It’s been a rather challenging year with lows and highs, and I just hope the 2019 offers more of the happiness we’ve carried through 2018.Read more
It’s that time of year again when the ‘freshers’ are bouncing around university excited for their new, independent life. Signing up to societies and getting to know their (in most cases) new city and campus.
But it’s also that time of year where a lot of people are heading into their final year as students and are preparing for the next stage of adulthood, also known as reality where there are no ‘free overdrafts’, weekday drinking and basically, ‘shit’ gets serious.
As a student mum, I can safely say that becoming a mother in my second year at university, definitely prepared me for final year and heres why!
Before I became a mum, I would always make bold statements about the type of parent I wanted to be. But one thing I should never have said is “I won’t let my child do that”.
It’s quite easy to make assumptions of the type of parent you will be when you don’t have a child, but once you become a mum or dad you soon realise that ‘perfect parenting’ doesn’t exist.
Last year I decided to do 10 Things I Learned in 2016, and since it’s that cliché time of year (again) where everybody is making their New Years resolutions and summing up how their 2017 has been, I thought I would reflect on the year and what I have learnt…
When you’re a parent, you make up your rules, create your own routine and discipline in a way that works for you.
And what do you do if you’re not a parent, and you’re just looking after someone else’s child? Not disagreeing with the parent of said child.
One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is people interfering with how a parent chooses to raise their child, (obviously in some cases it’s necessary).
It is not your job to decide what discipline method a person should use on a child, or if “one more drink of cola won’t hurt”.
You’re not the one who has to deal with the child 24/7. You don’t have to deal with the bedtime stress when they’re bouncing off the walls, or deal with the consequences of a “eat as much sugar as you want today”, the day after. So don’t change the rules.
Like I said, what mama says, goes.
Whether you’re the grandparents, auntie or uncle, a family friend, whether you’re the prime minister or Beyoncé, your opinion on how to raise a child that is not yours, is pretty much irrelevant.
If the mum or dad doesn’t want their child to have a bar of chocolate because their tea is in an hour, don’t say “one bar won’t hurt them” and give the child the chocolate.
You’re basically teaching the child to disrespect their parents.
You might think it’s harmless, and yes they’re ‘just a child’ (but trust me those mini me’s are a lot more clever than we think), but by outright disagreeing with the parent and interfering, you’re letting that child think that they can do that too.
Children need rules and boundaries, and they need to learn how to respect their parents because it teaches them how to respect authority figures as they grow up.
If you have something to say about it, or even just a general “well why can’t they have another ice cream?”
Ask when the child is not around.
There are far too many people wanting to be a child’s best buddy, and back their corner so that they will like them more, but all it does is interrupt the way a parent is trying to raise their child.
Raise your child however you want to raise them, just don’t ignore mum and dads rules and make your own.
The world of parenthood is a judgemental one, so to speak.
When you have a baby, some people (even total strangers), think that you want their opinions and their advice, even when you really don’t.
But everyone always has an opinion on how to raise your child.
People will tell you to do one thing, but when you do that, they tell you that you should do the opposite.
You can never win.
But at the end of the day, it’s your child.
Being a new parent, it’s hard at first trying to get into the swing of things, so I thought advice from my parents and other parents would be useful.
A lot of the time though, I felt as though the advice wasn’t right for us. When Leo needed winding and cried, people said to put him down he’s just being needy.
When I stopped breastfeeding too, I was told by the Health Visitor that Leo wasn’t getting enough milk from a bottle, so I should breastfeed again.
Leo put on more weight bottle feeding than when I was breastfeeding.
If you love them endlessly, through the tears and the giggles, you’re doing everything right by your child.
No one knows your child better than yourself.
Next time someone offers you some advice that you 100% know won’t work for you little one, just smile and say: “Thank you, but I think we’ll be alright”.
Yes, it’s that cliché time of year again when everyone writes posts about the highs and lows of 2016 and what they’re looking forward to most in the new year, (this year I’m going to learn how to multitask, I’ll need that with a baby and university!), but what harm does a little planning and reflecting do? Christmas is good for a bit of relaxing before everything gets hectic when the clock strikes 12 (maybe not that quick but it’s as good as) and thinking of everything the past year has brought, so here’s what I’ve learned in 2016…
- You can never have too much of something. The first thing I’ve learned is you can never have too much of something, whether that’s practical things such as deodorant, toothpaste, bleach (the boring things, basically), or even chocolate, who doesn’t love to indulge in a bit of chocolate eating now and then? As a woman, I love nothing more. I love being organized, so I like to have at least 2 of everything just in case I run out. Keeping on top of this was a lifesaver, (especially when I noticed my partner using my foundation every now and then and if he used the last of it he wouldn’t say), always having spares saved me from those panicked trips to the shop 5 minutes before you’re meant to be somewhere. So next time you’re picking up something, buy an extra and save yourself the trip!
- Follow your instincts. One thing I’m really bad at is trusting my own instincts because I doubt myself a lot. If your heart tells you to go for that job, but you feel like it wouldn’t benefit you in the long run, just go for it! It’s the same for if you get a bad feeling about something, trust yourself enough to know what you think you should do!
- Things change and people change. It’s a fact of life that not everyone or everything stays the same, we have to learn and grow and make changes that not everyone will agree with, but it’s okay to change things about yourself or in your life if it makes you happier. We also have to accept that others do this too and we might not like it but we have to be understanding of their needs which is sometimes hard but try to look at the bigger picture.
- Timing is everything. Not everything in life goes the way you want it to. When things don’t add up or go to plan it can be the most annoying thing in the world. You’ve just got to trust that it happened, or didn’t happen, for a reason.
- The little things matter. Just smiling at someone as you pass them on the street could make their day, there’s been plenty of times this year where a stranger smiling or picking something up for me that I’ve dropped has made my day a million times better. It’s the same with those you love, just making an extra cup of coffee in the morning for someone you live with might just brighten their day! This year my partner has told me every day that I’m beautiful, (even on those no make-up and hair tied up days) and I always do that embarrassed-girly denial thing, but deep down it’s made me feel more confident in myself and want to better myself too!
- It’s okay to let go. I personally find it hard to let go of anything, if I accidentally stepped on your toe in the supermarket I would spend the rest of the day (and month after) feeling guilty about it. But it’s not just those things, it’s things that have happened in the past that we might use as a defence for ourselves. Letting go and moving on, as cliché as that sounds, is a lot better than holding onto those tiny grudges or feelings that make us feel bad about ourselves.
- Lazy days are just as important as working days. I’m a strong believer in you get out what you put into this world, but sometimes you just want a sofa day where you binge watch TV shows and eat bad food. I think those days are important in order to rest and allow your brain to take a break, just as long as you don’t do it all the time!
- Having your hair tied up is more effort than down sometimes. I’m not one of those girls who can pull off the messy-bun look, so for me having my hair tied back or in a messy bun on my head takes a lot more effort than straightening or curling my hair! Anyone else has this problem?
- It’s okay to be happy, even when someone else isn’t. Never, ever feel guilty for celebrating or for being happy about something when someone near you is unhappy. Enjoying that moment of happiness is more important than hiding it because you never know when the world might knock you down again, just don’t boast or brag to the extent that someone else could feel worse. If it helps, let the person who is unhappy in and enjoy your happiness too and do everything you can to cheer them up!
- You don’t have to impress everyone. Don’t waste time on half-assed friends or half-assed people, if they don’t like you don’t let it bother you. The people in your life that love and care about you are the ones that matter most and will have the most impact on your life.