#itsok to… The (still-tired) mum edition

Last year, I took the #itsok challenge started by Jennie from Rice Cakes n Raisins, and wrote about my top 10 #itsok moments (you can read the post here). The challenge was all about ditching the mumguilt and realising that perfection isn’t always required in parenting – #itsok to not be 100 per cent all the time. To want a break. To just be yourself sometimes and not ‘mum’.

Then the #itsok linky came about, which I now co-host with The Mum Conundrum, Mom of Two Little Girls and Gaa Gaa Land. Which has become a community of sorts for supporting ‘real’, Pinterest-imperfect parenting. So here’s my second installment of the #itsok challenge… how many of these would you give a high-five to?



#itsok to…

1. Not feel sad when you drop your kid off at school every morning. Six-and-a-half hours of child-free time – whoop whoop!!

2. Not have an activity-packed itinerary for your kids in the holidays, or make them join a zillion after-school clubs.

3. Buy store-bought birthday cakes instead of spending hours the night before trying to perfect Spiderman’s web!

4. Suck at craft. And when you do attempt it with your kid, #itsok if it doesn’t look perfect. In their eyes, it is…

5. Sit them in front of the TV if you need to get some urgent blog work/ housework done – deadlines, laundry, dinner – cannot wait sometimes.

6. But on the other hand, its also ok to let the laundry pile up (unless your kid has managed to put marks on all his sets of uniforms), let the dishes stack up, let the mess remain. Sometimes, housework can wait if you’re too tired or if your child wants to make a Lego with you.

7. Use bribes (toys, treats, ice-cream after school) if you need your kid to get his a**e out the door in time for school. Or practice his writing. Or finish his dinner. Or basically do any life skill that must be done!

8. Throw away rubbish art and craft crap work from school, and then pretend to search all over the house for it whilst lamenting its loss with your child.

9. Eat your kids’ Halloween chocolates/ party cupcakes/ biscuit stash when they aren’t around. Or in secret, if they are around. Afterall, you need a sugar-kick to get through the day!

10. Admit you’re exhausted sometimes and just take a break from motherhood for an afternoon (or a day, if you’re lucky enough!). The kids will still be ok…


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  1. Sons Over the Yardarm

    Yes to ALL of these! Especially not keeping them entertained with after school clubs/classes and jolly activities all the time. Firstly, that stuff doesn’t work for many parents who have jobs, and often they actually just play together nicely if they get bored enough. I’m sure that’s a valuable life skill…probably. Either way, if I get 10 mins alone with a cup of tea, there is a much better chance I won’t kill them. Which is a definite bonus. #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Agree! My half-term plans include NO additional classes just playdates so I know he won’t whine himself to boredom (making me have to play with him) when instead I could be enjoying a cuppa and an adult conversation.

  2. kate

    Oh I do love this post Nicole. Funny how we give everyone around us so much leeway in the day to day and yet we put all this pressure on ourselves to do it all, all the time! #itsok xxx

    1. Nicole

      You hit the nail on the head, Kate. We are far too often far too hard on ourselves, and as you said in your own post, should stop giving as many f•••s as we do!!!

  3. Penny Bull

    Yes yes yes! I do all of these things and consider them to be basic mum-survival techniques. Although I am really rubbish at throwing out their art & craft/drawings/scribbles and wish I did this more…I currently have boxes of the stuff that I have no idea what to do with!! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Basic mum-survival skills indeed! What would we do without fish fingers or Paw Patrol?

  4. Emma

    Brilliant, although I completely disagree with number 6. Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily fake the bubonic plague to avoid laundry BUT, building Lego…I’d actually rather have the plague!! Great read, thanks for sharing!!

    #itsok #ihatelego

    1. Nicole

      Hahaha! Well, if I’m honest, I like just the Lego blocks where you can build whatever you like, however you like. Absolutely hate the model Legos – can’t for the life of me figure those out!!!

  5. Helen Copson

    Ha, brilliant post! My kids aren’t at school yet, my three year old has only just started pre school and already I’m annoyed it’s only for two days a week. What use is that to me when I still have bloody baby twins at home! Oh and did I mention, I’ve currently got Netflix on for him whilst I’m writing this comment on my laptop next to him. And there’s a big stack of dishes in the kitchen, and three piles of clean laundry screwed up in the corner of a room upstairs needing to be folded. Ah well #itsok

    1. Nicole

      You are a legend Helen, with three boys under three, and still managing to keep your shit together and have time to produce such a fabulous blog!!! I rely on Amazon Prime with just one kiddo, so you can Netflix all you want:)
      PS: I hated those part-time hours/ days of pre-school too…

  6. Jo

    Totally agreeing with all of these. Right from number 1. Hell, there’s a positive skip in my step as I shut the nursery door on the way out. #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Welcome to the #itsok club then:) Ah, that spring in the step knowing you have X amount of child-free hours to look forward to…

  7. Gemma - Mummy's Waisted

    I am actually reading this while eating my son’s party bag sweets that he’s forgotten about! Definitely tick all of them, many times over! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      I look forward to my son’s party bag treats too (and try and smuggle some of them when he’s not looking!) #badmom #sorrynotsorry

  8. Unmindfulmama

    Oh I am so guilty of number 9. Massive relief I’m not the only mama that does it… I kid myself that it’s in bid to keep their sugar levels down! And yes, I really need to get with the programme and start buying supermarket birthday cakes. Why do I put myself through the hell each year…?!

    1. Nicole

      You bake their birthday cakes EVERY year?! You’re a rockstar!!! The stress would kill me;)

  9. Unmindfulmama

    Ahhh and #itsok to forget the #!

  10. Toni

    OH my goodness yes!! We just had my daughter’s birthday party this weekend and I can not express how calming it was just order the cake instead of stressing over it. This is the first time we have done that it was incredible!

    Some days we have movie time just so I can have break and sometimes my dishes have been sitting for the whole day! And you know what I don’t care! We have fun and I am stress free!

    My kids aren’t in school but on the SO’s day off I am so excited to leave the house even if it is just for a few hours!

    1. Nicole

      Dirty dishes can always wait – spending quality time with your kids or just getting some downtime is far more important. And isn’t the store-bought cake thing soooooooo calming?:)

  11. Hannah Hampton

    Guilty of all the above!
    I would add… its ok to lock yourself in the bathroom to get 3 minutes to yourself/eat a snack in peace without having to share!

    1. Nicole

      Absolutely! I take my phone in there and mindlessly scroll through social media for a ‘break’ every now and then!

  12. Dmcdadface

    Totally agree with all of this! Thank you!!

    1. Nicole

      Thanks for joining the #itsok linky! Hope to see you as a regular…

  13. Tracey Carr

    Oh I just love this post, I can actually feel my shoulders relaxing just reading it. I can tick every single one except the store-bought birthday cake. Yes I am that lunatic who spends hours the day before making and painfully decorating the cake. My daughter’s birthday is in three weeks and she has already put in a request for a peppa pig cake. Yeah I’d better get ready to knuckle down for that one. I am currently at no. 10 – the exhausted mum who needs a break. I have already informed my other half that I will be going out this Saturday by myself. I don’t know where I am going yet but I will definitely be going solo! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Well done you, enjoy your solo Saturday solitude:) And you’re not a lunatic just a supermum – attempting to do a Peppa Pig cake! Good luck with that:)

  14. Claire Rocks

    Brilliant post Nicole. #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Thanks Claire x

  15. Liberty Henwick

    I think you hit the nail on the head there right at the end in point 10 Nicole when you said the kids will be ok. Maybe we put so much pressure on ourselves because we love the little blighters soo much we want to try our best for them. But sometimes we think our best is living up to an impossible score of perfection when all it is is being present and engaging with them when they need us or when we are around. I stress alot about stuff until I realise the kids are actually doing fine and I calm down and enjoy the moment – for a few days or so until I get all caught up again in the chaos!! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Exactly Liberty! We (and society) puts too much pressure on mums to be everywhere all the time. It’s never enough – we’re just expected to keep on giving. I too often stress the small stuff and realise later that #itsok. The kids will be ok… Thank you for your eye-opening comment.

  16. Naomi Hassan

    Love this! Such an important reminder to all of us! Definitely hit the nail on the head #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Thank you Naomi. Glad you could relate x

  17. Millie

    He he. I laughed out loud at the craft bit 🙂
    It all rings true and I admit my daughter got bribed by me (with a promised surprise) and a sticker by the childminder for not wasting time in the morning. She got both. Long may it last without bribes but I will see….#itsok

    1. Nicole

      I suck at crafts! And I rock at bribes;) Thanks for linking up with us and glad you found this post relatable;)

  18. MomOfTwoLittleGirls

    Yes! All of these! Especially no. 1 and no. 4, and and and!

    1. Nicole

      And, and, and… #itsok to have a long list of ands, correct?

  19. Noleen Miller

    Yes all of it and my laundry is currently piled and I’m dreading it #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Good luck with it!
      #laundrysucks but #itsok to leave it lying around another day!

  20. Rachel ~ Kids, Cuddles and Muddy Puddles

    Oh yes, bribes are life! Haha. And secretly hiding and eating the biscuits! As parents, mums in particularly, we put an awful lot of pressure on ourselves to have everything “just right.” Truth is, that isn’t real life. We deserve to give ourselves a break, mentally and physically! #ItsOK

    1. Nicole

      Spot on Rachel! Go sneak in a biscuit just for that – #itsok;)

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