The Monster In Law – Guest Post from The Devon Mama

This guest post is bought to you by Devon Mama.

 

They’re the butt of many a joke and have a (mostly) un-earned nickname as the ‘monster in law’ but are they really that bad? Yes, some of them are nightmares and some of them are complete dreams but what about when they’re yours?

When I first met my (now) husband, I didn’t think about his mother. I met and fell in love with a man who made me laugh, who made me feel safe and who enjoyed the same things that I did. We worked together and, since it’s my family’s business, he’d already met my parents; a fact that came with it’s own set of issues and it’s own story! It took moving in together, three months after our first date, to finally force the issue. I’d had enough of his evasiveness, it was time to meet the mother in law.

I should point out my mother in law isn’t a nightmare. She’s sporty, hardworking and has raised five children pretty much single-handedly. My husband adores her and I can’t fault her relationship with my son but when it comes to the two of us, it could do with a bit of work. Ultimately, she isn’t my mum. She’s got different values, different priorities and different mannerisms. What I think of as rudeness may just be her way. My fears that she doesn’t like me could just be shyness on her behalf of not knowing what to say. She may not offer to help us for fear of stepping on toes and whilst her ‘disinterest’ drives me crazy, it takes everything I have not to say too much to my husband.

I hate that he takes her side. That I cannot say a word against her without receiving a strong rebuttal. There’s always justification even when she’s genuinely being unreasonable. She’s currently stuck in her home with a broken arm because she can’t drive and she refuses to put her daughter on her car insurance. So instead, my husband has to play taxi. Her stubbornness drives me to the edge of distraction and yet he sees it as completely normal. And so the bickering begins.

But ultimately, would I rather a man who feels dispassionately about his mum? Do I want our son to grow up seeing a man who doesn’t value his mother’s input? Would I rather he just didn’t care? The answer is (almost definitely) no. Yes, I find it difficult when I’m in the position of wife but I also have to remind myself that I’m not JUST a wife anymore. That one day, hopefully, I too will be a mother in law myself, trying to balance the feelings of no longer being the most important guide in my sons life with still being involved, still feeling useful, still feeling loved.

It’s times like that that I remind myself of how difficult that role must be. That, if my son is lucky enough to marry and start a family himself, the chances are that I will be the bone of contention. Me. The one who’s been there herself and knows how that feels. Suddenly it makes it easier to hold back my frustration. She might be different to my mum but she’s still been there in the middle of the night for my husband, wiped his bottom, wiped his tears, held him tight. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the monster in law is a human, just like me. A mum who once struggled with a mother in law herself.


Devon Mama is run by me; Hayley – a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with my husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon, I can usually be found attempting to cook, Googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with ‘a lot of potential’ and a return to my ‘real’ job as a Company Director and it’s organized chaos at the best of times.

You can follow our adventures here:

https://devonmama.com
https://twitter.com/devon_mama
https://instagram.com/devonmamaonline
http://pinterest.com/devonmamaonline
http://facebook.com/devonmamaonline

The Devon Mama lifestyle and parenting blog

Guest Post : How to Cope with Unwanted Parenting Advice

Hello! My names Eilidh and I’m the blogger behind Maisy Meow. As a first time mum to 3 month old Oliver, I’m still learning the ropes with this whole motherhood thing and I’m sharing my experiences along the way. Baby chat aside, I love interiors and anything Pinterest related. My blog is a bit of everything going on in my head, alongside some pretty pictures, so make yourself a cuppa and drop by for a visit.

how to cope with unwanted parenting advice blog post

Before I start this post, I want to be the first to point out the irony. Yes, this post in itself is parenting advice but let’s assume that if you’ve clicked on this, you’re open to it. Now, with that out the way…
One of the many surprises when becoming a parent is how many people want to tell you how to do it. Whether you’re doing something ‘wrong’, doing too much of this or not enough of that, everyone wants to share their pearls of parenting wisdom when they see a new baby. If you’ve asked for the advice or it’s coming from a close friend or relative, great. I often ask for baby advice on my blog or on my instagram and I love reading through all the tips from everyone. But when it’s a stranger in the supermarket, you’re stressed out and sleep deprived, advice on your parenting can come across as criticism or to put it bluntly, a slap in the face.
Every baby is different. The breakthrough trick that worked with someone else’s baby might be one in a list of failed attempts you’ve had with yours. Or you might have already heard that cliche baby ‘tip’ from the lady on the bus this morning (and the man at the checkout this afternoon). If you’re like me, you probably have a pre-made rant that you could recite every time this situation occurs but let’s face it, do you really want to spend your days lecturing every self-declared parenting expert you come across?
Unwanted baby advice is something that’s going to come your way whether your like it or not, unfortunately, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to learn how to handle it. 
First things first, remember that behind every piece of advice is a good intention. You might have to wade through some judgement and ignorance to find it sometimes, but everyone who gives you baby advice is ultimately trying to help in their own way.
It’s also important to set the boundaries for advice as early as you can. The worst thing you can do is get yourself into a situation where you bite your tongue the first few times then suddenly snap and lose your temper after hours of unwanted baby advice. If you don’t want to hear it, give them a simple smile, ‘thanks’ and move on with your day. You don’t have to justify yourself, or tell them why their advice isn’t useful to you. Don’t allow the conversation to begin. Silence is powerful and will make it pretty clear that you’re not interested. 
You can unintentionally invite advice from people if you’re talking about an issue you’re facing with your baby.  You might just be looking for someone to listen, but the natural response is for the other person to try and help in some way. Learn to expect advice in this situation and be careful who you vent to. 
And lastly, the simple advice that’s definitely easier said than done – rise above it. You’re the parent and you know your baby better than anyone. You know what advice to take on board, what to discard and you will ultimately make a decision based on what’s best for you and your baby. Handling unwanted parenting advice is just another challenge that comes with the parenthood package and at the end of the day, it can only make your skin thicker. 

I hope that you enjoyed this guest post and if you did please do go visit Eilidh on her channels :

Blog: www.maisymeow.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaisyMeowBlog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maisymeowblog
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MaisyMeowBlog

Understanding the Feelings that Come with Donor Egg Usage
Author Bio : Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.

Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. She is sharing her experiences in this guest post entitled understanding the feelings that come with donor egg usage

Infertility is more common than you think. It sometimes a hush-hush topic or considered taboo, which is why many people keep their fertility journals private and do not share a whole lot about their feelings, thoughts and emotions. But, the truth is that you probably know quite a few people dealing with the sense of hopelessness that infertility can cause.

Fortunately, there are many options for couples dealing with family building challenges. There is no cookie cutter way to handle infertility. Some couples may choose other means to start a family, or simply decide to find other goals in life. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the situation and each journey is unique and special. Finding an egg donor is a choice that some couples make, and it can be a wonderful experience.

I started this company in hopes of creating a safe place for people to come with their concerns, questions and ideas. It is not a place where we are going to tell you what to do. It is a place where you tell us what you want, and we do everything in our power to make it happen. The control is in your hands.

The Pain of Infertility

When you begin trying to get pregnant and month after month you aren’t successful, it can be surprising and frustrating. Initially you think it just may take more time. Then over time you realize that you may not be able to get pregnant on your own. When this happens, it is natural to feel angry, depressed and anxious. Your vision for your future has been altered. You will have to come to terms with your new reality, but that will take time. Give yourself some time to work through it and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Infertility can be painful for couples. It can be especially hard on the parent who feels that they are “to blame.” If you are looking for donor eggs, then you have probably determined that the issue is with your eggs. But you are not to blame for anything. You are not in any way at fault. You are not damaged. You are still worthy of being a mother. You have not failed as a wife.

You may even feel concerned that your husband will leave you, or that extended family is judging you. The stress of infertility can make you imagine such worst-case scenarios. However, if anyone ever makes you feel like you are faulty or not good enough because you haven’t produced a baby, just know that they do not understand the way that infertility works and its many causes.

Coping with the Disappointment of Not Using Your Own Eggs

It can be a terrible feeling to have to come to terms with the fact that your eggs are not an option when it comes to building your family. Many women dream of being pregnant, carrying a baby, and bringing that baby home to a loving family. We rarely consider the possibility that our eggs will not be viable for whatever reason. But when a woman is confronted with this reality, it is natural and normal to feel a sense of grief.

You may feel sad that you will not share the genetic connection that you have always dreamed of, but children come to families in a multitude of ways. Yours will just come to you in a slightly different manner than you had imagined. Rest assured, your baby will be your pride and joy – even if he or she doesn’t look just like you.

Life with Children


The most important thing that you will have to prepare for is actually raising your baby.However this beautiful gift comes to you, your life will be changed forever. Your child, or children, will give you renewed sense of purpose and hope.

My family was built on a strong foundation of love and mutual respect, but not on genetics. We have become parents through adoption as well as donor egg IVF and our children are every bit as much mine as they ever would have been if I had been able to get pregnant “the natural way.” I also enjoy that my twins that were conceived with donor eggs have a genetic connection to my husband and that I was able to carry the pregnancy.

I am so happy to be a part of Donor Egg Bank, USA because it helps people to achieve their dreams and overcome an obstacle that may seem overwhelming or insurmountable. I am inspired daily by the stories of clients and friends. They never gave up on their dreams of a family, and neither should you. There are options out there. You may also be shocked to find out how many people you know who have dealt with this issue. Be open and honest with a few friends and you will likely be flooded with stories of family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues who face the infertility struggle. You are not alone.

 

*Sponsored Guest Post*

Guest Post : This Mum Business – Parenting Style

Today I’ve got a guest post for you, written by Jodie who blogs over at This Mum Business. Jodie covers a wide variety of subjects on her blog, including parenting, business and life as a mum raising a little girl with a Growth Hormone Deficiency.

Jodie from This Mum Business guest posting on A Slice of My Life Wales about her parenting style

In  an ideal world I would really like to consider myself to be a mindful attached parent. I completely buy into the idea that we raise very self aware children, able to understand their own emotions and confident and secure in themselves that they know it’s ok to show them. My eldest daughter Niamh is a very sensitive 6 year old. She is kind, considerate but also a very typical 6 year old who can make even the most patient Mother’s ears bleed. Yesterday, I had a morning from the bowels of hell.

It was so bad that I feel like I contradicted everything I’ve strived hard to teach Niamh about handling emotions and i’m ashamed. We were late up. The baby woke up just as I was about to get dressed which spells disaster as clothes needed ironing. I resolved to get dressed in the living room so I could distract the baby with Peppa Pig. Niamh was taking an age putting on her uniform and punctuating each item with a verse from High School Musical. My stress levels had risen to just behind my eyes.
Finally dressed, I grabbed the brush to do her hair. I was midway through the first stroke and she started to cry.

“Owwwww!”
“I’ve barely given it one brush! It can’t be hurting you…”
“Owwwwwwwwww!”
Cue more sobs.
“Stop crying!”
“I can’t help crying! I said that to my friends at school”
“Why were you crying at school?”
“My friends were bossing me around so I cried”
“Oh Niamh, no one likes a cry baby”
“I AM NOT A CRY BABY!”

In those six words I had managed to dismiss her feelings as unimportant and silly. I had made her feel silly too when really I should have acknowledged why she had felt upset at school and how to feel better about things. I apologised later that night and she seemed totally forgiving (although she admitted she had told her teacher I called her a cry baby – mortified doesn’t even cover it).

Neil thought I was over reacting but I just didn’t ever want her to become the class outcast. So fragile that it wasn’t worth playing with her. I want her to be self assured at school although her sensitivity also makes her who she is and she completely rocks. I never want to change her, such a contradiction!

I could have handled it a hell of a lot better but I guess that’s Motherhood. Trying to see the best practices through a fog of occasional rage and exhaustion and just hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

If you would like to see more from Jodie she can be found on the below social channels : 

Guest Post : Family Fun in Tenby

I am a born and bred Welsh girl and I have to admit that out of all the places in Wales, Tenby is my favourite place to go. Whether it’s for a day trip or a weekend away, it is a must!

I’ve been visiting Tenby since I was a little girl, so it’s only natural that I take my daughter there now.

It usually takes me around 40 to 50 minutes to get to Tenby, but the drive is worth it! When you are there the parking is cheap and there is plenty to do.

My favourite place for food is The Lifeboat Tavern, but if you don’t fancy pub grub there are plenty of other places around.

The beaches are by far my favourite ones in Wales. Tenby Harbour Beach is breathtakingly beautiful, but I wouldn’t say it was the most popular for families. It’s hard to say why as it has in recent years been voted the most beautiful beach in Europe.

Tenby Harbour Beach most beautiful beach in Europe

North Beach however is definitely more popular with families and tends to be the busier of the two.

This was the beach where a seven year old me was told that if I went into a certain cave I would come out as a mermaid. I then cried for the rest of the day as despite me wanting to be a mermaid when I grew up, the reality of it scared me just a little bit.

North beach tenby

We  had a fantastic time on North Beach and it was the first proper time my daughter had experienced the sand and the sea. Needless to say, she loved it!


baby at tenby beach in splash swim suit

From this beach you can also get a boat over to Caldey Island which is inhabited by monks. On the island there are churches, small homes, gift shops, a chocolate factory, a lighthouse and more. It’s my favourite thing to do when I am in Tenby as the sense of calm there is unreal.


Caldey Island which is inhabited by monks Tenby

Also, the view of Tenby from Caldey Island is also breathtaking. I love just wandering the island and enjoying the quiet. It is definitely somewhere I could move to – I’m not a hustle and bustle city girl that’s for sure!


Caldey Island Tenby views

If you ever visit Wales make sure that Tenby is on the top of your priority list. Whether you are young or old there will be something for you to love and I am sure you will keep going back like I do!


____________________________________________________________

Thank you Jenna for this lovely guest post, Tenby sure if beautiful and I’m going to have to look into visiting soon! If you enjoyed this post then check out Jenna’s blog, Then There Were Three, Jenna blogs about parenting, lifestyle and general randomness!

If you would like to contribute to the ‘family fun in..’ series please email me.