Make Do & Mend Parenting

My mother-in-law recently described my parenting as ‘free-spirited’…I’m pretty sure that’s not a world away from ‘your children are feral’…

Anyway I’ve been considering this and reminiscing about the last three years with my son while looking back at photos (lots of which were stored on here, so if you are a regular reader apologies for the pictorial recycling!).

Despite coming across as pretty organised in most other aspects of my life, these images have reminded me how much and how often we’ve muddled through in the last three years in a ‘make do and mend’ sort of fashion – my son makes do with his mother and I hope he doesn’t need any mending when he’s older…

I’ve made my peace with it, I mean of course I used to look on with envy at friends with all the gear – a normal sized changing bag, changes of clothes, snacks and even mini tubs of sudocream while I was taking the more stressful spontaneous route of using my gloves as his socks, muslins as sunhats and, oops, a carrier bag as a bib.

Small changing bag next to mobile phone
My clutch bag changing bag


But it’s been A LOT of fun so I thought I’d share the wisdom here. And, yes, you’re welcome.

Transitional/Comfort Objects: From a parent’s point of view these ideally should be something portable, easy for the child to hold onto, washable and replaceable.

Struggling for inspiration? Well, with hardware shops two a penny in most areas what could fit the bill better than a wipe-clean object ergonomically designed for hands…

Toddler in pushchair with door handle


Crafts: fire the imagination with seasonal designs or recreate their favourite fictional characters:

Snowman made with toilet roll tube covered in cotton wool with a slightly scary red mouth
Is it Christmas? Or is it Halloween?


Kitchen towel. Tube with multiple google eyes and a few stickers
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Clearly.


Family Mealtimes: Sitting up to the table all together is so important for developing family bonds and encouraging conversations.

I’ve  heard that chairs are the new tables…and who says you can’t tell the kitchen bin about your day?

Boy eating next to the bin


Grow Your Own: A top tip to combat fussy eating is to grow your own fruit and vegetables with your child…how could they resist devouring the harvest of their own crops?

Actually quite easily if the snails devour the vegetables and the below totals the entire fruit harvest:

One blueberry on a plate


Baking: Sometimes there’s no rescuing this activity from madness. I suggest adding chocolate, patience and low expectations into the mix.

Son with bowl on his head


Picture Perfect Picnics: Teach your children in their early years about the importance of distinguishing between real life and the images we are fed in the media. Forget a hamper, ‘picnic pies’ a checked rug and glorious sunshine… Focus instead on car picnics in the rain and the classic option for alfresco eating:

Child eating a tin of baked beans


Health & Safety: correct body protection for each activity is a must:

Boy on rocking horse with box on head

Hot food can cause burns, serve food warm OR provide the child with proper cooling tools:

Boy cooling egg down with electric fan

Finally instil in your child an understanding of the foundation of most workplace H&S policies ‘Slips, Trips and Falls’:

Puddle on wooden floor with two little cones next to it
‘Mummy, I’ve had an accident on the kitchen floor. But don’t worry I’ve put cones round it’.


Mouse Moo Me Too
Diary of an imperfect mum


25 thoughts on “Make Do & Mend Parenting

  1. I really liked the concept of make do and mend parenting as I seem to be embracing bring an imperfect parent these past few weeks and accepting that that is perfectly ok. The pic of your son eating dinner by the bin really made me laugh! So refreshing. Although the idea of a family dinner to converse is a nice one it doesn’t always work out that way!


  2. Welcome back! This made me chuckle at 3.30am while both of my children were being coaxed back together sleep and it didn’t feel like there was much to chuckle about. I do like the table wedged next to the bin, and the overrated H&S risk of the open can 😂 Xxx


  3. Haha, I did already read this but I must have run off without commenting! Bad girl. I love love love the traffic cones and the dinner at the chair- classic! Thanks for linking up to #chucklemums


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