#effyourinstagramstandards 

 

Isn’t Christmas just amazing? All that giving and luscious food. As well as the pretty trees and family time, right?

It’s pretty much rammed in our faces the second Halloween is over. Quickly our Instagram feed switches from the Autumnal pumpkin patches to picture perfect trees that wouldn’t look out of place in Harrods.

The Elf on the shelf. Don’t even get me started on that fucking elf. Who invented that smug little wank? Like we don’t have enough to do as parents in December. Let’s strategically place an Elf every day and take nice pictures. Fuck that I say! I’d rather have a snowball!

We all get so excited about making our families happy and understandably so but I really can’t stand pictures of piles of gifts. I’m sure it’s posted with the best intention but I can’t help how shitty that could make some people feel if they’re feeling the pinch. Also is it really wise to spoil our kids to such an extreme? it’s so easily done but we really need to be mindful that although they are sweet now there’s something particularly unapealling about a spoilt adult with a sense of entitlement.

I saw a post about a Christmas tree and how it was £15 and the lovely lady that posted it thought is was ‘not Instagram worthy’. Is that really What’s important now? Sadly I think it is for a lot of people. The tree was beautiful by the way!

Sometimes I think we get a little bit caught up in making a nice picture and forget to actually enjoy the moment. We all have such high expectations and it’s no surprise really when we’re surrounded by such perfect images.

Let’s not forget for a lot of people Christmas is time for reflection and that often means missing those who are no longer with us. A lot of the time we’re so busy putting on a face for the kids that we forget to allow ourselves to consider our own feelings.

The run up to Christmas is such a big deal it puts so much pressure on that one day. It can end up being a real anticlimax. Letting kids eat what they like and receiving lots of gifts can be confusing and overwhelming so we can hardly blame them for behaving like prized dickheads for most of it.

Last year Joy was tiny, clusterfeeding and colicy so Steve and I took (sober) turns at trying to settle her and ended up eating our stone cold Christmas dinner in front if the TV. Was it terrible? Hell no!  I mean it could have been better but we were together and let face it eating is a something most of us take for granted. Plus we can harp on about it in true parent style when Joy is old enough to care.

Even advent calendars seem to have lost their way. Gin advent calendars costing over £100? Really? I’m all about the cheap chocolate. I love a gin but come on! We seem to be losing our grip on reality here a bit. Or did child benefit go up massively and I missed the memo?

I’m a huge fan of Christmas and like a lot of Mums I let the boys do the tree then rearrange it the second their backs are turned. Although as much a I want it to look nice I really don’t want it to look perfect. We all need to stop striving for perfection or realising that perfect is different for everyone. I’ll certainly be checking out that £15 tree and there the only gin in here this year will be from Aldi. It going to be amazing!

I think we all just need to rewind a bit and enjoy this time of year. Bring back tacky (kitsch) 80s decorations, ignore the pressure and get stocked up on Lidls faux Baileys (£3.75 and amazing by the way!)

Take some lovely pictures but don’t let them get in the way of family time and don’t be disappointed when the kids have a tantrum or Grandad moans about the Queens speech for 3 hours. It’s just one day. Merry Christmas!

#effyourinstagramstandards

Yvonne

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Who is she? 

Hi I’m Yvonne but you’d be forgiven for knowing me as Lewis’ and Joy’s mum or even Steve’s wife. I am all of those things too but firstly I’m Yvonne. I love long hot baths, reading and dancing in the living room with my husband to 90s dance. Im sarcastic to a fault, Im obsessed with beauty products and you won’t catch me wearing a mama jumper. I’m a proud mother and wife but I refuse to be defined by my children or marital status.

After Lewis (my first) I made the mistake a lot of us do. I thought becoming a mother should change me so when I the urge to skip through a meadow singing the sound of music didn’t take me I really thought I’d failed. The urge to have a social life took me and that made me feel even worse. I forced myself to baby signing, baby reflexology and fucking baby shiatsu (honestly that’s a thing ) in a desperate bid to become more like the Julie Andrews character I thought I should be.

It took time and good advice to realise that wasn’t how it had to be. Once I finally allowed myself to see that I was so relieved. Lewis was relieved too as his Mum was now back firmly in her comfort zone and he didn’t have to attend 18 ridiculous classes a week.

I think we’re all guilty of it but we need to take time to remember who we are. I love my children and I take them to classes I think will benefit them and not bore me to tears but I also have a life of my own. I existed before them and once they’ve flown the nest *sobs* I will continue to exist. I know all the nursery rhymes but also I can drink 5 Sambuca shots and recreate the whole video for single ladies- albeit badly.

I’m not offended when people introduce me as a mum or wife. I do it too. On a recent (rare) drink with some friends I introduced my friend as ‘Archies Mum’ and instandly thought shit! She’s not JUST Archies Mum. She’s Jackie. She loves make up, wine and singing Proud Mary. She’s a person too. In her own right and she deserves to be introduced as one.

So what was my point here? Don’t feel guilty for still being who you were before your children. There’s no doubt having children changes you but we are still entitled some escapism once in a while. Get drunk now and again and have sex on the kitchen floor. Whatever works for you! Never apologise for that. Remember who you are and introduce your friends by their name.

Yvonne x