There appears to be roughly three camps when it comes down to us mums and dads. There are those who put a brave face on it and tell you their baby sleeps through the night when actually they were up at 2am rocking their bundle of joy relentlessly like the rest of us, the lucky bastards whose babies really do sleep through the night, and those who are brutally honest about the perils of parenting. I think you can probably guess what camp I’m in.
The web is awash with pictures, videos and testaments from dotting mums and dads who want to shout from the rooftops how much they love their offspring. I am guilty of it too on occasion (only this morning I uploaded a video of Coco “shaking it off” at 5am) but, to be honest, as a general rule of thumb over sentimentality is not really my style. A common theme that runs throughout Coffee, Kids & Ice Cream is how blinkin tough being a parent is, I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again and again and again. Throughout my average parenting week, there are many moments that I think I can’t cope, particularly during the summer months when I’m flying solo with the kids a lot more than I would like. But do you know what makes me feel better? Knowing that I’m not on my own, that these thoughts do not make me a bad mum, incompetent or in any way less loving, and that actually most mums feel exactly the same. That it’s normal. And how do I know this? By fantastic friends sharing tales of their mummy meltdowns and by other people like parenting bloggers detailing their daily disasters. There is a reason why blogs like The Unmumsy Mum are so darn popular. She tells it like it is and doesn’t try and polish the turd that can at times be parenting.
Not that I blame the camp who try and give this parenting gig a positive spin. Endless moaning doesn’t do anyone any good (although I do love a bloody good whinge, especially when there is wine involved), and it is very easy to get stuck in a rut of negativity. Recently poor old Raffy has had a stinker of an ear infection, which has meant even more late night raving than usual. My first instinct upon waking for what felt like the hundredth time was to have a good old moan via social media. But I do my best to hold back as no one likes a moaning minnie, it’s boring. My friend also once admitted that she used to always tell people that her baby slept through the night because she couldn’t face the tirade of advice and helpful tips that would inevitably follow, and that’s fair enough. Everyone has been in those shoes and wished they’d just kept quiet whilst listening to the “help” of well meaning friends and relatives. So if you are ever in need of a bit of honesty when it comes down to parenting, I will be more than happy to spill the beans and hopefully you’ll find some funny tales to make you feel better. But in the meantime, I will be doing my best to follow the example Coco set this morning and just “shake it off”