Everywhere I look just now, I'm reading about the things that celebs and Insta-mums have learned about motherhood. As a mum of three with kids aged from pre-school to teenager, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring with six things I've learned from life as a mum of three...
Laugh at your kids. Often. There are very few family issues that can’t be helped, at least a little bit, with a good dollop humour. From worrying about whether your baby is reaching her milestones fast enough, to stressing about what your teen is up to on the internet, being able to laugh in the face of it helps, and making your kid laugh can really help diffuse your anxiety.
Selfish mums make better mums. I’m being flippant, obviously, but I honestly believe my parenting skills improve drastically when I’m ‘selfish’ enough to make sure I prioritise me on a regular basis. Whether it’s a spa day or just ten minutes with a book and a cup of tea doesn’t really matter – when I look after myself properly, I’m better at looking after everyone else.
We all think everyone else is doing better. You’ve got money troubles but how come that mum doesn’t ever seem to scrimp or scrape? You’re a bit tired and shouty but other mums seem so zen and calm. You’re afraid to invite anyone round incase they see the state of your house. Whatever the lies we tell ourselves about how everyone else is managing motherhood, they’re all just lies. They all probably think you’re doing so much better at it than they are anyway. Root em out and just don’t listen to em. They not worthy of occupancy in your head.
Squabbling is normal. If you have more than one child, it’s likely that you’ll spend some time Googling sibling rivalry in the dead of night and picturing worst case scenario outcomes for your warring kids. It’s totally normal and even if other mums don’t admit to the extent of the squabbling and warfare in their homes, it’s totally going on. They will grow out of it. Promise.
Mum friends are the best. Your friends from your pre-parenthood days will always be super-special, that goes without saying, but you can’t beat the friendships that are forged in the trenches of parenting. From sharing your worries to sharing nights out full of banter and bubbles, these women will get you through all the best – and worst – bits of motherhood. Nurture these friendships and don’t worry if they take time to develop. It’s worth it.
Your relationship doesn’t have to suffer. Tabloids and mags seem to be full of stories about the impact that parenthood has on celebrity couples right now and I know for certain I’d have worried about this a lot if I’d read this kind of stuff when I was expecting my first baby. And yes, it’s inevitable that the transition from being a couple to being a family will change the landscape of your relationship but that doesn’t have to be for the worse. I know lots of relationships, my own included, that seem stronger for all the madness we’ve negotiated together as a team. The secret, if there is one, is to make your relationship a priority. Not easy, but not negotiable either.
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