the best mummy i can be

I don't think I'm alone in wanting to always do the best for my children.
I think all mothers harbour ideas of being a super mum;
who looks fantastic,
has well behaved and well turned out children,
who simultaneously juggles providing engaging and educational activities,
while baking a cake,
keeping an immaculate house,
and making sure her children feel completely self confident, listened to and loved.
I will put my hands up and say right now,
that I fail.
On all of these things.
It doesn't make me a failure
but I can't do it all, all the time.
The truth is that I don't think anyone can.

But I can do my very best.
I can prioritise
and when it comes down to it
that last thing on the list
about my children's well being,
well that one is always at the very top of my to do list.
But even then I don't alway do the best job.
There are days when I put the children to bed
and think "I ignored you more than I would like today"
or "I was grumpy with you more that I would like today"
or "I don't think I really gave you enough of my time today"
or "I wish I'd really played with you today".

Personally, I find the summer makes me a better mummy.
Or maybe that should be, it makes me less of a lazy mummy.
I like to seize sunny days with both hands
so I make sure our sunshiny days are full of adventures.
Picnics, walks, trips to the park, trips to the beach, water play, ice creams.
Not necessarily glamourous or exciting adventures
but adventures just the same.

And I never ever ever regret putting in an extra effort to making something especially fun for my children.
So when I decided a break from the heat
and an afternoon indoors was needed,
I also decided to be the bestest mummy ever
and while my children napped, I made a den in our lounge as a surprise.

I have fond memories of den building as a child
and it's definitely an activity I will be encouraging when my babies are big enough.
But for now they had to make do with a mummy made den;
a light and airy canopy
above a bed of cushions,
full of books to read
and light streaming in the window.

The plan has been that the den would entertain them
while I could get on with some other things,
like sorting some laundry and clearing our dining room table of random rubbish.
But seeing the looks on their faces when they woke up,
hearing "Mummy, look. It's just like a tent"
I decided to forget the juggling
and to just enjoy my children.
I got in the den and played with them,
we had cuddles,
we tickled each other,
we sang songs,
we played doctors,
we looked at books.
But mostly I watched them.

I watched my children play
and decided not to feel guilty about the juggling I could be doing.
I watched my beautiful girl's eyes light up 
as she watched her brother play peekaboo through the sides of the den,
I saw my beautiful boy giddy with excitement
as he explored his new den.
I heard their laughter.
I witnessed their enjoyment at simply being together
and experiencing something completely new.
I had the pleasure of seeing them smiling together 
and giggling together 
and cuddling each other with the sheer excitement of it.

And I felt like a good mummy.
I had put in the extra effort
to be a good mummy.
I was aglow all afternoon,
knowing that if I achieved nothing else
then I had made my children's day.
And I know they loved me for it.


  1. I loved this. I always feel the guilt of laying William down in his cot and thinking: "No! I miss you so much already. I wished I'd tried more this evening." It's hard to prioritise things when you know that your babies need clean clothes and a nice meal for their tea. Which way do you put them first? But we did the same last night. I had managed to make our tea before Stephen got home from work, so we all ate around the table, earlier than usual, we bathed William together, we came back downstairs to play and read books and cuddle up and watch Tale of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh and then we put William to bed knowing that we'd put a happy, smiling boy to bed and we'd given him our all. We had a pile of washing up to do afterwards mind, but nothing a glass of red wine couldn't solve! xx

    1. Being a parent is all about guilt a lot of the time. It's amazing how a little activity and giving them your full attention for a bit can alleviate those worries, and result in very happy children. x

  2. Brilliant idea, Iyla would love this xx

    1. I'm sure she would. Our little man has asked for it again a few times since. x

  3. There's nothing easier then den making and it's such a simple pleasure for young ones with and extra bonus of being a cheap activity, that's why I too featured it in my blog earlier in the month (Wig Wham Bam I also champion taking the time out from dull adult chores to seek enjoyment at and with your children as they don't mind the house being messy if it means they getting mummy and daddy as playmates so why should we? This is a very sweet post people should take a little from x

    1. Ahhh, thank-you. You really can't beat a bit of den building. It was one of favourite things to do as a kid. And taking time out to play with my children is always on my list of favourite things to do. x

  4. Aw how lovely, I loved to make dens when I was little as well. Mads loves to make them on the floor with her Daddy and we have a wigwam which she goes in at every opportunity too. x

    1. Dens are so much fun. I think I might attempt to make the children a wigwam soon!!! Because I'm crazy like that. x

  5. ugh i know exactly what you mean about the day to day juggling of everything. it is true to say that housework has gone out ofthe window (almosT) the last two weeks withg this beautoful weather as I would rather make the most of it with the boys and enjoy it with them. Yes, i have still done washing and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, and tidied the lounge BUT you have to make the most of these rare summer weeks because they are few and far between.

    I love your den and i have den envy :) beautiful photos and words Lucy x x

    1. Summer definitely does weight the juggling far more in favour of fun than boring old housework, doesn't it? Seems like another good reason to love summer. x

  6. Ahhhhh! Den building is one of my faves too. I must admit I had a similar moment of 'surprising' Ozzy this afternoo. It was his last time at Kindergarten today and he cried saying goodbye to friends and the ladies who looked him, then they cried and then I cried. Whilst he sat chomping raisins with teary eyes I legged it out to the back garden and put up my 2 man pop up tent for him and made him a picnic lunch in ti - he loved it! You are so right, no one can get it right all the time but you can make special little moments for you all to enjoy x

    Love the photos x

    1. Ahhh, thanks. Picnics are another one of my favourite things to surprise the children with. The little man thinks a carpet picnic on the living room floor is the height of excitement. x

  7. Oh, this made me cry, us Mum's do put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone, well done you for just enjoying the moment. I am a local T wells mum too, we should get together because I think you would love my shop, your life always looks so well styled and I think you would love the vintage children's things I sell at Love Inc x

    1. Ahhh, thank-you. It's a tough job juggling it all sometimes isn't it? I've commented on your Facebook page. x

  8. Lovely post. It is hard to juggle everything that comes with being a parent but so long as you do your best , I think that's all that matters. Looks like they had a lot of fun in your fabulous den!

    1. That's all any of us can do really isn't it? Our best. x

  9. Aww such a lovely post, cherish every moment they grow up too fast. So what if you didn't get the tidying up done you got some beautiful pictures instead :-)

    1. Well exactly. In ten eyes time I won't be wishing I spent more time doing laundry, I'll be thinking, they grew up so fast and I'm glad I made the most of it. x

  10. many happy memories of making a den under the clothes horse when I was little! And my 2 would still build a den in the garden given half a chance!

    1. I'd still build a den in my mums garden... if they hadn't thrown out all all the den stuff! So inconsiderate. x

  11. I saw you put this on IG the other day and I was very jealous, I wanted to play in that den, I can't wait for the kiddies to be that bit older for DENS.
    I can just imagine BB's face as he saw this and then to have Mummy play with him in it must have been magical, I think you are an extaordinary Mummy and wish I was more like you xx

    1. Haha, I did love having a play in it too. It was so pretty. And don't be silly, you're an amazing mummy. We all are! x

  12. Aaahhh gorgeous. We love making tents in this house too...lots of fun x

    1. It's a great way to spend an afternoon isn't it? We'll definitely do it again. x

  13. I love the honesty and openness in this post, and your way with words is just perfect.
    This den looks fan, I'm not surprised that they loved it. It really looks like they have a close bond.
    The beautiful girls dress is so pretty xx

    1. Thanks lovely. I think it's easy to think, especially in blog land, that everyone has everything together and perfect, but no one does, it's all about what you prioritise I think. And while the fun things like this can't always be top of the list, it's nice when they can be sometimes. x


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