In an age where social media rules and that picture perfect Mum thrusts her ‘normal life’ upon us as, I sit and look around my house. There’s laundry to wash, clean laundry to put away, last nights washing up and toys everywhere. I’m exhausted from trying to stay on top of it all and as a busy parent I can’t help but feel like a failure. I’ve tried organisation systems, scheduling and planning and while they work for me for a while, as soon as something slips, everything slips and the overwhelming chaos takes hold. Even more so now I’m pregnant with Number 3.

 The Gruelling first trimester, while our bodies shift to accommodate the new life we’re creating, caused tiredness to completely take over – nap anyone?; and we end up feeling like we’ll never be in control again. Life can feel like its getting on top of you especially if, like me, you have a feisty 3 year old who enjoys nothing more than doing the opposite of what he’s told and pushing his 1 year old brother. Living the dream!

We’re All ‘Failures’ Here

But that’s the truth of it really. My house might be a mess. My washing might not always be done. I may spend days doing nothing more than lazing on the sofa with my boys. But they are HAPPY. They are fed and warm, have wild imaginations and great independence. Isn’t that all we really hope for? That our children will look back on their childhoods with warmth?

I can honestly say when I think back to my childhood I can’t remember if the house was a mess or if it was spotless. I do remember going for drives with my mum when I was sad. We would drive for about an hour, most often in the rain (isn’t it funny how it always seems to rain when you’re sad?). We’d stop at this little seaside spot. It was a line of about 5 or 6 parking spaces behind a short concrete wall over which would be the beach, and often on these raining gloomy stormy days the sea would be wild and foaming. Mum would run out of the car to get some chips and then we would sit there just watching the force of the sea bash against this wall and coat the golden sand in foam.

I love my Mum for those special moments.

My TOP TIPS For How ‘NOT’ To Mum

1.Stop Comparing To That Picture Perfect Mum

We have to stop comparing ourselves to that perfect Insta Mum. Most of them spend hours on staging their photos; take after take on getting that ‘picture perfect’ moment. I know this because, if you didn’t know, in the ‘Real World’ I used to toy at being a beauty consultant. Most Insta-Mammas will spend hours framing the right photo, then editing, cropping, filtering, touching up to get it looking just right.

Did you know there’s even an app now where you can literally change your face? Bizarre!

 It’s not ‘real life’ and not achievable in everyday.

Without makeup vs after makeup mum.
Me first thing in the morning (back in 2017) vs after Hair & Make Up!

2.Let It GO

KNOW  you all just sang that with me. But seriously when did we all become so uptight? When I was a teenager I didn’t give two hoots if my room was messy! It was sunny and I wanted to be outside! When did we prioritise HOUSEWORK over fun; turning into a stressed out wildling at the slightest sight of mess?

Let go of the stress and embrace a bit of fun and silliness again!

I can be a fun mum at times. I know how to be silly!

3. See Mum Through Their Eyes

You might not feel like Superwoman with everything under control. You may not think you’re as fun as though perky presenters on CBeebies – seriously. How much perkiness can one channel have?!

But what do your kids see? I would bet any money that they see the BEST Mum in the whole world, who gives the best hugs, lets them eat chocolate spread out the jar (now and again is fine!) tells the best stories and who they have the best adventures with!

So relax, forget the housework and be silly with them for a while!

Building a snowman in the snowstorm of 2018 was great fun with my kids.

So next time you are worrying about your to do list.

Next time the washing up is piled so high you feel like it would be easier to throw it all in the bin.

Next time you find yourself hunting through piles of clothes searching of a pair of mostly clean knickers.

Just remember – your kids don’t care about the mess.

They care about the memories. Go Puddle Jumping, leaf kicking, play hide and seek through your town or maybe even find a little beach, on a stormy day and watch the foam.

Do you know How ‘NOT’ to mum, or are you guilty of doing too much housework in the holidays and not enough play? Let me know how you balance it in the comments!

Sam Gravener Signature, Here I Mum Again