07 Jan HQ&CO. BABY – A FEW THINGS I LEARNT WHEN I BECAME A MUM
I was recently lucky enough to see a preview screening of the new family comedy ‘Instant Family’, starring Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg, and apart from it being a really fun night out (just try to stop me eating 2 boxes of popcorn), the movie also got me thinking about some of the things I learnt when I became a mum.
Don’t worry, I won’t share any major spoilers, because you need to see the movie for yourself when it comes out on Jan 10th (it’s a truly heartwarming & fun flick!)
1. Say good bye to all of your ‘nice’ stuff.
Nice clothes? You won’t wear them, and if you do they will essentially become glorified spew rags. This is why I usually now wear the classic ‘mum uniform’ of white tee + leggings – I have basically become a walking Cotton On active wear advertisement (Also. Comfort.) When I do wear anything a little nicer, I can guarantee Leo will be making me regret that decision quick smart! Nice furniture? Cushions? Rugs? Towels? Bedding? I think you see where I’m going with this. Everything you own will no longer be safe. It will end up with vomit, dirt, pee, food or worse on it at some stage. So it’s best to just let go of having nice things and accept that your beloved belongings will absolutely get trashed. In the film there is a moment where Ellie (Rose Byrne – love her) puts away her much loved fancy china bowl to protect it from the kids. I think every parent in the cinema had a quiet lol to themselves, knowing exactly where that little storyline was headed…
2. It’s ok to vent.
Instant Family reminded me of this. There is a really memorable scene where Ellie & Pete share a deep vent where they say some pretty dark (but hilarious) stuff that as a new parent, I completely recognised that rock bottom need to get it all out. Though underneath their venting, there was genuine warmth and humour, and I think that is something every parent can understand. Sometimes, we all need a vent. I definitely do every now and then. (Or daily, if it’s a hard week). And usually when I do, I’m not even asking for solutions, I just want someone to listen to my whinging so I can get everything off my chest and move on. Something I’ve learnt when becoming a parent is, it’s ok to be over it at times. It’s ok not to be ok. And, it’s absolutely ok to vent if that’s what helps you get through. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my baby, or that I’m not incredibly grateful for his existence, because overarchingly he is the best damn thing I’ve ever seen/created/been in the same room as in my entire life. But becoming a parent is a STEEP learning curve – the steepest of my life undoubtedly. And I don’t know if anything really prepares you for a lot of the challenges and low points. So sometimes when you’re sleep deprived and sitting in the dark rubbing ice on your cracked and sore nipples whilst eating gummy bears out of a bowl because they don’t make any noise and you don’t want to wake the baby who has FINALLY closed their eyes after not sleeping for the last 848 hours (no? just me then), you need to have someone who will be there to support you and listen to your rants no matter how ridiculous, judgement free. I’m so lucky my husband is the most patient human on this earth. Not only does he indulge my love of getting photos with every pink surface we come across (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be familiar with my insta husband’s work already!), but he also knows when he needs to let me go and have a vent (you can generally tell it’s going to be a vent when I start a sentence with ‘this makes me a bad person, but…’) Afterwards we’re usually in a fit of giggles because the emotions have been so ridiculous and so irrational that even I realise I’m being a bit cray, it’s hard not to end up laughing at myself. And in those moments that’s what I really need, someone to listen to me, and someone laugh with.
3. You will feel like you’re doing everything wrong… and that’s ok too.
Guaranteed there will be times when you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. There are so many opinions, so much research, so many programs and schedules and apps and books and blogs and targeted Facebook posts, and strangers on the street, who tell you all about how to parent properly, that I’m sure everyone feels the pressure. In Instant Family, Ellie and Pete are completely relatable in their self doubt. I was literally nodding along at times, because even though the children they adopt are older, the lows they experienced were (at times very funny, but also) very much ‘we’ve all been there’ moments. All I can say is you just have to figure out what works for you and your family. There is no one right way to be a parent. We’re raising little people. Tiny individual humans with feelings, moods, and personalities, not identical robots who can all be set to a schedule. In our house we do what works for us. And that is what works for us. Judgement is not welcome here.
4. You will be 8000% more emotional.
The week after we brought Leo home, my husband and I both cried while watching an episode of ‘House Rules’. Which seemed weird considering we’d never seen an episode of the show previously in our lives. Since becoming a parent I am an actual emotional mess. Example: Pre-Leo Erin having seen Instant Family would have walked away saying what a cute movie it was, really funny, light hearted, fun. Rose Byrne has great hair. How NICE was their house!? Popcorn was good. Fun night out. Let’s grab a glass of wine on the way home? Ok, we may as well get a bottle, who cares that it’s Tuesday!? But now, times. have. changed. Not only did I cry a complete mess of tears at the end (I wasn’t the only one – hello fellow parents, I SEE YOU), but I literally rushed home to make sure I could see Leo before he went to bed. Because, and this leads me to my last point…
5. Those tiny humans are worth everything a million times over.
Despite any of the potential ‘cons’ on the list of having kids, they are without a doubt, worth absolutely every thing we go through. Which is the beautiful sentiment behind the movie Instant Family. Yes being a parent is hard work. Yes you will sometimes feel like you are losing your mind. And yes your life will change completely. But seriously, it’s all worth it. Something a friend said to me when Leo was very little has stuck with me, and I think about it often – ‘The days are long but the years are short’, and it is SO true. Our little ones are only little for such a short amount of time. And thinking about that has given me so much perspective, so as I rock my sweet tiny 6 month old to sleep (which every parenting article says NOT to do), I just think, how much longer will I get to hold him and watch his tiny little sleeping face? How much longer will he want to snuggle in my lap and find comfort in my arms? Stuff the parenting articles I’m here for the snugs.
You can watch the trailer for Instant Family here:
It’s in cinemas from January 10th – if you’ve seen it let me know what you thought of it, or if it reminded you of any parenting lessons you’ve learned (or failed at) along the way?
This post was sponsored by Paramount Pictures Australia, however all opinions expressed are my own.