Dads Advice

My Dad said to me yesterday “she won’t be this little for long” and I looked at him and then he said “don’t worry- she’ll soon be bigger”.
My dad has always given me great advice- I’m not one to ask for it- and I always value his opinion because he’s often right.

Bunny is such a handful at the moment, well both girls are, and she’s so strong willed she can be very hard to manage.
I love this age but it’s very hard work, tiring and stressful!

As I got into bed last night I felt particularly anxious, as I often do at night time, and as I was overthinking the days scenarios, worrying (bumps to the head, cut knees, did I give them enough cuddles, did I shout too much, will I cope tomorrow, how will I manage them and so on) my dad’s comments just popped into my head.
And it suddenly stopped my thoughts in their tracks… she won’t be this little for long.
And just like that the worries turned into reminders to be present in the moments, to quit the stressy feelings because they won’t matter once this stage has passed and to smile.
It will always be hard work, and tiring, and stressful BUT as we move through each stage and encounter new stresses, these ones will seem a breeze!! I need to remember to not sweat the small stuff because when push comes to shove they’re the bits that we WONT remember.

It’s the giggles, the funny stories and the happy memories that we’ll always remember!
As some things get easier, others will get harder and that is parenting.

Dad’s are pretty awesome aren’t they!

dads advice2

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A small gesture

Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to make someone smile.

I gave out my first ‘catch me card’ today- my secret project I’ve been working on since last year.

We went to a cafe for lunch, and for once I wasn’t on my own with the girls. BUT as my mum is recovering from an op, trying to manage my feral children and a trike was still abit of a challenge.
I’d got Bunny the runaway on my hip whilst waiting to ask a staff member if they had a highchair when another Mum just went and got me one and helped me set it up at the table.
Simple right? Such a small gesture that made a massive impact.
A friendly face- someone that totally had my back without even knowing me. I could of bloody kissed her!!

And that is when Parenthood is totally f’in amazing. It binds us all together and when we work as a team we can uplift each other, make each other smile (even on dark days) and rock the shit out of being parents.
So Mum from the cafe, you were a total ledge today and you well and truly deserved that catch me card- Thank you!

Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to uplift a fellow parent and remind them that we’re all in this together and that they’re not alone… you don’t always know when someone’s having a bad day… Catch them before they fall!

Bunny

Dear First Time Mummy to be

Dear First time Mummy to be,

You think you’re ready for your new arrival. You just want it to be ‘time’.
The truth is you can never be ‘ready’. You can never fully prepare yourself for what is parenthood.
I’m not trying to scare you, I’m trying to stop you from setting yourself up to fail- from blaming yourself when things don’t go ‘to plan’.
With babies there are no plan- they just simply do whatever THEY want.
And yours won’t be any different…!

But that doesn’t mean you haven’t got this. It doesn’t mean you won’t be a good parent.
It probably does mean you won’t have a clue what you’re doing OR if you’re doing it right BUT none of us do!!
6 years in I’m still winging this whole parenting gig πŸ’ͺ🏼

You’re baby might not actually sleep- 9 months in … 12 months in… 18 months in your baby still might not of gotten the sleeping through memo.
Everyone will ask you “are they sleeping through yet?” And you’ll want to shake them (the people not your baby) or stick your middle finger right in their face.
Some days you will feel like you want to kill everyone and you want answers as to why your baby won’t sleep but no-one can answer it. People make suggestions and you try EVERYTHING and they STILL don’t sleep and you think you’re going to die from sleep deprivation.

Your baby might sleep, then as you’re thinking how cushty this is, boom they decide to not. And you will wonder how you are ever going to get through this.
But surprisingly you do. You always get through. You might have days where you look like shit, where you want to run away, where you wonder what the f you’ve done BUT YOU DO GET THROUGH IT. You might be broken for weeks at a time, months. But you will always get through.

Babies don’t follow the plan.

You’ll get judged on your parenting decisions and you’ll need to rant and cry and feel like you’re a shit parent.
Trust your instinct and remember you are the parent, you are not shit and you MUST do what’s best for you and baby.
What works for one baby doesn’t always work for another so when it comes to advice, get lots of different opinions, find out what works for you and adapt it to fit if you need to.
People have this thing where they think if you ask for advice, YOU HAVE to take theirs. You don’t.
Be confident in your choices, know you’re doing your best and let any Judgement wash over you… ain’t none of us Mama’s got time for that πŸ’ͺ🏼

You’ll have days where your baby won’t settle and you don’t know what to do and you want to cry with them because it’s scary. Those are the days that there’s never anyone around to help. But always know there will be a million other mums out there feeling exactly the same too. And it is scary. Baby will pick up on your feeling so try and relax and take it one hour at a time!

You’ll have days where baby only wants you and you feel drained, and you need space and all you want is 10 minutes peace.
But then you’ll also have days where you leave your baby for that well needed ‘me’ time and you just want to run back to them and pick them up and cuddle them and never be parted from them ever again.

Some days or even weeks you will become a recluse because it’s just to hard to leave the house. Just as you think you’re winning, baby will be sick down your shoulder (muslin cloths are a necessity) or have a poo explosion and it’s back to square one. Plans will be made and cancelled and made and cancelled again and some friends will understand and some won’t. You will make new friends and they will become your back up and you will wonder what you ever did without them.

In the first few weeks people will descend on you and their only concern will be THEM meeting baby. It will slowly fizzle out and when YOU need people they’ll be doing their own thing.
This isn’t about anyone else, it’s about the parents and baby. Be firm with people and don’t stress yourself out trying to please others. It’s not their journey.

It will possibly be the toughest time you and your other half have been through, navigating a maze of feelings for each other and learning new roles. They won’t know what to say or do and you’ll be too tired or frustrated to tell them. Hormones will be all over the shop and you won’t have a clue how you really feel. You’ll argue, you’ll shout and some days you’ll hate each other. But hopefully your love for each other and baby will see you through and 12 months in, it will start to even out.
Try and make time for each other- even if it’s 5 minutes for a cuddle, remember that you’re a team and that communication is the key.

Dear First Time Mummy to be,
Parenting is a crazy assed journey that won’t ever be what you expect it to be and it will never go to plan.
Enjoy the good days and ride out the shit days, ask for help when you need it and speak out about your ‘mum feels’.
Trust your instincts and know who’s got your back.

It may be a crazy assed journey full of ups and downs but I can promise you it will be one that
YOU WILL NEVER REGRET.

ftm

How to survive the 6 week Summer hols

Parenting…

It’s tough, it’s exhausting but it’s absolutely the best thing ever without a doubt.
So as many of us start the 6 week summer holidays today we’re still feeling quite positive, blissfully planning activities to take on with our offspring.
Many of us will know however, that this blissful, positive feeling will diminish over the course of each day and we will turn to despair.
We will call in back up of whichever form.

So how do we survive the 6 weeks Summer hols?Β 

  • Make a Plan. A POA.Β 
    Whether it’s by choosing one simple ‘activity’ to do per day or one place out to go each week, make a plan of things to help prevent everyone from getting bored and stressful situations occurring.
    This also helps to break the time up and help you feel like you have accomplished something each day/week.
  • Factor in your routine and use it in your plan.
    So, for example, for us Bunny sleeps of an afternoon. I can use this hour or 2 to do something with the Wildcat that we wouldn’t be able to do whilst she was up. Even if it’s just quality time colouring a picture together or baking some biscuits. I can then plan an activity that they can both do in a morning.
  • Recognise the signs.
    If your child is starting to get whingy, niggly or act up/misbehave there might be a reason why; Hunger, tiredness (we all let them have later nights in school holidays don’t we!) or one of the main ones- Boredom.
    Try and recognise these signs and nip them in the bud before they result in an explosion of some sort- from your child or you!!
    TOP TIP: For boredom have some quick fix activities pinned up on your kitchen notice board!Β 
  • Take each day one day at a time!Β 
    Don’t let a bad morning ruin your day or a bad day ruin your week! Just take each day one step at a time and remember it’s going to be hard for the kids as well as you- it’s a massive change to their routine too.
    You will need your witts about you to keep everything running smoothly.Β 
  • Have Fun!Β 
    This is a perfect opportunity for you and your kids to spend some quality time together- a welcome break from structured learning and a chance for their brains to chill the F out.
    Make things fun- a really great suggestion on our live feed (see below) was to turn mealtimes in to a cafΓ© or restaurant. So simple, no prep beforehand needed and the kids love it- mine usually look at me to start with like I’m barmy but straight away get involved and play along.
  • Meet up with friends.
    They are your back up. Get your adult convo fix, even when it’s interrupted repeatedly, and just see another human, adult face! Hopefully they’ll also have kids so they can all playΒ nicely together and give you a better chance to chat.
  • Get Outside.
    This is a brilliant one for helping with stressful situations and proves a brilliant distraction from boredom or tiredness.
    Get out in the fresh air and whether its a trip to the nearest park, a run round in the garden or a walk with a scavenger hunt it really doesn’t matter. You don’t even have to have a plan to get outside, it could be 15 minutes before teatime to blow the cobwebs away.
    TOP TIP: Keep a pile of scavenger hunts somewhere easy to grab on your way out of the door or on your phone to use whilst you’re out and about!Β 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!
    Stuff like a tidy house and cleaning is probably mostly going to go by the board. Same as high tempers and impatience are going to be a common occurrence.
    Try not to let the ‘little things’ get to you.
    TOP TIP: Use our Facebook group ‘The Stress Dump’ to offload any stress before it gets too much! https://www.facebook.com/groups/608948225969813/
  • Use Pinterest for quick fix activity ideas!Β 
    Pinterest, if you haven’t used it already, is a fantastic resource and a minefield of so many different activities. If you’re getting stuck for ideas have a search around on there and create a ‘board’ so finding an activity is simple!
  • Music.Β 
    Put some music on and have a dance around together. Instant mood booster and lots of fun.
    TOP TIP: Bend and Stretch with the Sticky Kids is an excellent cd full of activity songs and rhymes.Β http://www.stickykidscatalogue.co.uk/bend&stretch.html
  • Try something new.
    Whether it’s a trip to a new play park or visiting somewhere you haven’t been before, trying something fun is great for instilling some excitement and fun into your kid’s 6 week hols.
  • Take extra time out for you.
    Even if it’s just an extra 10 minutes to sip from your gin filled hip flask (only joking…) make sure your take a little extra time for you. The summer holidays can be very full on and if you don’t look after yourself, you wont be at the top of your game to look after the kids!

So that’s it, my survival strategy for the Summer.
All that’s left for me to say is… GOOD LUCK! I’ll see you on the other side…!


Keep a look out for TNPPC very own Summer bucket listΒ 

FACEBOOK LIVE FEED: HOW TO SURVIVE THE 6 WEEKS HOLS

 

 

Rockin’ the s**t out of still being a person too!

If this isn’t Mam style then I don’t know what is!!

Fascinator: Borrowed from Mum.
Shoes: Irregular choice- Had for years.
Jewellery: Swarovski- from my wedding.
Bag- Borrowed.
Belt- Off another dress.
AND…
The Dress: Β£10 from Asda.

But the prices that really matter:
A day without the kids, drinking prosecco with my bestie, watching the races and Olly Murs: Priceless and (it was) well overdue.
Laughs with my bestie: Priceless.
More legendary memories, (yep you guessed it) with my bestie: Priceless.

You have to take time out for yourself. To remember who you were before kids- who you can still be. To just have a goddamn break from the constant-ness of these energy stealing little people. To relax and live a little.
To remember that despite being a parent, you’re still a person too 😘

Here is me rockin the shit out of still being a person too

From the I’m Mama not Mummy Archives: Relish the charms of the present

July 2013

Daddy has brought me and the Wildcat breakfast in bed on his way out to work.

We are sat up in bed eating, (cereal bar for me and Weetabix breakfast biscuits for the Wildcat) whenΒ she liesΒ her head on my lap and simply says

β€œyou my best friend”

I will never, ever forget this moment.

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First Time Mum; What the F**k has happened to my life?

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Dear First time Mum,
I know what has happened to your life.

You have grown a little person inside of you- pretty unbelievably incredible. From the minute you started growing them you made sacrifices. They consumed all your energy and the past year or more has been the most tired you’ve ever felt.
You’re so tired you don’t know whether you’re coming or going- you’ve gone from not being tied down to having a person completely dependent on you for their every need. The things you thought were going to happen probably didn’t and the things you never even considered became part of your everyday life.
You’ve put every ounce of your energy into growing and keeping this little person safe. Every ounce of love to protect them. Every ounce of knowledge into caring for them.
You’ve felt like you’ve had no f’in clue what you’re doing and so many people telling you things you ‘should’ be doing. You’ve tried things and they didn’t work. You’ve cried. You’ve laughed. You’ve smiled. You’ve loved like you’ve never loved before.
You’ve lost yourself and who you were amongst the chaos of this massive lifestyle change and your body will never be the same as before. Emotions, hormones and it’s shape.

Some days you don’t think you can cope, you just want to run away but then you feel guilty for even thinking this- how could you ever leave this amazing being that you created!
Some days you just lock yourself away because it’s just easier- it’s easier to be at home where it doesn’t matter if your little one cries, if either of you spend all day in your pyjamas, where you have all your stuff to hand.
But before you know it you’ve shut the world out and you feel lonely. Loneliness like you’ve never known. Your phone is your lifeline but you just don’t get chance to reply to the messages, the notifications get too much and you’re tired.
You need your friends but how the hell do you fit all this in?

You think ‘what the fuck has happened to my life’?

How do I know all this? I’ve been there too. Twice.
So has every other mum I’ve ever spoken to. It’s completely normal to feel like this. But no-one tells you about this do they? I think people must forget the ‘mum feels’ as their kids grow, and hindsight is a wonderful thing- but as I say very inaccurate and not very helpful.

You are normal. This is normal.

Your body, your mind and your emotions have been thrown onto a rollercoaster and set off at 200mph.
You don’t have to have postnatal depression to feel like crap. You don’t have to have postnatal anxiety to feel like crap.
Sometimes our emotions are too much for us, the ‘mum feels’ are too much for us.
YOU ARE NOT ON YOUR OWN! THIS IS NORMAL πŸ’–

Speak out about your ‘mum feels’ – it really does help to talk, and when you hear other people feel the same it’s massively reassuring.
Ask for help if you need it- even if it’s just for someone to come round and make you a brew.
If your friends are Mums, they’ll understand- they will totally get it. If they don’t get it, they’re not your mates.
I know it doesn’t feel like you can right now but you really NEED to make some time for yourself- it’s really important! If you don’t look after yourself you can’t look after anyone else- your mind won’t let you.

If you’re feeling lost at the moment, get your map right here. I’m ready to catch you as you fall. I’m ready to push you back up onto your feet and shout go, you’ve got this!