At the beginning of your parenting journey, I think it’s safe to say that the main things preoccupying your mind are pushchairs, nursery decor and names. As much as these matter, the reality brings totally different challenges, and immeasurable joy too.Here are a few things I’ve learnt to appreciate along the way:
The friends I made
Don’t get me wrong, I struggled at first. With L, I didn’t stumble upon kindred spirits straightaway. But hang in there, and your tribe will arrive. These ladies hold me up and give my kids their tea when I’m having a bad day or simply offer a large helping of “I get it”.
Instagram is also a powerful and positive place packed full of mums on a mission to support and help. Don’t settle for friends who turn parenthood into a competition or make you feel crappy about your choices. The best types will side with you for eternity and cheerlead you through the trickiest times.
organised resourceful I am
Pre-kids, a boss once told me how organised I was. Pah! That totally went out the window when juggling kids and zero sleep. But, you learn life hacks and manage to wing it.
I now feel immensely proud of small shortcuts such as this lunchbox trick: cut rolls in half and freeze them, butter/fill and they will not only have defrosted by lunchtime, but also kept the entire packed lunch cool. Same applies to popping a frozen slurpie yoghurt in (you know the ones I mean).
Other resourceful tips include hiding in the kitchen and stuffing your face with chocolate to grab a minute’s peace.
A need to label everything
Once at school, they will come home wearing another kid’s shoes or like T, lose most of their left-hand gloves. For the record, with his favourite pairs he perseveres and just likes to go a la Jacko and wear one. Anyway, finding a good label service will save a ton of time and effort with a marker pen. Plus, Clarks sell little stickers to go inside shoes which you can write their name and class on.
Becoming more creative
Motherhood brought me blogging, and a greater awareness of my own voice than ever before. I suffered with a serious dip in confidence post birth, which had me scrabbling about for the person I was, before realising I’m now someone even stronger. Yes you feel like you left your brain in the delivery room at times, however, you realise so much more can be achieved than you ever thought possible. And I’m not just talking about managing to avoid burning their fish fingers.
Also add to the list: dry shampoo and bright lipstick is EVERYTHING.
*Featured link in collaboration with stuckonyou.co.uk