A picture taken on a long haul flight with my toddler that inspired the blog: The mummy wars truce and the best Mother’s Day gift that money can’t buy
I’m currently in the UK on a family holiday with my husband, mother and brother in law and 21month old son.
This trip (in particular the 23 or so hours one way on a plane with a toddler) was one I prepared for and stressed over.
here’s some of the ways I prepared;
broke up the journey up with overnight stops in Singapore and Dubai
•Stocked up on a bag of new toys for distraction
•Brought a kiddie leash! (I find parenting is doing a-lot of things that pre parent but know it all expert parent me would ‘never do when I have kids...’🙄
Here’s some of the ways I stressed;
•By failing to heed my husbands advice of ‘don’t suffer twice’ worrying about what the future might hold with the journey
•Letting the comments of others- ‘plane trip to Europe with a toddler?! No thanks!’ Get to me.
So...how’d it go?! Pretty good, my preparation was on point and my sons ability to roll with the punches surprised me, so much so that we only had one melt down (which he saved up for right at the end as we were descending into Heathrow). There was about 20 minutes (but felt like an hour) of inconsolable wailing that I was eventually able to settle with a boob, then he slept all the way out through the customs line and baggage claim and woke up in a chirpy mood in a taxi!
I wasn’t at all fussed about the other passengers reactions to a screaming baby, but it was distressing to feel like I couldn’t give my son what he needed when he really needed it-to get off the plane and into bed! My husband (as always- he is the most wonderful father and partner), and my in laws were there supporting and trying to help, but you know what I took the most comfort from? This comment from a stranger who had been sitting behind us as we were disembarking (a mum who had her two kids about 3 and 5 in tow);
“You did such a good job!, I could hear it was that overtired cry, we’ve all been there on a long haul flight.. well done”
The comment lifted me up so much when I needed it and I’ve come up with two reasons why I found it so reassuring;
1)Receiving praise from your peers
Apart from being a mum, The hardest/but most rewarding paid job that I’ve had was full of reciprocal peer praise. Theres something about praise from those who really know and understand what you are doing that makes it that much more of a reward ‘they really get it!’.
My friend recently sent me this quote which I’ve been wanting to incorporate into a blog and here it is;
‘Breastfeeding/bottle feeding, stay at home or working mum- we’ve all hit our kids head on the car roof trying to get them in their seat’
Rather than seeing each other as adversaries in a mummy war let’s look at the facts as poignantly put in this quote, we are all comrades in this battle of motherhood together. Yes we will relate better to some mums and their parenting choices than others, this is normal and completely ok, it’s important to find your tribe, but no matter which tribe you belong to, we are all mums, and we’re all in this together.
So this Mother’s Day in the spirit of ‘if you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself!’ Perhaps the best things us mums can give each other is the gift of praise, but I’m not talking the token kind like a Facebook or Instagram; ‘tag a mum who is doing a great job’ it’s got to be contextual and therefor meaningful. Next time I notice a mum doing a great job with some particular aspect of parenting I’m going to pay forward the praise that I received on the plane and I encourage all of us to keep it going, we can keep our mummy tribes but let’s put a truce to the mummy war.
Yours sincerely your motherhood comrade