It’s official: I’ve been a mum for ten whole years – that’s ten whole years of motherhood!

Ten years of needing eyes in the back of my head, ten years surviving on the least sleep ever and ten years of overthinking things because you just can’t help it when you become a mum.

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It occurred to me as we were getting ready for Bluebell’s tenth birthday this week that as well as double figures being a landmark birthday for her, it’s a landmark birthday for me too – a whole decade of being a mum.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last ten years and how they’ve changed me, and I don’t just mean grey hairs and eye bags. Because it turns out there’s an awful lot they don’t tell you about motherhood, things that there really should be dog-eared cards at antenatal classes for. Like hulk poo and uses for baby wipes and what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a global pandemic.

So, to mark our first born’s tenth birthday I thought it would be fun to share a tongue-in-cheek post on 10 things I’ve learnt in ten years of motherhood.

10 things I’ve learnt in ten years of motherhood!

1. Motherhood is basically about wiping stuff

Bums, faces, noses, changing mats, high chairs, tables, door frames, floors: you name it, you’ll wipe it. And if you haven’t wiped it, you probably should.

2. Baby wipes are your new best friend

Because they’re not just for bums and faces – it turns out there’s all sorts you can do with a baby wipe. Alternative uses for baby wipes include removing make up, making school uniform last until the end of the week and waving them as a white flag of surrender on especially bad days (and there were rather a lot of those during lockdown!) I’ve always got a pack of baby wipes in my bag and I’ll be using them long after the babies have grown.

3. Bubble gum ice cream turns their poo green

And it looks like hulk poo (not that I’ve actually ever seen hulk poo, but it’s what I’d imagine hulk poo to look like). Why don’t they tell you this when you buy the stuff? Bubble gum ice cream should come with a health warning! But there’s no need to panic – it’s worse than it looks. Once you’ve worked out what’s causing it, hulk poo makes perfect sense.

4. It’s impossible to keep up with WhatsApp groups

Especially when there are WhatsApp groups for WhatsApp groups and breakout groups for breakout groups. Admittedly being a mum of four with three school WhatsApp groups and one nursery one in addition to all the other events there are WhatsApp groups for exacerbates the problem, but even with one child I reckon it’s virtually impossible to keep up with WhatsApp groups. You’re basically a PA for the kids.

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5. Homeschooling isn’t for me

And pandemic homeschooling definitely isn’t for me. It’s fair to say homeschooling during lockdown nearly broke me, partly because I also had a three-year-old and a newborn to look after, partly because I was *supposed* to be on maternity leave and a lot because I’m not cut out for it. I simply don’t have the patience. Hats off to anyone who does and actually chooses to homeschool. You deserve a medal.

6. Twinning is SO much fun

First time mum me turned her nose up at twinning, but four times mum me can’t get enough of it. Especially with three girls as well as myself to dress!

7. Alphabites are the best invention ever

Not only are alphabites one of the only things the kids will all eat without complaining, there’s endless fun to be had with them too. Like writing swear words they can’t spell with them and propositioning each other too.

8. Competitive tiredness is an unavoidable parenting trap

I just can’t help myself. Even though there are no prizes for being the most tired. I can’t tell you the number times Misery Guts and I fall into the who’s-the-most-tired rabbit hole in a week, but it’s a lot. And the trouble is the more tired I am, the more competitive I get. Which is ridiculous.

9. Having a baby in the middle of a global pandemic is a bad idea

Admittedly it was accidental (the baby I mean, not the pandemic) but even so having a baby in the middle of a pandemic is a bad idea. From birth plans going out of the window to hijacked maternity leave to homeschooling to not being able to have tea and cake in coffee shops, giving birth in a global pandemic was not in the birth plan!

10. If you can survive a global pandemic you can survive anything

Even Mr Tumble playing back to back on iPlayer all day because it’s the only thing that will stop them crying. As awful as lockdown was for us living in a two bedroom flat with four kids and no garden, I’ve come out of it thinking that if we can survive that we can survive pretty much anything. I’ve said before that there were bad days, very bad days and totally awful days during lockdown, but we’re still here and we’re still smiling (just)!