Trust me, I know THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! I had Poppy at 24. Lot of my friends didn’t have children and I remember fretting and worrying about EVERYTHING.

I was SO hard on myself, I felt like I was the only parent that had meltdowns, who felt like they couldn’t cope … or there just wasn’t enough time.

I felt like I was failing at parenthood and in day-to-day activities!

My house was a mess, my child would (and actually still does) go from looking like a member of the royal family to looking like one of the Adams’ family in no time and guaranteed I’d always forget the nappy bag, baby wipes and a spare clothes when out and about.

What I started to realise is, no one is an expert in raising children! Everyone has different ways and methods. If your children are happy, you are doing better than OK at raising them, so don’t worry! 

We all find parenthood hard … and those that don’t are f@cking liars! 

Here are a few of my friends’ struggles in parenthood, followed by simple things they like to do with their children. 


 parenting blog 

Jessica Cunningham

Mum of Poppy aged 6, Olive aged 4 and Hatti aged 3

3 things I find hard as a parent 

  1. I find it hard to balance being a Mum and everything else that life involves – from working to housework to the frickin’ laundry basket. I could do a whole blog post on the laundry basket. I swear it’s possessed in my house. One minute it’s empty, the next there are mounds of clothes.
  2. Generally, I have bundles of energy and I don’t need much sleep, but I find motherhood difficult when I’m tired or stressed. I snap at things … like my children breathing, or them asking me to wipe their bum (or them asking if they can wipe my bum). The days where I am tired and stressed also seem to be the days when I hear the word “Mummy” 32, 453 times. Then I feel guilty for snapping, because they are just kids, being kids. 
  3. I really struggle to find time to spend one-on-one time with each of my children, my partner and myself. I feel guilty all the time that individual time doesn’t happen often with each of the kids.

Little things we enjoy doing:

  1. If the weather is mild at night, we put our pyjamas and dressing gown on (adults too) and we go for a 30-minute walk to a ‘wishing box AKA a red post box! We each post a penny into the post box, make a wish and walk back. This gives us time to chat about the day, about school, any worries…etc. It is one of my favourite things to do. 
  2. On a Sunday, we always bake a cake to eat after our dinner with a pot of tea. I didn’t have many traditions in my family growing up, and traditions are something I wanted my children to have. 
  3. Sometimes we like to do things that are spontaneous with the kids, whether that is an hour’s drive to a new park, toasting marshmallows on a cliff or making our own facemasks!



Mum of Harrison 9 and Spencer 6

3 things I find hard as a parent:

  1. Work/home life balance and feeling guilty that I don’t spend enough time with the children, and the time that I do spend is often nagging them to get dressed or eating dinner.
  2. Knowing whether I’m being too strict or not. I wonder if I tell them off too much for ‘little things’ that I should let pass, or if their behaviour is good enough.  
  3. HOMEWORK! I hate being the one to nag them to do this! I didn’t set the homework but I try to enforce it, so I am the horrible one making them work at home! 

Little things we enjoy doing:

  1. Most importantly, the bedtime story. I love reading books to the children and the satisfaction of getting to the end of a meaty book! I love that the children enjoy hearing a range of stories and it’s something that we can share every day.
  2. Lazy days! When we are so busy, sometimes it’s just nice to laze in duvets and watch movies and eat like pigs without feeling guilty.
  3. Listening to music on car journeys. We take it in turns to pick any song and just sing and dance in the car (although, it is mostly me dancing)! It’s great to share the music with them and listen to what they’re into whilst also educating them on good tunes from my era!



Mum of Darcey aged 6 and Charlie aged 13

3 things I find hard as a parent:

  1. The major thing that hit me when I became a Mother (that I was totally unprepared for) was the absolute LACK of freedom. Freedom to pop out to the shops on my own, freedom to go away for the weekend, freedom to hibernate on wet, cold days, the freedom to please myself as to what I did and when I did it … without having to organise a million things and prepare! So, I suppose that lack of spontaneity is included in this too. As quite a spontaneous person, this hit me hard! Oh, how I miss those distant days…
  2. Which leads onto the…GUILT!!!! From the minute they’re born that guilt is a tough one to shift. Am I a bad Mum for not breastfeeding? Should I still be allowed to do the things that I enjoy as a person in my own right, even if that means leaving baby/child with Dad or Grandparents or even worse a babysitter? Will the kids ever forgive me for missing them getting an award at school for ‘not picking their noses’? Will my kids be mentally traumatised because I allowed them to watch Netflix for 2 hours so I had some peace to pick up their mess and cook dinner?… Worse still for the ‘working mum’. That famous quote… ‘You feel that you need to work as if you don’t have kids but be a Mother like you don’t have a job’ ?? I could go on…
  3. Which leads again to: THE JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS. I joked with the midwife, after giving birth to my first, that they hadn’t given me the manual when they were discharging me. Ha! How I needed that ‘instruction booklet’. How the heck did I know how to change a boy’s nappy? I’m one of 2 girls…I didn’t even see a penis until I was about 16?!! What if I did it wrong?

From then on, the fear of judgement from others played on my mind. How should I parent? Will others agree/approve? What would my own Mother have done? Her Mother? You can bet there are a million others that would do things differently! I think it’s only as the children get older and we all realise that we’re all ‘winging it’ at least a little bit, that the fear of others’ judgement wanes a bit and you become more confident in your own decisions.


Mum to Elodie aged 6

2 things I find hard as a parent:

  1. I find it really hard being a single mum, as I am constantly having to find the time to work, find the time to spend with Elodie, and then also I feel it is important to have my own time, so I don’t lose sight of who I am.
  2. Being a single parent comes with a huge burden. I have to provide for Elodie and myself and I also want to be able to afford the activities she enjoys which is part of her character. However, only one household income that has to spread the cost of everything, often means I have to sacrifice my time because sometimes you simply don’t have the cash flow to do everything.  One month I find I have dance lessons to pay for the next month swimming lessons.

Little things we enjoy doing:

  1. We always tend to have a movie night on a Friday and I like to invite Elodie’s cousins round to join us. With Elodie being a lone child, I am conscious that she needs to be around other children and build sibling-like relationships.
  2. Every night at bedtime we always say a little a prayer. We say thank you for three things that made Elodie smile that day. Then I ask if anything made her feel sad that day and we pray for the people that made her feel sad. Again, not wanting to be a bore about the single parent status, it is just because I don’t want Elodie to feel like she’s missing out on certain things like a family life and I want her to understand that I can’t give everything that she wants. I want her to know that not everyone gets everything.


Mum to Joshua aged 6

3 things I find hard as a parent:

  1. I am a full-time single mum and I also work full-time, I find it difficult to find time to allow me to keep my own identity.  During the day I am in work mode, and at the evening and weekends I am in mum mode. I find it difficult to have ‘me’ time.
  2. I struggle to create enough child time for Joshua, as after work I find I am always rushing around, making dinner and getting things sorted for the next day which creates quite an adult environment. I have to remind myself to find time to come down to Joshua’s level and into a child environment, so I can spend quality time with my child.
  3. I struggle with how to get my child to do the things I need him to do when I need him to do it.

Little things we enjoy doing:

  1. Once a week we have a movie night with a snack bowl (that we like to call it) which has lots of little treats in. We then snuggle under the duvet on the couch in our PJs and watch a fun movie.
  2. This one is bit like the Kardashians actually … but I always like to find out a highlight and lowlight of each day from Joshua (not that I manage to extract any information from him, but I do try)!


So there we have it!


Lots of love


Jess #momboss