The kindness of Strangers

Over the last few days, I’ve read what feels like hundreds of blog posts.

Taking part in last month’s Digital Parents Blog Carnival meant that I would opportunely acquaint myself with many blogs, some I knew and others I had not heard of.



Some Bloggers pose questions, while others offer opinions.  Most posts are versions of reality, but some are far removed from my reality.

It’s these ebbs and flows that make the blogging ride so enjoyable.

You can keep reading, if you want.



Checks and Spots is a blog I came across in the Carnival – one that I look forward to revisiting.


Clare’s post, The One Thing I Wish I Knew About Motherhood asked 16 women what they wish someone had told them, before they set sail as a parent.





At the risk of sounding overconfident, I knew I would be OK with the arrival of baby number one and thankfully, I was blessed with a text book dream baby; he played nice.



It was baby number two who I was worried about.

I was not as self-assured about my sanity with the arrival of my second kid.



There were so many more variables at play.


It wasn’t just me who had to get my act together, there was a 2 year old as well, who might have other plans.

There was Post Natal Depression that I’d heard about first hand, the memory of labour to worry about, another change to the dynamic of the household, my body, my patience…

Experiencing the warm, fuzzy, open-all-hours, newborn baby stage, this time with another little traveler in toe, made me very nervous.



People I spoke to were quite specific about bub number two having turned their world upside down.



But a woman I worked with at the time, Anne, set the record straight.

She listened and empathised and then she gave me her simple philosophy – the best advice I’ve ever been given.



Baby Must Thrive, Mother Must Survive.



According to Anne, it was simple.


All I had to do was take care of my babies and take care of myself.


Feed the baby, play with the older one and rest whenever possible.

Do the housework when I could, cook simply and freeze meals.


Do only what you can.

Attempting what you can’t accomplish is futile.



Just ensure the baby thrives and you survive.



Anne’s words became my mantra for the next two years.  

They helped in gaining perspective.


Now I’m a mum of two and a full time employee.

If I am tired, I try to rest.

Sleep is elusive but toys underfoot and mountainous laundry, are not.



So God bless Anne P, the tall blonde from Cronulla, who I briefly worked with, years ago.

I only knew you for a very short time but you gave me the best motherhood advice I’ve been given.



Wisdom hey…

Just paying it forward.

Got any good advice for parents?




Robo X


Linking up for a very long overdue #IBOT over at Essentially Jess!



About Robomum

I blog after my kids go to sleep. It takes a while. View all posts by Robomum

31 responses to “The kindness of Strangers

  • Kimba Likes

    Love this! The best advice I ever received was “if at the end of the day the house is still standing and no one has died, it is a good day.”

    Not quite as poetic as your version – it came from a very sensible woman with a wicked sense of humour – but it works!

    Sleep when the baby sleeps worked for me too. As he got older, I had one sleep for me, one for the house.

  • Rhianna (@aparentinglife)

    Yes the sleep and rest when you can is the most important thing to remember. The housework, washing whatever, will still be there when you wake but at least you will be in a better frame of mind to deal with it all.

  • Eleise

    Great advice!! I love it! We often over complicate ourselves. My Aunt told me to throw out all the baby books and parent with my heart, I thought she was daft, I now understand what she meant!

  • Lisa @ Circle of Toast

    Best advice I was given was to never give 100% of yourself and your life to your child – sounds weird, but it was spot-on. If you devote your entire being to one small child with no break or time-out, you will be stressed and unhappy. Take time for yourself, something as simple as a hot bath or time with a book, and you will be a happier parent, which in turn leads to a happier child.

  • Zanni Louise

    It’s funny how just a few words can make such an impact! Totally true too. I have been OK since having a second baby. Although I have been working from home ever since, I try not to do too much extra. And my baby is pretty easy. I think adjusting your expectations can make that period so much easier. For example, I know I can never keep on top of laundry, and it doesn’t matter!

    • robomum

      The laundry is never ending but it’s a chore I don’t actually mind. I have my routine.
      It’s the packing away that I hate.
      Adjusting expectations is clever, nothing wrong with doing this as long as you remain true to yourself.

  • Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions

    It’s so timely that I read this post! With PJ#2 due to make her arrival in the next few weeks I have been slowly freaking out about how I am going to cope and handle it all. I think I am going to have to take that on as my mantra also!

    • robomum

      You will be fine, it’s true. But the anticipation might get the better of you.
      This post has received some clever advice.
      Hope you’ve been well K. XXX

  • mumabulous

    When I was pregnant with P1 my bestie who already had two said to me “just remember your baby’s needs are very simple”. Very true and very helpful. My two cents worth is “this too shall pass”.

  • Miss Cinders

    I think that’s the best advice I’ve ever heard too!

    Whenever I get asked for the truth about having a babe – from a first time Mum, or someone expecting their second – is, the first six months will probably suck. There won’t be enough hours in the day, or enough sleep either. But once baby is around six months old, you’ll look back and realise you can do it.

    That’s what I found anyway 🙂

    MC x

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    Expect the unexpected – that’s been my mantra and has served me well so far. If you have no expectations you have less chance of experiencing disappointment and more chance of being able to cope with what’s thrown at you!

  • Me

    I wasn’t on maternity leave for very long but I did realise that, so long as we were fed and dressed in clean clothes and the house wasn’t falling down around our ears – we were doing OK. Really – everything else can wait – it isn’t going anywhere and if someone comes over and thinks that something should be done, they were more than welcome to do it !
    Have the best week that you can !

  • Clare @ Checks and Spots

    I’m so thrilled that our paths have crossed and that my post was inspiration for you to share such a beautiful perspective on motherhood – your words, ‘baby must thrive, mother must survive’ are spot on!
    It’s one hell of a ride, isn’t it?!

  • Oculus Mundi

    My mother gave me a fridge magnet once that said “Cleaning the house when kids are growing is like shovelling snow when it’s still snowing.” I may have taken that mantra too far sometimes, but it works for me even now that they are 16 and almost 13 🙂 Actually I am pretty easyosy about most things. I do what I REALLY have to do (as opposed to what people think they have to do, this is actually a pretty short list), and what I want to do and nothing much else 🙂 Hers was good advice, I think

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Very wise words from Anne P. I stand by the saying happy mummy equals happy kids. I try to make sure I can take care of myself, so I can give my all to the kids. I try to slow down and not get so crazy if the house is a mess, I look like a mess, and the routine is out the window. Smile and laugh with your kids because laughing is contagious. Keep everything light, happy and slow down 🙂

  • EssentiallyJess

    I’ve read so many posts about the kindness of strangers in the last two weeks.
    It just goes to show how we all have the power to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

  • Lani

    Very good advice. Sometimes it’s the simplest words that make the most sense. With my second bubba, I’ve certainly taken the time to slow down and smell the roses. I don’t give a hoot about reading baby books and developmental milestones etc, my baby is wonderful and healthy and happy, and so am I. Congrats on your family x

  • redlandcitygirl

    Wish I’d known this before I had kids! My best advice is to read widely and listen to other mums and glean what you can; scrap the rest!

  • Have a laugh on me

    My advice would be to not be so hard on yourself, don’t bother with books, don’t compare with other mums and trust your instincts 🙂

  • Twitchy (@TwitchyCorner)

    Honestly that time is all such a blur you can only do what you can do. In the case of my second one we ended up at sleep school for my sanity. But the only real advice I have is keep what advice you like the sound of and ignore the rest. Make sure you have someone to call if it all starts to cave in.

  • ann

    Love this post.

  • Clair

    Reblogged this on Mrs Awesome.

  • Tegan Churchill

    The best piece of advice I received was to smile and nod when someone tells you something, then take from it what you want. Arguing your point won’t make them change your mind and you don’t have to do what they are telling you.

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