By Gemma & Hilary Whates

That's a future #mumboss & #grandmaboss right there...

That’s a future #mumboss & #grandmaboss right there…

This is a first for MOAL (not a snappy acronym): Gemma & Hilary are mother and daughter AND they are also #mumboss’s, actually strictly speaking Hilary is #grandmaboss – there’s a new hashtag for you. These two are the co-founders of All By Mama a sort of Not on the High Street meets Etsy, made up entirely of things made by Mama’s. How good is that?

These two lovely ladies have kindly given me a 2-for-1 deal and written a list each.

First Gemma’s ‘What I Wish I’d Known Before I became a Parent’….

  • No visitors please -When my son was born, I was up and about at home three days after a Caesarean, tidying the house and welcoming visitor after visitor, who all wanted to meet my tiny baby before he’d had a chance to get to grips with being in the world. I wish I had closed the doors for a week and just lay in bed and cuddled. If I’m lucky enough to have another baby, I am planning a no visitor rule for the first week, so I can look crap, live in a total mess and embrace the smallness all to myself. Before you know it, tiny baby clothes are in the loft and your baby looks like a giant next to a newborn.

  • Stock up on frozen food -Cooking used to be a hobby of mine, now shopping in Cook is a hobby of mine. Get your freezer full of healthy and nutritious frozen food before your baby is born, so you can still eat well (you’ll need the energy) without having to spend hours in the kitchen. You’ll be in there so much washing bottles or breast pumps that you won’t want to stay any longer than necessary to cook a green Thai curry from scratch.

  • Friendships change – As much as you try and tell yourself that friendships won’t change once a little one appears, they do. You have less time to invest, especially if you are working full time, weekends become more about family time than going out and getting drunk, watching trash TV and eating sweets or shopping for hours for clothes you don’t need. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your friends the same amount as you did before being a Mama it’s just that a small person has stolen your time and your heart.

  • Sleep on a Sunday – Why did I always think it was a good idea to get up and make the most of the day? SLEEP on a Sunday while you have the chance.

  • Feeling emotional – You’ll cry all the time. Nothing can prepare you for the earth shattering amount of love you will feel for your little miracle. You’ll move mountains to protect them and you won’t believe that you could love something so much. 

  • Buy big pants – Bigger than you think, caesarean or natural – you’ll need them.

Now Hilary’s list ‘Things I Didn’t Know About Becoming a Grandma:’

  • That being told for the first time would be the biggest shock ever – how did this baby of mine turn into parent material and how did I get that old? Am I really the only parent who said ‘WHAT???’ in a slow, incredulous, ‘you can’t really be saying that because I’m still way too young’, sort of way? Terrible vanity going on there of course.

  • Just not realising that when you are handed your beautiful Grandchild to hold all the emotions of love, caring, protection, responsibility come flooding back and you experience that wonderful feeling you have when you are first a parent (and not quite so tired as your about to be for several years).

  • That even after a break from the baby stage of parenting it all comes back as second nature – the battles to remove a baby sleep suit to change a nappy and then get it back on again; walking around with sick on one shoulder; listening all night for breathing and then double checking just to be sure; one child on hip while cooking dinner with the other – daily activities for all mums that Grandmas never forget!

  • People say ‘it’s great because you can have fun with them but then hand them back’. But actually you don’t want to – I always loved my times with my three children as they grew up and I love it just as much with my gorgeous grandchildren too. The house feels quiet and empty when they have gone even if it’s chaos when they are here. But you can at least tidy up and it stays that way for more than five minutes.

  • That there would be another time in my life when having a shower or going to the loo is extremely difficult to achieve for no obvious reason.

  • That I would have the opportunity all over again to show little enquiring minds how to grow plants, make cakes, knit, draw houses and make pretend cups of tea.

  • That I would enjoy watching Peppa Pig.

  • That I WOULD be able to sit cross-legged in a tepee reading stories to my grandson, playing peepo or just hiding in there and everyone thinks its OK.

  • That people (who are surely much older than me) tell me stories – often at great length – about how amazingly clever and advanced their grandchildren are for their ages and this kindof reminds me of something…

  • Sports days and school concerts are once again on the agenda – Christmas hasn’t been the same since the days of the annual school nativity plays ended.

  • That no matter what age my children are they continue to do things that make me happy and so proud to be their mother and Grandma to their children. It may have been a surprise to become a Grandma but it is a privilege and a delight beyond words.

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