Emily Wells – Teatime & Tantrums: Surviving parenthood on the Island

Parenting is a minefield. You dream of extending your perfect family and then the little angel arrives and suddenly your world (and house) is turned upside down.

I’m only four years into the ‘adventure’ but, in that short time, I’ve encountered more methods of parenting than I’ve had half-drunk cups of tea. There’s attachment parenting, detachment parenting, the Yes Mums, the No Mums (that’s probably me) and before you know it you’ve turned into your own mum, reeling off those classic phrases you promised yourself (pre-kids) you’d never use.

But whether you’re the strictly organic, sugar-free kind or more of a Happy Meal type, aren’t we all just trying to survive the sleepless nights and bring up some decent human beings? One day the kids might remember all their manners and the next they might scream blue murder in the middle of Aldi because you wouldn’t let them take a bite out of every apple in the packet (yes that was us). It’s a rollercoaster ride (90% terrifying and 10% exhilarating – but 100% worth it).

It often feels like our parents had a much simpler time of it. Back then, there was no pressure to document every tiny stage of child development on Instagram and the wealth of inaccurate medical advice now available online – causing anxious parents to fret over every sniffle – did not exist. But, on the flipside, they didn’t have as many tools to keep their children entertained.

On the Island, the opportunities to keep kids busy and sleep-deprived mums awake are endless. You can arm them with noisy shakers at classes such as Rhythm Time, drink your own weight in coffee at kids’ cafe Bebeccino, or clutch a flask of hot chocolate under a tree in Bouldnor Forest while the little ones roam free at Nature Tots. It’s all swings and roundabouts, I guess. For now though I’m off to wrestle the TV remote out of the baby’s mouth while trying not to burn the line-caught, crumb-coated pollock (fish fingers).

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