It takes a village

When you have a baby, life will change and even if you’re the most independent person, you’ll realise that a good support network makes it a lot easier/better. I think you get to enjoy it a lot more, if you have help! I LOVE Maximus and Bear all the world but I’m with them 24/7 and sometimes they make me contemplate my life πŸ˜‚ I can see why people go to work part time, it would be like a break! My BFF Mac actually said the the other day, she wished she could go to work for the day. For a rest! And I get that shit. Most of my friends have amazing mums that couldn’t do more if they tried, Mother in laws on hand, one has a sister that loves children more than most parents love their own, another has a nanny, or they have capable baby daddies! Don’t get it twisted, i could leave my offspring with the baby daddy for a couple of hours, if I’ve got one to sleep before I left 😩 But I’d still be unable to relax whilst I was out. Showing that it does take a village to raise a child.

One of my baby Mumma friends text the other day, saying she was having a shit time and that neither her mum or Mother in law had text/reached out to see if she needed any help with the kids. Even though it was obvious to anyone with eyes, that maybe she could do with some respite. Not that to look at her, you would think ‘fuck me shes struggling’ BUT she has the whole 2 under 2 thing going on, which is just her normal every day life. But then on top of that daily slog, her household had a sickness bug, plus her eldest baby also managed to break his foot, then all of this with no sleep, is going to break the CEO of mum bosses! Now none of this shit was on the down low, so it’s not as though her mum or MIL have the excuse of not being in the loop, so didn’t know to reach out.

And it got me thinking, that being a mum can sometimes be soooooo dog shit. Even if you have the most supportive of networks but how much harder it is, when you don’t have people to fall back on.

For moi, my support network comes in the form of my BFFs, they keep my sanity in check. My respite is when we all descend upon one house for some kind of mob dinner. And the parenting is shared πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ It really does take the dairy off! And I love that all our offspring grow up together. That we celebrate everything we can, with all of us, to make their memories special. One of my favourite times to date, was when our eldest crew member Finn, started secondary school. And we all descended upon Petes house for breakfast, before he set off for the bus stop. So me and Mac (9months pregnant) were there before 7, with kids in tow. Whilst I rustled up pancakes, music on, memories being made. It really made me realise how lucky I am, to have the ‘village’ I do! And cementing the fact in my head, that you reap what you sow! If you want to be part of those important moments, then you make sure you are.

To be honest, before I had children I thought it would be a lot different to how it actually is. Firstly I thought my mum would be on the scene but she’s a full time crank, so that hasn’t been the case. When I first had Maximus, I felt like I needed to include her, to make her feel part of it. But that mainly meant biting my tongue, which eventually means you’re going to blow. So that was soon knocked on the head. When I was younger I spent any time I could at my nans house, every weekend until I started secondary school and wanted to play out, I would be at my nans house. We would go round after school, even when we moved from Tottenham to Loughton, she still lived in the deepest darkest πŸ˜‚ If my mum went out, all 5 of us would be dropped to my nans for the night. My mum has told me, she would go round there all day and sometimes stay, when she had me and my younger siblings and that she had never once said no, if asked to ‘babysit’ us. And my nan worked full time, up until I was about 7. So she knows she was very lucky to have that support. And that’s now something I really envy. I know lives are different now, so grandparents don’t just sit in every night, there out on the razz, enjoying their lives. Which listen, bravo them! Life is for living. But fuck me, everyone harps on about how being a grandparent is so much better than being a parent. But I don’t know how half of them know, as they do fuck all with their grandchildren. Or the actual bare minimum yet manage to get a photo up on Facebook! To make sure everyone sees them being grandmother of the year, for 4hours out of 1 month. I don’t even include grandads in this, as poor old Maximus and Bear have a crack head for one. And then my dad as their other 😱 And I never wanted to be left with my dad, so I defo wouldn’t inflict such cruelty on my offspring. They’d end up having to watch some shit western film all day and ask for one biscuit 😭

I think ideally you need the support of your mum when you have children, especially your first. Whether it be to come stay in those first few days, or come round daily and put a load of washing on, make you dinner, or to show you the motherhood ropes! When I had Maximus, without sounding wankey … I can’t say I felt overwhelmed by becoming a first time mum. But I think that’s mainly because circumstances meant I was independent and responsible from a young age, so it wasn’t something that frightened me. The only time I can say I appreciated my mum, was when I first had Bear, she would come round and take Maximus out for a walk or round to the park. So at least he didn’t get cabin fever. But other than that, I can’t say she was of any particular help.

It’s another reason I can see the good in social media, for people who don’t have a support network, it gives you a lifeline. There’s so many different types of parents to follow on Instagram, so you will defo be able to relate to someone on there. That’s why I think it’s so dangerous when people try to make out their kids shit don’t stink! Or on Facebook, you have untold ‘mums groups’ I’m a member of a couple local to where I live, ‘loughton mums and dads’ being my fave πŸ’ƒπŸ» I can see how mums find support in strangers. People ask questions on there about anything and everything, whether it be about recommendations for a private ENT doctor, for a diagnosis of their child’s rash 😎 Or to ask when the new Aldi is going to open 1000 times a week 😱 But a support network it is! If you didn’t have a babysitter/nanny and needed to find someone you trusted, it really would be my first port of call. I know that sounds mental or no different to that bubble babysitting app (that blows my mind 😬 ) but it’s recommendations from other mums, in a ‘community’ that you’re part of, so you trust them. And listen, when you have to start booking in a night out 3months in advance, needs must πŸ’ƒπŸ»

So walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you judge & all that jazz. Mum life is hard Party People, obviously you have all the amazing moments in there as well! Like when they’re … sleeping 🀣 On a serious note and without putting people off breeding, it is amazing to watch someone you CREATED, you GREW become a person. But make sure you go into it with your eyes wide open!

Peace out. Love thy neighbour.

Alabama Lola ❣️

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2 thoughts on “It takes a village

  1. I have lost my shit 100 times this week and the only thing keeping me partially sane is that my mum friends are dealing with the same crap. Non-Mum friends have no idea the shit that goes down on a daily basis with kids πŸ˜‚ how can little people that you love so much drive you absolutely crazy and push you to the limit. I love that you now have a blog too!

  2. I can tell you from spending the last 32 years with my village of three Mom and 11 children combined, you have created something wonderful. It has sustained us through so many life events. From diapers to weddings and everything in between. The life long bonds and memories are irreplaceable. Without our village we would not have survived the shit that life has thrown our way. We have now moved on to the next phase, grandchildren. It truly does take a village. Treasure it.

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