I’m Not a Shit Mam, Just an Honest Mam

There is an article doing the rounds today, slamming the ‘slummy mummy’. Said article criticises big mummy bloggers, bloggers who chose to share very real life parenting, bloggers who so many ‘normal’ mums look up to and relate to. These bloggers make people realise that they aren’t alone, they aren’t a shit parent. They are just normal. It criticises their choices and even refers to them as slummy mummies.

The thing is, like me, these mums aren’t slummy, they are just honest.

Honest parenting is on the rise. For far too long we’ve been made to feel useless when other mother’s share their perfect lifestyles on social media. While I would love to be the pinterest perfect mother who lovingly crafts and bakes with their child that just isn’t me. I mean, I do these things, but I don’t necessarily enjoy them and they always go wrong. To those looking in on the outside I will never be a perfect parent, but I like to think that my daughter will grow up looking at me as the perfect parent for her.

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors, and it is so easy to hide that on social media, it is so easy to sell yourself as perfect when no one really is perfect.

I bake with Aria and it usually goes wrong and I almost always regret it. I share this with my readers. Why? Because I want them to know that they aren’t the only ones who hate baking with a toddler.

As much as I love my daughter I love having time away from her, time on my own, preferably with wine or sometimes even lager. I share this with my readers. Why? Because they may feel the same and if no one else admits to wanting time alone they may question their parenting.

My daughter has strops, lots of strops. There is the drop and strop. The I’m tired but I’m not going to sleep strop. The wrestling when I put her in the pushchair even though she is too tired to walk strop, to name but a few. I share this with my readers. Why? Because there is a big chance that their child has had at least one of these strops today and that they are feeling like maybe they did something wrong. I want them to know that they aren’t alone and that this is just what children are like.

I also share these things because sometimes I need the reassurance that I am not alone. Sharing these honest moments often results in support from other mothers, mothers telling me that I’ve got this, letting me know that their day has been equally as bad, or sometimes even worse. Honesty brings with it support, and support is what we need, motherhood is bloody lonely after all.  So, if my feeding my daughter fish fingers and chips in front of the TV offends you, I’m not sorry.

Sometimes, just sometimes I don’t like my toddler and quite fancy trading her in for a jägerbomb. Thanks to these ‘slummy mums’ I know that I am not alone in this. I am not a shit mam, just an honest mam.

I’m Jealous of My Husband… but he should be jealous of me

I’m jealous of my husband because he has mammoth lie ins.

I’m jealous of my husband because he gets to sit on his phone and scroll through his facebook newsfeed in the evenings without a toddler jumping all over him.

I’m jealous of my husband because he gets to go to work and escape home life.

I’m jealous of my husband because he gets to poop in peace.

I’m jealous of my husband because he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

I’m jealous of my husband because he gets to dictate our days out.

I’m jealous of my husband because he doesn’t get periods.

But do you know what? My husband should be jealous of me! 

My husband should be jealous of me because I regularly wake up before anyone else, and, if I’m quiet enough, I get to have a cup of coffee in complete silence (it usually only lasts five minutes, but still).

My husband should be jealous of me because when we are sitting on the sofas in the evening I get the best cwtches from our toddler who insists on sitting right next to, or on me.

My husband should be jealous of me because I get to spend so much time with our daughter. And that’s the best time in the world.

My husband should be jealous of me because I’m our daughter’s clear favourite, he wouldn’t agree to that but we all know it’s true.

My husband should be jealous of me because I get to work for myself from home which is pretty amazing, even if it does mean that I can never fully switch off. My only boss is our toddler, and possibly the cats.

My husband should be jealous of me because being unable to drive gives me the perfect excuse to sit in the passenger seat and relax.

My husband should be jealous of me because I got to carry and give birth to our daughter. He will never get to experience that.

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
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The Devon Mama lifestyle and parenting blog

The First One Thousand Days – The Importance of Protein in Breast Milk

Advertorial Feature

The first one thousand days of your baby’s life, right through from conception to toddlerhood, are not only the craziest, and often toughest days, but also the most important days for both baby and parents. During these days you will form bonds, discover new roles, and also set up your child’s nutritional foundation for life.

The first one thousand days are also the hardest days, the days when it is near enough impossible to think about getting through until the end of the day, let alone worry about health and nutrition. Thankfully these clever bodies of ours do all the hard work for us.

Fellow sleep deprived mama, do not fear, your breast milk is enough, your breast milk is packed full of good quality protein and will see your little baby flourish, as they’ll get the right amount at the right time.

In fact, breastfeeding has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth* in infancy (*UK-WHO growth charts based on the growth of breastfed infants, and World Health Organisation/Department of Health advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months). The protein level in breast milk changes and decreases as babies grow, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity of protein to help them grow at a steady rate.

Over the past 90 years, SMA® Nutrition has invested in early life nutrition research, and is committed to supporting good nutrition for babies during the first 1000 days which is why they have created this fab little infographic showing just how amazing protein in breast milk is.

blog post about the importance of protein in the first 1000 days of a babies life

ZTC1722a/04/17 SMA® Nutrition UK

A Work From Home Mam – The Reality

I had so many plans for when I became a work from home mam. I would cook from scratch daily, bake regularly and make my own bread. Aria and I would spend a lot of time crafting, and also go out on play dates at least once a week. My house would be spotless and the washing baskets would never overflow again. Who was I trying to kid!?!

The reality has been somewhat different. In fact, the only one of those things that happens on a regular basis is the bread making, and, to be completely honest, The Hairy Biker bread maker from Ideal World* makes it so easy that there is no reason I couldn’t have made my own bread back when I was working and blogging, so there is definitely no excuse not to do it now.

Review of the Hairy Bikers bread machine from Ideal World

It’s a  winner though, and I am glad that this is one of the few things that I actually do. Aria loves the bread maker, she sits on the worktop watching it, giggling when it kneads the bread and mimicking the whirring noises as the machine does it’s thing. I’ve yet to get her to eat the actual bread but getting her to eat most things is a challenge, except stock cubes of course (see facebook for more on this particular subject!). Spencer and I on the other hand absolutely love the beautiful, thick doorstop bread fresh from the machine. Getting used to it has taken a while, the paddle got stuck in the bread on the first few attempts but a good coating of oil on it seems to have solved that problem now.

As with most things in life I love to cut corners which is what makes the Hairy Biker’s bread maker perfect for me. I’ve decided to ignore the booklet full of recipes that comes with the machine and just buy ready made bread mixes. I simply measure out the required amount of water and pour it into the machine followed by the bread mix, close the lid and press go. As simple as that. Around three hours later I have a delicious loaf of super fresh and tasty bread. Winning.

blog review of the hairy bikers bread maker from ideal world

As for the crafts, well I was a bit clever there, I know that I always put crafts off so I signed up to become a Bostik Blogger which means that I HAVE to do crafts with Aria at least once a month. It is usually a last minute panic a few days before (or on the day of!) the deadline but she loves it all the same. My crafts are made with a lot of help from Aria so they never look great but believe me when I say that Aria puts a lot of effort into them and yes, I get incredibly frustrated watching her do them, especially when she sticks eyes on bums and that type of thing. It takes a lot to stay strong and not take over.

toddler crafting - the realities of a work from home mam

I dreamed of having weekends and evenings off when I become a work from home mam, and I do tend to take weekends off which is lovely. As for the evenings they are usually spent on the ‘gram, although I do try and stick to a posting schedule of Sunday – Thursday so that I get some evenings off. I’m putting a lot more in now and as a result I am getting a lot more out. My Instagram feed is nicely curated and my following and engagement have increased, and I’ve managed this without neglecting my blog. None of this would have been possible if I were still working part time and running a blog.

I wish I could tell you that I was now more organised with my working schedule. But that would be a lie.

And my house is still a tip. I like to spend my days off with Aria having fun, not cleaning and I like to spend my working days, well, working.

While being a work from home mam isn’t exactly what I had expected it to be, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

*Disclosure – The bread maker was sent to me in exchange for promotion*