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As a new mum or dad, sometimes it can feel like every little thing you do has to be flawless or else the parent police will come for you. But when you’re sleep deprived, aching all over and still shell-shocked at the fact that you bought a life into this world, striving for perfection can be the unwanted icing on the very overwhelming and metaphorical cake.
Fortunately, you’re not the first to have gone through this wild journey – some pretty famous parents have shared their relatable thoughts on parenting and just how to survive it so you can learn how to bat away the parent-shamers and their useless scrutiny.
1.You’re going to get advice from a lot of people, and you can take bits and pieces, but you know innately what your child needs. You should trust that.” – Lucy Liu
First time parents get swamped with contradicting advice about everything – from the age-old breast versus bottle debate to newer controversies like sharenting (plastering pictures of your child all over your social medias).
At the end of the day, remember that YOU are the parent; not your mother-in-law, not your mate from work and certainly not the lady from the baby shop who frowned at your pram choice. You are the expert on your child, not them.
Humans have been parents for millennia and in that time many childcare fads have been and gone, but the one constant is the parent and their innate knowledge. So, in the wise words of Lucy Liu, trust yourself, because you’ve got this…or at least the caveman in you does.
2.“The thing about parenting rules is there aren’t any. That’s what makes it so difficult.” – Ewan McGregor
And for those still feeling like they most certainly have not got this, take a leaf out of McGregor’s rule-less rule book. It’ll be a quick read!
The point, though, is that there is no right or wrong way to parent and recognising the challenge of this is a good way to take the pressure off. You can’t be expected to reach the inaccessible ideal when there’s no set way to get there. That would be like trying to climb Mount Everest with no oxygen supply – practically impossible and almost certainly fatal! So, cut out the middleman and save yourself the unnecessary stress.
3. There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill
Just like our favourite Scottish actor, Jill Churchill has spotted the parenting trap of trying to be perfect; kids don’t want perfect, but they do want effort.
Luckily, as Jill says, there’s a million ways to do that. Switch your mindset to looking at what you can do, instead of what you think you should be doing, and then you’ll be flying.
4. “Let’s be honest, kids take the number one position and it’s haaaaard to make the time for yourself.” — Kate Hudson
Having children doesn’t just change your body, it changes your whole world. Time becomes an unknown concept and self-care is just a far-off dream.
It is still important to take care of your own wellbeing though and we explain exactly why and how to in our short but sweet self-care ideas for mums blog post, perfect for those finding it haaaaard to make time for themselves while still looking after the kids.
5. “You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible-oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.” – Tina Fey
We think Tina Fey’s take on parenting is pretty accurate – most of the time it really does seem like you’re facing the impossible. When this happens, and thing get a little overwhelming, revert back to quote number one; trust your instincts and soon you’ll be nodding along with Fey, knowing you got through the impossible faster than Tom Cruise could say ‘ouch’.
6. “In the age of social media, when you can edit your life in beautiful pictures, it’s important to remind mums that all of us are wearing yogurt and all of our hands smell like urine.” – Kristen Bell
This is a great and very eloquently put reminder to parents that we’re all in the same boat, albeit may be one only held together with some very rusty screws.
Kristen Bell has spoken out many times about just how tough social media pressures can be on a mum. No one needs that constant, annoying inner voice demanding Instagram-able family moments ALL the time.
The truth on the matter is that this is simply not feasible; the realities of #mumlife are just too chaotic so instead of feeling like you’re not as good as everyone else and their ‘put-together’ lives, remember that it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll be thinking exactly the same thing about you.
Thank you, Kristen Bell, for that lesson. And also, for the lesson that a good sense of humour is a major key to surviving parenthood!
7. “My not-even-one-year-old, he’s a lump of meat. Like, I love him, but he’s, you know, 10 months old.” – Mila Kunis
This quote from Mila Kunis is your reminder that your new baby doesn’t have to constantly feel like a shiny new toy that you need to be obsessed with 24/7. Prepare yourselves for controversy of the century…Babies aren’t actually that thrilling.
Though we love them instantly, the ‘like’ can take a bit longer; they don’t have their personalities yet. Don’t stress if the supposed joys of parenthood haven’t hit you so far. Things get a lot more exciting when they can talk back!
8. “I suck at swaddling. I don’t know whether to use glass or plastic bottles. I never knew there were so many types of nipples. And installing a car seat is like taking the SATS! I don’t have all the answers, which feels terrifying.” — Gabrielle Union
No one likes not always having all the answers and with the minefield that is parenting, there are times when you are bound to feel dishevelled and out of your depth.
As much as we’d love there to be, we’ve already figured out that parenting doesn’t come with a rulebook or even instruction manual but take comfort in the knowledge that this means all parents are feeling the same. Mums and dads everywhere are making perfect personifications of swans on a lake – things might look composed from the surface, but underneath, all hell is breaking loose.
And that’s more than okay because this is your first time being a mother or father and that means it’s also your child’s first time as a son or a daughter so you can muddle happily through the minefield together.
9. “A two-year-old kid is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld
I think everyone can agree with this quote about children – mess is inevitable. At this point, you just have to be ready to embrace it.
However, there are ways you can ready yourself for the mess! We have a full range of name labels, from no-iron no-sew clothing labels, to no-waste, quick-to-use clothing stamps. All our products are perfect for helping you find lost items when you’re in a pinch.
Or you can stay ahead of the game with these fab home organisation labels for your bathroom, kitchen and, crucially, the kids’ playroom!
10. Or to put it simply – “Parenting is f**king hard.” – Adele
Adele sums things up nicely for us with this four-word quote and we whole-heartedly agree.
Go and have a lie down. You deserve it.
Parenting is so hard but there are ways to make little bits of it much easier. To avoid that timeless ‘Muuuum, where are my shoes?’ and ‘No those are his shorts, Dad, where are my shorts?’, get yourself some personalised name labels and stickers to take the stress out of the mess that comes with having kids!