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. I’m continuing my monthly series, charting 10 of my favourite blog posts I’ve read over the past month. A little bit of reading inspiration for the weekend.
Here’s my selection for September 2016. Clicking on each of the titles will take you directly to that post. You can catch up with my selections for previous months here.
I loved this post from Life, Love and Dirty Dishes where she lists the rules for playing cars with a toddler. It feels so relevant to me because I am living with a car-obsessed toddler for the second time. Just like his big brother before him, Toddler is obsessed with cars. Claire’s words certainly ring true. “You must only play with the car I allocate you. You do not get to choose your own car,” she writes. And, “If your car does something really cool and funny, I will want your car. Hand it over. This is not a swap. You do NOT get to play with the red car.” 18 points in all, and each one had me nodding along. Go read it now if you have a little ones who loves playing with cars.
This post by Philipa of Sounding Like My Mother made me laugh. She’s come up with a new take on the baby milestones cards you see all over social media with some suggested cards for teenagers. “Today I put the milk back in the fridge after I used it” and “Today I replied to a text my mother had sent me.” Might have to remember this when I am mum to three teenagers!
You know when you read something and find yourself nodding along, saying “this is me!”. Well, that’s exactly what happened for me with this post on Scary Mommy. Clint doesn’t understand why his wife is shattered after staying up late the previous night. He writes, “I gave her a tight-lipped “I don’t have pity for you” face, mostly because this wasn’t the first time my wife had stayed up late for, what seemed to me, no good reason.” And in words that will resonate with mums everywhere, his wife replies, “I spend all day with the kids. All day. And when the kids aren’t around, I’m with you — which is great — but when I’m not with you, I’m with the kids or I’m doing school. I just…” She thought for a moment. “I just need some metime.”
Thank you Clint for writing this as a man and getting it. I read this post (at almost midnight, naturally) and emailed it straight to my husband. I’ve explained it to him before, but I’m not sure he quite understood what I meant. I think he does now.
My eldest child is 6 ¾ so I really related to this post. I found I very moving and emotional. “They say the cells in our bodies are replaced every seven years, cycling into a new person. Meaning parts of my baby — the smallest parts of him — have come and gone, resulting in this new gangly creature who looks so similar to a little boy I used to know.” Ah, I totally get this. She writes about his new maturity, the loss of his baby-ness and how when he asks to be carried when he’s tired, she carries him, because she never knows when the last time will be. Pass me the tissues!
My lovely local blogging friend Kerry is experiencing the school gates for the first time now that her daughter has started pre-school nursery, and in this post she appeals for some of the other mums to be her friends.
“I may not cook them healthy/nutritious meals everyday but at least they eat.
I may not be able to craft (even though I try, I really do), I seriously haven’t got the patience for it but my pinterest profile is full of the most fantastic ideas so I have all the best intentions.
My house is a shit tip. Let’s face it, with 2 adults, 2 small kids and a dog it is never going to be sparkling. It’s messy but it’s lived in!”
Kerry, if our kids were at the same school I’d definitely be your bestie.
I hate the so-called Mummy Wars where we are pitted against each other and categorised according to our parenting style – Tiger Mum, Smug Mum, Slummy Mummy, FML Mum, so I loved this from Alison at Not Another Mummy Blog. As she says, we all have a little bit of each stereotype in us. She writes, “I might have a lovely day at the park with my daughter, feel warm feels, think to myself how much I love her as she stomps through dry leaves on the ground and take a cute snap to share on Facebook (Smug Mum). Then I might find myself losing my temper with her because she is refusing to let me brush her teeth and get into bed, before mentally working out that it is exactly 23 minutes until I will be sitting on the sofa, with a large glass of wine in my hand (FML Mum).” I can be at least five different stereotypes of mum in one day – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Aren’t we all just trying our hardest to be the best mum we can?
7. How Getting Rid of Stuff Saved My Motherhood a guest post by Allie Casazza, The Purposeful Housewife, on The Balanced Life
“My kids were all four years old and under, but I felt like I had missed what childhood they’d had so far. I was always cleaning up.” writes Allie. She adds, “When I did press pause and spend some time with my kids, it felt like I had to pay the price – catching up on housework; making up for the time I missed living my life. This made me lose my desire to even play with them. What was the point if I was just going to get more behind, more stressed out?” But then one day, she began to declutter the playroom (with only a few toys to choose from, rather than a mountain of them, the kids stayed in the room for three hours), closely followed by the rest of the house – and the results transformed her family. “Life felt lighter, intentional, and I was no longer “getting through it”. This was abundant life in motherhood; I could feel it.” Inspiring stuff.
With my eldest child in year two, my middle having just started reception and my toddler in playgroup a couple of mornings week, I totally get what Just A Normal Mummy means here. Writing about her daughter starting reception four weeks ago she admits she misses her. “I don’t mean I’m unhappy, or spending my days moping around wailing ‘Where did my baby go?!’ into a large tub of Quality Street in my dressing gown whilst downing Pinot Grigio. No… I leave those kind of activities until after 5pm at least…
But seriously. She loves school. I love her going to school. I just miss hanging out with her some days.” I miss hanging out with my kids as well.
9. The Ghost at the Classroom Door by Aimee Foster of Mum Amie
Also on the subject of the new school year is this heartbreaking post by Aimee. Her daughter Grace should have started school this September but, devastatingly, died shortly after birth from a rare heart condition. With an older sister Susie already at the school. Aimee finds herself face to face with the classmates Grace should have been among.
“I can almost touch the birthday parties you’ll never attend and Christmas plays I’ll never see you in,” she writes. “Friendships will bloom without your input. They’ll never know you were supposed to be there.
She adds, “I feel angry that you’ve been robbed of your rightful place yet again.” Such a touching and heartfelt blog post. I cried.
I didn’t know Rowena Kincaid, but so many of my friends here in Cardiff did, and I was so sad to hear of her death from cancer earlier this month, aged just 40. Among the many tributes written to her was this post by my friend Jess, AKA Mrs Helicopter. It’s so raw yet so beautifully touching.
“She had the craziest laugh you’ve ever heard.
Times it by a million.
Doesn’t even come close.
Then she had a lump.
And the doctors all said it was fine.
But it wasn’t.”
I also recommend you read this letter by Rowena herself and watch her documentary Before I Kick The Bucket. Such an inspiring lady.