Tuesday 5 September 2017

They Never Told Me | Motherhood and Mush Mums

Me and baby Lottie in 2016
I'm currently part of the Mush Mums Marketing Massive and my gang have put together a brilliant video of the things they were never told about Motherhood. Due to the school holidays I didn't get organised enough to submit a clip but I've brainstormed my #TheyNeverToldMe below.

Watch the video though, it's raw and real un-staged clips from real daily motherhood life. A gritty snapshot of things you really don't get told till you become a Mother yourself. I've embedded the video below, but as it's cropped in a funny way you can watch it properly on Mush's Facebook page < direct link to the video itself.

If I think about what I was never told about being a Mum before I was a Mum, there's a long list. Here are 11 things "they" never told me. It's not exhaustive but it's the things that spring to mind today when I ruminate about it.

  1. I never knew that vacuuming would be such a huge part of parenting. Crumbs crumbs and more crumbs. Crumbs (ooops) when you're out and you've forgotten something critical and crumbs, edible ones, all over the house. This is manageable with Lottie as we have a corded and cord free Dyson but in the heady hormonal new mum days of Aaron I just had a heavy Vax which I never got out as it frightened Aaron, so crumbs were what kept me company till Daddy came home and begrudgingly dealt with them. More often than that, if it was fare weather we were out out out so the birds could eat the crumbs, or the cafe could sweep them up.
  2. I never knew that laundry would be such a huge part of parenting. I had a little normal washing machine that I adored, my Hotpoint Aquarius that was my first purchase in our very first (purchased not rented flat), but thankfully by the time Lottie came along I had a beast that washes 10kg thanks to a review I did for ao.com yay! I got through those early new Mum years by having a laundry day. Back then we did not have room for a tumble drier (we do now  thank the Lord) and how I managed was I used the local launderette driers. Rather than feel hard done by I LOVED it as it meant 2 loads could go in one drier and be done bone dry in about 25 minutes. So I'd bring 2 Ikea bags, which was 4 loads of laundry, to the drier, I'd fold it and put it away whilst still warm and the job was a goodun. Now years later, when I have the luxury of my own drier I seem to constantly have piles of clean laundry I haven't put away yet. What's different about now is I am a stay at home Mum but as a new Mum I went back to work part time and I'd focus on getting things started and finished on my days off and I seemed to have more routine. Just to avoid confusion I had Aaron in 2010 but got made redundant in 2012 and then not having returned to work again had Lottie January 2016.
  3. I never knew I'd need a King Size bed. Instead of decorating the spare room as a nursery for Aaron's arrival, I decided to decorate our bedroom, so back in 2010 I got Ikea Pax wardrobes and professional decorators and a new bed, with the theory I wanted a nice neutral space to breastfeed my son. I wanted a clear clutter free bedroom in neutral airy spacious colours and the time he'd need his own room (6 months) seemed like forever away. So I made 2 mistakes at this time. I should have got his room ready if only I'd have known that 6 months would fly. He then ended up co-sleeping with us for years. Plus, our bedroom was so so huge, bigger then in a flat than what we have now in a house, I really ought to have got a King Size. What was I thinking of buying a double. We now occasionally have 4 in the bed now Lottie has come along and a king size would be very handy. It's "there's 4 in the bed and the little one said...." "I've fallen out" and bless him that's usually Aaron.
  4. I never knew I'd turn into such a walker often walking up to 30 miles a week, buggy and all. When I was 17 all I wanted was to drive yet here I am aged 44 and more than happy not to drive, so contrary to the old me. The thing about being a Mum is sometimes you get cabin fever and just need to get out. Plus, people make it seem like you get your life back once they start school when really all it means is your days are taken up with school runs and for me the first two years were taken up with working for the PTA. But I've ditched that now ha ha! I needed SOME time to myself.
  5. I never knew how crucial it would be to have local friends once motherhood comes along. All of my work colleagues were a 30 minute fast overground train journey away, hubby was at work and family in Ireland. I literally wouldn't have survived without Sandra, Rhona, Dipa and Siobhan and I blogged about them here. I could have made new mum friends via baby groups but although I go to 4 a week now with Lottie as a new mum I didn't go to any. I didn't want to meet any judgemental competitive mums and had a few bad experiences at soft play. Ironically all the mums I now meet at baby groups with Lottie are nothing but lovely. Here's the commercial break in my post. Time for the adverts LOL. I'm now working with Mush as an ambassador and gosh it's been an eye opener. You download the Mush app for free >>> here and you simply search for Mums in your area or chat on the threads that will show for your area. It's such a fabulous free, non-committal way of meeting people and you can do it from your sofa at any time of day or night. It shows you the Mum's age the age of their kids and how many miles they are from you. Brilliant thing is you can change your postcode in your profile for whether you're staying at your parents or at home. Each time your local mums show up. You can choose whether to find a c-section Sista or a breastfeeding Sista or whoever you want really and all of a sudden you have a gang of Sisters from another Misters..... The reason I am telling you this, is it would have helped no end with my post natal depression in 2010/2011. I was reaching out to online friends when often what I needed was real life friends and Mush Mums become real life friends when you organise meet ups. The bonus, they're local unlike online buddies you may only see a handful of times a year. I really saw the benefit of real life friends when I made friends at the school gate as a result of Aaron starting school in 2014 but Mush was yet to come along. The app began in 2016 and so it's there for you now. An invaluable way of finding and meeting those Mums who may be just round the corner from you. Without knowing each others road name or town/village you'll see approximately how many miles they are from you. I'm even organising an event for them in a few weeks :-)
  6. I never knew that where my career was my baby that I'd eventually (post redundancy) be happy at home with a baby as a stay at home Mum. Had I have known this was ever to be a possibility I would have stopped spending £12 a day on food at work and put a lot more by for the future.
  7. I never knew I'd need a Sleepyhead Deluxe and to be honest I've completely managed without it, but having seen how life changing they've been for so many Mums I'd certainly get one should I have my time again and a budget. This is not a sponsored post in any way shape or form, but I just seem to keep talking about them lately or coming across people in online threads who could do with one (if only they weren't so expensive).
  8. I never knew I'd have plastic fantastic toys all over my house. I would now say to a new Mum buy a toy box while you are still pregnant, or better still buy those cubed shelves I've always wanted, The ones with fabric pull out cube drawers that all the toys and tat can hide in so you still have a minimalist looking room.
  9. I never knew that kids could get in the way of your relationship so had I realised that more I would have found a way of getting in some important date night in, during those early weeks and months.
  10. I never knew what a toll it takes trying to do too much by yourself, so from day 1 I would have been way better at delegating and laying down some ground rules.
  11. And even before becoming a Mum, with Aaron I wasn't healthy enough to get pregnant (I had implantation failure). I basically got pregnant naturally and then had a late heavy period where the walls of my womb weren't fertile enough to implant an egg. With Aaron in 2009 I used Chinese Herbs successfully to get passed this and so as to carry my baby to full term. Fast forward to 2015 and there was no budget for herbs so I did a DIY health route like this New Healthy Happy Me 2015 and it worked. Just before I got pregnant I lost weight and it really helped.
Lottie and Aaron this Summer

This post is not sponsored, but I am currently a brand ambassador for Mush and want you to benefit from how great a place it can be to find like-minded Mums in your area, of a similar age, or with children of a similar age. The app is user friendly and free to download and use. Link here.


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