The World Of Siblings

I am an only child. I’ve never experienced sibling love or rivalry. I didn’t have to share my loved ones or my toys. I didn’t wear hand-me-down clothing, and I didn’t have to share my room. I don’t know what it’s like to have a sibling, or what the ‘normal’ is in regards to your siblings.

I know nothing about sibling relationships.

My two boys are now 5yo and 6yo, and I often find myself asking my husband if this is normal behaviour for siblings. Are sibling relationships really meant to be like this? Should I be wanting to pull my hair out several times a day? My husband has both brothers, and sisters. He usually just laughs at me like I’m crazy for even asking, but I do question them in my mind, a lot.

Is it normal to sneakily punch your younger brother on the way past him?

Is it normal to ask your brother to smell your feet?

Is it normal to ask your brother to hold a bogey for you?

Is it normal to compare ‘toe fluff’ with that of your brothers toes?

Is it normal to randomly lick your older brother?

Is it normal to push your brother down the slide backwards?

Is it normal to chase your brother with ‘cheesy puff fingers’ and make him cry because he hates the smell?

Is it normal to wrestle like your arch enemies?

Is it normal to make your little bother ‘walk the plank’?

Is it normal to force your brother to have ‘fake medicine’ and be your patient?

Is it normal to nearly lightsaber your brother into oblivion?

Is it normal to push each other so often?

Is it normal that everything has to be a competition?

Is it normal to offer your brother a piece of candy only because it fell on the floor?

Is it normal to splash each other until tears occur in the bath?

Is it normal to pee over your brother in the bath?

Is it normal to constantly tell tales on one another?

Is this what brothers do?

My husband says yes, unreservedly yes! I have no choice but to believe him, and enjoy this crazy-chaotic-sibling relationship.

In the mean time I’ll stick to strong coffee, chocolate and rest in the fact that if I do end up pulling my hair out I can always turn to Advanced Tricho Pigmentation Treatment for a little help! 🤣

Here’s to a funfilled next few years with my little rascals!

 

 

How to Grocery Shop with Kids

Do you find grocery shopping with your children stressful? Are you looking for some top tips on ways to make it less stressful? Well you’ve come to the right place! For a complete stress-free grocery shop make sure you go ALONE, and if that’s not possible then do it all online!

I’m pretty sure I suffer from some type of memory loss regarding doing a grocery shop with my kids.

Often my husband or I will stay in the car,armed with plenty of sweets, with my 5yo & 6yo whilst the other one of us grabs the few items we need. Kids and grocery shopping are just never a good combination in my experience and why I didn’t remember this today I will never know.

We’d spent a few hours at the park the other morning, had lunch out, and even had icecream. Before heading home to play in the garden we needed to stop at the supermarket for a few things. Both children wanted to come in with me. I said yes. I said yes?! Had I forgotten the monsters they transform into once we enter supermarkets? Apparently so! Off we went, all four of us!

One didn’t want to walk, he didn’t want to sit in a trolley, he wanted Daddy to carry him. We got a trolley (a double seated trolley). We karate chopped one into the trolley, the other refused to sit in there, he wanted a separate trolley. I said no. I know, I know, bad momma, but this was meant to be a QUICK shopping trip. He now wanted to sit in the trolley with his brother. The seat had a mark on it. Meltdown approaching. Meltdown avoided. Mummy used her scarf as a seat cover, of course.

We entered the supermarket.

One no longer wants to be in the trolley, it’s uncomfortable and hurting his “winkle”. He walks, and is told to hold my hand. The other wants to walk, he is not allowed out. His ‘runner’ reputation goes before him and he cannot be trusted. I put my scarf back on because it was longer needed to be used as a somebody-elses-crap-coverer. The trolley sitter looks at the mark on the empty seat next to him and starts dramatically gagging. Mommas scarf returns to the seat. He then asks to be carried, as opposed to sitting in a trolley being pushed around like royalty.

The walker picks up a butternut squash and shouts “What’s this mummy?” I see a lady give me the once over. I feel paranoid that she now thinks  I don’t feed my children vegetables so I say “It’s a butternut squash, you’ve tried it before!” I lied. I outright lied for the benefit of a nosey stranger. Idiot. I am an idiot. He now wants the butternut squash.

The trolley sitter asks to be carried.

The other asks if we are finished yet.

My husband and I have a conversation about dinner, my youngest takes this as an open invite to shout his preference; pizza. “Pizza pizza pizza!” he bellows over and over again. I told him he wasn’t having pizza for tea this evening because he had it four days ago for dinner. He continues. My blood pressure rises. We walk by the pizza without stopping.

The walker now wants to sit in the trolley, the actual trolley, not the seat part, but it’s full of shopping. He was not impressed. He decides he now wants to stand by the hot chicken counter because “It’s warm!” The counter is empty, we feel awkward but he appears in his element.

Bread, bread, bread. Never choose bread when your children are there. Such a simple item to get, yet my brain had decided to malfunction. “Pizza pizza pizza!” yelled the 5yo as the 6yo took a big birthday cake off the shelf and sat with it cross-legged on the floor to inspect it. I asked him to put it back, instead he heard me ask him to tip it up onto it’s side for a closer look. I put it back on the shelf for him. I didn’t put it back where he got it from. He had to put it in it’s rightful place.

Bread, back to the bread.

The trolley asks to be carried.

We’ve now been in the shop for 15 minutes. Our 5 minute trip had tripled in time. Right, momma on a mission.

The 6yo wants to buy a pack of icing because it has pretty cookies on the front, he won’t believe me that the cookies are not in the packet too. We compromise on sweets instead. He wants jaw-breaking type sweets, I make a few (sensible) suggestions, he suggests 3 more jaw-breaking types before settling for mommas suggestions.

The 5yo asks to be carried. Again. I say asked but really I mean squawks like a bird that’s been hit by a very large truck!

My shopping list in my brain has disintegrated. My husband couldn’t think straight either.

The 6yo decides to spin round in circles instead of walking. I felt like my brain was doing the same.

Cheese next. Oh and milk. Oh crap, we forgot the bread.

The 5yo squawks. And squawks. And squawks some more.

The 6yo can’t walk anymore.

Let’s go. Screw the rest of the food. Who needs groceries anyway? Not us! Not ever again! Quick dash to the cashier, and lets get out. Out, out out!

Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re home.

I think going grocery shopping with children can be likened to some kind of traumatic life event. My husband and I walk into a supermarket with two children, and we leave with two gremlins and high blood pressure.

I love my kids, but not enough to take them grocery shopping with me in the near future! (Joke)

Oh, and the 5yo had pizza for dinner! 😉

 

In-A-Minute Parenting

Life is busy, add children into the equation and it is crazy busy. Careers, house keeping, families, health issues, errands, chores, appointments, school, courses; there is just SO much going on! As a momma I know there is always something that needs doing, always.

There is always a grazed knee that needs kissing, a spillage that needs mopping, a letter that needs opening, a bill that needs paying, a snack that needs preparing, a call that needs making, a coffee that needs drinking, a pee that needs taking, a diaper that needs changing, clothes that need ironing, a lawn that needs mowing, hair that needs washing, a floor that needs sweeping, a car that needs cleaning, a meal that needs preparing, a job that needs attending, a list that needs completing, shopping that needs fetching, laundry that needs washing, laundry that needs drying, a fight that needs refereeing, and a poop that needs scooping (out the bath)!

Life as a parent is a whirlwind of fleeing from one thing to the next. Our time becomes so consumed with ‘doing’ that we rarely just ‘do’. I am a nightmare for this. I will start one job, and then see something else that needs doing so will start that job, and then will see something else that needs doing so will start that job too. This then leaves a trail of half-started jobs, and leaves me feeling more unaccomplished than when I started the very first job. It’s a viscous circle I visit hourly! Anybody else?

Often during the day I will try and catchup on a few chores whilst the children play, they’ll often say “Mummy I want you to play with me!”, and I will say “In a minute, I’m just cleaning first”. They often go away with a sad glint in their eye and I feel like a bad momma. Obviously sometimes there are certain things that I have to do, but there are a lot of other times when my kids matter more.

If I counted how many times I said ‘In a minute’ during one day I think I would be ashamed of myself.

Today my 3yo fetched an interactive puzzle from his toy shelf and asked if I would help him. I had literally just sat down with a cup of tea, so naturally I said “I will do it with you in a minute!”. He didn’t even question me, he just looked sad and went to put the puzzle back on his shelf. An instant wave of guilt and regret surged through my momma bear heart, and I thought ‘Hell no have I just hurt my babies feelings just so I can drink a cup of tea, the tea will be there tomorrow, this moment with my baby boy will not!’ I called my 3yo back and said “Actually no, we will do the puzzle now like you wanted!”. His face lit up. He felt worthwhile. I added another drop of self-esteem to his confidence bucket. I would give up all the tea in the world, infact I’d give up anything in the world to spend time with my boys.

In that moment, seeing my little boy walk away and not even attempt the puzzle alone because he wanted to do something with his momma, I had a big fat slap in the face. How many times did my children hear ‘in a minute’? Too many was the answer. The puzzle took ten minutes, and after we had finished it he happily played with his cooking set alone for thirty minutes, win-win situation there. My tea can be reheated, his little spirit is not so easily fixed, that’s why I had to change my mind.

When my 4yo asks me to read him a story when I am half way through an important email I will no longer say ‘in a minute’. The email recipient will not remember the hour I sent them an email reply, but my 4yo will remember the moment momma was too busy to read him a story. I am busy being a momma, not too busy to be a momma.

From now on I vow to be present, and vow to play.

Dishes can wait, emails can wait, social media can wait, everything can wait, everything but time. Time is precious, and I intend to make our time count. I will be the ever-ready momma, the ever-present momma. No more in-a-minute parenting!

Anybody with me?

Being A Depressed Mother

This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, a cause very close to my heart.

I have suffered with depression for a very long time, but have only broken my silence about it over the last few years despite suffering since I was around nine years old, and have only received medical help for it in the last seven months. The struggle has been horrific and nothing could have changed that, but it didn’t have to be so long. Shame held me back from speaking out, I felt weak, and often like I was just being stupid. I thought nobody could possibly understand me and my messed up thoughts, but I was wrong, and I only wish I had known this when I became a mother. I didn’t want to be a depressed mother.

I’ve suffered with depression secretly for a long time, although the odd red flag has maybe caused suspicion with my close ones, but I like to be the strong one, the confident one, the one who has it all together, the one who can manage on her own, when in reality none of those things are true. I’m not confident, I fake it, I’m not strong, I don’t have it all together, and I hate doing things alone. But I became accustomed to hiding my deep, dark secret, I was ashamed. And these feelings escalated once I had my first child, I had a constant voice telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I was going to ruin his life and upbringing, that he deserved so much more than me. I didn’t take care of myself, and put him first in everything, even to my own detriment, he came before everything because anything less than that meant I had let him down. I plodded on through and then ten months into being a first time mother my little surprise came along, and then after nine months I was left with a 17 month old and a newborn. It was hard. I had some real crazy thoughts and emotions, and I never told anybody, I kept it all inside for fear of losing my babies. If only I had reached out for help, it would have been so much easier. I won’t go into all of the symptoms and details this time, but I’d say it was pretty on par with post-natal psychosis, which is very scary now I look back, how I managed to come through it amazes me. I don’t know where the strength came from, or perhaps I was that good at faking a sane state of mind?

I really wish my midwife or health visitor would have made an appointment with me, a mental health appointment, and maybe I would have opened up. If they could have reassured me it was ok to suffer with mental health issues when you’re a mother. I wish I would have spoken out, reached out, cried out. I was so scared that my children would be taken off their “crazy mother”, but now I know that’s a lie. I wish I knew back then. I wish I knew it was ok to sometimes lock myself in the bathroom and wish for a different life. I wish somebody else would have told me that they too were close to running away, or that they wished their eyes would never open again. I wish somebody else would have told me they yelled too, and dreaded what the day held.

Don’t get me wrong, we all have bad days as parents, but if that cloud is not shifting, and odd thoughts creep in, or you feel overwhelmed and unable to get through the day, then please reach out and get some support before it escalates, it will be ok. It happens to lots of people and it is nothing to be ashamed of, not at all, in fact it takes tremendous courage to ask for help, so be brave, you deserve to be happy too.

It took me until September last year to seek medical help and try some medication, and i have to say i was petrified, I made and cancelled so many appointments, and then one day I went. I knew I had to, I was gripped daily by a black cloud and anxiety had became my best friend and worst enemy, I’d reached rock bottom and there was no way out on my own. I was worried I didn’t have any more fight left in me and my children would become motherless. I had to go for them. I was a sobbing mess, but it was the start of a band new way of life, six weeks into an antidepressant and my life radically changed, that chemical imbalance in my brain had been sorted, mostly. I’ve gone from 95% bad days, to 95% good days. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a miracle cure, and some days I’m left scared to death the tablets will never work again because the back cloud has consumed me, but to me it has been life changing, and to my children and husband no doubt too!

If you are reading this and anything resonates with you then please, please, please, go and see your doctor. Your life matters, and your children need a happy, alive mother, you matter so very much. Be brave and speak out, you’re not a failure admitting you need support, you are a warrior! Don’t fight your monsters alone.

 

 

Memory Making & Blah Blah Blah

Memory making. A major phrase used on social media, and in hashtags. Have you seen it? Of course you have!

If you’ve followed my site for any length of time you know I am all about the memory making, most likely OTT some of the time, but I am desperate to ensure my boys have a childhood full of happy memories, not full of money, full of memories; picnics, crazy desserts, snuggles, books read by flashlight, spontaneous parties, forts and mud pies.

But do you know what? Some days I don’t want to make memories! Am I alone in this?

The park? Ew, no, it’s cold, we have to pack four hundred snacks to avoid hanger, it’s muddy and I cba cleaning wellies after.

The cinema? Ugh, no, it costs the same amount as my weekly grocery shopping and everybody needs a billion pees!

A theme park? My worst nightmare, convincing my kids to get into a queue, and wait to go on a ride that they keep convincing themselves not to go on, the hook a ducks there that cost half my mortgage, and the high probability they will fall asleep on the journey home and not go to sleep ever that night.

The beach? Suncream, towels, changes of clothes, moaning, fighting, wasps, etc etc, hmm, no, not today.

A family board game? Oh Lord, no. The tears over losing, the arguing, the cheating. Shall I go on?

A picnic? Momma doesn’t feel like slaving away over a picnic ensuring everybody’s tastes are catered for, and the wasps that always plague us? Nope, can’t be dealing with those today either! And the dogs that always manage to run through our picnic and terrify the kids, nope can’t be dealing with you today either. The damp butt from the soaked-through picnic blanket, the four year old eating ALL of the cakes and traumatising his brother. A picnic? No, thanks.

All f the above we do, regularly, but sometimes, just sometimes I just don’t want to, and why? Because I simply cannot be bothered with all it involves! Am I a bad mum? Ha ha, please tell me sometimes you just cba to make life magical!

Here’s to the low maintenance activities we can throw our kids way that still score us brownie points; duvet nights with a movie and popcorn, chalks on the garden floor, water-painting the garden, drawing competitions etc etc blah blah blah.

Some days CBA is more than ok to be your motto, none of us are Mary Poppins, none of us! But it’s ok, you’re doing great just as you are, even with all of the cba’s! Sometimes those cba’s are memory making at it’s finest!

This is Motherhood

Recently I saw a post on a social media site about motherhood and its reality, and it really struck a nerve with me. When you think of motherhood you picture children running merrily over hills flying kites whilst proud parents look on and smile, you think of wonderful picnics next to a lake with homemade cakes, you think of going on adventures,  peaceful visits to the toy store for a treat with happy and grateful children, you picture immaculate houses with children sitting and playing nicely, you think of craft activities and homemade collages, you think of family trips to the beach and building sand castles together, you picture homebaking with children who are eager to learn, you picture visits to the swings on hot summer days, you picture everything with rose-tinted-perfection glasses. Don’t get me wrong, all of these things can happen, but they’re missing a few details.

Motherhood is amazing. Motherhood is by far my most favourite journey i’ve ever embarked upon. Motherhood is the biggest privilege I have ever been given. But motherhood is hard, very hard. motherhood is picturesque. Motherhood is perfectly imperfect.

We are so hard on ourselves as mothers, we have so many unrealistic expectations of ourselves and failure of these is inevitable, but we don’t give ourselves a break. We think we are doing everything wrong, and worry that we are not creating enough good memories for our children, but if you’re loving them and are there for them then that is enough, more than enough.

Motherhood is not just the good times, not just the holidays, the treats, the games, the visits to the park, the fairground rides, the beach trips, motherhood is so much more than all of this.

Putting the fourth load of laundry that day into the washer and getting it out to dry, this is motherhood.

Wiping the spilt milk your 4yo spilt despite you reminding him to be careful three billion times, this is motherhood.

Sweeping up the stamped upon cereal for the third time that morning, this is motherhood.

Lying awake crying, worrying if you are really up to the job of being a mother, this is motherhood.

Filling out paperwork for nursery, and pre-school, and junior school, and senior school, this is motherhood.

Crying on the bathroom floor because you’ve not slept in what seems like forty years because your baby just will not sleep, this is motherhood.

Searching the house for a pacifier or a manky blanky for thirty minutes whilst your baby screams, this is motherhood.

Using baby wipes to clean everything in your house, this is motherhood.

Wearing the same pair of leggings and top most days of the week because you now spend all of your money on your children, this is motherhood.

Deciding to home-school because this is best for your children, this is motherhood.

Listening to your child talk about their favourite thing for what seems like 36 hours straight because that’s how long their stories take, yet you listen intently because you know listening now will mean they’ll know they can always talk to you, even when they have flown the nest, this is motherhood.

Lying on the floor all night next to your child’s bed when they have a fever, this motherhood.

Peeling soaking covers from your child’s bed when they have an accident, and reassuring them it’s ok, this is motherhood.

Kissing grazed knees and healing them with your kisses, this is motherhood.

Giving the last piece of dessert to your children when you so desperately needed that chocolate fix yourself when they’d already eaten their piece the day before, this is motherhood.

Placing a towel on top of a soggy sheet that your baby wet just so you can get some desperately needed sleep, this is motherhood.

Sniffing the brown, suspicious stain on the sofa, and licking it when smell alone fails, despite the possibility of it being poop, this is motherhood.

Using your scarf as a napkin when you forget to bring the baby wipes out again, this is motherhood.

Karate chopping the back of the knees of a flailing child so that you can get them into their car seat to get them home, this is motherhood.

Grocery shopping and children, need I say more? This is motherhood.

Looking your child in the eye and apologising when you yell, this is motherhood.

Kissing your child goodnight, and again, and again and again because they need ‘just one more’, this is motherhood.

Staying awake all night to take their temperature because they have a high fever, this is motherhood.

Working every hour God sends to provide a roof over your children’s heads and clothes on their back, this is motherhood.

Reminding them to wear their hat at school when the sun is out, this is motherhood.

Teaching them about safety, and strangers, and roads, this is motherhood.

Reading them stories at bedtime, at any time, this is motherhood.

Telling them you love them, hugging them, nuzzling them, sniffing them, this is motherhood.

Spending hours persuading them to take their medicine when they’re ill, despite wanting to give up trying, this is motherhood.

Cleaning mud off wellies, and washing waterproofs, this is motherhood.

Letting them play in sand, in water, in mud, on grass, outside, letting them explore, this is motherhood.

Holding their hand at the hospital and igniting their courage, this is motherhood.

The seen, the unseen, the heard, and the unheard, it’s all motherhood, whether daytime or early hours of the morning, everything you do for those children of yours is worth it, and they will remember. Their hearts will know. They will remember the mother who kissed the scraped knees, who made the world brighter with a snuggle, who said yes as often as was possible, who held them when they were scared, who never left their side when  germs took over, who listened to their stories and the things that were important to them, and the mother who loved them regardless of spillages and bad decisions.

Everything you do is important. It is not all about the fun Instagram-perfect memories, it’s everything you do behind the scenes that matters. Motherhood is the fun, but is also the mundane. Motherhood is the highs, but also the lows.  Motherhood is the picnics, and also the all-nighters.  All the things, big, small, happy, sad, challenging, they all weave into this beautiful journey of motherhood, all of them.

Motherhood is a little bit of everything,  so give yourself a break, you’re doing just fine in this gig called motherhood!

Becci Signature

 

A Video For The Mothers With A Different Story

What is a mother? A mother is a million things, all different, but all just as important!

Take a look…

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Whatever your story, you matter!

Share with somebody who you think needs reminding.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity

We love the story about The Very Hungry Caterpillar in our house we always have, and most likely always will. Over the years we have based so many activities on this story from paintings to taste testing, and this time story stones and play dough.

My six year is becoming an amazing reader, he is fascinated by books, and really gets lost in the story, I love watching him whilst he is reading.

I decided to make some story stones to use alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a way to extend the story further, and to also help my little boy who fidgets quite a lot. I added in some coloured play dough, a piece of bark, and a laminated leaf.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Setup

I took a few stones away to aid imagination. I then invited my six year old to come over and read the story with me if he wanted to, he excitedly obliged but told me he would be reading it to me. When he reached a part in the story he thought there should be a stone for, without prompting, he placed the stone in a timeline order.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity

When he came to a part and there was no stone he decided to use the play dough to make his own interpretation i.e: the little caterpillar, and the leaf he nibbled through.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity

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By the end of the book we had the whole story lined up with story stones and play dough and a beautiful stone butterfly on a piece of bark at the end. He was so proud. It really bought the story alive for him.

The very hungry caterpillar

This activity is so simple, yet so effective, and my six year old really enjoyed it. This was one of our favorite story themed activities so far, along with our Gingerbread Man activity we did a while ago.

Here’s our ‘stone how-to’:

Or stones were so easy to make, we simply painted on flat grey pebbles with acrylic paint and then once dry we outlined them with a permanent black marker pen. After a few hours to ensure the pen was dry we gave them a coating of matte Modge Podge. We then left them overnight to dry thoroughly. The possibilities are endless with story stones.

This activity is part of the National Reading Month Book Inspired Blog Hop hosted by a wonderful lady called Amy over at Learning and Exploring Through Play. Go take a look at all of the other wonderful ideas to bring books to life.

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Transport Themed Activity

When your children are under the weather you look for ways to keep them occupied that require a minimal set up and that use the least energy possible for them.

My two boys love cars, and trucks, and trains, and tracks, and roads. They also love making a mess. Today they were both under the weather so I began thinking about what activity we could do to brighten the afternoon that involved some of their favourite things.

After a quick look through my Facebook newsfeed I had a few ideas. I decided to upon a transport themed sensory activity.

I decided on using our puzzle track, 4 different modes of transport, and 4 different items that were very different in appearance and texture. I chose water beads, cotton wool balls, dried animal shaped pasta, and small plastic bottle tops.

Transport sensory activity set up

The aim of the activity was to fill up your mode of transport with your chosen items and then transport them along the track to the empty plates, and then carefully drop off your load. Along the way we placed stars, and if you managed to get all of your load to it’s destination carefully you were able to claim the star as a reward.

Transport Sensory Activity track set up

This transport themed sensory activity was a big hit with my two boys, they had so much fun!

I love watching them play, and engage in activities that strengthen their skills without them even realising it.

This activity was so good for their fine motor skills for various reasons; the track was a puzzle and they had to keep rebuilding it, they used scoops of various sizes to manipulate the objects into their chosen mode of transport, and they had to use precise movements in order to get their star reward.

Transport Themed Activity for Children

This transport themed sensory activity was also great for their hand-eye co-ordination. They had to plan their route along the track to drop off their objects. They even started counting the objects they had, bringing maths into the activity voluntarily.

Transport themed sensory activity for children

They had so much fun, and it is such a versatile activity – you could use anything around your home to recreate this transport themed sensory activity. We will definitely be making this a regular activity in our home!

Transport themed sensory activity by Swords & Snoodles

Why not have a go at creating your own transport themed sensory activity?

Mummy Matters!

Before becoming a parent, ultimately you only have yourself to please. You eat when you’re hungry, you drink when you’re thirsty, you sleep when you’re tired, you go on holiday to luxurious places, you play loud music at any time of day (or night), you can hide away in grumpy days, you can arrange big get togethers for special occasions, you shop until you drop, and you can pretty much do whatever you want to.

When you become a parent that all changes. All of it!

You eat when you have chance, sometimes not at all. You drink cold tea, cold coffee, and the odd pint of water when you’re head is throbbing from another night of no sleep.

You sleep when there is chance, which is pretty much never, and less than ‘never’ when germs are thriving.

You go on holiday to child-friendly places. Mojitos are replaced with Mojo the Monkey, or some other holiday club children’s mascot. Instead of relaxing by the pool you’re holding a flailing toddler in the pool who you are begging not to poop! Instead of that holiday spa treatment you normally indulge in a few times during your two-week break, you spend half of your holiday convincing a toddler to let you rub sunblock onto their sand-ridden skin, and the other half of the time trying to convince them to wear a hat so they don’t burn.

You don’t listen to music loudly, you don’t listen to music full stop. Kids TV does not count!

You spend your evenings being as quiet as possible, and you make every single person who enters your house aware of the unwritten rule when it comes to your babies – You wake ’em, you take ’em!

When you’re grumpy it doesn’t matter – the show must go on, and on it must! You have to paint on your smile and carry on being Mary Poppins! Your 2yo does not care if you’re feeling grumpy, they care if their raspberry jam has seeds or doesn’t, or if their orange juice is smooth or has bits!

And Shopping! O dearest shopping, how I miss thee! My children have made me despise you! I cannot go into this in too much detail, I am still grieving for the shopping days of old. The ones that were stress free, and enjoyable, and didn’t  involve anyone’s tears but my own!

Being a parent makes you feel like you have sacrificed your life and put it on hold. Although you love your babies more than life itself, it can be pretty daunting feeling like you are now just a mum, and nothing more. Your life seems to be on pause, and often we lose our identity.

Let me tell you this, you are not just a mummy!

Being a mummy (or daddy) is the most important job I have ever known. You are responsible for raising the next generation: the next prime minister, the next genius, the next doctor, the next entrepreneur, the next parent, the next designer, the next brain surgeon. Your role is vital. You are vital!

You may go to bed each night and lay there defeated after a other mundane day of wiping tears, cleaning grazes, cooking three meals, preparing snacks, breaking up fights, doing laundry, tidying toys, preparing crafts, baking, vacuuming, giving time-outs, yelling, wiping noses, washing hands, yelling some more, doing the school run, going to your other jobs, naptimes, ill children, shopping, and the like. Your pillow may often be soggy and mascara ridden. You may look in the mirror and dislike the reflection. You may replay your failures from the day before over and over again. You have to stop!

You matter! Mummy, daddy, you really matter!

Those tears you wiped have reassured your child that you love them, that you are their safe haven. You have instilled another fragment of self-worth into them, and in this world they need their self-esteem bucket brimming over. You restored their hope and vanquished their hurts.

The grazes that you cleaned up were not just physical. You cared for them, you helped them, you loved them. You hurt when they hurt. You have magical kisses! No other job role can brag about those! Cherish them!

The food you prepared, the snacks you made, and the thought behind it all are not just small parenting acts, they are huge. You ensure your child is healthy and happy. The broccoli battles are normal. The tomato tantrums are all part of being a child. Stand your ground momma, you know best!

The tidying, the vacuuming, the laundry, and the housekeeping is all appreciated. Without you the house would not be a home. Your zest for organisation and a clean home are admirable qualities that your babies notice, but get the balance right. Who needs sparkling floors anyway? You won’t use your last breath regretting the shelf you didn’t dust! Give yourself a break, the dust will still be there tomorrow! Your house does not define you, or your momma abilities.

Those five minutes you took to read a story matter, they matter every single day. They make your child feel worthwhile. The way your child told you a story about something they find exciting, and the way you looked them right in the eyes the whole time, that matters. They noticed. The gentle care you take when brushing their hair, and their teeth, that matters. The way you apologised after yelling at them today, that matters. You’re not a perfect human being, and nobody but you ever expects you to be.

Mummy, you matter. You matter a whole lot more than you think. You see the flaws, the chores, and the mundane, but your babies see their safe place, their security, their everything. Everything does change when you become a parent, but that’s because your everything has changed – it’s now in the form of a mini-you! A mini-you who watches your every move – go love yourself mummy!

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