Willing but Unable

Is it just me, or are some new mums just so bloomin’ capable? By this I mean those new mums that just seem to pop out a baby and take to this parenting malarkey like they’ve finally fulfilled their life’s destiny? Like they’ve actually been doing it all their lives? They’re confident and competent and so bloomin’ capable!

I am not one of these capable new mums. After nearly 4 months, I may have a vague idea of what I’m doing, but I’m less willing and able and more willing and unable, it seems. Yet I constantly feel the pressure to be the capable mum creature.

From breastfeeding to baby wearing, cloth nappies to baby led weaning, mums that manage every baby class going and still find time to do the housework, these mums just seem able to do it all – and I use the above purely as examples of what I personally would like to aspire to in an ideal world, for it seems that this breed of capable mum can turn their hand to anything, and not worry about their choices, either.

Getting to grips with baby wearing!

I, on the other hand, constantly worry about my decisions and choices, and am less baby wearing, more awkwardly-manhandling-the-baby-out-of-the-buggy. I seem to be able to master about one parenting aspect a month – at the moment it is the aforementioned baby wearing that I’m getting to grips with, as per my previous post. I have a small stash of cloth nappies, but am yet to put one on Baby Lighty’s little bum as I don’t have a nappy bin and, quite frankly, I don’t really get what I’m supposed to be doing with them (don’t ask me about the abbreviations on cloth bum sites either; I have no idea what strip washing is!), and I’m currently reading the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook, but am already worrying about ‘doing it right’! And the breastfeeding discussion is a whole other post for a whole other day!

Anyway…

There’s been much discussion and eye-rolling of late regarding what I like to call ‘Pinterest Pressure’. If you’re a Pinterest addict like me, you’ll know what I mean. The mums that pack healthy-yet-fun lunch boxes – often with a handwritten note, or better yet a note which can be downloaded as a ‘freeΒ printable’, included to tell their little darlings how proud they are of them on their first day of school – the mums that create fantastic baby sensory play from a loo roll, some lentils and a blob of playdough, and the mums that can pull off the most fantastic first birthday parties, often accompanied by oodles of flower arrangements, or balloons, or both, in pretty pastel shades and a very obvious, very adhered to theme – there’s always a theme!

Pinterest

If I’m being completely honest, I must admit that I’m not too worried about the latter point as I do love to throw a good party with a theme, and already have two – yes two! – secret Pinterest boards dedicated to Baby Lighty’s first birthday party, but the Pinterest example does make me wonder if social media is to blame in cultivating the capable parent image.

Mr & Mrs Lighty with our suitcase cakes at our travel themed 30th birthday party. Party planning is something that Mrs Lighty is vaguely able to do!
Later on at the party, having raided the photobooth prop-style dressing up box!

It’s a conversation that Mr Lighty and I have regularly in that I often remind him that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors – or rather, beyond Facebook profiles – and myself and two good friends have been known to share via Whatsapp the ‘outtakes’ of photos taken before the ones that made it to Facebook with the hashtag: ‘real-life-not-FB-life’.

Just because, a snapshot from my tea party baby shower complete with vintage teacups, floral arrangement, framed scan pictures and seed packet favours in the background!

I know that Mr Lighty had a Facebook friend whose paternity leave was seemingly spent enjoying fabulous family days out and pub lunches with the new baby…Mr Lighty and I were lucky if we managed to shower before 2pm in those first two weeks! But did we share that on Facebook? No, we only shared our own little trip to the local park (we were forced out of the house by a midwife’s appointment so thought we’d make the most of being out and about for half hour!) and our very brief visit to the seaside, cut short by the demands of breastfeeding.

So maybe it’s less of a case of being willing but unable in terms of parenting, and more the case of being unwilling to share the lows on social media. I hope that my blog is honest enough to go someway towards rectifying the perfectly capable mother image. As long as we all love our offspring – and I know that we all do that by the bucket load – then we are, in fact, perfectly capable, and that’s all that matters.

Twinkly Tuesday
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25 thoughts on “Willing but Unable

  1. Great post! It made me smile because nobody is doing everything to such a level – it’s impossible. I don’t know why we’re all in competition or why it started or what the prize is at the end for the mummy that can do it all, but like you said, so long as there is love (and plenty of it) everything is okay x

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  2. I have a friend with a slightly younger baby always running to me for advice but I’m just as clueless as her most of the time. I think we’re probably all making it up as we go along, just some are hiding it better than others. All of my ‘knowledge’ is via google or old wives tales. Mostly google though.

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    1. We are definitely making it up as we go along, but no one is ever going to share that on social media which is where this perfect mother image is being created, I’m sure. Thanks for taking the time to read πŸ™‚

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    1. The BLW just looks like such a good idea – fun for us and them, and yet seems to make less fussy eaters! I’m actually really looking forward to it, but I might do the NCT weaning course first just so that I’m prepared… Thanks for taking a read of my post πŸ™‚ #bestandworst

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  3. This is a great post and I wouldn’t worry, I’m on my 2nd and question what the hell I’m doing and what did I do with the first lol……… we all just do the best we can I think and it sounds like you are doing great. I loved the sound of your baby shower, love the little tea cups πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up with the #bestandworst and hope you’ll link up again! X

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  4. Very very true and something I often wonder about. Do those amazingly well put together mums have a cleaner, or parents who are constantly helping… And, how are they out the door by 8 with a newborn?!
    I should add, your baby shower looked amazing and I love those tea cups, such a fab idea #twinklytuesday

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    1. Ah thank you, I do love a good party – think I missed my calling as an event planner! Good point about those amazing mums having help – perhaps they do, but dya know what? If they do, then we’re even more amazing for doing it all by ourselves (with the support of our partners, most of the time!!). Thanks so much for taking the time to read πŸ™‚ #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. It’s ridiculous isn’t it? For every Instagram perfect shot, I bet 100 quid that if you moved the shot over a little, you’d see an overflowing laundry basket or a table covered in tat! It’s all smoke and mirrors isn’t it? Not ‘real’ life!! Amazing we all get sucked in by it! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  6. I love how honest this post is πŸ™‚ I too look at other mums on social media and wonder how they have it all together. I used to be the one who only posted the highs of motherhood but quickly realised that I was only fooling myself and that in actual fact by sharing the lows too, I found a lot of other mums had experienced the same and in turn, found some comfort and support. I have started my own blog recently and have great support from people when I have shared the low points.

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    1. Thank you! It’s so true, we all share the highs – and I think we all remember the highs from other people’s posts and not their lows, too. Thank you for reading, I’ll have to come and have a look at your blog too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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