Birth: It's Not a Competition

Thursday, 24 July 2014

By Molly Forbes

In 10 weeks time, or thereabouts, I am going to have a baby. If it's anything like last time, the birth will involve pushing a small person out of my vagina. Or that's what I'm hoping, anyway.

This will be my second baby. It means that I've gone through labour and birth once before, which kind of makes it easier and kind of makes it harder. On the one hand, I know my body is capable - and I know to trust it. On the other, I know it will hurt.

As the weeks draw nearer I find myself "getting in the zone". I've already been doing weekly antenatal yoga classes and aquanatal lessons. I've listened to plenty of pregnancy and birth preparation meditations on YouTube. I've watched my fair share of One Born Every Minute Episodes.

And, amongst this preparation, something has come back to me. It's something I seem to have lost in the haze of nappies, toilet training, tantrums and amazing fun in the four years since I had my daughter. I'd forgotten just how competitive birth can be.

Welcome To The #IGwineclub

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

By Alison Perry

Instagram is full of clichés, isn't it? Lovely plates of food, cups of coffee, your shoes, cats, rainbows... you know the score. But we think that's how Instagram should be - it's almost like no matter what's going on in your life... chaos, stress, heartbreak... you can always rely on Instagram to stay constant and deliver you what you expect.

But as well as those reliable snaps of the branches of a tree with the sunlight streaming through them, I've been enjoying some of the memes on Instagram.

Some of my favourites are...





The brilliant #IGteaclub was started by blogger Aly Hodge and it's something I take part in, on a regular basis. Take a look at some recent photos to give you a (tea-tinged) flavour.

So here at The Motherhood, we decided it would be a good idea to start our own version - with a twist. Say hello to #IGwineclub.

This is how it works...

If you take a snap of your wine (it can be white, red, rosé, sparkling - we're not fussy) upload it to Instagram and give it the hashtag #IGwineclub.

We'll come see your photo and tell you what we think of it (it'll probably be along the lines of 'Mmm looks good' or 'At 11am?!' you know, that kind of thing).

We will post our favourite #IGwineclub photos here on The Motherhood every month with a link to the relevant Instagram accounts.

Are you in?


Meet Gorgeous New Kids Interior Brand, My Little Venture

Friday, 18 July 2014

By Erica Davies

Hands up who's obsessed with room ideas for the kids? Yeah, knew it - it's not just me.

I am currently designing what will officially be called The Big Room Swap, which will see the kids changing rooms and which will see me in my absolute element decorating both of them.

Put it this way, Pinterest is getting some serious love right now.

One brand that has piqued my interest is My Little Venture, a beautiful, whimsical design studio founded by French-born, London-based designer Venture de Saboulin.

10 Amazing Birthday Presents for 1 Year Olds

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

By Molly Forbes

As Prince George fever hits the UK once again, we thought we'd celebrate the royal birthday in a week's time with a look around at some of the best presents to give a one year old.

It's not the easiest age to buy for - they change so much between the age of one and two that it can be tricky to work out what toys to buy. And clothes are grown out of pretty quickly too. But, if you know where to look, there's a wealth of alternative options for tots out there that don't have to involve lots of plastic or loud (and - let's face it - annoying) musical sounds.

If you're reading this Kate, there's just a week to get George's present sorted so get ordering one of these beauties today!

Why I Celebrate My Parenting Fails

Friday, 11 July 2014

By Alison Perry

Are you a good parent? Yes you, the person reading this. (Hello, by the way. Love your hair like that.)

I think it's fair to say that most of us would answer that question by saying 'yes'. We try our best, after all, don't we? If you get to the end of the day and your child has eaten one green thing (lettuce/peas/cucumber/interchangable veg), you're scraping food (not faeces) off the kitchen floor and you've only had the TV tuned to Nick Jr for two hours, YOU'RE DOING A GOOD JOB.

But despite me being due a B+ most days in my parenting report card, I often feel like I'm in line for a big fat F. Why? There is so much pressure on parents to be perfect.

We see images of motherhood everywhere - celebrity Instagram snaps, beautiful blogs, glossy magazines - and they subconsciously seep into our brains, confirming to us what being a mum is like.

But of course, they only show one element of being a mum. Yes, most parents experience beautiful, blissful moments... my heart goes warm and fuzzy when I remember the times when my three-year-old cuddles into me, after her bath, all wrapped up in a towel and says "Love you, Mummy" or when we were at Camp Bestival last year - the warm evening sun was glowing, we were sat on the grass watching a singer on the bandstand, I had a (plastic) glass of Pimm's and my daughter was dancing next to me.

But these moments aren't really a fair representation of being a parent, are they? They're just part of a much bigger picture.

So I feel the need to balance off this view by shouting about my imperfections as a parent. To show other mums that life isn't rose-tinted (or Walden-filtered). They're not the only ones having a bad day, while the rest of the world skips merrily through daisy fields, wearing trendy little outfits, as the sun shines down on us.

Don't misunderstand me. I love a bit of rose-tinted bliss. The magazines, blogs and websites that show this side of motherhood are like a form of escapism for me. Just as I look at the fashion shoots in the glossy mags and feel inspired to put together a fabulous outfit the following day, I look at the perfect image of motherhood and feel inspired to do something fabulous with my daughter the following day.

But we need balance. We need £3 Primark shoes to balance out the £90 Cos dress. We need to talk about our parenting fails to balance out the pressure to be perfect.

So here I go...

One day recently, my daughter ate sausages for breakfast, lunch and tea.

Some days we leave the house and realise we forgot to brush her teeth.

She watches programmes (OK videos of people opening Kinder Eggs) on the iPad while she eats her tea, every night.

Her bedroom is a tip, with dressing up clothes, books and toys all piled on top of what was her baby changing unit.

We rarely bother making her bed.

I bribe her to behave well all the time.

All of these things are part of motherhood - my experience of motherhood - and I'm going to celebrate them along with the beautiful moments. How about you?

WIN a Smart Home Cam Worth £99!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

If you're planning a holiday this summer and you're worried about leaving your home alone while you're away then this is the gadget for you.

The BT Smart Home Cam features motion detection sensors and connects to your home Wi-Fi, to immediately tell your smartphone or tablet if any movement is identified. It's James Bond but without the scary shooting bits. And villains. And sharks. Actually, it's nothing like James Bond but it's the kind of thing he'd probably want in his house if he was tootling off on a two week camping holiday to Cornwall.

School Reports Are In

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The envelopes have been taken home in sweaty palms, torn open, read, re-read and decoded. What do you mean you're below the national average in macramé Luella? Relax! Before you start home-schooling or interviewing tutors check out these less than glowing report excerpts of some kids who came good in the end. 

 Pretty Average Bert. Must do better…

"Certainly on the road to failure... hopeless . . . rather a clown in class...wasting other pupils' time."
Naughty John Lennon

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