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the sleep thief's mother

surviving life with a new baby

Month

August 2016

The Pressure of the perfect day

So, today was bank holiday, gloriously sunny and unfortunately the last time you’ll get a long weekend if you work full time, until Christmas! Yeah, suck on that one for a while, depressing huh?

Anyway, weekends normally mean quality family time for me and my boys, we eat out, go to the beach, go to soft play, take trips to new places, have picnics, visit family for barbecues, you know, all that kind of stuff.

Today, however, I woke up feeling kind of queasy, just generally run down and a bit headachey all day. The last thing I wanted was to be out in the sun around lots of people. But honestly, all day I don’t know what’s been bugging me more, the fact that I felt crappy or the fact that I was doing nothing special with my little one. The guilt of doing nothing special when you work full time is huge. I basically vegged out in front of the tele while his dad worked extremely hard to catch up on house work and keep our son amused all day.

But now I’ve put the baby to bed, kissed his forehead and tucked him in, I’ve realised all the pressure to be a perfect mum and have amazing perfect family days, comes from me. He doesn’t care if we paid an extortionate amount to travel somewhere fun and paid to get in and eat out, he just loves having fun and spending time with us. He’s still young enough to have no clue about the cost of anything, he only recognises the worth.

I’ve always known that the pressure to be perfect comes from within and that its completely fuelled by our constant insight into other people’s family life through social media. I’m just as guilty as anyone else of instagraming the good bits with the best filters to get the look I want. But I must keep reminding myself that like me, everyone else is cherry picking the good stuff, showing their best side. And that’s fine! That’s as it should be really. I want to remember the fun, the smiles, the giggles, but it doesn’t mean that the tantrums and fights don’t happen.

So, if you let the kids amuse themselves today while you did nothing so that you’re rested to go back to work, good for you! If you planned a family trip and made memories with your kids, great. If you dropped the kids with grandma and spent the weekend reconnecting with your partner, well done!

Not every day is worthy of Instagram. But you’ll always remember the ones that were.

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An open letter to the injured Syrian Boy

I’m so sorry.

I’m sorry that I’m part of a country that chooses to drop bombs of your country. I’m sorry that there are people living in your country who choose to inflict terror on the rest of the world so that we choose to fight back in the only way we know how. Most of us don’t realise that we’re terrorising you in the process.

I’m sorry that you were hurt that day. That you were scared. That you were alone. No little boy should ever have to be alone when he’s scared. I don’t know what happened to your mummy or if you’re back with her safely now, but I know that when you were scared and on your own, she would have wanted nothing more than to be there with you, because mummy’s are the same whether they’re Syrian or British.

I wonder what you were doing when that bomb hit. Were you sitting quietly playing? Perhaps you have a little train set like my son, he can sit for hours just pushing the train around the track. Or perhaps you were climbing and jumping around with your brothers and sisters, just being a kid. I hope that you get to still be a kid after all this. I hope you won’t be robbed of your childhood because of this.

I promise that because of you I will hold my little boy a bit tighter in the morning. I promise I’ll raise him to have compassion for others whether they speak the same language or not. I promise to try to inspire him to make the world a better place. I promise to make him realise how lucky he is to have been born here, in Britain.

Mostly I promise that the image of you frightened and alone in the back of an ambulance at just 5 years old the victim of an attack, it’s only ¬†purpose to hurt people, will never leave me. If I could hug you now I would.

I hope you find your mummy.

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