Making Time for Me and Sharing Tales of Motherhood with Peanut

In amongst the sad parts of last week I have been thinking about the importance of me. I have written before about how during the hardest parts of this year my promise to myself has been to “just get through this year”. I hope next year will be easier; that next year there will be more time for me. As Baby Boy turns 11 months old I have been reminded that it’s time to start living my life again.

A cup of tea in a Christmas cup and saucer on a white duvet with a notepad and pen

Last week I went to Strip to review their lash tint and Wow Brow treatments. Since Baby Boy was born I have pretty much let myself go so this was a lovely treat. I think I have had my hair cut once since he was born, I have dyed it probably twice, the nail varnish on my toes was so chipped that there was more nail than colour and I have exercised only a handful of times. 

The results of my Strip appointment are subtle, but sufficient to make me feel better about myself. I might have messy hair and clothes, but having neat brows shows the world I do take care of myself, honest. It’s a small thing, but actually it meant a lot. It gave me confidence which was helpful because that afternoon I had lunch in a roomful of beautiful women including the likes of Stacey Solomon, Michelle Kennedy, Izzy Judd and Tessa Maye.

Peanut lunch - #SharingCostsPeanuts

I was invited to a festive lunch organised by Peanut. For those who haven’t heard of the app before it’s a bit like Tinder for mums. You can chat in forums, but also swipe up to wave at other local mum’s you would like to chat to and meet up with. I wasn’t too nervous heading to the event because I knew it would be full of Mums, many with young children. I didn’t worry that the only decent trousers I have are jeans and I just pulled on a clean sweatshirt. Oh my, I didn’t realise that the women I was about to have lunch with were a cut above the normal mummy bloggers I see at events all the time. These women were evidence that you can have a baby (and many even had them with them) and be styled, beautiful and fashionable. It wasn't just one or two that looked amazing, but everyone. So what is my excuse?

While the lunch made me question why I have let myself be so lazy, I didn’t actually feel sad about how I looked partly due to my new fab brows, and partly because everyone I spoke to was so lovely. There were many amazing women in that room, women who have achieved fantastic things and yet we could all share stories about lack of sleep, weaning, problems breastfeeding, which formula is best, having multiple children, lack of routine, the list goes on. The atmosphere wasn’t one of “I’m better than you, look what my child can do”, but “being a mum is tough, these are the things I find hard about it, what about you?”. The theme of the lunch was sharing our stories and boy did we all share.

If you try and do motherhood alone surrounded by maybe a partner, friends who don’t have children and media images of beautiful women doing amazing things with their babies you will feel awful, you will feel you aren’t good enough and you will think you are failing as a mum. Through my blog and social media (especially my Instagram stories) I talk honestly about my experiences and I hope to make women feel that they are not alone in what they are going through.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have shared one of my mum fails on social media, or I have been having a conversation with other mums and someone has said “thank you, I thought it was just me!”. It is so easy to believe that everyone is doing better than us, but it isn’t true. If we don’t have these conversations, if we don’t share the truth (good and bad) then we will never know.

Me grinning crazily next to a cool and stylish Stacey Solomon at a peanut app meet up

Self Help

The third thing to happen last week which really pulled my thoughts together was a book I’m reading. It was on offer on Kindle so I bought it and it is amusing in an over the top American and not very well written way, but what it is saying is resonating with me right now. I can not, and will not, sit around and complain about my life when I am making no effort to change the things I don’t like. 

Clearly the writer of the self help book isn’t a mum of 3 with a baby who doesn’t sleep and her concept of free time and control over her day differs a little to my reality, but I am making choices every single day. I can choose to spend my “free” time scrolling through my phone or working or exercising or cleaning and I can choose to work at changing my attitude, act like more positive people, to shout less. I might not be able to change overnight, but I can absolutely use all that amazingness that is in me to achieve what I want to achieve. Except maybe children who sleep through the night. That I can not achieve.

This weekend as well as spending time with my family, cleaning and working I have taken time out for me. I have had a bath because my body hurt, hidden away to enjoy a cup of tea in peace and painted my toenails. I feel I have shouted less and been calmer. Why wait until January to change when I can start straight away?

A bubble bath with a knee and foot showing

***Disclosure: The Strip review is gifted as was the lunch. I was invited to lunch with Peanut, but I was under no obligation to blog about it. It’s hard to know what sort of disclosure covers it when not everyone there was an influencer or blogger, but #AD just in case.***

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