I hit forty this month. Did I mention?! And now I’m here, forty feels like the autumn of my life.
Stay with me here, mummas. Sounds a bit weird, but I know you’ve come to expect that. Weird is my happy place, after all!
It’s kind of mathematical. I’ve always thought of life as being divided into seasons. If I’m lucky enough to make it to eighty, then my four seasons would be four little chunks of twenty.
I’ve done spring – those first twenty years when life is budding and you bounce around like an excited lamb, learning all the things. Spring was cute, but trust me, life gets cuter.
The second twenty years were my summer, in full glorious bloom. OK, so most days I was distinctly nothing like a rose garden – but you catch my drift. There was magic in the air and flowers in my hair. (I know – that rhyme was terrible!)
Here’s the Autumn of My Life
And now comes autumn, which quite honestly has always been my favourite. I was born in the autumn, so I think that makes a difference. Do you favour your birthday season?
Anyway it’s the time of year for bonfires, fireworks, pumpkins, Halloween. Rustling through crunchy leaves, sitting by crackling fires, snuggling up with a blanket and marshmallow-y hot chocolate.
Fresh autumn walks when it’s cold enough to bundle up in a scarf but not so cold your fingers feel frosty. And the colours – even a grey day can never be grey. The trees are alive with the fire of orange leaves which fall around you like bright confetti.
I’ll let you into a little secret…. Now and again I forget to take my contraceptive pill, and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly I’m back Googling early signs of pregnancy like it’s 2014. Only this time it’s with a mild panic.
Don’t get me wrong, if we had an accidental pregnancy I’m sure we would welcome it with open arms. (Unexpected second child, if you’re reading this, Mummy and Daddy think you’re amazing! Thanks for rocking up.)
It’s just that I’m forty this year, it took us a very long time to have a successful pregnancy, and realistically my body doesn’t have a great track record at staying pregnant (you can read more about that here).
One thing I wasn’t prepared for when motherhood kicked off was the amount of time I’d spend feeling guilty. When I haven’t actually done anything wrong!
That DREADED mum guilt. Do you know the thing I mean? It seems to pop up everywhere, like an uninvited jack-in-the-box, with a dumb taunting face and stupid flashing fairy lights. Quite honestly, I wish it would just pee off.
It can quite happily invite itself to any situation. Wobbly toddler has a little topple (whilst you may have been checking your phone)? GUILTY. Baby gets nappy rash because you tried out those two-for-one nappies? GUILTY ONCE MORE.
And if you caught my recent post about comparing your little one to others, you’ll know I feel that panic every time I see a child acing something I haven’t taught my offspring to do.
(Ooh, excited side note – I have a FREEBIE for you at the end..!)
Guilty About the Little Things
Now here’s a mum guilt example. When I was pregnant, I read ALL OF THE BOOKS. I mean, I love a good book anyway, and who doesn’t get excited about a project(!)
Well, this one book called Brain Rules for Baby suggested that children under two shouldn’t watch TV. It was written by a very clever brain scientist, so who was I to argue. (Yes, yes, I know. First time mum with all those crazy ideals! PFFFFFFFFF.)
Overwhelm. Now there’s a snazzy little buzzword. If you’re feeling like you’re going to smash a few plates with all this juggling, keep reading, mumma. We’re going to fix all of that in a jiffy…
(Also – when did overwhelm become a noun as well as a verb?
Was it when we all became so overwhelmingly overwhelmed, that some flashy business guru had to invent more jargon? Well, don’t let it be said Brazen Mummy doesn’t keep you on the cutting edge of fancy schmancy lingo.
So are you suffering with this overwhelm too?
And what does it look like?
Err, you know that thing when you’ve got so much stuff to do you can barely stop for breath? When you might just yank your frazzled hair out and scream big ugly swear bombs just for the eff of it? Yes, well that. (So a friend tells me…)
You may wonder why Brazen Mummy would suffer with this overwhelm. Aren’t I “just” a stay at home mum? Well, firstly, this mumming is a damn sight more demanding than my years of swanning around the office. The days when I could pee solo and make coffee the first time the kettle boiled.
Mumming is a twenty-four hour Piccadilly circus, with no pay and a two foot boss who can tantrum like a b*tch.
Stop comparing yourself to others! But urgh, why is it so hard..?
Comparing yourself or your child to others will steal your happiness. Yep, that’s right. It will rock right up in its woolly balaclava and snatch the very joy from your delicate little palms.
So today I’m thinking about why we do this to ourselves and how we can just flaming well stop it! Because we should just concentrate on being fabulous us, have faith in our parenting skills and be proud of our gorgeous little bundles of craziness in all their ratty, snotty glory.
Hell yeah mummies, let’s crack this.
Should you stop comparing yourself to others completely?
OK, I’ll admit it. Just like the big guy with the twiddly moustache from the advert says, a bit of comparison can be a useful thing.
I mean let’s face it, none of us are born knowing how to mum. We learn and take our inspiration from others, to some extent. I know I’m often taking a sneak peek at how other mums do things and thinking bloody brilliant, I’m stealing that snazzy little trick.