This feature has been about celebrating real mums. Mums are amazing and come in all shapes and sizes but sometimes we can feel alone, we can feel as though we are the only ones struggling to keep on top of things. This is the very last in the series, one that has run for a year now and one I am so proud of. Hopefully you have been enjoying reading about mums, to see that we are all the same- all brilliant at what we do.
Without further a do let me hand over to Caroline!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I’m Caroline, I have been married to James for just over 7 years, we have 3 children – Harry is 6, Matilda is 4 and Arthur is 2. We live in a 3 bed semi detached rented house in Norfolk, I would love to move and buy a house, but with 3 children and only one income it may take time.
I have just started a course to become a teaching assistant so that I can get back into work when all of the children are at school, but right now I enjoy being at home with them. I spend my spare time working on my blog, and will now be fitting in set times each week for my coursework.
Describe a typical day in your life
I have very early risers, usually at least one of the children has climbed into our bed before 6am. If we are lucky we can convince them to chill out on our bed while we slowly come around to the idea that its morning, then its time to start the day. Usually Harry and Matilda want to make their own breakfast, so they head downstairs while I change Arthur. We are then all downstairs and usually eating breakfast by 7am.
After breakfast its straight back upstairs to get dressed and ready for school. We have to leave the house just before 8.30am luckily we can walk to school and its only up the road, and me and Arthur are usually back home from the school run by about 9am.
The mornings are usually spent getting jobs done and playing, and by about 11am I am trying to convince Arthur to have a little rest, since moving to a big bed he doesn’t tend to nap in bed so we usually snuggle up on the sofa for 10 minutes in the hope he will fall asleep.
If I am lucky he falls asleep and has a good hour or so, which gives me the perfect time to get on the laptop and do some blog work.
Once he wakes up it’s time for lunch and and more playing or housework before its time to pick the others up from school. I am really lucky that Arthur is fairly independent so if I need to pop on the computer while he is awake or if there is a job that really needs doing at home I can usually get some things done and he will play or follow me around.
After school we try to get the reading and spellings work done as soon as we can, sometimes its really tricky if the kids aren’t in the right frame of mind, but its the best way to just get it done and dusted. They usually have a quick snack too to see them through until tea time.
I then spend abit of time cooking and getting tea ready while the kids entertain themselves, or irritate me arguing with each other!
After tea its time for PJ’s story and bed, we are just starting a new bedtime routine meaning the older ones get to stay up a little later, at the moment they all go to bed together, but I think it would be nicer to stager it abit, so I am planning to put Arthur up first at 6.30, then Matilda at 7 and Harry at 7.30, if it doesn’t cause too much jealousy.
When the kids are all in bed I usually get on the computer to do some more blog work, and will soon be spending a couple of nights a week on course work. We do like to have one night a week that we are both off of computers or anything and spending time together because life is so hectic its nice to switch off and relax together.
What is the best thing about being a mum?
The best thing about being a mum is watching them sleep, every night without fail I go into the childrens bedrooms and give them a kiss on the forehead and just watch them sleep, some days I feel awful because its been ‘one of those days’ the type of day that I have shouted too much or nagged too often, but watching them sleep so peacefully makes up for it all. Another favourite for me is the Love You Mummy, whether its the first time they say it or the thousandth time its always special.
What have you found hardest about motherhood?
The guilt, I am by far perfect at this motherhood malarky and wow do I feel guilty alot. Whether its been a bad day or maybe just that I feel I haven’t done enough for them, or I have spent too much time distracted by the laptop or the housework, I feel guilt alot and it is hard. I am trying to learn to be kinder to myself because I know that everyone feels that way sometimes.
How has your body changed?
I am certainly more wobbly than I used to be, I’m not massively heavier than I was before, but my shape is different and I’m softer and I wouldn’t want to wear a Bikini. I would love the perfect body, but I wouldn’t say I am overly ashamed of the body I amn28 with 3 children and not enough time or money to hit the gym, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you wear make-up? If so, what does your routine look like?
I do wear make-up every day, some days alot more effort goes in then others, but I suffer with bad skin and I wouldn’t want to go out without any make. my general day to day make up in foundation, concealer for my dark circles and blemishes, a little blusher and mascara.
What’s in your handbag?
Today my handbag is neat and tidy… but only because I bought a new bag yesterday. Generally it is full of half eaten snacks, hair clips, screwed up reciepts and general mess. But I always have my essentials, Purse, phone, keys, baby wipes, nappies for the toddler, plasters, paracetamol and raisins. If I am super organised there might be an umbrella or sunglasses too.
What is your relationship with housework?
Me and housework have a casual relationship, I like the house to be tidy… but I’m no neat freak, I wish I was to be honest. I keep it clean and I tidy away but I probably should do more.
How do you relax?
As above my evenings are usually spent blogging and soon adding coursework into that, but when I am trying to switch off my ideal relaxing would be a hot bubble bath and my kindle.
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever been given?
Ignore all of the books, some books are great but as a general rule babies don’t live by the books, and you are best to take any advice with an open mind and trust your own instinct.
For any new mums out there, what would you like to tell them?
Relax, and as cliche as it is enjoy, because one minute you are pacing up and down the landing trying to settling a crying baby and the next you are dressing them for school and wishing you were back to those baby days.
What makes you happy?
A happy day for me is a family day out, I find being out much nicer then being at home, less worrying about housework and you actually enjoy just beind together without distractions.
But if you mean something that makes me happy on a bad day it would have to be if the husband bought me home a massive bar of chocolate after work.
And finally, complete this sentence:
I am a great mum because….. Thats a tough one, but I am a great mum because my children are happy and that makes me happy. As much as they might argue and bicker they love each other dearly and have a great connection, and a constant playmate when they are around each other.
I love that your bag was tidy as it was new, I am exactly the same! I am also in total agreement about the I love yous – they are my favourite thing too. So nice hearing more about you Caroline, thank you so much for taking part. x
You can find out more about Caroline and her world over at her blog, Diary Of A Mum Of 3.
She is also on Twitter so go say hi!
I am not accepting any more submissions for this feature. xx