Every week, I read blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry, blogs that 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 new 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.
Here’s my selection for April 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 selection for January here, February here and March here.
This one stems back to the furore about Jamie Oliver’s comments on breastfeeding. While women said the celebrity chef was ‘mansplaining’, Al argues that dads do have plenty of experience of watching their partners breastfeed and recalls his wife’s difficulties. “After two weeks I’d had enough. Had enough of watching my guilt ridden partner cry as she had to pull our daughter off her breast because she couldn’t stand the pain. I’d had enough of one hour naps all night. Enough of soothing my hungry daughter to sleep. And most of all I’d had enough of being told to keep going with it. It was detrimental to the health of my partner, my child and our family to keep this up. So I bought the bottles, the formula and I fed it to my daughter. It was the right decision.” A great piece from a male perspective.
Poor Sarah from Toby Goes Banana’s was having a really tough day. Her baby was poorly and teething and had kept them up all night and she and her husband both had flu. In desperation, she took her baby for a walk in the buggy because he wouldn’t nap, quickly jumping on her phone while he slept to order some new swimming gear for her older son. And then a stranger commented, “‘Glad to see you put that phone away, you should be enjoying your baby.” “My baby who cries for probably half the time he’s awake. My baby who I have to prioritise over my toddler nearly every day. My baby who makes me cry almost every day because I don’t know what’s wrong with him or how I can help him.” It beats me why strangers feel the need to pass judgement on parenting skills, but as I’ve already written on my blog, smart phones can be a lifeline for new parents. There’s no need to judge.
This post by the brilliantly funny Kirsty of Eeh Bah Mum was published a couple of days before parents received their pre-schooler’s primary school allocations. Here are her musings on life in reception, or ‘becepshum’ as her daughter still says, two terms in. She laments the sheer amount of letters sent home and paperwork, as well as all the costumes parents need to prepare, as well as wondering how kids can come home in someone else’s pants and tights. “To be fair,” she writes, “I have NEVER managed to get both my children dressed without threatening to delete Paw Patrol from Netflix. Why anyone would attempt to get 30 children changed in and out of PE kit is beyond me.”
4. If parents got Brownie badges by Not Another Mummy Blog
Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog made me laugh out loud with this post on rewarding parental achievements. After successfully dealing with a bout of head lice, she says she felt like she deserved a badge of honour. “I’d officially dealt with nits,” she writes. “I could tick it off my ‘Mum experiences’ list and know that next time it happens (because it will) I’ll be calm and I’ll know exactly what to do.” Other badges of honour she suggests we parents deserve include The Agility Badge for successfully navigating soft play and The Bedtime Badge for successfully making it to bedtime without losing your rag on a particularly trying day.
As a mum of three boys under four, An Ordinary Mummy is constantly asked if she will be trying for a girl. She writes here, “The very question offends me as it implies that I am not content with the three beautiful sons I have brought into this world, that their lives and the joy they bring is not enough because as a woman I am expected to pine for a daughter, a mini version of myself. In the same vein my husband is expected to be bursting with contentment because he, the man, has three sons (thumps chest cave man style!), it’s all totally bonkers.”
Before her daughter was born Rachel of Toilets Aren’t For Turtles, had plans for a princess-free house. But her daughter, now 4, had other ideas. As Rachel is discovering, you can like princesses and still be a feminist. She writes, “It’s not my place to quash her dream just because I don’t happen to agree with it. It’s my job to support her, encourage her, and guide her to be the best f*cking princess she can possibly be.” When her daughter asks if she looks like a pretty princess, Rachel replies, “You look incredible… like you could rule the world.”
Here, Tayla of Motherhood The Real Deal contrasts how she imagined family holidays to the reality. You might envision “glorious happy moments of discovery, wonder, adventure and family unity” but instead, “where once upon a time a holiday meant getting AWAY from the stress, now it means literally throwing yourself INTO THE FIRE of the stress”. It’s not relaxing, she writes. “Rather than being able to kick back and do less, you have to amp up the activity stakes, chasing your crazy selves round every god damn tourist site and attraction on a daily basis.” Oh yep.
Lisa’s blog is beautifully written; thought-provoking, reflective and full of the wisdom of her experience as a home-educating, yoga-teaching mum of three, living just outside Cardiff. Here, Lisa reminds us that we parents often put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. She writes, “For a long time, doing my best meant getting it right. Doing my best meant getting the correct answer, acing the test, pleasing others. I thought that my best work had to be a cut above.” However, she’s since learned she has to go easier on herself. “I simply can’t be that way anymore,” she writes. The things I do, the work I produce, the jobs that I carry out – none of it turns out as well as I imagine it might if I could give it more time, care and attention.”
I loved this humorous guide from mum-of-three boys, Jess, who blogs at Wry Mummy. How many of us are guilty of arguing about who’s the most tired? Or engaging in tit-for-tat. “You changed the last smelly nappy – now it’s your beloved’s turn. You had your hair done? He gets an afternoon of golf. He had total lie-in time of 56 minutes last weekend? You get it now.”
10. Time to love our bellies by Pregnancy and Birth Essex
Lauren, mum of four and step-mum of two, admits her first thought on catching a glimpse of her “naked, wobbly, shrivelled baby belly” was “ewww gross!” She questions why pregnant bellies are considered beautiful but once the baby is born, it becomes offensive. She writes, “My belly grew 4 whole humans, quietly, unconsciously and unquestioning. It then spent hours and hours contracting, manoeuvring and aligning before bringing me the fruits of its labour.” She continues, “Every disgusting strech-mark is actually a forever connection to the child I grew and a mark of respect for the ones who didn’t make it. (she had two pregnancy losses.) Very inspiring.