Oh, I had the hypothetical motherhood gig sussed! When the baby came I’d drop the make-up routine down to 10 minutes, you know, just the basics. There’s no reason not to.
Of course I would breast feed, but only for 1 year, then I would wean, because any longer than that is, well, strange isnt it?!
Co-sleeping? No, not for us thanks. I value our relationship too much to put a child in the marital bed. Start as you mean to go on and all of that.
There would be no screen time for my children, unless educational of course. No snotty noses, no food colouring, no dummies, no plastic toys. For everything a place, so please, tidy up after yourselves my clean-handed offspring.
Clothes would be colour coordinated and certainly no frozen or superman outfits for my children! And as for children without shoes, or jumpers, or hats, well, they’re not mine.
And then I became a mother.
A mother of real life children, whose shrill voices and jumper refusals greet fellow shoppers. A bare-faced mother of a real life 3 year old who is eating jelly in his Superman t-shirt, watching Peppa Pig from the couch.
I became a mother to a co-sleeping, breastfed almost 2 year old. Mother to grimy hands on walls and bathtime struggles; to vegetables thrown with disgust and public meltdowns.
I told you so, I hear you say! You who so kindly smiled and nodded whilst I imparted my When I’m A Mother opinion.
So what advice would I give to my pregnant, naive self if I could? What words of wisdom would I impart?
At some point you will lower your standards. You WILL be ok with this! It’s necessary to survive, and to let your kids be kids.
The fact that your children are smiling and laughing will be all you see, not the clothes they are wearing.
You can’t be supermum, even if you try. So embrace Peppa Pig (and Susie Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit, Emily elephant!) and Paw Patrol! There are worse evils in life (even if the voices are horrific).
Chicken nuggets and fish fingers are not made by the Devil! Funnily enough, the whole family gets excited for this “lazy meal”. Less stress is good for everyone. Happy mum, happy child after all! Look at the big picture!
But most of all, the one piece of advice I would give myself is, don’t listen to ALL the advice.
You know your baby best.
You are stronger than you think, more capable that you know and you are simply amazing.
You can do this, and you will do it brilliantly- with love and compassion, even if you are a messy, boobing, happymeal buying mum. Being a mother isn’t about getting it all right. If you’ve realised this, it’s a sign you actually have it together, after all.