I’m one of those older Mum’s so I’ve been running around after children for nearly 28 years! Times have changed, when I was a child there wasn’t the internet, and parents followed the advice of tv adverts, filling their little ones with sweets and sugar. You couldn’t log on to see how to cope with your newborn babies incessant crying. And you really didn’t ask questions about why sometimes you pee after you sneeze after having a baby. It just wasn’t really done. In some ways, and with social media there is a whole new world of help out there, you can Google the things you want to know, or don’t want to ask someone in person. However it also opens up this rose tinted world of shiny faced children. Brilliantly happy families logging Jonny’s every ground breaking moment in their childhood journey. Snapchat filtered gorgeous people and it just makes you feel blah at times. On top of sometimes confusing feelings, about being a new parent. Making mistakes, and feeling just a little bit crap at times is normal. In fact it’s heightened now as perfectness is so in your face all the time. Being a new parent is so scary, you go from watching them breathe, sheer exhaustion, wishing you could get a good nights sleep (yes sometimes when they’re 8 or 9 you find a child army commando crawling up under your duvet). Finding a good friend to talk to (one that doesn’t compete over every tiny childhood milestone achievement) is good. But if you find your friends have drifted off after having a baby which can happen if you’re one of the first to have a child, then talking to a good health visitor or even a Doctor is not a sign of failure. I see so many new Mum’s struggling, especially when they expect baby to pop out and life to become this perfect bubble of love and family. And all too often, with hormones all over the place, a birth that didn’t go as planned, tiredness and feeling rather rubbish and unattractive if you’re one of the normal ones whose baby belly gets bigger rather than smaller like mine, then actually you’re normal!
I’m a Suffolk and Essex baby, child, family and newborn photographer now. Even though I work for myself now, taking the decision to quit my paid photography job was hard, I was definitely pushed into working and I know I’m incredibly blessed I love what I do. But when I used to have to leave my still breastfeeding 6 month old as my old Employer wouldn’t let me work closer to home. I actually had the worst depression. The company I worked for at the time couldn’t have cared less, and although signed off from work I was told I would have to just do all the work when I got back. And so you keep plodding. Starting my own business was a scary step, but one I decided against all odds I was going to do. And it’s hard, it’s often not easy, but I’m so much happier. Happiness in your life actually counts for a lot. If you’re not in a good relationship, ending it will cause you even more stress, and following your heart is not the easiest option, but you have to also look after yourself first, as Mum’s, Dad’s or carers, we frequently put everyone first ahead of ourselves which is just what you do when you are in charge of little people. I’ve found in my own life, I need to have my happy bubble. Whether that means losing the friends that compete and make you feel bad. The job you hate and taking risk. Sometimes you also need to look around at the things that make you feel bad about yourself. Ultimately when you look around at how we all live our lives in this fast paced, media full, materialistic life, when you have children, all they need is a hug, love and laughter.
One of my fairly recent parenting disasters was the cake smash my 12 year old asked for. The happy smiley God of child moodswings wasn’t shining favourably on me this day. I could show more images but I’d risk upsetting the near teenage hormones ever more so! The point is you can plan, you can do what your child wants. You can make it amazing. But there is no formula. Motherhood is the most rewarding experience for most people most of the time, but it can also be insular and deluding when you compare your life to everyone else. It’s normal to be having a rubbish day, and to not spend your time teaching them the latest Math’s equation, hell sometimes brushing your own hair can be a triumph.
Which leads me to doing a bit of research. I think had it been around when my children were younger I would be following these blogs as they’re real life, not reality tv style but genuine blog posts written from the heart, and they kind of make you feel that you aren’t alone!
I love this ladies blog – Guilty Mother eloquently titled as this really is how you feel as a Mum at times, it covers family, pressures of working and is written from the heart. Guilty Mother Blog
Jo is a freelance writer from Somerset, and her blog posts are hilariously honest and truthful if you want to feel a bit better about not dishing up the finest organic brocolli for dinner each night then this ladies writing will make you feel – erm well normal like most of us! Slummy Single Mummy
One for the Mum’s to be with musings about being a first time Mama Moda Belle
I’d love to hear about other Mum and Dad bloggers to share with families. If you have any brilliant heartfelt bloggers leave a link to them so I can share.