Welcome to Mammaknows…

As a new mum I have thoughts, worries and questions that carousel round my mind which my husband (strangely enough) doesn’t appreciate me waking him with at 2am. ..hence THE BLOG.

A haven for my thoughts and, hopefully, yours too! No judgement or criticism and an understanding that everyone’s situation and choices are personal and unique.

So, if you too are awake in the small hours,

welcome to Mammaknows…we are not alone ❤

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…just say it! 

After my little bedtime break-down last week, I was in desperate need of a good old mummy moan. Luckily for me, I have some beautiful friends who aren’t afraid to tell me what I need to hear…

The truth!

Be it the truth that what we are going through is normal or that they’ve been through it too. It could be something that’s hard to hear, but something I have to hear. Never cruel and always said with nothing but good intentions.

Just saying out loud the issues I was having and my feelings around them was cathartic in itself. Had my friends sympathized with me and nothing more, I would still have felt better but not for long. Nothing would have changed for me. The simple act of them telling me what I needed, not wanted, to hear made me own my shit. Forced me to look at the situation and make a change.
I felt ready to face it all again. Renewed by the truth, I found myself reset. Back to feeling how I used to feel…that I knew what I was doing! That it didn’t matter what anyone else did or thought. I felt like I’d got my control back. 

As bedtime crept closer, I remembered what they’d said. The truth I’d heard. I knew what I needed to be for my son and I did it. 

I’m not saying that it was all a perfect, delightful experience but I can say that the frustration, upset and general uselessness I’d begun to associate with that time of day had gone. That’s good enough for me!

So, moral of the tale? 

Talking is great. Listening is vital. 

Truth is essential. 

If someone comes to you in need. If someone tells you they are having a problem. Don’t be afraid to tell them the truth. You don’t have to be harsh. It doesn’t have to hurt. Tea and sympathy is amazing but, when the time is right, just say it. 

We all need to hear it ❤ 

…I f#$king hate bedtime!


I wish I was writing this from a place of quiet reflection after battling with a little ball of utter frustration but I’m just not there yet. Not even close and I need to vent! 

I’m sure it isn’t just me but my kid is broken! 11 weeks…sleeping through the night and yeah, I’ll admit, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Didn’t have to do anything, he just did it. Now…like I said, he’s broken and I’ve lost the receipt!

Husband’s advice, ‘chill the f$*k out’. Good advice. You know why he’s taking an hour to go to sleep. Because he’s not tired. He’s not ready. So what? We relax together until he is. You know why my patience tank is empty by bedtime. Because I’ve been totally ignoring the swarm of philosophical and self-care mantras that fill my, ironically named, ‘things to remember’ Pinterest board. 

Instagramming and feeling Zen for 5 minutes does not a balanced person make! 

Sometimes, being a mum is like water torture for the soul. (Have I already said that, feel like I have!) It’s like an inconsistently dripping tap. Someone randomly clicking a pen. In the end, even the strongest break. 

……..

Ha…I wrote this last week and then got distracted and didn’t post it. Funny thing, just had another night like this and have I learnt my lesson? Nope! Still just spent an hour trying to put him to bed. The battle of wills played out again and, fair enough, he’s eventually asleep but is anyone a winner? 

I just opened Pinterest and searched ‘toddler sleep’ and a million and one articles popped up, helpfully informing me the mistakes I’ve made that cause him not to take himself off to bed or advising me to let him ‘cry it out’. I can’t let him cry (at anytime) so that’s a no go and he’s 16 months…is he really going to take himself off to bed? ‘Oh, look at the time, I must be off now. Good night’. Haha! 

Why do I feel this ridiculous pressure all the time to have him asleep by a certain time, regardless of the situation! There’s always that little voice of the ‘they’ in my ear, questioning my every choice, but it’s me putting the pressure on. Those judging eyes are my own and I need to back the f$*k off!
So let’s just accept it…I’m going to dread bedtime, probably for a long time. Although, I will try to steal those few snuggly moments, the kisses he covers my face with as he finally calms down, the to-die-for way he tucks his teddies up in their bed and remember it’s not all bad. 

And anyway, it’s over…for now 😉

*Image courtesy of @fromthebottomofmypurse  via Pinterest*

…’deadlock’ is not a word you want to hear when your baby is in the car! 

Yesterday I thought I had a bad day. My phone wasn’t working, I couldn’t Google, I couldn’t blog, I couldn’t take a 1000 identical pictures of my boy doing cute stuff. 

Today, though, was an actual bad day. The mother of all bad days I’ve had so far as a mum. Yes, in comparison to some of the awful stuff other mums go through…this is minor, but for me…big shit! 

                   I locked my baby in my car. 

Obviously not on purpose and obviously everything that could help me was locked in there with him.  He was never in danger. The whole disaster was over and done with in less than 20 minutes, thanks to my awesome husband, a wonderful real-estate agent and the super fast service from AA. Apparently I’m not the only one either. The AA reported that over 1500 children and pets were accidentally locked in the car in 2015! 

Now I’d love to say that I was the picture of serenity and calm. Logically dealing with the situation with a rational mind. I would be lying! If becoming a mum has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not calm in a crisis! I felt sick. Within 30 seconds I was working out how to smash the window of my beautiful new car without hitting the baby!  Had I been on my own, I honestly don’t know if I would’ve held it together. 

That has totally freaked me out. What if one day, he’s in actual danger or is seriously poorly? Is the panic I felt a good thing…nature’s way of making sure I do something? Scientific American says that panic and panic attaks are all part of our ‘fight or flight’ response but can nature and instinct get us all the way through a critical situation? 

I’ve known lots of families who have gone through real trauma and they all say the same thing, ‘you just get through’, ‘you find the strength’. Where from though and how?! 

I hope that I would.

I hope I never have to find out. 

I’m certainly never leaving my keys in the car again! 

MK… ❤

*did you know, the AA offer an emergency service, with no charge, when children or pets are locked in the car. This applies to both members and non-members.*

Link to Scientific American article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-panic/

Link to AA article: http://www.aa.co.nz/about/newsroom/media-releases/safety/worrying-increase-in-children-and-pets-locked-in-vehicles/

Image saved from: http://taidyeoriginal.blogspot.co.nz/2011/05/keep-calm-and-ugh.html?m=1 

…we needed to be ‘us’ again.

It’s 9am…

There’s no noise…

There’s no one wanting my attention…

I’m still in bed…

It’s bliss!!!

We finally did it…we let the Little Man sleep out…my God why didn’t we do it sooner?! 

Well, I know why. We weren’t ready to do it. To face up that he might cry for us and us not be there. That he would be confused and scared. 

But…

After the 2 weeks we just had, we couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. We love him beyond measure but we needed some sleep! 

We also needed to be ‘us’ again. Pre-baby ‘us’. Selfish, lazy morning, brunch eating, going out for dinner and drinking to much wine ‘us’. I’ve felt guilty about wanting this. ‘You’re a mum now, do you not love him enough to sacrifice that?’ ‘Why do you want to be free of him?’ I’ve realised though, that it isn’t about that actually. It’s about that self-care again. 

                         It isn’t a dirty word! 

The same as everyone needs that ‘something’ to relax. To disappear and recharge. Wanting to NOT be a mum for a while, I now understand, doesn’t mean you don’t want to be their mum. 

So, we are going to go out for brunch. We will talk about anything or nothing. We will enjoy the peace together and relish in that time off. Then we will pick up our boy and we will have missed the very bones of him.  The chaos will reign again but we will be refreshed. We will be ready because we have taken the time to put ourselves first, so that we can be the mum and dad he deserves. 
(Image found at: http://selfcarezine.tumblr.com)

…distance means nothing

Distance means nothing

Today is National Best Friend day in the UK. I woke to a beautiful Instagram post from my little sister. I’d not even had my 1st brew of the day and I was already feeling super sentimental! We are lucky in that we’ve always been close and I can honestly say that she is my best friend. She drives me insane sometimes, is crazier than a box of frogs and wears far too many stripes for my liking but she is also fierce. What’s that quote, ‘she may be small but she is fierce’? That’s my little sister. The right kind fierce though. The kind that means she is loyal, determined, honest, will always have your back and loves with all she has. All things that, I hope, my Little Man will learn from her.

That’s what makes it so hard. Why a post like the one this morning just tips me over the emotional edge. Living, literally, on the other side of the world makes those posts and moments all the more meaningful. Sure, we Skype all the time. But nothing can compare to just nipping down the road for a brew or hanging out at Gordon Riggs, putting the world to rights over a creamy choc in a crappy plastic cup.

I miss my sister. (Before I get angry messages from the rest of you, I miss you all too) I miss her more though now because she’s getting married and I should be there for her. I should be making lists with her, helping her pick her flowers and holding her bags at a million wedding fairs. Being a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to the dramas that go hand in hand with weddings!

One day, they will invent air travel so fast that I can hop over on the weekend. I will  not have to wake up at 3.30am to Skype a wedding dress appointment but thank god that I can! Without the internet, I can’t imagine how had this would be!  Until then though, I will Skype, I will whatsapp every inane thought that comes into my head and I will become over emotional at every heart-felt Instagram/Pintrest/Facebook quote. I do this, like so many other people living away from their families, because really distance means nothing.

She is, and always will be, my baby sister and I love her.

 

…I’m done being an adult !

   I’m done. Being an adult sucks and I don’t                          want to do it anymore! 

When you are young, you can’t wait to grow up. Then you get there and all you want it to climb back under the covers in some sort of teenage regression! 

I want to lie in bed pretending I can’t hear the vac so I don’t have to help my mum (sorry mum). I want to leave my laundry all over the floor and have it miraculously reappear in my wardrobe, clean and ironed. I want to have food appear at my very mention of being hungry. I want to sleep until I wake up all of my own accord.

I love my husband and son more than anything but I swear, if I don’t get some time 100% on my own soon…I’m going to loose my mind. Everyone needs that time to switch off. To recharge. To be selfish. I honestly can’t remember the last time I 100% did that. No one to think about. No one to answer to. Nothing to plan or decide. 

How many of you have actually done this? We take on so many roles in life and the responsibility to ourselves gets pushed way down the list. We never say no to anything and we add to our plate until it looks like a Sunday at a Toby Carvery (oh how I miss this place…just can’t get a good roast in NZ. Another of my adulting problems)! 

       I can’t even be all…right today’s the day. Me                                   time here we go.

I have paperwork, planning, report writing, the Little Man, the husband, the house, the car….and a million and 1 other things that if I don’t do today will be twice as hard to do tomorrow. 

So I’m going to bitch and moan to you and then do nothing differently…today. 

But I will…soon! 

…maybe

… I act ‘mumconsciously’!

the beautified clothing

Today I am declaring myself an uber-hip, Google worthy creative genius! I am claiming a whole new space in the dictionary for my newly minted word…

mumconscious

How did I stumble across this stroke of brilliance, you might ask? Well… as I wiped the biggest snail trail of snot from the Little Man’s nose with my bare hands, I looked down and wondered what had happened to my life…

I battened down my gag reflex and got to thinking about the train of events that happened to get me to that point. Excluding the obvious life changing moment, the descent that led me to standing there staring at the blob of snot resting in my palm, was slow and (clearly) unnoticed. The scariest thing though, the more I thought on it, I quickly realised that this wasn’t the only thing I’d ‘mumconsciously‘ done!

A flashback movie played in my mind of scooping poop out of the bath (whilst I was in it), sniffing my son’s bottom in public, wiping food of my son’s chin and licking of my own damn finger! It wasn’t all mind-blowingly gross stuff though. I also recalled things I’d done to keep my son safe and the 1000 things I do everyday to show him I love him, so that was reassuring.

So, there it is. My piece of stunning parenting, summed up in one word…

‘mumconscious’

adjective:

to do, without thinking, the million unspeakably disgusting, beautifully touching and remarkably sensible things that come hand in hand with the best job in the world.

Being a mum ❤

…we stand together 

My heart breaks as I watch and read the heart breaking news of yet another evil attack so close to my home town. Manchester is my home. I grew up in those places that are now being shown as scenes of horror.  
Family and friends have been sharing condolences and disbelief on social media and I feel like I want to add my voice. Not for ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ but to show defiance. To show solidarity with my home so far away. 

I may only be one person. How much difference can I make, can we all make? We are all only one person. But if we each stand up for each other. If we do not turn on each other. If we do not allow the acts of the few to destroy the lives of the many, they will not win.

I know the kind of world that my son will grow up in. It is frightening at times. It’s a world where people do the cruelest things to each other. A world that can be overwhelming.

But…

It’s also a world where communities unite. Where stories of acts of kindness are seen in the aftermath of these terrifying events. Where diversity of race, religion and social background is not seen as something to be scared of, but is embraced and celebrated.

I hope he grows up in a world where we stand together.

That’s the most powerful thing we can do. 


(Image by the Wheatfield found on Etsy)

…learn to be who you are, choose for yourself

Watching Ellen last week (yes, being a stay at home mum has its perks 😉) I hadn’t realised the path that had brought her to where she is. It was unbelievable to me that she faced such immense hatred, to the point she lost her entire career. 

Scarier still is that, whilst amazing leaps have been made in accepting and supporting the LGBT community, we are still in a world that does not accept people for who they are. There are still so many people, from all walks of life, who feel they have to hide parts of themselves and conform to the socially acceptable view. 

It’s very easy to say…be who you are, choose for yourself. So much harder to actually do it and even harder still to empower others to do so. 

As a mum…how do I instill that in my child so that he actually believes it and values it in himself and others? Some might say that’s it’s as simple as just showing them that you are true to yourself…but, some days, I don’t even know who I am! 

Being a role model certainly plays it’s part but I’m only going to be one of the sole influences in his life for a very short period of time. There will come a point when he will look to his friends and even celebrities for guidance! 

I wonder if it’s not just about showing our children the certain, confident parts of ourselves. Is it also about showing the ugly sides too? Admitting we are still learning about ourselves? Owning up to mistakes and uncertainty in our lives? Giving them space to see that we are trying to accept who we are in that moment…warts and all? 

Who knows, I could be the greatest role model for being true to yourself and he still might go off and pick a bloody celebrity to hero worship! Fingers crossed for David Beckham 😉 

…making friends is hard!

• Student council tips •

At a Mum and Baby pamper morning for Mother’s Day (hint, hint husband…Mother’s day THIS Sunday) today, while the kids enjoyed their floor picnic, my friend and I got to setting the world to rights. We ended up reflecting upon how we met and how nervous we felt at making the first move.

She referred to it (I’m sure she won’t mind me stealing her words) as ‘putting my big girl pants on’. She summed it up perfectly! You’ve got to be brave to make friends. You’ve got to put yourself ‘out there’ to make a connection. I know, as a teacher, I’ve been guilty in the past of telling kids who are struggling to make friends to ‘just join in’, ‘just say hi’ without actually considering about difficult that is!

It’s not just about being shy. I’m not shy at all but I still found making new friends post-baby ridiculously awkward and it took me way out of my comfort zone. I feel like it’s more to do with wanting to be accepted. About not being dismissed. At a truly raw moment in your life, you are just a girl, standing in front of a boy…asking him to love her…

Oh shit, sorry…wrong film 😉

What was I saying?

At a truly raw moment you are literally asking someone to judge you…do they think I’m worth getting to know? When you are already feeling vulnerable with your post-baby hang ups, hormones dragging you all over the place and judgements coming at you from all angles, you are exposing yourself even further!

The other side of this whole new world coin is that with every new friend you make, there will be those who don’t make it past Judge’s Houses. Maybe they didn’t turn out to be who you thought (can be devastating) or you just didn’t have as much in common (can just get awkward). This part of making friends requires just as much bravery to deal with, often more.

I’m lucky. Everyone I’ve met since having my little boy have been beautiful people. Maybe I don’t see them a lot for one reason or another, but every one has given me something, taught me something, shown me something in myself and supported me and my son. Hopefully, I’ve done the same for them!

So yes, making friends is hard…

but so worth it ❤