One thing that is a constant since having a child is that once you have a kid, the kid is all that is spoken about. Even when I’d just had my baby and had recently been ripped open and feeling awful at home the phone calls never started with how are you? it was hows the baby? It’s something that still happens today. Straight away people ask how Elijah is and never me. Or people call and straight away say can I speak to Elijah or hows my boy before I’ve barely even answered the phone.
There’s no talk to me just Elijah. Also many people are disappointed if I see them without the kid. If I pop by someones while child free or meet up with someone they moan that they wanted to see Elijah and they’re disappointed and I’m like sorry? shall I just go home then? I forgot I don’t exist other then to assist my child’s social life.
If I try to talk about myself it’s kind of returned back to the kid. It can be really frustrating and a bit upsetting to be fair. Sometimes it feels like your existence doesn’t exist beyond your kid. My friends are quite good and don’t start conversations with hows Elijah because they know I exist and have feelings too. Although my friends adore my child they would never dream of telling me they’re disappointed it’s just me who’s come to see them.
I still want to be invited out too. I found since having a kid I had lost a few friends because people just thought that’s the end of Charlie. But no it wasn’t. It was the birth of me. Having a kid enabled me to be more confident in myself. To want to actively go out more and have a social life instead of hiding in my room on my days of work. I wanted freedom to be alone and be me again in the strongest light. People worried all I’d speak about is the baby and I don’t think I’ve ever been that person to only gush about my kid either. If someone asks I tell them but I know lots of people who don’t have kids just don’t care. They’ve in fact told me they love that about me that I don’t bore them with talking about my kid all the time. People without kids just don’t care. Like I didn’t when I didn’t have kids.
I still have a personality. I still want to meet up with my mum friends with our kids but I also enjoy meeting up with friends and family alone at times. I like being able to talk about myself sometimes. I’m not vain but it’s quite nice being able to talk about adult subjects without a little earwigger.
I choose to become a mum but I did not choose to not exist beyond that title.
I still enjoy going out for meals with friends, cocktails, date nights and shopping trips. I still love the cinemas and going on walks too. I miss getting dressed up and not being dressed down because my child will destroy my outfit.
Just because we’re mums doesn’t mean we can’t struggle to. Ever noticed that a lot of mums don’t talk about themselfs so therefor don’t express their own feelings. It is so important to appreciate that there is someone behind the child. Mental health issues exist in the silence and it’s because this that depression can hideaway. I know for a fact my depression got so much worse after a child. Because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s sleepless nights, puke and a lot of attitude from your child.
Tbh my child is pretty cool and I could talk about him all day but tbh I don’t want to. Not only will I bore others but it also creates that weird online vibe where people think another kids better then theirs. Or worse I’d come across as one of those parents that I hate which think their child is a god and the best child to grace the planet ever. No child is perfect. Sorry not sorry. You also look like a bit of a tool. Still not sorry.
So when your friends and family have a kid ask them how they are. Ask what they’ve been up to. Talk about things not related to their children. Ask them if they want to meet up with kid or if they prefer child free time. You do get the odd parent who never wants to leave their child and that’s okay. Start a phone call talking about the person who’s number you rang and then ask about the child. Never tell someone your disappointed their child isn’t with them. Remember they existed before a child and they’re still the same person. You don’t have to meet up with the child all the time either. It’s a bit nicer for a parent to not have to worry about the child’s behaviour all the time so seeing someone in their child free time is a privilege which shouldn’t be wasted insulting them and making them feel bad about themselves.
The other day I did a ten things you should know before having a child and today I wanted to do from the opposite side. The good bits. Every negative has a positive and here are ours.
One. The love. You will never feel anything like it. You will never love as fiercely and you would die for something other than yourself. You feel and run off nothing but love in the newborn stage. The toddler stages may be hard but when they cuddle you or say I love you it makes your heart melt. Even the hardest of souls are melted like me!
Two. They’re funny. Elijah thinks he’s a comedian. The silly things he does to make us laugh. The funny faces, the farts. Everything about them will make you laugh at some point. They’re just a ball of laughter and silliness.
Three. When you see they’ve learnt something from you. You feel proud of both yourself and them. You get so excited over the littlest things like rolling over or learning to count. Soon everything they do is interesting because you made that and it’s incredible watching someone learn absolutely everything.
Four. No judgement of watching kids tv and Films. Nobody can judge if your still watching a kids cartoon when they’ve left the room or for buying toys that are clearly more for you then them. Fairly sure I buy toys because I want them not him!
Five. You get to relive your youth again. You get to pretend to be animals, run around being aeroplanes and being silly. You remember things you loved as a kid and try to share that with your child. Creating memories while reliving your youth is pretty cool.
Six. You get to be crafty. You get to make arts and crafts and create play. You get your creative side out. You’ll be amazed at just how many ideas pop into your head. Even if your art looks like your two year at least you can blame it on them and class as their hard work.
Seven. Seeing your parents with their grandchild. It’s lovely watching your kid loving and being loved by grandparents. It’s nice seeing how different they are and the happiness they bring. It’s nice to see your parents have a playful side you don’t remember after the teenage stage.
Eight. Happiness. Your child will bring you happiness. When they smile at you, talk to you, do something new or just talking to you. Sometimes you just have to look at them and your happy. If you’ve had a terrible day a cuddle fixes everything.
Nine. Enjoying being a parent. Being proud to talk about them, being proud to be their parent. Enjoying that this is your life now. Although there are days you want to rip your hair out there are some rare days where you feel really great and like your killing this parent game! Days when you feel achievement because you survived another day and your kid did too!
Ten. Seeing a loved one with their child. Nothing will ever describe that fullness I get in my heart when Elijah and James play together or do something together. When they smile and cuddle. When I first saw James hold Elijah I think my heart wanted to explode out my chest I was so full. This love is like nothing I could ever explain.
It’s a funny old thing forgiveness, why should we forgive others for the way they have treated us in the past. Why should we open ourselves up to more pain and suffering.One thing me and my therapist started exploring with me before the corona virus pandemic hit was forgiveness. The ability to forgive not only others but myself too. But to forgive we have to understand why we may be feeling so hurt and against it.
When i was younger i was bullied. Relentlessly, my life became a living hell at times i even thought about taking my own life as a child myself. Because of this i found it easier to hate and hold on to anything said against me. Its why i don’t take compliments well and always see as others having some sort of secret need to take me down again. I turned my pain into anger, my anger into walls, my walls my anxiety and so forth.
Recently i have decided i would give this whole forgiveness thing a shot, thinking first about why it upsets me so much. I thought about why people treated me a certain way, Did previous trauma cause them to act this way? Is it just who the person is and that isn’t anything that will ever change? Can i relate on some level to why they’ve treated me in a certain way and then accept it that bit more?
First of all i decided to forgive people who went silent on me, a easy one. People who where your best friends one day and the next just popped of the planet like you never existed instead of being a adult and explaining why they no longer want to talk. When this happens there is a lot of questions and hurt, What happened? What did i do wrong? But in truth it doesn’t matter the key is accepting this happened and moving on. I thought about why this may have happened. Does the person not like conflict. Did i do something that might of upset them and then i thought i forgive this person because that’s what has happened and we can’t change it. Why hold on to anger that is not needed. Especially to someone who doesn’t speak to you anymore.
I then thought about people currently in my life who cause me pain and suffering not only now but in the past too. I decided to try and think why are people doing this to me. Why are they treating me in a way to cause harm and a reaction. But i decided that i know now that sometimes people are the way they are. Be it there personality or previous trauma which has caused a type of behaviour. We cannot change someone and why hold on to bitter feelings when we should learn and grow from them. Our experiences are to be learned from not obsessed over.
Forgiveness of others does not mean however we keep people in our lives that cause harm. It doesn’t mean we are door mats to stomp feet all over. Instead it mean we are the bigger person silently forgiving. But with forgiveness comes growing i have chosen to forgive certain peoples treatment towards me but decided as i have forgiven them i will move on from this relationship and not speak again to said person or to argue over the same things again. I will not inherit others drama and let it go forgiving and forgetting.
The most important thing about forgiveness however is forgiving yourself. Forgiving yourself for your feelings. Forgiving yourself for how you feel and allowing yourself to grow. For example i felt like i let myself down when i had a c section. I felt like a failure and like my body didn’t work although this was not my fault at all! I felt resentment to myself and also the fact that i put weight on during my pregnancy and i also hated myself because i suffered with post natal depression. I hated myself for previous friendship breakdowns and for who i am as a person. However now i think back and forgive my body for needing a c section and acknowledging depression is not my fault. I forgive myself for how i look,how i feel because i know that i cannot help how i feel about myself. I know that my life is not my fault and that my feelings are just and valid. I forgive myself for feeling a certain way and choose not to feel guilt or disappointment in myself.
It is so hard to forgive but it is sometimes easier if you just sit and think i forgive you in your head and breath out. Let someone who pops into your head be forgiven and grow from it. There needn’t be any real life conversations but draw a line in the sand sometimes and think i forgive you and myself. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone and every case such as serious cases but it’s something that has helped me with my more minor issues. As always stay safe, Charlie x
One thing I have really noticed since being a mother is how hard it can be. It’s not all sunshine’s and rainbows as people like to portray in their perfect little photos. Now more than ever I will scroll through my Facebook or Instagram and all I see is smiles and happiness when in fact I know full well behind the heavy filters and fake smiles is a kid who screams all day because he just feels like it and a parent at the end of her tether wondering what she ever did wrong to the kid.
I have always aimed to be an honest parent. Not only in my blog but on all social media platforms too. No matter if people judge me for my honesty i do it for the other mums. The mums who like me want to see the truth. Who want to see more photos of mums pouring them self a big glass of wine at the end of the day to try have some sort of happiness on those hard days. I want to see mums talking about their child’s tantrums, about how their child who drives them completely potty.
There is nothing more I hate then these parents who treat everything as a competition. Thinking their child is the best shiny trophy in their hall of fame and no other child will ever be as good. But have I got news for you. Your perfect child is perfect to you as my child is to me but I do not for a second believe my child is this angel because of my opinions or that I need to put my child above others. All children are equal and they all have tantrums at some point. If you’re lucky enough to have a mellow child look out because one day it will come. Until then don’t be an ass and only talk about how great your child is. Also don’t be that braggy and comparing mum.Nobody cares about your child reaching a milestone a day earlier then your friends child.
I want to hear about your sleepless nights, your child throwing their dinner against your white walls and carpet, I want to relate to you. I want to know that your just like me. Like I’m not alone in this world. I want to know that it’s normal to have a sob once a week because your child has relentlessly misbehaved because you perhaps didn’t let them have cake for breakfast or something equally as stupid as jump off a sofa face first.
I want you to know it’s okay to be honest. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to shout sometimes. It’s okay to feel stressed. You are not alone. Every other parent goes through this even if they don’t admit it. You’ve got this mama!
Hang in there because one day when they’ve moved out you might actually get to finish a hot drink or have a conversation that doesn’t relate back to your kids at some point!
Dms are always open for a moan about your kid I’m listening! I know you love your kid and accept that they’re little balls of anger. You are not a bad mum. What you see on the internet is not the whole picture. A second of the days does not compute someone’s whole day and what goes on behind that camera screen.
The government is expected to put us in lockdown for 3 more weeks as I type this and I can’t imagine anything worse at the moment. Obviously protecting everyone is why we stay at home but I don’t know how much more I can take and why aren’t police and military stopping everyone leaving houses and roaming the streets all day to prevent the spread. I’ve had enough of looking out my window and it is completely packed on my normally quiet road. It’s full of groups going out and about people ignoring lockdown.Cars moving around all day, My neighbours in and out like yo-yos and children from different households playing in the street. I’m seeing people travel to family and friends households online and it’s really getting to me now. Do you think I stay home so you can swan about thinking you’re above the law and the virus? No. No I don’t.
My mental health has SEVERLY taken a steep jump of a cliff (perhaps Everest). Honestly me and my son are getting on each others nerves now and although I love him to pieces I don’t half need a break. Or a six month holiday. But I can’t even go and see friends and vent. I can’t cry to family and I can’t handle much more. We’ve been potty training so that’s been absolute hell but his behaviour is something else. I know obviously we are in the terrible twos but the people that act like it’s normal haven’t experience the terrible twos in isolation where you can’t take them out for a distraction. Where you can’t go see family and friends. Where you can’t have a date night or go out alone at times. I can’t go to my counselling sessions which I am really, really missing. I started to make such good progress and now I’m left wanting to sob on Fridays because I should be going to my sessions and feeling better each week but instead I’m feeling worse each and every week.
I have no idea how to get out of this funk. I don’t feel grateful for being a mother right now. I am so jealous of people who don’t have children some times that it physically hurts. I get asked by a friend have I seen this or done this? No I haven’t because my entire day is plagued with screaming and tantrums and trying to entertain him to avoid such events.y nights are spent so exhausted sometimes I just sit there in silence staring at a wall. I’m jealous of people who get to have lay ins and late nights, people who get to do what they want when they want and only have to clean up after themselves. I miss ever taking silence for granted and my freedom. I feel like i have a pressure here to say I love my kid. Because others might judge me but why should I care what others think. Of course I love my child and just because I’m having a bit of a complaint does not make me any worse of a mother than anyone else.
I miss my old life. I miss sitting in a grotty bingo hall ordering terrible chips that tastes awfull but I couldn’t help ordering it. I miss sitting in a restaurant and my food and drinks made for me. I miss no washing up. I miss going to soft play with friends and letting my kid run and run till he passed out asleep from exhaustion. I miss having people over and going to others for dinner. I miss seeing Elijah with his friends and his family having a laugh. I miss the shitty bus journeys. I miss trips to the supermarket and looking around. I miss dunelm and bnm shopping buying loads of cleaning products( which I now cannot buy anywhere). I miss shopping trips and not being judged on what I buy and when. I miss everything. I miss long days out and now everything’s pure hell.
Hopefully things change soon. I don’t know how I’m going to cope anymore I really don’t. I’m struggling. It’s like I’m not here anymore I’m just on auto pilot. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of being stuck on repeat. Stay the feck home and stop making everyone else’s life hell because you wanted to see family or you wanted to buy something non essential.
Good afternoon, i hope everyone is well today and feeling a bit more positive today. I am coming to you today from a more positive mindset then i was in last week which was me at a very low point. I was at a point in life i was struggling with both my mental and physical health and the lockdown did not help things atall. On a normal day parenting can be hard, but throw in lockdown, terrible twos and potty training to the mix and we are really struggling.
First of all i’d like to say i cannot praise my son enough for how well he has done with all of this. To be told you can’t see your friends, family or even leave the house must be such a horrible thing for a child to endure let alone if they’re too old to understand why they are stuck in. It seems everyday he asks to see his family and friends, i think it’s quite sweet because it shows he thinks about others and how much he loves them. We had a pretty active social life by anyone’s standards, we would be out everyday seeing friends and family or going or just as mother and son (or the three of us). We’d do different things all the time such as meals out at different places, go swimming, soft play, bowling, the zoo and to different parks. I think he struggles most with understanding that he can’t go for play dates at peoples houses or they come to play here.So i do feel horrid when we have to stay inside each day, infact i have major mum guilt that just won’t shift. I try so hard to come up with play ideas and to keep him in contact with friends that it physically drained me last week so much so that i didn’t want to try to come up with anything new and wanted to give up my creative side for a few days.
Obviously we still have all the same cleaning responsibilities around the house, in fact more. For some reason being locked in makes me feel i need to be productive and clean and organise the whole house in every nook and cranny. The issue with being a parent is you struggle to have time to clean or perhaps do some diy like everyone else seems to be able to do such as painting the whole house or doing something from scratch. I can’t say to my son entertain yourself i’m off to redecorate or to deep clean a different room then he’s in. It gets you a bit down watching others enjoy this time to be productive. Of course my house is always very clean but i feel there is more i could do. I did a big clean the other day and brought elijah in each room i cleaned (except bathroom and kitchen) and let elijah watch his tablet too entertain him and i felt so guilty for taking time to clean the house. Some positives of this have however been that my son has took more interest in cleaning and likes to help sweep, dust and wipe the surfaces down with me. He’ll even try his hand at mopping, hoovering,tidying his toys away and he even has started to make his bed. It’s good to teach him that houses don’t stay clean and we all must work together to keep it clean. Aswell my house does look a bit more tidier as I’m not out all the time and don’t find cooking and cleaning as much of a chore then I did before. Its enabled me to slow down and really appreciate my house, how we’ve decorated and who and what is inside of it.
It’s quite hard being on my own with elijah by myself everyday with nobody to talk too till james is home at teatime and weekends. It must be so hard for single parents in this lockdown my heart really does bleed for them and i have the upmost respect. I really struggle with feeling lonely in this time and I kind of spiral from that. I feel so alone, when i am not alone because my son is here but he is two, he cannot hold a conversation and has much better things to get on with like playing with his dinosaurs. I also feel a pressure not to let him know i feel sad and be upbeat which feels so fake and horrid but i want to make my son feel happy and safe in this scary world. The positives of this is we get to spend more time together just the two of us and I’m able to construct more learning through play as I have the time. We spend a lot more on the floor playing and try to keep busy the best we can. It’s nice that Elijah seems to be learning well and hopefully he won’t become shy when he leaves the house again.
We’ve started looking after our neighbours a bit more. I regularly ask my older neighbours if they need anything as they are being shielded. we’ve gone to fill there gas and electricity cards for them and shared our food and brought them bits from the shop. We’ve also ordered them a box of fruit, veg and dairy products to arrive Monday. It’s been quite nice as we’ve started talking to them more and getting to know them more. Luckily we can see them as our fence fell down but obviously it’s not getting done for a while now! It’s quite nice because she said she was feeling lonely because of it all and we’ve been chatting because her family can’t help either! We made them a card from Elijah as Elijahs starting to call them grandma because they have white hair! So we joked he’s adopted a set of grandparents. They even made us some delicious cheese and onion scones and we had them for our lunch today! It’s nice to feel like a community and everyone seems so much more friendly. Maybe it’s the missing of everyone’s family and friends that brings us together .
We’ve however sorted the garden mostly and that means we get to play in the garden more. Elijah’s fabric toys where all ruined from the storms but I was able to salvage everything else. Looks like I’ll have to order a new tent and paddling pool if I can’t fix the old one up! It’s been nice watching Elijah enjoy the garden and getting some exercise in. We’ve done lots of sensory play in garden too so saves my living room from the mess. I feel for people who don’t have gardens so try to make my play ideas adaptable for people living in flats as well. T
his weather is pretty nice to so I’m making the most out of getting out alone. I know I should take my son when I can but I only get one form of exercise a day. When i’ve endured Elijahs grumpy behaviour all day I need that me time for my mental health. I do take him out some days but I really worry about him getting the virus to be honest. The way people still get too close really makes me anxious and I worry about him or me getting it. I also worry about him having a breakdown he wants to do something like swim in the lake or play on some play equipment in the park. I don’t want to feel like there’s more no’s o have to say to him and it makes me feel guilty enough. I try to take him out when James is off work so that we can enjoy family time as every weekend we would go out and I want to keep some element of reality even if that is just walking to the meadows by our house.
When home I like to open all my blinds and enjoy the sun beaming in now. I like to feel like I’m not in a prison but I’m safe at home and the weathers nice and warm so I can go in the garden and relax. I like to get dressed everyday so I remember it’s a different day and it makes us all feel a bit more positive. I’ve got really into taking time to enjoy food and experimenting in the kitchen a bit more. I don’t want to know how much weight I’m gaining from all the cakes and bits I’ve been baking or cooking. I’m finding more time for me to do my skincare at night and finding new hobbies all the time. Although all of this is great I do still miss leaving the house and having social interaction. I miss going out with my friends for dinner without the family too because it was my little bit of freedom to be again except for mummy.
The thing is being a parent really is hard. When a child is upset they fixate on it and have a meltdown to process those emotions the only way they know how. Although we understand they are trying to express those emotions and want to be supportive it’s hard to push our feelings down. For example being upset about a tantrum. After a whole day of dealing with tantrums it can really upset you. Physically and mentally. It is possible to accept their feelings and your own and you should not feel guilt about that. You are allowed to feel stressed when your child is being a terror and that is okay to feel emotions about it. So long as your not taking those emotions out on your child it is okay to have these feelings. Just because other people want to paint a perfect picture that they never have any negative feelings towards a child’s behaviour that doesn’t mean that what they say and post is true. We are human and we are going through a pandemic. Everyday we must try and adapt to new changes. We are afraid of others and the world around us. When it will go back to normal I do not know but I wish that we could start supporting others and say it’s okay to be struggling. This reality we live in is new and you have done damn well to adapt to it. You continue to support yourself and your children through every emotion and take on the role of superhero to get through this. You are staying in to save others, to save your family and friends. If you got up today and got on with the day you’ve done all you need to do! So well done! Continue to stay safe and be proud of what you’re doing everyday. You’re allowed to feel stressed and you’re allowed to feel down. My inbox is always open. Be safe and stay well.
Quite often the subject of having more children inevitably comes up with family, friends and even strangers. I’ve written previously on whether i want another child or not in a previous blog post but i think i guessed things would change as Elijah got older. I have always wanted a few children but since having Elijah my opinion has changed. At the moment i’m unsure if i want another child. If i was to fall pregnant again i wouldn’t be sad or anything but at the moment i am happy being a mother of one. I quite like being able to give him all my time and energy and i think he thrives from that too. I don’t want to feel obligated into having anymore children.
However as Elijah has gotten older more people have told me i should have another child just so my son doesn’t feel lonely. First of all this is not a reason to have a child. You don’t have a child to make a little friend, you make a child because you want to bring life to the world and expand your family. It is possible to be a only child and happy. I have experience of both being a only child and then a sibling. I grew up with my mum and i was her only child and until i was 9 and i didn’t have any siblings (that i see). I can honestly say that i did not ever feel lonely and i only really felt somewhat lonely when there where 2 tiny babies around the home and i was a bit lost in my role as a sister at this age.Obviously my brothers and I are close and i love my with all my heart but i don’t think my mum decided to have another child because i was lonely.
I kind of feel a bit anxious when people talk to me about having more children. I get alot of family members like my parents and grandparents telling me to have more children. I know they don’t mean to cause offence but i kind of feel like is that all i am now? a baby maker? I also kind of think do they not think Elijah is enough or something? Has he become boring to them or do they want another newer model to play with? I am sometimes left questioning why it is brought up so often aswell i at least hear it from a family member or two at least once a month. Is me saying i’m happy as we are at the moment not enough? Like i am not going to have another child just to please my family.Which to be honest sounds like something i would do to the extreme where i have this need to please everyone and not offend anyone. Family seem to forget sometimes that people do have control over there own lives as they get older.
Strangers also have a big role in talking to you in public when with your child and say oh when will you have another one? First of all i do not know you and i will never speak to you again so why do you need to know or care? It is a bit odd going up to a stranger and saying when will you have another one or oh they need a baby brother/sister! If you have to say something talk about how happy my child is or something!
Also i have noticed a lot of media /films/ tv series and the online world only really shares family as at least four people. It is really rare i will watch a film or series when there is someone be it a child or adult that a only child and doesn’t have some sort of brother or sister. I also find as well that people seem to react better when people have more than one child like it means you’re a more wholesome family or something like that.
I think as well as other people putting pressure onto us i think we put pressure on to ourselves. Like when i give Elijah clothes to charity sometimes i feel guilt like i should be keeping his clothes just in case we have another child. I also sometimes think about being pregnant again and having a newborn and then i feel somewhat pressure like that’s what i should do again just because i have a thought that pops into my head. I also feel like i set plans in my head when i was younger of the perfect family of four and because of that i think my mind sometimes still thinks that’s the dream. Even though dreams can change when your reality changes. I think my health has a part to play also since being diagnosed with endometriosis i have a slight concern i may not be able to have more children one day and that means I need to rush it.
Maybe one day i might change my mind and want another child but at the moment we are happy. That is okay. I never say to my friends or family oh you should have another child because i know it can trigger people sometimes.Also remember when you may be saying this to people they could possibly be going things and not telling people such as miscarriages, IVF, fertility issues or mental health issues.
It is okay to not want more children and even a child at all if someone has decided not to have kids. It is not our business what happens in anyone else’s life but our own. So lets not try to pass our opinions to others that can cause upset. Having a baby is a BIG responsibility that lasts the rest of your life. It is not something like getting something that is temporarily cute and little like a puppy.
You also should not have to defend if you do not wish to have anymore children and you are also entitled to change your mind. If i was to wake up tomorrow and want to change my mind and want a child that is okay and my choice. It will not be because someone told me too. Remember your life is your life and your choices are your own and you do not have to justify them.
One thing i see a lot of on social media is mum shaming. People who hide behind a keyboard and publicly put mothers down because of how they are raising their children.This isn’t limited to social media as people will do this in public, on the playground, playgroups and just about anywhere. People really feel that motherhood is a competition now. Being a mother is so hard these days because not only have we got to try and raise a tiny human but we also have to do it in a digital world where people judge every last thing you do.
I really hate seeing people mum shame. Especially online or loudly in public so they can be heard. E.g at a restaurant when someone loudly moans about someone’s toddler crying and how the mums dealing with it. I mean sometimes you can’t help but to judge someone elses parenting style as it is different to your own but you absolutely do not say it to them as that may cause upset. I feel really horrid for celebrities sometimes. Because peoples jealousy turns them into keyboard warriors that feel they can hide behind a screen while being horrid to someone else. Take the kardashians for example whatever they do upsets someone. They could feed their child a carrot and someone would be upset and call them uptight for buying a organic carrot or evil because its not chocolate. It must be so hard having your parenting ripped apart by others every day constantly and being able to see what people say as well must take you to pretty dark places seeing this over and over. I once was trolled and it felt awful. I was told i was a terrible mother because i once spoke about how we shouldn’t judge how people feed their babies. I have no idea where they got that from but just the words where enough to make me cry and make me want to delete my blog which has been therapeutic for me. I honestly can’t see why people have to directly mum shame knowing that this will cause upset.
I’ve also seen quite a few people i follow on Instagram be given a lot of grief on Instagram for simply posting things like toys, days out exetera. It’s like people can’t do anything to please these people. A lot of it is competition i think. I don’t know why people need to get so mean to try and win some make believe contest in their heads. It doesn’t make you a better parent to mum shame someone. It doesn’t set a good example for your children or for yourself. I want to teach my child to be kind and not to bring others down. I would never want to make someone feel sad or doubt their mothering style or anything like that. You already as a mother have to contend with the thoughts i’m not good enough, am i doing enough? can i be better?Without someone telling you that you aren’t good enough like it is at all constructive. Obviously if your worried about something you could always politely message them in a kind way and speak about your concerns but nasty comments especially publicly are not acceptable ever.
Be kind always. Just because someone parents differently than you please do not upset someone by telling them your thoughts. You are entitled to your own thoughts but please just keep them as that just thoughts. You never know what someone is going through so try to spread happiness not sadness.
One thing that had came up several times in counselling is the feeling that I have lost my self identity. When my counsellor asked me “if I could describe myself what would I say?” and I said probably I’m just a mum. In itself it is not a bad thing but sometimes I feel like all identity has been stripped from myself because I am a mum now. In the simple fact that people ask about my child before me, my life is just a constant cycle of raising a child and when people ask me what I’ve been up to I can’t really tell them much that doesn’t involve my child. But I’ve come to think of it as not a bad thing that I identify only as a mum sometimes.
Because truth be told I’m not just a mum to my son. To him I am his whole world. Even if he’s screaming on the floor with frustration that I won’t let him have cake at 6 am in the morning. To him I’m there for him. I am always there for him. I’m there to teach him every little thing he needs to learn and I am there to wipe his tears when he’s sad. I’m there to always make sure he is happy and make memories that will last a lifetime for both of us and to shape him into the boy he will become. Yes my world may of changed and selfishly sometimes I may miss aspects of my independence but I have importance in my existence now. I have created this beautiful little life. He grew inside me, I gave birth to him and I have raised him. I have taught him to walk, talk and anything else that he does. I teach him as much as I can through play and telling him things I know. I get the gift of watching him grow up and sometimes my heart cries at how proud I am of him. I’m not just a mum. I am his mum. That makes me the luckiest person on this planet.
Something I’ve somewhat been made to feel ashamed of by my single friends is that I’m married and have a child. While my dreams are different to there’s they’re not the only ones who have perhaps judged me for wanting to be married and a mother earlier.
Way back in the past it was the normal to be married early and have lots of children. However as generations have changed with the environment we live in I find people are leaving it longer to want to settle down. Maybe it’s the fact we have dating at our finger tips now, less expectations of commitment, more divorce and experience of broken homes But it’s unclear why it’s become something done later in life.
For people who want to date and just have fun I salute you. Living your best life is something you should never be ashamed of and if all you want to do is be single or stay in and out of short term relationships then you do you. If you’re happy in your own company then that’s an amazing thing being happy as you are and loving/putting yourself first.
A lot of my mum friends understand my choice to get married and have a child younger in life. They understand how it feels to be in a committed loving relationship and have goals for that to blossom. For example getting married and having more children or being happy with the one. I think being raised by a young mum has made me want that myself. My mum was 19 when I was born which meant she had lots of energy and is still quite young now. Now although I didn’t want children at 19 I had always planned in my head I wanted them about 22. I grew up pretty quickly and was always mature for my age so I feel it’s been a great asset in deciding when to become a mother. When I met James I knew I loved him and wanted to spend my whole life with him and when he proposed I was over the moon. This has meant that Elijahs grandparents are still quite young and can enjoy him as much as possible also. There’s even currently five generations in my family!
But it would be silly to make others feel bad for choosing to have a family at such a young age. Your hopes and plans may be different to others and that’s okay but we cannot judge someone for wanting different things in life. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there’s aspects I miss of my life before becoming a mother like nipping to the loo in peace or being able to do what I want when I want. But I have been changed into this caring loving mother who is a better person. My heart has grown ten times bigger and I’m glad I’ve got to experience it for longer in my life instead of stretching it out waiting for the right time to have a child. So I don’t feel bad for wanting a baby and marriage and a house. My upbringing and my personality gives me what I want in life and I am going to enjoy where it has taken me. At the end of the day I look at my son and husband with so much love it makes me feel like I’m crying with love on the inside and that’s something I’d never want changed. Even when I’m dealing with public tantrums and the expense of a wedding it’s all been worth it.