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The Bad Mum Book

What does it take to be a bad mum? Apparently not a lot…

It takes lots to be a good mum, you have to be nurturing every aspect of your child’s perfectly balanced life and it seems just one of those factors slips below perfect we are tarred with the bad mummy brush.

Does it make me a bad mother that some days we don’t leave the house? We’ve done enough organised activities in the week to knacker them out that we just need a rest day. But if we are in all day, does it make me a bad mother that I will dress them in pyjamas? I mean, they are so much comfier! If we are just going to be lounging around and watching TV, why do they need their best chinos on? They don’t.

What about in the middle of the night? Have I failed as a mother because I put a nice cosy blanket over the wet patch on their bed, because it would mean waking them up and taking an extra 5 minutes before getting back into bed to give them a full sheet change…for the possibility of them wetting through again? If that is a crime, I’m afraid I’m a repeat-offender.

If we’re never meant to show we are upset or even angry in front of our child I’ve definitely failed. I mean Depression makes it pretty hard to hide from anyone especially your child that you are sad, will it damage them to see Mummy upset? Or am I just showing them that when you are upset it’s OK to show emotion and you can get through it.

They say that TV is the best babysitter, well I wouldn’t rely on it to change their bums and feed them but if I need 5 minutes to tidy upstairs the TV is a pretty good distraction, but of course it means I’m a lazy mother that sticks my kids in front of it zoned in all day, I might have the paw patrol theme tune stuck in my head 24/7 but it’s not because it’s on 24/7 it’s because these shows have special hypnotising powers…even for adults.

I yelled at my kid. Oooops does that make a bad mum? I also yell at my husband…does that make me a bad wife? Sometimes people yell at me, does that make me a victim? No, I don’t think it’s an ideal way to communicate, but let’s face it everyone loses their shit every now and again and it doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad parent, it makes you human.

My house is mess, all the time, even as I clean it. You know how some people would love a self cleaning home, I have a self messing one. As I finish tidying one room the kids are messing up another. I have messing floors, sticky hand print walls, piles of laundry, wet, dirty and clean (none put away and definitely not folded) but I also have happy kids. I might be a bad mum for not having a spotless home, but I know I’m good one for putting time with them first.

If you are trying to make your child happy and you care about their welfare you are NOT a bad mum. The world will sometimes make you feel like one, sometimes the world will think you’re a great mother and you’ll feel like a terrible one, it’s a constant battle to decide what is right and what is wrong, wondering how actions will affect their future.

Everyone is just fluking it in their own way.

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It’s OK to be “that” mum

I’ve been that mum, the one that the other mums snigger about because she doesn’t like to leave her baby, or that people sneer at because she doesn’t like other people holding him, or that others judge because she worries about literally everything.

They say she needs to have a break from her baby so she will have time to miss him, or she can’t be selfish and has to share her baby or even that in their day there wasn’t any of these precautions and they turned out OK.

I genuinely don’t think people realise they effect their words have on us. As if we don’t question ourselves enough already now we have people telling us, we’re too clingy, selfish or even becoming doctor’s overnight and diagnosing us with Post Natal Depression.

I’ve been like this with my children, when I have had Post Natal Depression and also when I haven’t, let me tell you something…even if she does have PND, taking her away from her baby will definitely NOT make it better, if it isn’t what she wants it WILL make it worse.

All of my babies have been born towards the later end of the year, so when you get visitors there tends to be a lot of winter virus going around. I don’t think people realise when they paint you as the psychotic OCD mum, that the reason you don’t want an ill person holding your new baby is because it might just seem like a cough to them, but to a baby it can be life threatening, it could mean ending up on a Children’s ward around older children with Bronchitis and sickness bugs.

Maybe the reason they don’t want you to hold their baby is because they just don’t want to let go of them, I never wanted to let go of Jack. I loved cuddling him, I knew it would be short lived, that in a few months he’d be starting to move and eventually he wouldn’t sit still for my cuddles. Surely it was me who needed the most cuddles, as his mother? We had the strongest bond after all. I carried him inside me.

That’s another point, we carried them inside us for three quarters of a year, why would we suddenly want to be separated from them? They are happiest with us, listening to our heart beat, the smell of their mummy and the sound of her voice.

For those who say in their day there wasn’t any of this to worry about, I’m sorry but you’re ignorant. Move with the times, there’s so much more to worry about now, because we have access to so much more information. Safe sleeping, anchoring furniture, stair gates, blind cords the list goes on and on, I’m of the opinion, if I can take the precaution, then why not do it? In your day it might have not been the thing to do to have bonding time without visitors, but I’m sure in your day a lot of women felt unable to speak out about how they feel, well this is my day and I want alone time with my baby and lots of it.

If there is one thing that really grates my cheese, it’s a group of people passing a baby around. Each to their own and if you’re happy for people to play pass the parcel with a tiny human, fair enough. But for me, it’s torture, watching your baby be lifted from person to person, knowing they aren’t settling anyway because they aren’t with you, but then to be disturbed every ten minutes, after just getting warm in someone’s arms, getting passed to another place…again! Yet people look at your like you’re insane or selfish for not sharing your baby.

I think most people make judgement because they literally don’t get it, they aren’t bad people, they genuinely think they are within their rights to have a sense of entitlement to your baby, but they don’t, this is YOUR baby and YOUR life. They will never have the bond you have with your baby and that is the most important bond, so don’t worry about how it’s affecting them, if that makes me selfish, then I’ll take that.

I’ve had people snigger and make comments about how I won’t pass my baby or like other people holding them, to me I don’t see why that’s something to laugh about. If someone takes your baby out of your arms without asking, for me it’s torture, that baby is a piece of me.

The best you can do is stand up for yourself and explain it to people, I have a lot of people in my life who get it and now don’t make any assumptions or take any liberties. But I also still have a lot who will never get it because they just aren’t willing to listen, they just label you as that mum.

Well I’m definitely that kind of mum…and proud of it.

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Babies rule my life!

From the title you may have guessed that I don’t practice “Controlled Parenting”, I do more “Baby-Led Parenting” I don’t follow a rule book to the letter (which sort of makes sense with this style of parenting), some may even say my babies rule my life!

Now before I go any further we should study the sentence “Babies rule my life”, this can be used in two contexts which give it completely different meanings.

The first would be the picture of a broken down mother with bags under her eyes, crying and shaking her head whilst saying “Babies rule my life”, she would then go on to explain how she’s tried all the possible bed time routines, activities to tire her little ones out and even bribery to get her kids to play ball.

The second would be a regular mum, yes probably still with bags under her eyes (sort of comes as a package mum deal) but she’s smiling, you can see the hectic life she is the centre of but she’s happy, she looks at her kids cheeky grins and says “Babies rule my life”, I consider my self more in this context. I don’t try to control my kids eating, sleeping or bathing habits. Some days we get to baby groups by 9am and some days we don’t even get dressed, maybe I’m packing Pandora’s box full to the brim and one day it will burst open and bite me on the butt, but right now we’re enjoying it too much to care!

The thought of leaving my baby to “cry himself to sleep” makes me sick to my stomach, don’t get me wrong, when they whine and moan i get irritated but I always remind my self even if they’re just over-tired they are crying for a reason. Being the one to comfort them when their sad makes me beam with pride that I’m the one they turn to! I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there who have success stories from controlled parenting, but it’s just not my style.

So yes, my babies rule my life….and I LOVE IT! I enjoy watching them grow and learn, they drag me along and I follow their lead, they are my love, my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!