Mum: “Stop Wallowing and Sort Your Shit Out”

It’s been nearly 3 years since I became a parent for the first time (whaaaaat?!) Along the way, like most, I have learned some valuable lessons. One of them involves sausages, obviously (see above image).

I’ve pretty much hit the jackpot of luck with both my kids; they sleep (most of the time), they eat (most of the time), and they’re a bunch of fun to hang out with (most of the time). But here’s the thing; as parents so many of us talk about how we’re “lucky” because our kids do x, y, and z, but hardly anyone ever says to me “my kids do all that shit because I’m an amazing parent!”

I am in no way suggesting that I am amazing at this, or that I have all the answers or some magic formula to creating perfect children. Perfect I am not, and neither are my kids, but along the way I would like to think that I have had some influence on who they are right now, and who they are going to become in the future.

Parenting Lesson #1; Stop Stressing About It

I am literally the biggest stress-head there is going. Ask my former employees about the time I threw a cooked chicken across the kitchen (It wasn’t fucking cooked, which was exactly the problem), or the time I threw a box of supplies down the stairs because they hadn’t been put away properly… Total stress-head. But after 4 miscarriages, 1 D&C, 1 ectopic pregnancy and 1 operation to remove a fallopian tube, I decided to just stop stressing about it. I fell pregnant the month after my fallopian tube was removed.

The no-stressing rule really began with my birthing plan.

I refused to make one.

How the fuck can you make a plan for something you have never done/have no idea how to do/has a thousand variables all of which have the potential to screw up the plan?! And then when the plan goes to shit, you start stressing about the fact that the plan has gone to shit! So I didn’t plan a single bloody thing. I just turned up at the hospital, not having made a plan, attended a single ante-natal course, or practised my breathing skills (which by the way I have been practising daily for 28 years).

And you know what? My body just knew what to do. Instinct took over and I let it. 4 hours after my first contraction, Amelia was born. The lucky part is that she was born safe and healthy, none of that is on me. But I firmly believe that not stressing about labour at least contributed to, as I am often told, me being the luckiest cow ever with my ‘easy’ first labour. I did the same with Wills and he was born just over 3 hours after my first contraction.

Our first night at home with Amelia was a complete fucking nightmare, and I stressed.the.fuck,out. I didn’t know what she wanted, she wouldn’t sleep, she literally screamed the whole night, and we genuinely thought “shit… we’re stuck with this baby”. Mr C called my mum the next morning and basically begged her to come round! My mum buggered off with the baby and we both had a nap – yep, she was just 4 days old. So many people are so shocked when I tell them this, like “Oh my gosh, how could you bear to let her be away from you so soon?”

Because I could. Because I was tired. Because I just birthed a human and I wanted to bloody sleep. Because what was the worst that was going to happen? My mum has raised 4 kids, and we’re all alive at least, so I’m pretty sure she can handle a new-born for an hour or two. When she came back, she made me have a bath, helped Mr C change Amelia’s nappy, and she told me one thing;

“Aleena, you basically co-parented your brothers with me. You’ve had a sleep and you’ve had a bath, so stop wallowing and sort your shit out. You know how to do this. Oh, and one more thing. Babies feed off your emotions. If you’re stressed, so is she.”

That one piece of advice there has taken me through my whole parenting journey so far. This is not to say that I don’t get stressed, or raise my voice, or occasionally hide in the bathroom for 10 minutes just to escape, or react badly to shitty behaviour. I do all of those things, fairly regularly if I’m honest. But that one piece of advice always comes back to me, and whether I think about it in the heat of my stressing, or later when the kids have gone to bed, I do always come back to it and use it to correct my own behaviour. Some of the worst days I have had with the kids have been the days when I have been the most stressed out, the most reactive to their shit. The angrier I get and the more I react, the worse their behaviour gets.

And I believe it goes deeper, too. I rarely stress about my kids sleeping; yes we had some fairly crappy times during the whole sleep regression phases, and yes some nights I sat on the stairs with my head in my hands screaming internally, but for the most part they have both slept. On their fronts. Totally taboo, I know, but I haven’t stressed about it. I tried various sleep positions with both children, and both sleep best on their fronts, so I just went with it, made their cots safe (which basically meant removing everything from the cot!) and I check them regularly.

I don’t stress about eating. Now that Amelia is a little older, I have boundaries, but ultimately if she doesn’t eat then she doesn’t eat.  She will eat at the next meal time, and if she doesn’t then she doesn’t. I have never told her that she must eat her vegetables, and yet she will happily much on broccoli florets and various other veg. She is currently refusing all meat, and that’s ok. I still always put it on her plate, but I don’t force her, and sometimes she will absent-mindedly eat some.

And sausages… That mother of mine is still schooling me! She turned up this evening at dinner time, Wills was chilling in his high chair with a couple of toys and I was laying food out in the middle of the table so Amelia could choose what she wanted on her plate. It was a kind of Friday treat meal, grilled sausages and bacon (from Greenacres Farm), scrambled eggs, beans, toast and grilled parsnip cubes. Amelia sat at the table and chose exactly what I knew she would; everything but the meat. I mentioned to her that auntie Chloe and Chris had made the sausages and bacon and she then decided to munch a bit of sausage (success!). It was at this point that my mum said to me;

“Where’s William’s dinner? Can’t he have a sausage too?”

“Mum, he’s barely 5 months old.”

“Are you telling me you haven’t given him any finger foods? I thought you were weaning?”

“I am, and I have… cucumber sticks… other stuff, you know…”

“Let the boy eat a sausage!”

“Pfft… Give him one then, see what he does!”

“Oh look! He loves it! Quick, get your camera out Aleena!”

He fucking loved it. I hate it when she’s right, but I suppose that’s all part of being a mum (you just wait, Amelia!) Now he was well supervised throughout this sausage initiation, there were four of us taking it in turns to remove small pieces of sausage from his mouth that broke off, and at no time was he in any danger. And boy did he love that fucking sausage!

The challenge is replicating this “no stressing out” rule in the every day things… Now  that, I’m not so good at…


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34 thoughts on “Mum: “Stop Wallowing and Sort Your Shit Out”

      1. Wow. Even if people did think that, they should keep those opinions to themselves, it’s not helpful. Well done for being strong and doing what was right for you! I was so grateful that my MIL and FIL love owed after our babies so we could nap. It literally saved us xxx

  1. ahahaa he really did love the sausage!!! I was like that with Ben – not stressing so much about what he eats but sitting close so if he did choke then i could get there in a split second to get it out.
    His new favourite seems to be his love of chips. easy when we’re out for dinner =] #ablogginggoodtime

  2. Love this post : ), made me laugh because I completely understand what youre saying aka we are amazing parents which is why our children are amazing. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. You sound like one tough woman for everything you’ve been through, it’s funny how things happen once you stop stressing. Thanks for sharing with #stayclassymama!

    1. You know what, I firmly believe that we are all tough cookies, we have all had our own personal struggles, and like most mums I know, we’re just not good enough at saying “I’m doing a great job!” (Most days anyway haha! Some days I’m awful hahaha!)xx

  3. My births were basically the same. I knew it was going to hurt like hell and if I needed drugs then so be it and I’ll just face it head on and at the time! With my second I knew straight away I just need gas and air and everything will be fine. Both labours were only hours long and everything has gone pretty smoothly thus far! It really is true, just don’t stress and everything will be fine! Great post 🙂 #bigpinklink

    1. So true Amie! With my second I was in labour for 3 hours (first contraction to birth) and focussed on gas and air only until even that was annoying me and I gave it back! Thanks for stopping by x

  4. I loved reading this, and my daughter loves a sausage. I think she would be quite happy to eat them all day long! Bringing up a child is super hard, I felt exactly like you in the beginning. Why is it that Mum’s offer the best advice? She’s right, I know that I when I’m stressed, our little one is also stressed too. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  5. This is absolutely spot on. I love that you’re giving yourself credit, you deserve it after all of hard work you have put in! Keeping the stress out of things isn’t always easy, but letting some things go definitely makes life a little easier!


  6. It’s definitely true that the kids feed on your emotions. We also have our worst days when I am really stressed out because I don’t feel like I can deal with their emotions and mine. When I am calm, nothing phases me. Thanks for being a fabulous part of the #bigpinklink

  7. I wrote a post similar to this called “I’m a good mommy because…”. Like you my child loves his sleep. I find people telling me how lucky I am but what if my parenting has contributed to his amazing sleeping? As parents were quick to find fault but we don’t give ourselves enough credit!
    I definitely need to take a leaf of out your book and chill the F out! I stress about everything and I think you mum is very right when she says that babies feed off your emotions.
    Great post!?#BigPinkLink

    1. Funnily enough I think I read your post this morning! We should definitely all give ourselves more credit.. maybe we should create a blogging hashtag for it, haha! #becauseimagreatmum xx

  8. I love this post. I really learned this lesson over the last year. I still struggle with it sometimes. I truly believe that staying calm is the best way to parent. If I am too stressed I drink some raspberry tea and it really helps me.

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