I want to begin this blog by saying there are no written rules or specific ways to parent your children - and I firmly believe that everyone has their own parenting style, whether that be down to morals, values, background or own personal up-bringing.
Personally, I have no idea what kind of Mum I'm going to be. I can only hope to be the best I can, thanks to my own up-bringing and the wonderful job my Mum and Dad did with me. In my mind I imagine being calm, on-the-ball, organised and loving, but how can you know until you get there?
I'm just adamant I won't be one of those mums you see in the supermarket, yelling at the top of their voice for their child to behave. Easier said than done I'm sure, but surely that's not the best way to get them to listen and behave, particularly if you do this regularly?
When and if things get tough, you just have to remind yourself that you're lucky to have what you do. Sadly, not everyone gets to have their own baby and I hope to remind myself of that.
There's always going to be ups and downs, but treasuring and cherishing those first words, steps and days at school are so important - as everyone I know with children seems to say "They grow up much too fast".
ARE YOU A DOMESTIC GODDESS?
Yes, it's nice to have your house looking shiny and clean like a show home, but is that really do-able when you've got young children?
At the moment I have free time and like to spend this time cleaning my home and organising things - particularly as I'm going through the nesting period, but I've accepted that I might not have the time and energy to do it to this standard once Baby Stephens is born. You don't have to start living in a pig-sty, but I think it's acceptable to maybe take a few steps back and spend more quality time with your children rather than the dust-mites on your worktops.
HOW SOCIETY VIEWS MUMS
I don't think many family members or friends put pressure on parents or parents-to-be, it's more the fact that society does. When you look through Instagram, you see mums three months after giving birth snapping back into shape, looking just like they did before they were pregnant, and this just isn't "normal" for the average mumma. Unless you're one of those lucky ones who seem to lose the weight without trying. Who has time to go to the gym five days a week whilst looking after a newborn?
Celebrities and A-listers have the never-ending money pot to magically bounce back and spend on certain treatments to help them do so. As well as forking out on childcare in order to provide them with time to get to the gym. I know what it's like, you're flicking through Instagram thinking "I WILL look like that" or "how does she look so good" - particularly whilst I've been pregnant, feeling like a big blob - but there is absolutely no need to put this pressure on yourself.
So just you remind yourself that this isn't expected of you. Your body has done and been through something incredible.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
As long as Baby Stephens is loved and is shown this throughout his life, I'll be one happy mummy. I come from an extremely loving family (for which I am very thankful for), constantly saying we love each other and showing affection, and I want to make sure that I am this way with my son and any children I may have in the future. Love is the foundation of life.
I guess what I'm trying to say in this blog post is that you don't have to look at other mums and compare yourself to how they look or live their lives. Do what you want to do, bring up your family the way you want to and don't be ashamed of not living up to what other people expect. As long as you and your family are happy, that's all that matters.