judge a book by its cover. You never really know what’s going on inside.
What I wish I knew before I became a Mummy.
I don’t know about you but about 80% of the time I am totally winging it with this motherhood malarkey!
I couldn’t wait to be a Mummy and have my own children when I was younger. I thought I would smash parenting. With always having homemade meals, taking my children 👶🏼 everywhere. Playgroups, outdoor play, groups, clubs etc. Being the so called picture perfect ‘Pinterest Mummy’.
There’s books and apps all about the different stages of pregnancy. Even help and advice on general new born stuff. Teething. Rashes. Temperature advice, and lots more. What about the rest though?
May be it’s just me and the way my brain works. I mean with three neurological conditions, things aren’t easy as you know and I work hard to keep my head above water most of the time.
Being organised is hard work as someone who’s dyspraxic. Not sure if that’s the reason I’m like this or if everyone is like this 🤷🏻♀️.
What I’m getting at is, the fun side of parenting. The part where some people just know where to take their kids, what groups are on, clubs etc.
It’s one of the things I feel really bad at as a parent.
Before I became a Mummy to Alfie I wish I knew where to find out what’s on. I wish I knew how to make new Mum friends without looking desperate!!! I wish I knew how to organise our time better. How to make the most of our time together while he’s young. How to know what’s on where, deals, where is best to shop.
I mean seriously, I look online and think oh crap that would have been good or I should have done that or he would have loved that. I’m the one that’s two steps behind and not two steps ahead.
I’m a bit of a last minute Mum I guess and always seem to do the same stuff.
I feel like everyone else has got a better grip on how best to entertain their children. That or they have a secret handbook I don’t know about! Not me. I look online in the evening to catch up with people and think oh wow that would be great, then the next day I forget about it. Or it’s already been and gone.
I guess you could say I wish I had a p.a to help organise and hunt things down for me. It just feels like a full time job trying to organise you and your kids to do stuff.
I mean I’m never ahead for anything.
I know I’m not alone though, I’m sure there’s others like me that feel like this.
The one who thought they were born to be a Mummy and would be that ‘Pinterest Mum’ where others admired. The truth is I’m far from that and I’m sure I’m not alone.
We are all winging it and not many of us find ways to fill our time where it’s forever exciting.
I mean we are all smashing this parenting malarkey but are any of us really a Pinterest type Mummy or Daddy? If you are that’s great. Just share the ideas with the rest of us so we have a head up lol!
Basically I could do with a guide book on what best groups and websites in my area are so that I can look back on Alfie’s childhood and think. Damn I was amazing and made the most of it.
What do you think?
Do you feel a bit like this?
Let’s talk about about self care but not in the sense we are all discussing at the moment. We all talk about looking after ourselves and taking time out from the busy stressful life but what about children?
We expect so much from them, we expect them to be on their best behaviour, to do and act a certain things, we plan their day, what they eat and wear. They spend all day at school or nursery where they have to be on their best behaviour, expecting them to be nice, learn things all day, repeat things, concentrate all day. We expect them to have constant respect and care towards everyone. We generally expect quite a lot from them but what about letting them have some downtime and do something for them to relax and unwind?
As adults we are only now learning about self care and we still aren’t very good at it. So how about we start at the beginning and teach our children how to switch off, unwind and love themselves?
I recently ran Alfie a bath with a bath bomb and a hot chocolate, he loves a bath anyway but generally only has a few toys and bubbles. This time I let him have as many toys as he wanted, blew the bath pillow up and let him have a bath bomb. He absolutely loved it. We also have movie nights with the kids where they pick a film and we get some goodies out and a drink they want.
It might be that sometimes we let them have a treat tea.
We let William have time on his x box to have chill out time and do what he wants to do. Being older William has more responsibilities at home and he finds Alfie as stressful as us ha ha so I think it’s important to let him have his time to himself where we aren’t breathing down him to be and act a certain way.
I also think it’s important as some children suffer with anxiety from an early age so it’s super important to help them learn how to deal with it.
Some good ways to help children dealing with anxiety that people I know have suggested are things like, yoga and smiling minds. Some children find drawing and colouring quite relaxing which is great as then you can get chance to chat to them.
Some people use worry dolls too, or those worry tree’s. Also there is a growing trend of parents and children having matching stars or dots on their hands so the child knows the parent is with them.
Also labelling emotions for them really helps them to understand what they are feeling. I mean we can’t expect them to understand their emotions straight away, we have to teach them everything don’t we and give them the tools they need to understand what they are feeling.
Life has a habit of throwing curve balls be it big or small and if we don’t help them learn how to take a step back then I guess we will never change in the world of self care and learning how to look after ourselves. After all things that happen in our life and the curve balls we get can have an impact on our children too. I ended up in a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again. That had a major impact on our children, so, if your not already starting self care with your little ones then give it a go. I really think it will help them not just now but in later life too.
I would love to know if you practise any self care with children.
Emma xx 💋
This is Alfie after his bath. He actually has hair that’s been tamed for once lol x
One of the many things I get asked about with having FND is how I manage with having a toddler (a wild child toddler at that!).
Now I won’t lie it’s not without great difficulty. The first thing you have to try and wrap your head around is do not feel guilty. This is something I am getting better at but I do still have days where if I don’t do much with him then I feel really guilty.
Something as parents, actually scrap that, as human beings we are very guilty of comparing ourselves to others and how we should be doing things. We really shouldn’t do this, it’s not good mentally. On my days with Alfie if all I can manage is to help him get dressed, feed us, stick the t.v. on and may be help him with a jigsaw or something then I should be proud of what I have achieved as quite frankly in those days you can guarantee I probably feel like going back to bed and staying in my pjs. As a parent though I can’t do that!
So anyway. Let’s chat about staying in with a toddler and how to manage if your like me and have a chronic illness or may be your just not well and need tips on how to get through.
T.v. Majority of us have one, it’s not a terrible thing, it can be educational, fun, it keeps them quiet. It really isn’t the end of the world if you just let them watch t.v that day.
If people want to judge you then remember this 1) they are probably lying if they have never used the t.v for the day with their child and 2) they probably haven’t been in your shoes where you can’t physically move off the couch. Good for them but they aren’t you so stuff them lol.
Books! Interactive books especially. So many things to educate them, touch, sounds and visual too. Books are fantastic and we have so many for Alfie already and he loves reading anyway so winner!
Colouring is also a good one and requires minimal input from you, however you could end unfortunate like me and have a child that doesn’t like colouring! He will do some colouring but not much.
I recently got a bag of items that I had collected from eBay and Amazon that represent various nursery songs we can sing. I didn’t pay much for each one, but I tell you what we have so much fun with it and Alfie acts out some of the songs with the item he pulled out. See picture below for inspiration on the items for the song.
Alfie has a box of wooden train track and another box of toot toot car track. This is brilliant he loves playing with this and all I have to do is get the box down!
We also love doing jigsaws and playing some games particularly from Orchard as they are perfect for his age group at the moment.
The other thing we love to do is bake! We have been exploring a lot of Betty Crocker cake mixes. They make such gorgeous homemade mixes and they don’t take long to do which is perfect when your baking with a toddler!!!
The other thing I do is lead by Alfie. Let him decide what to play with. Whilst it’s good to guide children and give them encouragement on things to play with. It’s also great to let them free play and entertain themselves.
I would love to know how you entertain your children if your not well or you have a chronic illness.
What’s it like being a Mum to boys?
I’ll tell you what it’s like…
Gross, Amazing, Loving, Kind, Caring, Considerate, Fun, Exciting, Adventurous, More grossness, poo and bum conversations (Alfie once told me that his poo looked like a digger lol) and shouting various things such as; “Don’t play with it Alfie” and “Hands out of your pants” or a general “Don’t do that”
Want to know the best thing? I’m his first real love and he loves me completely.
Being a girly girl I would have loved to have had a baby girl as well and have tea parties and dress her up in cute girly stuff.
I have said for years since William was little that I don’t think there’s enough boy clothes around and yet there seems to be so so many girls clothes and so many choices. Thankfully the plus side to having boys is that dressing them is simple lol. Jeans, top, trainers, done lol. Alfie has recently taken to getting himself dressed and I have to say he does a great job but then you can’t really go wrong with jeans and a top can you unless it’s back to front lol.
Something that really grinds me is when people ask if I have children and I say yes I have 3 boys, the reaction is usually “oh wow”. Now granted I don’t technically have 3 boys living at my house all the time but between me and my husband together we have 3 boys. I don’t see what’s wrong with that?! I mean I am lucky to have had children so whatever gender of children I do get is a bonus in my eyes because I have been able to have children. It’s just there seems to be this things that if you don’t have a mix of boys and girls and you don’t have more than 1 child people think it’s ok to have a strong opinion.
People think that having all boys is too much too handle?! I beg to differ! I have a great relationship with my children and love the things we do together, just because I don’t have a daughter it doesn’t mean I am deprived in life. May be I will get a some fantastic daughter in laws, or may be my friendships with my girl-friends will be all that much more special as I have everything to enjoy with them. Either way I didn’t pick and chose to have all boys it happened, but having 2 living children (William and Alfie) makes me lucky in my eyes and I will take that any day regardless of the gender lol.
The great thing about having boys is that I enjoy stuff that I didn’t know I would enjoy before I had them in my life. Also we have such a laugh together, they are just so happy, fun and full of life. Living every moment at top speed lol. There is never a dull moment that’s for sure! Scavenger hunts, analaysing dirt and insects. Alfie is a sterotypical boy and I grew up as a sterotypical girl. I am happy for Alfoe to be whoever he wants to be but he is at heart a sterotypical boy.
The other thing I love about having boys is you pretty much always have a date lol. There’s nothing like a cinema trip or a walk to costa with a son and having Mummy and son time or Step Mum and Step Son time. Granted walking isn’t my strong point now but still I love it!!!
I love that Alfie loves me with all his heart, I love that he’s a Mummy’s boy and that he will always need me in one way or another. He’s a Daddy’s boy too but when it comes down to it, he’s a Mummy’s boy at heart.
Downside of being Mummy to boys is that as a girl I grew up playing with Barbie’s and dolls. Which now means that I have to learn a whole different bunch of games and stuff to play with!!! Who knew building Lego and train sets was a flipping art form lol. I can’t even kick a ball for god sake but then that boils down to my lack of co-ordination thanks to my dyspraxia ha ha. Lego gets absolutely EVERYWHERE!! Wherever you go you end up standing on some sort of Lego or for that matter any toy!!!
Another thing is that I always seem to be the one that is shouting across a public place to my son to stop doing stuff. He is very much a boys boy and somehow always doing daring things or doing things I would rather him not do and generally something where I am having to shout across to him to stop doing whatever it is he’s doing.
I’m not saying I was perfect as a little girl or easy going lol, but the thing is growing up as a real girly girl, having all boys is well a bit of a shock to me lol. Especially as most of my childhood was just me and my Mum so I never really had that male parent in my life which meant that some of things Alfie or William do or say is a shock lol.
They giggle at bum and poo things or joke related bum / poo things, they are rough and tumble, argue, shout, never sit still and full of energy. They are adventurous and excited and loud and generally stereotypically a boy, not because we have made them that way, because they want to be that way. There is never a dull moment that’s for sure. Then just as they have driven you to the edge of that cliff, on the brink of pure insanity for that day because of all their boy ways that day, they snuggle into you and whisper “I love you Mummy, you’re my best friend”. Cheers Alfie. Flipping cute! Little monkey Alfie knows just how to work me ha ha. He wraps his little arms around me and tells me how much he loves me.
The other thing I find with having boys is the toilet seats are always up and you can always find drops of wee everywhere although the latter is usually the youngest one to be fair!
The other is, boys LOVE to climb!! Doesn’t have to be a tree or something in the park, it might also be the couch, some cushions, your washing or even you!!! Basically anything!!!!
Having a boy is nerve wracking, they have no fear, between climbing and racing around your stomach is always in knots when they ae playing just because of how outgoing and fearless they can be.
Alfie might be a stereotypical boy in some ways but he is so loving and kind at heart.
I am biased I know but hey ho lo!
Being a Mummy to boys is chaotic and loud. Life is now a whirlwind of cars and superhero’s. You tend to hear the word Willy/Penis more times than you like to admit and usually because you telling them to stop messing with it. Jokes about poo and bum become normal. They love mud and getting messy and their feet stink no matter what lol. They are also fiercely loyal and can be typical Mummy’s boys. They can give the biggest and best cuddles, which is probably a silent apology for everything we cope with by being a Mum to boys!!!!
I’m a boy Mummy and I love it!
Thank you to the lovely Hannah at https://theswirlesclan.home.blog/
For collaborating with me on this. Go and check out her blog for being a Mum to Girls!! I loved reading about the similarities and the differences between having boys and girls.
Alfie I have a secret.
I love to cuddle you at night when you sleep. Watch as you dream, smell your sleepy smell. Drink up every breath of you and watch you in awe and amazement. As I watch you sleep I wonder what dreams fill your still new and exciting mind. What pieces your mind are putting together of your wonderful day just gone by.
It’s amazing that your mine. Amazing that your here.
Amazed at what you have to come, ready to enjoy life and create those memories.
Alfie I have a secret. You have changed me.
You’ve made me a better person. You have opened my mind to explore new things.
You’ve made me stronger to stand up to people. Stronger to speak my mind. You’ve made me stronger and yet so much more vulnerable.
Vulnerable to hurt and pain like no other, vulnerable to being sad over loosing you. (hopefully never).
You’ve made me everything I am today. You are the reason I smile every day, you are the reason I try every day, the reason I explore new things. You are my world and my reason for everything, my reason for living.
Alfie I have a secret, my heart shattered once. Into a million pieces and more….before you were born Mummy thought she could never be happy again. Then you arrived in to this world. You fixed a piece of me.
Your tiny little new born self fixed me. Right there and then in that moment you were born you fixed a part of me. I never thought it possible that someone so new to this world could be so magical and yet there you were.
Alfie I have a secret. I think your magic. I truly deeply beleive that you are magic, I’m under your spell.
I’m hooked on every new thing you do, I’m intrigued by everything new you discover. Alfie you are magic. Your little arms and hands wrap around me and you instantly melt my heart, any troubles forgotten. Everything just fades. Then it’s just you and me in that moment. Having a snuggle.
Alfie I have a secret, you made me truly laugh and smile again. You make me see the world so differently now your here. I look with wonder and exploration. I look with admiration and intrigue. I look with adventure.
Alfie I have a secret, I think your amazing, wonderful, oh so powerful and magical. Alfie I have a secret. I truly beleive that you can do and be anything you want to be.
Alfie I have 1 more not so secret…..
I love you, I love you more, I love you most xx
There’s a lot of last times in life. The last time you are a certain age, the last time you see a friend, the last time you cry tears over that boy that hurt you, the last time you cry tears over the bullies that upset you.
There are good last times and bad last times.
The last ever exam I will take! Ok this happened years ago now but my god it felt good! Blood, sweat and a LOT of tears went into my degree over 5 very long flipping years but that last exam? My god it felt good! Having dyslexia DID NOT make light work of doing that degree but for more reasons than I can type here beleive me that felt good lol!
Rachel. The last time I saw a friend. I never knew it was the last time at the time, after she had gone may be I knew then. Either way if I knew it was the last time I think I would have said more than “it will be ok”. I should have said something more given it was the last time.
Ethan. The last time I saw your tiny face. Your tiny face and fingers imprinted on my mind. Your tiny 3 breaths that you took. Your last breath. No first look. No first words. Barely any firsts for any lasts. Just one last look at your face that I will treasure in my mind forever. The last time I smelt your skin. The last time I held you, touched you and cuddled you. The last time I could whisper in your ear “Mummy loves you so much, please forgive me”. The last time I said goodbye to you broke my heart into a trillion pieces. I never knew at the start that I would see you for a last time.
Alfie. Oh my darling Alfie. The last time I what? The last time I everything! I treasure it all! The last time I hold you like a baby to drink your milk, the last time you crawled, the last time you lay sleeping in a cot, the last time I snuggled you into a baby gro and sleepsuit. The last time I will carry you that way. The last time I helped to feed yourself and to all the future last times. The last time you will call me Mummy and start with……Mum, the last time you will run to me, the last time you will want to hold my hand. The last time you will need me. I will treasure it all. The saddest part is, I will never know it was the last time until it’s gone.
The last time you will feel a baby growing in your belly.
The last time you will feel that fear over if you get to bring this baby home.
The last time you read an actual book because now EVERYONE thinks kindles are better!!!! (I love my kindle but I so much prefer actual paper back books lol!!!)
The last time you walk out those school gates as a student.
Childcarefees! Now that’s one last time I look forward to the most ha ha!!!
The last time we said goodbye.
The last time you let someone treat you that way.
The last time you can walk unaided?
The last time someone wrote you an actual letter and didnt just send a text!
The last time you said I love you to someone.
The last time you saw that special person in your life.
The last time you saw their face.
The last time you will get the chance.
Treasure the moments no matter how hard. You just never know when it will be the last time.
Thank you for reading.
A mothers love
A mothers love begins before birth. The moment those two lines appear or you see the word pregnant on the stick there’s instant love. Unconditional, all powerful, nothing can take that feeling away love. The need to love protect and do anything for that baby.
As the baby bump grows so does your love, and when they arrive it’s like nothing you have ever felt before. It really is love at first sight. Being a Mummy is how I know love at first sight exists.
Even with Ethan, I still had that feeling. That rush of love, the need to protect him from harm…..
When Alfie arrived I didn’t realised I could ever love like that. It was unreal. I was so bloody relieved that he arrived safely and screaming that I seriously just sobbed.
Even now sometimes, I sneak into his room at night and wonder how the hell did I get so lucky to have such an amazing little boy in my life.
He brings me so much joy it’s untrue.
I mean don’t get me wrong, being a Mummy has its hard moments, I feel like everything stops with you. You kind of have the final say in things and have to decide things etc. I won’t lie, I didn’t realise I had to grow up that much and make decisions about someone’s life like that lol. It’s such a huge responsibility being a Mummy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Not just that though, like all the responsibility and deciding how to raise them etc. Constantly worrying if you are doing the right thing, worrying that they may have a personality flaw later in life because of something you did when they where younger. You want your child to be perfect and to raise them right with good morals etc etc etc, it’s just so much pressure on you as a parent and a constant worry of if your doing the right thing.
I could sit and watch him sleep for ages. He just looks so adorable and angelic when he’s asleep.
I love the fact he he runs to me as well, if I get him from nursery or when he comes home from nursery. He runs at me and shouts Mummy and looks at me like I’m his favourite person ever. His cuddles are absolutely magical and spectacular.
Alfie being Alfie was very hard work recently and he had kicked off in the usual two year old style and threw himself on the floor. I picked him up to out him in the car feeling very worn out and end the very end of my energy limit for the day. He’d used what little bit I had as did the tiny bit of walking I had done. He wrapped his arms around me and said love you mummy…..well that was it. The frustration I had felt moments ago just melted away and all was forgiven. That’s just it though isn’t it, mother hood tests everything you have and pushes all boundaries. It’s also all consuming all powering never felt before love.
When I decided to write this I wondered what it was like from the other side. A fathers’s love, so I asked a blogger friend to write his view on a father’s love…………
A Father’s Love. More commonly known as A Mother’s Love.
It’s the same in every single way, only it comes from your dad as opposed to your mum. There’s literally no difference.
I googled ‘A Mother’s Love’ to try and find if anyone has put a definition to it. Apparently the most official looking one was ‘the love shown by a mother to her children’. I think society has added a little extra weight to this definition making a mother’s love something that is almighty, all-powerful and all-conquering, like nothing else in existence.
I agree, almost.
A mother’s love is almighty, all-powerful and all-conquering, but is equalled by only a father’s love.
Society would have us believe that a mother’s love and that famous mother’s instinct is something dads just can’t quite replicate. I disagree. I’ll have no-one tell me someone else loves my son more than I do, or that there’s another person in existence that knows him and can care for him better than I can. There is only one person that can equal what I can do and that’s his mum.
We’re not a very stereotypical family so tend not to do stereotypical things. Since Corben was only 1 and a half, I’ve been the main parent at home. I began as a stay-at-home dad and that evolved into a home educator and work-from-home dad which is where we’re at now. I always hated the term stay-at-home dad, well after a few months anyone. I quickly realised we didn’t anything but stay at home! The label of stay-at-home dad also is misconstrued a lot. The same as stay-at-home mums, it’s thought that it means you watch Jeremy Kyle and look on Facebook all day in-between feeding your kids potato smiley faces.
It’s simply not the case, at least not for the many stay-at-parents I know.
I think the main reason the many see a mother’s love as such a dominating force in parenting, is because in the past and still today the majority of parenting is done by the mother. Times are changing and with that so will perceptions. There are loads more dads opting to stay home and take the lead role in day-to-day parenting and with that proving that a father’s love is equally as important.
A mother’s love, a father’s love… A parent’s love.
Massive thanks to Emma for inviting me to write for your blog. I massively appreciate it and feel honoured to be chosen, thank you.
You can see more from me at dadvworld.com
and even more from me and my wife too at davidanddonetta.com
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