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- 10 Mar 17

Blogging is a funny old game. I still cringe introducing myself as a blogger. But then again my brother, who is a musician, feels embarrassed about carrying a guitar about. Maybe it’s the same thing? Or just a classic case of imposter syndrome.

Anyway here’s a list about why I share my ramblings with the world:

I actually had a blog 5 years ago called Lists on the Northern Line. I was in the middle of a terrible phase of anxiety* which meant I had daily panic attacks on the ‘tube part’ of my commute. Writing lists became my distraction/coping mechanism.

Although I enjoyed writing it. I didn’t really have a reason for doing it. So it petered out.

3 years and 2 kids later, in March 2015, Mother of All Lists was born.

Here’s why:

Parenting is hard.

It makes you feel as if everyone is having a better, easier time than you.

Parenting can be lonely and relentless. Days can go by without having an adult conversation.

Sustained sleep deprivation fucks you up.

It can strip away your identity.

It messes with your confidence.

Makes you question: how to dress, who your mates are and what you want out of life.

And back when I had Bertie I couldn’t find anyone to help me navigate the madness.

My Mum lives abroad.

My siblings were still firmly in the having fun stage.

And we were the first of our friends to have a kid. So I looked elsewhere for advice, guidance and a sanity check.

Parenting books were too heavy going. (I’m always been the sort of girl who preferred to watch the film/get the study guide rather than read the set text).

Mumsnet was too negative. I saw people sharing their baby name ideas and then being ripped to pieces for their choices.

( I’m of the opinion that if you grow the human, it’s your choice what to call them).

ANYWAY after having Woody, my second, I felt more confident. As if I had graduated from an amateur parent to a competent one.

At which point I thought I’d have a go at sharing some of my experiences:

Doing so cleared my head. It got my baby brain back in gear. And seeing those first 1o’s and 100’s of reads come in gave me a thrill to do it again.

I learnt from my peers: Unmumsy Mum, Hurrah For Gin, Mother Pukka, Susie Verrill, Step Don’t Buy Her Flowers and of course Clemmie Hooper.

I learnt it was ok to have mixed feelings about your small humans. To find them insanely annoying but heart hurtingly amazing.

It’s ok to question why you did it. And think ‘My old life child-free life was actually really good, why did we we mess it up?’

To find your marriage under massive strain. The way I spoke to Ben after a string of bad nights was frankly appalling.

It’s ok to say ‘I’m struggling’.

It’s ok to be genuinely worried about your postpartum hair.

And to respect your body for growing a human, but not like the way it looks in the aftermarth.

It’s also ok to still REALLY like fashion. But have now clue how to ‘Dress Like a Mum’ (thankfully Zoe came to the rescue ).

It’s ok to occasionally wear red lipstick to the park just to cling on to a tiny bit of your own identity.

It’s ok to cover puke/wee/snot/vomit with a towel rather than endure more washing.

It’s ok to: use a dummy/co-sleep/cuddle them too much/mix feed/feed them to sleep/ follow a routine/have zero routine. It’s OK TO DO WHAT EVER YOU NEED TO DO TO SURVIVE.

It’s ok to want to be free from your kid but feel too bound to them to allow yourself that freedom.

It’s ok to want to hold on to your career. Doesn’t mean you don’t feel a pang of guilt every Monday.

Equally, it’s ok to want to choose to staying at home. Doesn’t mean you don’t feel a pang of envy on Monday morning.

And it’s ok to crack into the prosecco/gin & tonic on a Friday afternoon whilst doing kids tea. Pizza with an all important carrot sticks on the side to ease your conscience.

Blogging/Instagram has given me the confidence to say all of the above. It’s helped me know who I am.

It has given me an incredible support network. Every time a stranger reaches out to say ‘hope you are ok.’ It blows me away.

Every like, follow, share, comment is not only humbling it’s sanity saving. It’s given me so so many laughs at the disastrous, life-affirming, maddening, hilarious, emotional and often shitty experience of being Mum. So Thank You, Thank You very much for going on this journey with me.

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Clemmie Telford

Whatcha. I am a Mamma of two little boys, living in South East London. It feel as if I am constantly winging it as I parent. But maybe I'll still feel like that when I am 72? I write in lists because, well, I'm not quite capable of stringing together or writing a sentence any more. They are a collection of observations of this mental journey we are all on. It's a 'roller-coaster ride' you can't get off, so we may as well laugh (and drink Gin).

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