Unsugar Coated Motherhood

My Top Tips For Mummyhood Success

2013-10-23 15.37.27
my house often rocks the ‘just been burgled’ look…

A good friend of mine is expecting her first baby and recently asked me if I had any pearls of wisdom to share. Here’s what I told her…

Don’t obsess about a clean house: I hear people say this all the time yet their homes are always immaculate, and they often stay up late cleaning. My motto is that as long as it’s relatively tidy and there’s no food on the floor, it’s clean enough 😉

Make time for the things you love the most: my two big passions are writing and creating great food. It makes me miserable if I go a whole day without doing something related to at least one of these two things.

Don’t compare your kids to other people’s kids: someone always ends up feeling bad. No good can ever come of talking about sleep or toilet related matters as far as I’m concerned.

Don’t feel the need to listen and take onboard every piece of parenting wisdom you hear: we are all different, our kids are all different and we should just accept that we all do things differently.

Try not to expect too much from your little cherub: my eldest still doesn’t consistently sleep through at 5yo; my 2.5yo slept through at 10wks and has been doing so most nights since; and baby boy is up and down like a yoyo at 6mo. They will do these things when they’re ready.

image(Assuming you have one) invest in your relationship: child rearing is bloody hard work and it can be too easy to go days without saying a nice word to each other. Appreciate all the little things the other person does for you and tell them so regularly.

Invest in your friendships: I have a handful of really close girlfriends who are all a train journey away, then several more who live abroad. I put dates in the diary throughout the year to ensure that we have some adult time planned without the kids. Even if it’s just to meet for a long lunch, it’s absolutely necessary to keep this going. I’m in regular phone and Skype contact with my girls who are far away.

Enjoy it: as hard as the newborn days can be at first try and enjoy them, because they are gone in the blink of an eye!

Do you have any tips to add that I can pass on?

 

 

mummytries

Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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29 Comments

  1. Excellent words of wisdom. How I wish I’d read half of this before having my first nearly 8 years ago. Luckily with the second child I was far more relaxed about it all.
    #BrilliantBlogPosts

  2. Comparing kids is so detrimental, I’ve learnt to disassociate myself from those types over the last five years…

    Make that time for your art and books lovely, it’ll be good for your soul 🙂

  3. Exactly! Especially first time round, those newborn days are so very precious. As long as the house isn’t a health hazard then it’s much nicer to spend the time bonding with baby…

  4. Thanks Kate! I have to say dates with my best girls are an absolute must, they really keep me going and give me something outside of my family to look forward to 🙂

  5. Thank you hon, I feel the same. Wouldn’t it have been great to have the parenting knowledge we currently have when we were just starting out? Gotta love hindsight…

  6. Love this so much, wish I had this when I had my first! Every new mum should read this! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  7. Goodness I love this! This is not just for new moms but for me too who’s been a mother for the longest time and yet still learning. I love the house photos, makes me feel less bad about how my house is as messy. I love the no compare tip too as no 2 people (kids) are alike so why compare! I still need to make time to do what I love. I love to draw and read books and I havent read nor created any drawing for the longest time and I miss it. Thanks for sharing fun tips that’s makes a lot of sense =) #brillblogpost

  8. I’m hearing you hon! My hubby and I are the same and have had such little time just the two of us since we had our first over five years ago. I am determined to have at least one child free weekend away next year though!

  9. Great advice, I agree wholeheartedly with it all. Perfection is impossible, although as a bit of a control freak, perfectionist I find this one hard to let go, but you only need to see the inside of my house to know that I do 🙂 I refuse to get involved in competitive parenting; nod, smile and change the subject! Hubby and I just need to get better at making time for us… #MagicMoments

  10. Someone said to me once not to become a slave to your own high standards, I took it onboard and have tried to live it ever since 🙂

  11. Exactly my lovely. In my opinion the words perfect and children and/or motherhood do not long belong in the same book, let alone the same sentence xx

  12. The DADventurer says:

    Some great points here. I think most people have a preconceived idea of how things should be, but the reality is very different. What’s the point of worrying about a clean house when it is at the detriment to spending time with your newborn for instance!

  13. Sounds like it would be a fab collection of stories Denise, hope to be hearing more soon 🙂

  14. So very well said. I particularly like the one about realising we are all different, parents and children alike and celebrating that. I need to work on the dates in diaries for friends front.

  15. I agree with you-it’s easy to get caught up in others expectations, but it’s much nicer to set your own (and don’t make them too high!)

  16. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) says:

    Fantastic post and great tips! Basically don’t try and be perfect or have the perfect child, because you’re both human and its not possible. Great post and good luck to your friend!! X #magicmoments

  17. I would like to make a collection of short stories, on a theme of women’s lives and relationships. At least now I have something to show for all these years of wanting to be a writer. One story! Still, it is something.

    I think OCD environments look admirable from the outside, but my husband and I knew a couple like that and he said he felt sorry for the kids. They were never allowed to just go and *do* things, because they might mess things up. They ended up just sitting around watching TV…

  18. I think there’s so much to end up feeling bad about first time around, which is why it’s important not to have expectations and pile on the pressure…

  19. Very true and I did the same with my NCT lot first time around… I was talking purely on a competitive level, that’s when the trouble starts 😉

  20. Love that idea! We’re often too knackered to even talk in the evening at the mo, but I know it’ll change once baby boy is off the boob… not that I’m wishing that away 😉

  21. Both my hubby and I have dark brown hair and the kids were all born jet black, the jury’s out on whether the blonde stays 🙂

  22. So essential…it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the kids though…

  23. I’ve never been an immaculate house type person… clean yes, tidy enough yes but that’s about it. My hubby’s mother is an OCD clean type, and he describes growing up in an environment like that as being sterile and stiffling…

    Loved your story btw, very powerfully written with perfect descriptions of people and places. Are you planning on elaborating on it or will you leave it as a short story?

  24. sarahmo3w says:

    Very sensible advice – especially about the clean house! Everyone compares kids, but it is never a good thing. We’ve never had sleep issues, food has always been our thing! My eldest was quite small as a baby and even that made me feel inferior!

  25. maddy@writingbubble says:

    Great advice. I definitely think it’s important to invest in relationships although for me, some of that involved comparing baby development with my bunch of NCT friends. We all found sharing baby troubles with each other to be really therapeutic as what ever we were going through at least another one of our group was going through it too! It would have been awful if we’d been competitive about it though! My main piece of advice would be not to put pressure on yourself as a new parent – to feel that you ‘should’ be doing things. As you say we’re all different and our kids are too! #magicmoments

  26. We do blackout nights where we ban tv/phone etc except music so we actually talk/mess around and make memories. Very easy for a relationship to get lost in the craziness of parenting but this helps us focus on us one night a week and doesn’t cost anything! 😉

  27. Oh and your girls have such beautiful blonde hair.

  28. Also I love that you concentrate on the important things, relationships. Fantastic advice.

  29. I feel so much judgement for not having an immaculate house.

    The truth is, I am sitting here obsessively writing at the moment feeling like I just need to block everything out, including the housework. It is not that I don’t have the time these days, but what is important?

    I guess that is how you finished a draft of your book 😉 I’ll send you an email a bit later this evening btw.

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