Every week, I read blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry, blogs which challenge my thinking, blogs which support me as a parent, and blogs which inspire me.
Seeing as you’re reading Cardiff Mummy Says, I figure you like blogs too. So I’m excited to continue my monthly series, charting 10 of my favourite blog posts I’ve read over the past month. A little bit of reading inspiration if you find yourself with a quiet half hour or so – and absolutely no talk of Brexit.
Here’s my selection for June 2016, not in any particular order. Clicking on each of the titles will take you directly to that post. You can catch up with my selections for previous months here.
This post by my South Wales blogging pal Kerry of All About A Mini Norris bought tears to my eyes. I am full of such admiration for her for having the courage to write about the postnatal depression she developed after the birth of her second daughter, liking it to rain and then a storm breaking on what started out as a clear skies day.
“Then comes the rain. The dreaded rain. It hammers down and I feel every hit. Every drop keeps hitting me. It runs down my face. A constant stream like a waterfall. I can’t protect myself from it. I become frustrated.
“What’s that I hear? Rumbles or cracks. I feel confused. I hear it again. It keeps coming and going. It gets closer. The closer it gets the stronger I feel it. Now the storm is in its full glory. The thunder and lightening are battling each other. I can’t concentrate. How can I make a decision on how to break free from the storm?”
So beautifully put. Kerry, I hope the sun will start shining again for you soon.
I related so much to this post from fellow South Wales mummy blogger Alina of We Made This Life. She details a typical day of running round after her three children, not having a minute to herself only to be told, “I’m told I’m the meanest mummy ever who does NOTHING for them because I won’t let them watch a film (because it is bedtime!). I’m told they wouldn’t treat their children this way, that I never give them anything. The hubby has put the baby to bed but he is still screaming and I try to summon the strength to go through the teeth/bedtime battle. Dinner of course, lies abandoned in the kitchen still.” Parenting is a most wonderful privilege – but it can be a thankless task. Alina, I promise, you are not a bad mum!
Dad blogger Tony recounts an incident in his local McDonalds where he witnessed a stranger, a woman, interfering in another dad’s parenting. The daughter had had a tantrum, but the dad was in control of the situation. They’d just sat down, when Helicopter Stranger began unpacking the daughter’s Happy Meal. “You clearly need the help,” the stranger said when the dad asked what she was doing. Although Tony acknowledges the stranger’s intentions were well-placed, he writes “Had Helicopter Stranger crossed a boundary deliberately targeting a dad of one child for assistance when there were, quite frankly, mothers of three children who could have used her help more.” What would you have done?
And on the subject of unappreciated mums, this poem went viral earlier this month and I know I’m not the only one who found themselves with a tear in their eye after reading it.
“Nobody saw you holding the sick bucket in the night
or on the wat back from school
nobody saw you holding a jacket,
a rucksack, a book bag, a sunhat,
a scooter, the baby, a half-eaten apple”
Blogger Abi wrote this one for her friend – but it certainly struck a chord with so many other parents. As she tells her friend at the end, “you are such a wonderful mum”. Just beautiful.
I’ve written about my struggle with mummy guilt on Cardiff Mummy Says previously, so I loved this post from Aby of You Baby Me Mummy where she writes a break up letter to her mummy guilt. “What I now realise is that you are no good for me, in fact you are no good for anyone. You have made me feel as if I need to constantly prove my love for my daughter to you. You appear like a black cloud when I am enjoying something other than her company; making me feel bad for feeling joy that doesn’t involve her; of laughing if it’s not her who made me laugh; for merely enjoying my job and occasionally putting it first when needs be.” She wants to create a strong role model for her daughter, to know that her parents have a worth and value outside being her parents “so that when she becomes a mum herself, she will not lose her identity as I did”. Wise words indeed.
As Natalie of Plutonium Sox points out in this heartwarming post, life can be overwhelming when you have a newborn baby. She writes, “I know you’re tired. Pregnancy is tough and birth never goes to plan. It feels like you haven’t slept in weeks. Your newborn is crying in her basket, and all you want to do is sleep. You’ve read all the parenting books. Your baby is clean and dry, she’s not hungry or thirsty so they tell you to leave her, you’ll make her clingy by picking her up.” Pick her up, says Natalie, and enjoy those cuddles, because before too long, she’ll be all grown up.
This post was written in response to an article stating that when women get to 30, there are certain things they shouldn’t wear, such as leopard print, graphic tees and short dresses. Through a series of fantastic photos depicting some wonderfully stylish over 30s, Warning Curves Ahead makes clear how ludicrous the idea is that anyone should dictate to women what they should wear.
I’ve made no secret on my blog that I find the passing of milestones emotional. So I loved this post from An Unbalanced Woman because she feels the exact opposite. Recounting her friend’s sadness that her child was potty trained, because this meant he was growing up, she writes “I was left thinking that I must have a heart of stone. When we reached that stage there was absolutely no mourning period. All I felt was a joyous realisation in a garden centre that when Ginger Boy told me he needed a poo, I was no longer required to perform the obligatory shit-sniff before taking my toddler into a disabled toilet, lay him out on a plastic tray, stinky end nearest my face, and hold his windmill-propelled legs away from my head with one elbow, to stop me being hit in the face by a shoe, a wet wipe or, let’s get real… actual shit.” She adds, “Life phases are amazing. I don’t mourn for any of them or want them to Slow Down because there’s always something else ahead to look forward to.”
*TRIGGER WARNING – baby loss
Dear Orla is an absolutely heart-breaking yet incredibly inspiring blog written by Michelle, whose baby daughter Orla was born sleeping in May. She’s writing about her experiences to help process her grief and also to raise awareness of still birth and baby loss. Here, she talks about her feelings towards her body. “I felt an intense dislike of my body; it had let me down in the most horrendous way and I wasn’t sure I could ever trust, or even like, it again. Every time I saw myself in the shower, I was reminded of what was no longer there. I was an empty vessel.” At the end of the post, she realises she needs to embrace and accept the scars and marks of this pregnancy and her previous ectopic pregnancy. “If nothing else, they show me that I have the strength to survive but also that I have experienced the most intense love in growing our beautiful daughter that she would want me to share.
As Harriet of Toby and Roo writes at the start of this post, “We’re so good nowadays about writing blog posts about miscarriage, writing blog posts about abortion rights or talking about women’s issues such as uterine problems (which is a reason for this surgery though many assume it is only pregnancy related). We don’t seem to talk about D&Cs, and I don’t understand why. It’s scary to feel like you’re alone and when you head over to the internet to ask what to expect you get little but chat rooms and blunt medical explanations.” And so she explains step-by-step what the procedure involves, how you might be feeling and what partners can do to support a woman going through a D&C.