By Amelia Lamont, midwife and sleep consultant
I’ll start by saying I love, love, LOVE my (slightly chaotic) family and I bloody love what I do for a living too – but it’s definitely hard. My partner Ambrose and I have two amazing, cheeky, hilarious kids – Alfie, 4, and Essie, 2, and four successful businesses between us, and sometimes it just ain’t easy, dammit.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had to put a lot of effort into making sure there is balance in our lives… so in the spirit of sharing, I am passing my top tips onto you – my #mamatribe.
1 // Stay connected in the trenches
Having a young family is amazing, but it’s a lot of work. Then on top of that, work is even more work. There is sleep lost, minds lost and always more effing washing to do! These are the trenches of parenthood mamas, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone in there. Make sure you stay connected with your partner, even if you often pass like ships in the night. Ambrose and I both work one day a week from home, and it honestly makes a huge difference. Make sure that you enjoy your babies as well – it’s so much easier to clean up the poo-namis if you have shared beautiful moments with your little angels beforehand!
2 // Talk (schedule it in if you have to!)
I won’t lie – I hate this one! But to stay on track, you have to check in and chat. Ambrose makes us set times to talk and plan and get on the same page, and without it, we’d be an absolute shambles! We talk about our babies, their challenges and how we’ll tackle them, our week ahead and anything else that is niggling away at us. It can be tricky if you’re not a big talker, but worth it when you’re feeling like your family is all pulling in the same direction.
3 // Share the load
Whatever your village looks like, use them. I live next door to my sister (literally!) Yes, I’m aware that is taking it to the next level, but she’ll often watch my kids or I’ll watch hers, pick up something she needs or meet the plumber. My girlfriends, my family, and my beautiful social followers… this is my #modernmama village and they help me in a million different ways, all I have to do is ask. Sometimes just venting helps, I promise!
4 // Prioritise family time
My children are funny as all hell, loving and always surprising me with how clever (and devious) they are. Which is why I don’t want to spend all of my time with them worrying about other things that need to be done. I love my work too, but we have a lifetime to work and only a short time with our bebes while they’re so little. Choose a night (we do Wednesday nights) when you are all at home together. No ifs or buts. Ambrose and I are both borderline workaholics but this works really well, and our kids love the dependable routine so much. We try to make the most of our weekends too… when I look back on this time, I want to remember squishy kisses, first words, holidays, love and laughs – not washing, dishes, bookkeeping and other life laundry.
Remember: be kind to yourself, there are no prizes for the most stressed out person! Carve out your happy times, mamas… you’ll be glad you did.