I have recently guested posted for the popular website Pregnancy and Beyond. They asked me to write about ten things I have learned as a mum of ten. Here's my ten things.
One – Sleep is so important
Sleep is something my husband and I now fantasise and bicker over. In honesty I have resented him many times over the years for his selective hearing at night. He says he doesn’t hear the children when they wake at night. I know he does. I also have no shame in admitting that I have on occasion deliberately disturbed him at night leaving the ensuite light on, knocking the bed to jolt him and so on. I have also been known to send him ranting voice notes to his phone during a particularly bad night to highlight just how much I had been awake that night along with just exactly what I thought of him. – that was some colourful breakfast entertainment for him (cringe). Yes I know I sound a bit mental but weeks of three hours broken sleep a day does send you a bit loopy loo.
Two – You never know it all
It is a true fact there is no super mum or dad. Everyone is just blagging there way along trying their best. You learn to be calmer and confident on certain aspects of parenting with the more experience you gain but, each of my children are just so different so each one of them has sent me back to the drawing board on certain things. You can only do your best.
Three – Sometimes you do just have to laugh
There has been many occasions when things have been so dire I have just had to laugh. I remember one occasion when two of my little ones decided pour baking flour on the floor mix it with tomato puree and water, and proceed to paint my dining room with it.Yes it was a nightmare and a major mess but kids will be kids and it was my own fault as I was distracted by a phone call and cleaning school shoes. Sometimes all you can do is laugh and carry on.
Four – No birth is the same
I have had such different births with all my children. home births with independent midwives, hospital natural births, epidurals, emergency c sections. Each one had it plus and minus points and seven of the births didn’t go to plan. Labour and Birth is like english weather the forecast doesn’t always match the day.
Five – Never take healthy children for granted
I had a real wake up call after the birth of my son Vincent. I had a straight forward pregnancy and birth but, he was born very poorly and had to be transferred to a high dependancy intensive care unit in a hospital hours away from home. It was an absolutely awful time and to be told my baby is probably going to die the worst thing I have gone through. Vince did make it and It made me realise how fortunate I am. I now really appreciate the health of all my children and have great sadness and empathy for parents who are not as lucky as me.
Six – I can cook for a football team
People always seem astonished I can cook for twelve daily. I have taught myself over the years to cook them home cooked meals because their health is really important to me. It can be challenging at times to cook for them all but its something I like to do as I know eating well is so important. Nothing beats us all sitting around our farm house table for a meal and talking about our day.
Seven – Every child needs to feel valued.
This is a really important thing I have learned. With ten children we do a lot of activities together but I think it is really important to spend one on one time with each child every week. Even if its just a walk with the dog, a trip to the shops, or a cuddle and a story I always make sure each child has that time just with me to tell them I love them and make sure all is well and chat about things that interest them.
Eight – Who ever said you can do two things at once did not have children
I have been known to be on the phone, be cooking supper, watching toddlers and cleaning the floor at the same time. I am almost certain I am not alone in the mummy juggle. Parents have to multi task or there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. I have learned to juggle since having so many children its just comes with the territory.
Nine – Everything is an occasion
We have a ready made party with all the children. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or a Birthday to have that special feel. A nice meal or a film and some popcorn makes a really special day and party atmosphere. I have learned little simple things please children just as much as lavish offerings. My children love a game of hide and seek around our farm or monopoly if it is a rainy day and then a film and some treats just as much as a day out at a theme park. Having all the children has taught me time together and memories mean more to children then grand gestures and money.
Ten – The days are long but the years are short
My eldest is twelve this month, I feel like I have blinked and I’ve lost a decade. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of teething or tantrums and the day to day grind to forget to appreciate your time with them and make the most of it. I think its important to spend as much time with children as possible because you can’t get this time back. Maybe one day I will be wishing they were all young and running ragged again. In fact I know I will.