Eight years ago today, I was in the third trimester of my first pregnancy, seven weeks from giving birth. I was reading pregnancy books and magazines, preparing to be the 'perfect mother'. *cue howls of laughter* But nothing truly prepares you for parenthood. While I feel that I spent the first few months of motherhood playing by the book, it did not take long for me to find my own way of being a mother. You could even say that I've become a maverick mum.
What is a maverick mum? Well, I think it's a mother who does things their way, even if it seems a bit silly at times. You throw away your baby books, and you let your instincts take over. Even if that involves a big mess and a dirty house. Some days you may take your children to McDonald's. Some days they will throw a tantrum so big that you open the gin before you even make them dinner. But that's okay. I'm perfectly imperfect, and there's nothing wrong with that. So, how do you know if you're a maverick mum? Well, that's the point. You will know. You don't need me to tell you how to live, or how to parent.
But I can tell you that when you are happy as a person, you are a better mother. So I take care of myself. I meet up with friends, I go to the gym, I watch trashy television. I occasionally buy myself clothes and shoes, and cute accessories. I refuse to be the mum who wears old, torn clothing while their child wears designer gear. I believe in finding a balance. Motherhood shouldn't be about giving everything up and putting yourself last.
But time is precious. And in order to take care of everyone, including myself, I come up with lots of little hacks. I let the house get messy and only give it a proper tidy on Fridays. I buy clothes that dry well as I detest ironing. I have lots of various toy boxes of different colours, and the kids know what goes into what box (and every evening I make them tidy their toys). And I don't spend hours feeling guilty for not fitting the perfect ideal of motherhood.
And when I am stressed and need chocolate/biscuits, I put it into a mug and have it at the kitchen table with my tea. I don't like to waste time with my head in a cupboard sneaking treats. I sit and relax, and hop on my mobile for some social media time while the children are in the living room playing. Why should they have all the fun?!
Are you ever a maverick mum? The lovely people from Not on The High Street are offering £500 of notonthehighstreet.com vouchers if you are. Go to Instagram and show off your favourite mum snap - whether it relates to your mum, or your experiences raising your children and tell them about a time you became a #MaverickMum. The competition closes at 11.59pm on the 4th March.
For joining in the #MaverickMums campaign, NOTHS have sent me a hamper of gifts that any maverick mum would love.