Coping With Tears At Nursery Drop Off

If there is one thing that I’ve learnt over the last eight months, it’s that in terms of every day parenting of a pre-schooler, there aren’t many things that are worse than when you drop them off at nursery only to be traumatised by their huge desire to not want to be left, followed by an influx of tears and pleas of “Mummy don’t go!” The result? Feeling like the shittiest parent that ever walked the earth.

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Ethan started nursery in January. He was later than a lot of kids his age, but we have been quite lucky in terms of having grandparents to help with our childcare and last year when my Mum was so poorly, it wasn’t the right time for him to be starting somewhere so new and daunting when things were so unusual at home for him. As soon as he got his government funded hours we were happy to send him for a couple of mornings a week while I worked. He had got to an age where he needed to mix more and develop his social skills and so far he’s been amazing!

As expected at the beginning it took a bit of getting used to and I was prepared for the quivering bottom lip and the teary goodbyes and of course, they happened, but they soon settled down and he began to really enjoy it. It’s worked wonders for him too. He has come on leaps and bounds in those eight months and we were beyond proud at our last parents evening when we were told how brilliant he’s doing.

Then the Summer holiday’s started. Ethan goes to his usual sessions in the Summer as he has enough hours to spread across the year. The case isn’t the same for all of the other children and so he’s found himself amongst some new children. Some older, some younger and its most definitely not as busy. Somehow and for some reason this has seriously upset him.

For the last two weeks I have had such a bad time during nursery drop off. Tears before getting out of the car. ‘Big cuddles’ that he won’t release me from. Outstretched arms reaching for me as I walk out of the door and me sat in the car trying to pull myself together only to burst into tears with the sadness and guilt of leaving behind my upset little boy. There it is again. The shittiest Mum in the world feeling.
Of course after ten minutes he is usually fine. (Save for the first day this happened when I had to go and pick him up. That has never happened before). Once he’s been there a little while he settles down and enjoys himself. But we don’t see that bit do we? For the rest of our day all we can visualise is the bright red face with the streaming eyes and the snotty nose and the sound of “Mummy don’t go!” on repeat. For the rest of our day we live in a pit of guilt.

Ethan’s nursery is fantastic and thankfully so are all the staff. They are brilliantly understanding and are always a great help when it comes to the ‘big goodbye’. They always let me know he’s okay as well which is reassuring when you’re in the middle of a guilt trip trauma. His key worker is wonderful with him and he loves her to pieces. I’m so glad they have such a good relationship otherwise this phase would be so much worse.

Needless to say, Tuesday and Thursday mornings are fast becoming my least favourite times of the week. I wake up anxious and I know that in turn, that probably makes him anxious, but I’m not a robot and I can’t switch off my emotions. It’s something we will just have to get through together.

I know the phase will likely be over as fast as it began and I take comfort in that fact. But until that day, I’ll be the one sat outside nursery in my car trying to pull myself together to go about my day. But at the same time safe in the knowledge that there’s another Mum out there doing exactly the same thing.

 


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Jaki is a thirtysomething Mumma to one – winging motherhood since 2012. Intuitive over-thinker with a penchant for loud music, nice shoes & woolly socks and blogger at JakiJellz.

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Top Ten Toddler Time Saving Tips

I’m just coming to the end of two weeks annual leave and it’s been great; exactly the break I needed after a really stressful and busy month at work.

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The first week I got to enjoy some much needed quality time with the Child and the second week I packed her back off to nursery and had three days to myself. It was bliss and certainly helped me get back into my blogging groove. But it did get me wondering how on earth I was going to keep up this momentum once I’m back at work. The Child obviously takes up most of my time outside of work so I’ve decided if I can save a few  toddlers minutes here and there I’ll free up enough time to continue blogging as I want. After a bit of experimenting I’ve come up with the following my top ten toddler time-saving tips.

1. Don’t wash them
I mean what is the actual point? They’re only going to get dirty again and if you stop washing them, eventually they’re natural oils will start cleaning them. Probably.

I would also suggest forgoing the twice-daily teeth clean but I’m not a monster.

2. Do the crafts yourself
If, like me, your toddler is unable to follow Pinterest’s 86-step guide on making an scale model of the Jurassic period complete with a glitter, solar-powered meteorite that is timed to hit the model at noon every day, then just stick CBeebies on, make the model yourself and just say your toddler did it. Maybe accompany the Facebook post with a photo of said toddler with an artfully applied smear of paint on their nose. CUTE!

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3. Get a dog
This cuts down your ‘sweeping up food from the floor time’ to zero. Sure, you might spend time sweeping up the dogs hair because he seems to shed ALL THE DAMN TIME but, if you don’t sweep it up eventually all the balls of fur mat together and you look like you’ve got a chic new carpet that requires no hoovering. Double time-saving whammy high-five.

4. Never leave the house.
It’s just easier but you might want to occasionally stick their arms out a window to get some Vitamin D.

5. Don’t cook from scratch
No one really cares except you and, if you’re honest, you only care a little bit when Netmums or Jamie Oliver tell you to. The sooner we all accept that toddlers just want to eat toast and oven-baked crap the less time we can all waste blending, simmering and creaming. And for those days you do care, just prop a colour photo of what you could have made on the table in front of you and call it imaginary play.

6. Forget potty training
Let’s face it, when they’re in their eighties our toddlers are going to start shitting themselves again anyway so just skip the 78 years between now and then and give everyone a break.

7. Superglue any removable parts to toys
If I could add up the amount of time I’ve spent looking for Elsa’s bloody shoe (which doesn’t even belong to the Elsa doll the Child has but her cousin’s Elsa doll) I’d be a blogging superstar by now (because it’s obvs only time that’s stopping me becoming a blogging superstar and not a complete lack of personal marketing nouse or writing ability).

8. Fill the paddling pool with sun tan lotion

Why spend time chasing a toddler round the garden whilst squirting sun tan cream randomly in the hope some of it comes into contact with their skin, only for them for spend 10 minutes in the paddling pool before you have to repeat the whole sorry episode when you can combine the two activities? Phew, long sentence.

9. Limit all extra-curricular activities to those that don’t require your attendance

If you do have to leave the house because the children require some mental stimulation and/or physical exercise (selfish) find a class that you can perform the old ‘hug and roll’ recommended by that 90’s documentary Friends. I favour our local ballet class on a Saturday morning – the minute the teacher suggested parents no longer needed to stay I was out of there and in Costa drinking a Chai Latte before the first naughty toe had even been imagined.

10. Give up taking the perfect selfie

Life is too short for that shit.


Me and the ChildHi, I’m Suzanne and after spending my twenties thinking about all the things I’d write if I had the time I’m determined to spend my thirties actually writing. As a mum of a two-year old, my blog – and another ten things – explores the funnier side of parenting and life in lists of ten. I originally set it up as a way to make myself write regularly but two months in I’m completely hooked on blogging. One day I’d love to make a living from writing but for now it’s how I spend my evening between my daughter’s bathtime and catching up on Neighbours. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Five Stay At Home Mum Survival Tips

I’ve been a stay-at-home mum for almost seven years now. Most days serve up a bewildering contrast of mayhem and monotony, which took me a while to get used to (as did many aspects of parenting. I’ll be fully used it any day now, I promise). While no day is the same, every day is built around the same routine. At 8.50am we’ll be running late for school, at 5.30pm you will most certainly find me on my hands and knees scraping food off my kitchen floor while trying to avoid being flattened by a trike and at 7pm you will hear a welcome ‘glug-glug’ as wine meets glass.

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During this time, I have learned a few things that have become inherent to my survival. I’m sure they apply equally to working mums as well, I’m just writing this from a stay-at-home perspective because that’s my experience. There’s no judgement here. I think all mums are superheroes, so let’s just park that there. Good.

AVOID CABIN FEVER AT ALL COSTS

If I don’t leave the house for a day, something strange happens. My skin goes a kind of dull green colour, my teeth become pointy and scales break out over my back. Yep, I become a bit of a monster.

There’s only one way to cure this affliction and it’s pretty simple – step outside the house. I go for a walk, to a play group or to see a friend. If I’m really stuck for things to do, I might take my son to Tesco, which is great exercise for mind and body as I try to stop him poking his finger through the cling film on the packets of mushrooms (sorry, that was him).

If you start to feel clucky, just go. Even if you have nowhere to go, find somewhere. Leave your four walls before they start closing in. Staying indoors all day is the equivalent of torture to me. You may as well put me on the rack. I see all the house work that needs doing, I feel closeted and my patience levels decrease significantly. That’s why wind, rain, hail or shine you will find me on the outside of my castle for at least part of the day.

I know how hard it can be to leave the house sometimes. Are the efforts of packing the changing bag, battling to put the toddler’s shoes on and retrieving the keys from inside the cat’s litter tray worth it? Yes!

FIND A CREATIVE OUTLET

I’m not talking about finger painting and Play Doh; I mean find some kind of creativity just for you. My thing is writing and I fiercely guard the time I spend alone with a pen and a pretty notebook. Not only are these precious, snatched moments crucial for my own sanity, but if I didn’t make the effort to find time for this my family would undoubtedly suffer too.

Make finding time for your own creativity a priority – put it right up there with feeding and clothing your kids.

My favourite opportunity to indulge in a bit of ‘me time’ used to be while my kids napped. Generally, by the time evening arrives in all its peaceful glory, I’m too exhausted to do anything useful.

Sadly, naps are now a thing of the past. Instead I have taken to waking up earlier than the rest of the house. This is damn early, around 5am, but it’s more than worth it. Silence, a hot cup of coffee and some time to write – I can’t think of a more perfect start to the day.

If you think you’re not a creative person, think again. You don’ have to have a passion, just follow your curiosity (you could start by reading Liz Gilbert’s book Big Magic, Creative Living Without Fear if you need some inspiration). Remember this isn’t about being the best at or even good at what you choose to do. Pure enjoyment, fulfilment and release – that’s what you’re aiming for.

SPEND TIME WITH YOUR MUM FRIENDS

I love my mum friends with a kind of unspoken desperation I hope they never notice. This is not only because they understand my deepest fears, don’t wear judgy pants and have bottomless biscuit tins but also because no mum is an island. When I had my first daughter, I was an island for a while; it was a lonely and miserable place.

My mum friends are there to support me when my son terrorises other kids at toddler groups, for providing witty observations and solutions to my problems and, of course, for well-needed nights out.  Sometimes we even do well-being type stuff like Pilates under the pretence of having a playdate. Moments like this are completely necessary for keeping my sanity intact, even with my toddler sitting on my lady bits while my leg is elevated 90 degrees, screaming ‘mummy up!’

I know how hard it can be to make a good group of mum friends, especially if you’re shy and you haven’t got a ready-made network of other mums to connect with. I know it can take a long time and a lot of effort. I get it. But trust me on this, it is worth it.

KEEP YOUR CV UPDATED

I’ve been a stay at home mum for almost seven years. When I do eventually try to re-join the workplace, I’m going to need to provide references. I’ll also have to demonstrate that my skills amount to more than the ability to prevent a toddler from gauging his eyes out with a spoon.

My advice to anyone who is planning to spend a prolonged period away from employment is to try and avoid a blank space on your CV. Take part in some kind of voluntary or other work experience to keep your existing skills topped up and learn new ones.

I volunteered for my daughter’s pre-school for three years and then started volunteering for another charity. I also ran my own business for a few years before my son was born. All of this has enabled me to learn countless new skills, which is especially important because I have no intention of returning to the type of work I did before I had kids. Through trying new things I’ve been able to forge a career path of sorts and I now have clarity about what I want to do in the future.

There have been many other advantages to volunteer work. I’ve met some amazing people who have become good friends, I feel like I’m making a difference somewhere other than my home and my CV doesn’t look like the inside of Joey Essex’s head.

LEARN TO GIVE YOURSELF TIME OUT

When every day is pretty much the same, you get to know your trigger points pretty quickly. For me, it’s between the hours of 5 and 7pm when I’m tired, slightly irritated and yet, somewhat unfairly, need to exert monumental energy into the dinner, bath and bed routine. As much I love my children, by 5pm I’m more than ready for them to merrily make their way to the land of nod.

It doesn’t take much to send me careering over the edge during these twilight hours. My son having a dump in the bath or someone deciding to empty a tub of magic sand over the living room carpet, for example.

No-one wants to be shouty, stress mum, but all too often that’s exactly what I become. However, when I feel myself about to snap, I try to walk away and have a self-imposed time out for five minutes. A few deep breaths, a slight perspective check (it’s only sand in the living room not a landmine) and a reminder to push on through because bedtime is in sight all help me to keep my cool.

It’s ok to walk away for a while. In fact, most of the time, it’s essential to do so.

Motherhood, as well as being deeply rewarding, is damn hard at times. I’ve found that introducing small, reliable processes for coping can make all the difference. As can wine.

Surviving with your sanity intact – that’s what it’s all about. Although, I now have the Hokey Cokey running through my head so perhaps it hasn’t worked as well as I thought?


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Aimee Foster is the co-founder of mum friendship website, Mum Amie, where she also blogs about parenting, baby loss and well-being. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Learning To Lower My Expectations Has Made Me A Happier Parent

I’ve lost count of the number of baby showers I’ve attended where the guests are asked to proffer a piece of parenting advice on a frilly piece of card for the mum-to-be. I always struggle with this; it takes more than a few lines of generic sentiment to share anything worth knowing about parenthood.

Is there a catch-all piece of advice to make parenting an easier experience? Categorically not. But occasionally a light-bulb blazes within, something clicks and you think ‘Yes! I wish I’d realised that sooner!’ This article is a result of one of those epiphanies.


It came about one uncharacteristically glorious day at the end of April. The sky was an expanse of uninterrupted blue, the sun was making its debut and the air was balmy, so my husband suggested we take the kids to the beach after school.

As soon as we arrived, our toddler son had his own ideas about what he wanted to gain from the trip and they didn’t tally with ours. His idea of fun was blithely running away from us, licking the floor, trying to throw stones at dogs and throwing an epic tantrum when it was time to come out of the sea.

Our six year old daughter found every possible opportunity to moan about how we were hell-bent on subjecting her to insurmountable boredom. Furthermore, we were the worst parents in the world because we only bought her one ice-cream. The sea was too cold, the seaweed too gloopy and the sand too sandy – all factors which we had purposefully engineered just to annoy her. She made it clear that she would much rather be at home watching Harry Potter for the zillionth time.

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As we packed the kids into the car, my weary husband turned to me and said, ‘Next time I suggest a quick trip to the beach after school, remind me it is NOT a good idea’. His brow-beaten expression was all too easy to read. He hadn’t enjoyed our impromptu beach visit at all.

The funny thing was, despite the moaning, tantrums and questionable behaviour, I had really enjoyed the trip.

Why were mine and my husband’s experiences of the same outing so different? The answer had to lie in our expectations. My husband had clearly envisioned a fun-filled and relaxing excursion. His mind had us walking hand-in-hand along the shore, all tousled hair and wide smiles. The reality was entirely different. It was stressful, trying and energy draining. So why did I enjoy it so much? Because I had expected nothing more.

This led me to think about the role expectations play when it comes to parenting. It hit me that every time parenthood has left me disappointed, stressed, frustrated, angry or upset it is because I set my expectations too high.

Let’s take it back to the very beginning and my first pregnancy. I spent months browsing catalogues full of cute baby clothes, organising baby toiletries into beautiful displays and imagining cosy days by the fireside with my gurgling new-born. She would sleep, naturally, and my life would continue in relative undisturbed harmony. In imagining that nothing much would change, I had already set my expectations of parenting way too high. I was destined to experience the despair, worry, exhaustion and tears which became the reality of her first few weeks on Earth.

While no first time mother can fully grasp the way parenthood changes every fabric of her being, perhaps some lower expectations would make the whole transformation period slightly more palatable. Motherhood turned out to be nothing like the vision portrayed in the stacks of catalogues I had placed in my baby’s colour coordinated nursery.

Fast forward a few years to the birth of my son and my expectations were wholly different. During my pregnancy with him, I anticipated that the early days would be exhausting and difficult. I expected to have no time to myself, for neither of us to sleep and for my life to be completely given over to this tiny new person. I drew on my experiences of my first baby and lowered my expectations to ground level.

Imagine my delight when he arrived and I coped just fine. In fact, unlike my initial fraught weeks of motherhood five years earlier, I really enjoyed his early days. Yes I was tired, but not as much as I expected to be. I had moments of bewilderment and exasperation, but on the whole it was far easier than expected.

Learning not to set my expectations of other people on par with my own high self-expectations has helped me greatly in avoiding disappointment and unhappiness in my life. I find this applies equally to parenthood.

If I expect someone to empty a packet of cornflakes over the living room floor moments after I vacuum it, I won’t lose my temper. If I expect my toddler to push his plate away while screaming ‘Yuk!’ in response to my carefully crafted meal, I won’t feel disenchanted. If I expect an outing to our favourite restaurant to result in an hour of attempting to prevent my son escaping from his highchair while listening to my daughter moan about being bored, I may actually enjoy myself. And moreover, lower expectations may cause me to be pleasantly surprised on occasion.

Once we have children, we eventually become accustomed to our new child-centric lives. However, we may hang on to our pre-parenthood, high expectations for too long. My husband has lived through countless outings similar to the aforementioned beach trip and yet he still hadn’t learned to lower his expectations accordingly.

My one piece of advice for every mum-to-be at every future baby shower I attend will be just that. Leave your high expectations of parenthood at the door. One of my friends perfectly summed up the reality of parenthood when she said, ‘Motherhood has made me and broken me in equal measures’.

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I know exactly what my friend was getting at. I’m sure every parent does. By all means expect joy, unconditional love and fulfillment from parenthood. It will certainly deliver on all three counts. Parenthood can be wonderful. However, by expecting parenthood to habitually flaunt its difficult sides (stress, frustration, worry and exhaustion to name but a few), I have found my experience of parenting has become a considerably happier one.


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Aimee Foster is the co-founder of mum friendship website, Mum Amie, where she also blogs about parenting, baby loss and well-being. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

You Can’t Possibly Parent With Piercings. Or Tattoos. Or Dreadlocks.

One of the things I have found in life is that people are judgemental. No matter what you do, people have to pass comment. Get a new haircut? Someone will have to say something. Changed your make up? Everyone is suddenly a make up artist. Chosen to become a mum? People will give you advice left, right and centre.

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One of the biggest things that people seem to be judgmental about is how you choose to portray yourself. Currently, I have dreadlocks – which I adore – a nose ring and a few tattoos. Yesterday, shopping in Tesco, a woman said to her partner ‘look how dirty she is, I dread to think how her baby will turn out’. My dreadlocks are fake, I wash my hair daily and I often shower twice a day, which is more than an awful lot of people I know. If she was referring to how my baby would ‘turn out’ in terms of being like me, there is an awful lot worse she could be. If she ‘turned out’ to be a young woman with dreadlocks, a nose piercing and a few tattoos which she had chosen and paid for herself, whilst studying at university, running a house and being a mum, I would be proud of her. I don’t understand why the way that a person chooses to look means that they will adhere to all of the stereotypes that are related. I am married, my husband and I work hard for everything we have and I don’t rely on anyone else, so if I want to get a tattoo, it is nobody’s business but mine. Some of the most tattooed and pierced people I have ever met have made the greatest parents.

I am friendly with a model/burlesque performer called Roxy Reveals– the type of girl my parents warned me about. She has multiple facial piercings, she has lots of tattoos and she is extremely well known within the burlesque community. Going on how people judge others, she is the type of girl I should avoid. She has a daughter of a similar age to Little R, and actually, she is one of the greatest people I have ever met. She has the greatest morals, and the best parenting skills, I have ever come across in a person. Despite the fact she has a full sleeve and a ring through her septum, she is absolutely amazing, and someone I am proud to call a friend.

I don’t understand the taboo with piercings or tattoos. Understandably, the tattoos that are permanently on show – on the face, the neck, or the hands – may be seen as unprofessional but does it change a persons qualities or behaviours?

For me, I think that these people are just more comfortable in their own skin, they know what they want and they aren’t afraid to show it. They have decorated their skin because it is what they want to do, and they don’t care about the opinions of strangers.

I admire these people more than anything, to the point where I wish i was brave enough to become heavily pierced, heavily tattooed and heavily dreadlocked. The shaming needs to stop; people have always been – and will always be – quick to judge others and unfortunately it is ‘human nature’. All I can do is look forward to a time when we wont feel the need to pass comment, maybe we should focus on our own flaws and not worry about how others choose to represent themselves.


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A wife, mother and crazy basset hound owner, Catherine enjoys cups of tea, reading books and spending time with her beautiful daughter and gorgeous dog, Bertie. Check out her blog Pretty in Playdough to read more of her inspiring posts and find her on Facebook and Twitter. 

20 Things No One Tells You About Childbirth

I was so naive when I was pregnant with my first child. I didn’t have a birth plan, but having suffered with very painful, undiagnosed endometriosis for 10 years previously, I was adamant that I was not going to have any pain relief as I THOUGHT I had a high pain threshold.

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This is a rough run-through of how my labour went. Why am I sharing this? Because sometimes it’s nice to have a realistic account of what labour could be like. I was in labour for 21 hours, which ended up as an emergency forcep delivery in theatre. This was the exact opposite to how I imagined it was going to go! If labour is on the cards for you, I wish you a speedy, safe and painless delivery. If it doesn’t go as you thought it would, try not beat yourself up about it, trust me, it gets you nowhere (more about that another time!).

  1. Right before labour, your body tells you to sit the f down. Listen to your body – your insane urge to nest like a deranged pigeon stops, then, boom. Go time.
  2. You might see a ‘Show’. Nope, not Les Miserables on the tv again. Depending on whether your waters are in tact, you may give birth to some weird coloured gunk just before contractions start.
  3. Contractions are damn painful. Really damn painful. You know when you’ve got period pains? Well it’s a pain like that, but A LOT WORSE! A tens machine might be your absolute saviour whilst you’re pacing around at home.
  4. Take some paracetamol. PARACETAMOL?! “What will that do?” I hear you cry. Well, trust me, surprisingly it does take some of the pain away!
  5. Your labour could last days. It’s a lottery, so you better get comfortable and enjoy the ride. Or just swear and cry. Either strategy will get you to your end goal just fine.
  6. Shaving down there is no longer your main concern. Who knew you’d feel so uncaring about a dishevelled bikini line. Maybe all those times where you nearly toppled over trying to shave were not worth it after all!
  7. You might find yourself demanding an epidural. Do what you gotta do, Sista. Don’t beat yourself up about pain relief.
  8. You can’t eat if you have an epidural. Pain or pizza…hmmm, that is a tough one. On a serious note, try to eat something healthy when you feel your contractions starting, you don’t know how long it will be until you can eat again. I was absolutely starving!
  9. Your epidural might wear off. Blissful ignorance one minute, searing pain the next. Thank goodness for epidural top ups.
  10. Gas & air will make you sound like a chipmunk. You also might pass out if you have too much, but don’t worry, that’s all part of the fun.
  11. Biting down on something really helps. In my case, it was the gas and air mouthpiece thingy. When having a contraction I would bite on that and the pain would go. Only joking… but it did make it a little more bearable!
  12. You may get your waters broken by a long-hook-looking-thing. Just like popping a water balloon. A very weird sensation, but the very least of your worries.
  13. Yes, you will probably poo whilst pushing. The rumour is true. But don’t worry, you’ll have other things to think about, like why is your birthing partner being such a dick.
  14. You may need a little snippety snip. Giving birth to baby big head? Or your little bundle not playing ball? You might need to open the gates a bit.
  15. You may not need a snippety snip, you may tear instead. This makes #10 a little more desirable. Either way, it’s all fixable with a needle and thread when you’ve completed your mission.
  16. You may have 10 people peering at your cervix. Emergency theatre trip? Wait, where did all those people come from? And why are my legs in stirrups? What are you all looking at?!!
  17. Your baby may come out a funny colour. Bright red, dark red, blue. All normal!
  18. Your baby might be bruised. If you have the pleasure of having a little help from those oversized salad servers, your baby might come out with an odd shaped head or bruises on their face. I declined the Bounty new born photoshoot due to the fact my baby looked like he’s gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
  19. Your baby might smell like sausages. Covered in gunk, smelling like your insides… yummy.
  20. You have to deliver your placenta. Just when you thought you were done, you have another little task on your hands. To be fair, I coughed my placenta out. Really, I did!

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Marketeer, Huffington Post & LifeHack writer, Lucy Clarke’s specialist subjects are dating & relationships, weddings & parenthood. Find Lucy on Twitter or on her website

He Broke Me…

I did plan on writing today but it wasn’t going to be this post. This one has come completely out of the blue. Totally unplanned. They say it’s best to write when you feel the emotion so here I am. Because not only am I emotional, I’m broken. It’s not yet 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and my child has broken me. Well and truly broken me.

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I don’t particularly enjoy writing these types of blogs because it’s never the kind of thing that any parent wants to admit to. No one really wants to admit that their child has pushed them beyond limits they didn’t even know they’d got. No one wants to admit that they were stood in the middle of a shopping centre feeling like they’re about to have a breakdown because their child has been whining and moaning and stamping and kicking for the last half an hour all because you wouldn’t buy them a £1.99 Lego Blind Bag from Argos. No one wants to be ‘that parent’. You know, the one that’s losing her shit in the middle of Boots because her child doesn’t understand why bad behaviour isn’t rewarded with a lollipop? No one wants to be ‘that parent’ that everyone is staring at because their child is apparently out of control and they can’t do anything to rectify the situation. No one wants to be ‘that parent’ that feels like a total bloody failure.

I know I’m not. But on days like this you can’t help but wonder to yourself ‘where did I go wrong?!’ It’s on days like this that there never seems to be any other child being a living nightmare. It’s only yours that you can hear screaming and it’s only you that everyone is staring at. Looks of disgust. Looks of pity and the occasional looks of sympathy.

I know I haven’t gone wrong anywhere. He is three. He is growing and learning everyday and everyday brings more frustrations for him. He is in the process of giving up daytime naps so by the weekend he is shattered. So he gets grumpy. He gets arsey. He gets shitty and he takes it out on me. Just like we do when we get tired. I can’t blame him for that.

So as I sit here in the car now calm has been restored and I’m looking at his long eyelashes and listening to his gentle sighs as he sleeps, I wonder how I can handle it better next time?

My answer? I probably won’t. There will be more times like this. Probably many more. I get that, I really do. And I probably won’t handle it any better next time. Who does really? Being a parent can be really bloody hard and today I’ve felt the worst I have in a very long time. But I’m ok. He broke me, yes. But I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and put myself back together again. And the reason? Because I’m his Mum and he needs me.

He needs me to help him get through his frustrations. He needs me to take it out on and he needs me to understand him. He needs me to be there for the cuddle when he realises he’s done wrong. He needs me to tell him it’s all okay and he needs me to love him unconditionally. And I do. Oh how I do. More than anything in the world. More than I ever thought possible. More than life itself. He can break me over and over again, but my love for him will never, ever change.


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I’m Jaki. Thirtysomething Mumma to one – winging motherhood since 2012. Intuitive over-thinker with a penchant for loud music, nice shoes & woolly socks and blogger at JakiJellz. Find me on Facebook and Twitter.