The wonders of smartphones means EVERYTHING is at your finger tips, banking – done, emails – checked, Facebook- scrolled, shopping – ordered. It’s all there but so is the constant stream of articles, blogs (ahem ooops), advice, forums, and instagrammed perfect lives, sometimes it all gets a bit too much.
I’ve seen some posts recently on various topics and each time I’ve read them and thought “shit…I don’t do that” *cue tidal wave of mummy guilt.
1. Extended rear facing car seats….bollocksed that one right away, since we had our second boy any trip in the car resulted in screaming meltdowns. The smallest one would not be comforted by the lull of a humming engine…nope he screamed and screamed and screamed.
One day I tried him in his brothers seat and voila…not.a.peep. so there we were, 10 months old and we are ordering a second forward facing car seat, now both our delightful offspring were facing the world head on.
Finally I was free from nearly crashing the car everytime I got behind the wheel because the stress of screaming would make each journey torturous. Now it’s been replaced with the extreme guilt of knowing that if we are in a crash and the boys are hurt it will be our fault because we didn’t choose rear facing – fuck!!!
2. Putting to sleep on their front – yep we disobeyed the rules with that one 😯 after weeks and weeks of the youngest one refusing to sleep on his back and waking as soon as you attempted to turn him over we decided to try him on his front….well it wasn’t a eureka moment because he would sleep beautifully lying on me but we did it, we put him down to bed on his front and what did we get????sleep!!!
So once again there was the feeling of relief for having something that worked, however what instantly replaced that relief was guilt, anxiety and a creeping feeling of overwhelming paranoia. Excellent now I was worrying about whether our little bundle of joy was going to still be breathing when I checked on him. Cue the sensor mat and the odd moment where I would sit and listen to him breathing whilst placing a hand on his back just to double check he was still alive!!
3. Food, processed food!!! Well having read an article recently on a mum who follows a paleo diet and so does her daughter it got me thinking about how much processed food do my littles consume? Do they have a lot? *as I ponder whilst making a ham sandwich. Do they eat too much sugar? *as I let my eldest have a Kinder bar!! Oh wait what did they have for breakfast? Oh yeah Honey Cheerios. *face palm!!
I know I make every effort to ensure the evening meal has an abundance of vegetables in it, lunch I try and put a couple in there like beans, peas or sweetcorn but am I doing enough?? Probably not, I’m no Annabel Karmel but I am trying my best to feed them a well balanced diet.
4. Activities – pinterest is great for ideas but then also a bitch for making you feel guilty, I do lots of messy, sensory play,
I encourage drawing and painting, I’m all for role play with trains, the kitchen, cars, teddies. I even let my eldest help out in the kitchen with cooking and baking but what about other activities? What about the paid groups and the classes? Weeeeeellll I do one or two, ok so I did one or two, now I pay for soft play places or use our annual zoo pass or stick with playdates.
I’ve always been hesitant about signing up for classes that are over a term etc, what if your child is ill, you’re away, your child doesnt like it or you just can’t be arsed to go that day? Maternity pay doesn’t stretch far and I’m not exactly rolling in money to just waste it so I’ve not signed up for any fixed classes just PAYG ones. Are my boys missing out? Have I restricted their development by not doing such things? Should they be joining in with Forest schools, swimming lessons and gymnastics??? Maybe but it doesn’t have to be right now, they have years of being a child, years to explore and try new things.
5. Kids/baby fashion – now I LOVE Instagram, I’m an instagrammer, I’m a follower, I’m a poster and I do love seeing cute outfits from little boutique businesses, it’s great seeing the funky ideas that I could be dressing my boys in but do I succumb to it….no 😯 I want to. I want to buy the boys cool patterned leggings with slogan tops, I want them to masquerade around in something other than their standard joggers and T’s or hand me downs but I can’t justify it. I can’t justify spending money on clothes that I know will get food smeared all over it and crawled about in. Unless these were outfits that they wore for being showcased in (which is never, as soon as I let them out of the house they find mud or puddles or muddy puddles!!). I sometimes feel a pang of guilt that I don’t bother dressing my boys in anything other than what is available in the Tu clothing range – at 25% off mind you. But why am I feeling guilty? They’re clothed aren’t they, they don’t give a monkeys what they are wearing, they still look smart what am I worrying about. Love is based on the clothes they wear…Haha remind me of that when they are teenagers 😉
6. Capturing the moment – I’ve had good intentions of trying to document my pregnancies but failed with both, two prem babies meant my bump shoots were never made a reality, I think I have approximately 6 photos from BOTH pregnancies. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of shoots done after each of the boys was born and a first birthday shoot for my eldest but other than that it’s just the good ol’ camera phone.
I’ve tried to fill in the baby journals but end up stopping and starting trying to remember when they first sat up/smiled/slept through blah blah….Maybe I need these milestone cards that I’ve seen flying around – that would require a little more organisation as opposed to snapping and posting on various social media platforms. What if the boys ask about all these important moments? I might be able to dig out a photo of them doing these things but could I place a date/age for these memories??? Will the boys think less of me as a mother because I haven’t documented when they said their first word or ate their first piece of broccoli? Maybe I should collate all the pictures on the various social media platforms and try to create some sort of time line. …Yeah I’ll do that when I’ve got some free time!?!?
7. Getting back in shape – have I cleansed recently? been to a baby exercise class? joined the gym? gone on juicing diet? I’m going to be honest I’m lazy, I like my food. I have taken up running and I try to go once or twice a week
but I use this as an excuse to keep eating the cake and chocolate but it seems like all around me I see mum’s bouncing back into shape, slipping into their skinny jeans sans shape wear, some I’ve seen rocking a two piece on the beach….a bikini body post baby what the….!!! Man I wish I had the determination to sort myself out and sometimes the pangs of guilt do hit me as I’m reaching for the chocolate but then that evil little voice whispers “you only live once, eat that chocolate if you want it”.
I’m not obese or out of shape so I’m not worried about myself from a health point of view it’s more from a vanity point of view.
Us women are supposed to have it all, the kids, the money, the picture perfect lifestyle whilst rocking a killer body. Well let’s put it this way I have the kids!!
8. There’s many more out there but the last one that sticks out at me from something that I’ve read recently was a blog post on “what would you do?” The general gist of the post was about what would you do if you had to go into the shop to pay for petrol and you had the kids with you in the car? My first thought was lock the car and go into the shop and pay for my fuel, I would be a matter of a couple of minutes, boom, bam, bosh I’m on my way. Well after reading that particular post and the comments attached to it I felt like the biggest shit of a mum. Everyone was screaming “how could you leave your child?” “there are some horrible people in this world” “what if there was a fire?” “what kind of mother leaves their child in the car alone?” “what if they started choking?”. Well normally I pay at the pump or I would wait until I didn’t have the boys with me, but my thoughts clashed with everyone else’s, how could I think such a thing? How could I call myself a mother?
Then I realised I’m not the only one thinking like I do, I’m not a shit mum, I’ve got nothing to feel guilty about, I love my boys, I do my best, they are happy, safe, well fed, in clean clothes and do plenty. I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, I give them as much as I can and let them experience as many things as possible so I’m going to turn a blind eye to all the advice, must haves, must do’s and not give a f*#$ because no one is going to love these boys as much as I do.