I don’t really have a subject matter in mind today. One of the things I love about blogging is that sometimes it’s just like having a chat sometimes. So I’m just going to go ahead and type and lets see what comes out! It’s actually a really good way for me to get a realisation of what’s been playing on my mind without me even realising.
So starting thoughts, this week I am flying solo parent wise! Sam has had to go away for work so I’ve got a week with Josh on my own. We’ve got so much planned though including (please don’t judge me) an extra morning for Josh in nursery as a one off so I can actually go to the hairdressers. Yes I know it sounds horribly selfish and I pray no one is going to slate me for it. But don’t we all deserve a little bit of a pamper. I’ve not had my hair done in 7 months so I’ve decided it’s my little treat. We’ve also got one of my best friends and her little boy coming to stay one evening which will be lovely. All in all a nice week ahead planned. Today in particular has been lovely; we’ve had a real Mummy and Son day. Playing all morning in our pyjamas, a nap, lunch together, a play date with friends at the park, home to a roast dinner that I cooked just for us two (I know, I must be mad and it probably sounds daft, but it was just something I really wanted to do), a lovely bath time and wind down before bed. It’s not been an eventful day but it’s been so lovely. It’s been one of those days you value so much as a parent.
Last week was pretty hectic and I did have a few things that were bothering me. We had a couple of play dates last week and a little friends first birthday party. These are all friends that Josh knows and is used to. But I noticed he seems to be going through a real phase of wanting what everyone else has, so if another kid was playing with a toy Josh would be straight over wanting to see it and have a go. This combined with the fact that he goes everywhere at 100mph was somewhat chaotic! It happened a few times and given that I don’t have the smallest of little boys, I felt so bad that he was bulldozing his way around! I kept apologising and everyone kept saying it was fine but it was one of those real Mum guilt moments. I was so paranoid that people would think I was being rubbish at not stopping him from getting into everything. It’s hard – he’s a 15 month old toddler, and although he does understand the word No, and thankfully listens most of the time, he’s not at an age where I can explain to him why I’m having to tell him off. As a chronic overthinker (Whyyyyyyyy do I do this) I came home and did the one thing I am forever telling you fellow Mums and Dads not to do and that’s doubting yourself.
It’s annoying; I shouldn’t doubt myself. Ironically my lovely friend Harriett wrote a fantastic blog post on this very subject the same night as I was feeling low and it came at such a good time! There I was, in a panic thinking “oh God, why is my child suddenly being so hands on with sharing toys” and what should I being doing to ensure he’s a perfectly behaved child. Then I realised “come on Fi”, it’s not going to happen. He’s no more a perfect child, than I am a perfect Mum. He’s learning, every minute of the day. He’s learning to socialise with other children, he’s learning how to exist amongst others; soon he’ll be tackling speech (another thing I’ve been worried about unnecessarily), he’s constantly trying to figure out how to express what he wants or needs from me without being able to articulate it yet. He’s a toddler who is still learning about this exciting, colourful, fun filled world that he’s only known for a little over a year.
And in turn, I am learning too. I am learning how to be Josh’s Mum; something I was born to do but is constantly evolving. And I’m learning about myself and how to handle certain situations and challenges that are thrown my was as a Mum. I’m learning how to have faith in myself, and ensure I remind myself that I don’t need to do a million things at once, but to focus on doing my best for Josh. I’m learning how to handle myself; the constant criticism thrown your way when you’re a Mum is insane. You get it from every direction and although a lot of the time there is no harm intended, certain things that are said to you can make you doubt yourself and your abilities. Of course we all compare ourselves to each other; it’s natural. But we really shouldn’t! That Mum who you can feel eyeballing you at baby gym because your child is overly enthusiastically running from one piece of hideous soft play equipment to the other whilst knocking over whoever may be in their way may well be judging you and your parenting and not so quietly asking her fellow Whistles wearing Mum friend “why can’t she control him” but behind closed doors there is every chance her precious angel who appears to cause no trouble at all is a little shit who can only be controlled with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig! It’s easy to judge. It’s easy to judge others that are doing the judging. Or that you think are doing the judging…. because perhaps, just perhaps, they aren’t judging you. It’s hard to believe, and trust me as I write this I am telling myself that. But not everyone is questioning my parenting, or yours. In fact other Mums are probably thinking “yep, been there” in an (annoyingly) unspoken show of solidarity. So in this instance I’d ask, OK – BEG, you Mamas who know what I’m saying, speak up. Even if you could just throw that look that says “don’t worry hun, I feel ya, I’ve been there” it would help. Be there for each other. For some reason when you become a Mum you become a part of this unofficial club where we’re all in it together. It’s an honour to be a part of such a club, and we should be reaching out to each other.
We put SO much pressure upon ourselves as Mums don’t we. It’s impossible not to. But as I continually preach, if we can support each other rather than judging each other, it would make all the difference. And in turn I’m going to make an effort not to assume that every other person out there is judging how I raise Josh. Because they probably aren’t. And if they are…. well if they can show me a “perfect child” then bring it on….. but as with everything else our little sprogs put us through, it’s probably a phase….. 😉