Why motherhood is a lot like Game of Thrones

Battles, dragons, permanently on the Night’s Watch and fighting for a moment on the (porcelain) throne. Here are nine reasons motherhood is a lot like the fantasy epic.

You need to plan everything with military precision.

Every day’s a battlefield. Just getting out of your castle, erm, house. It used to be just your handbag, which amongst scrunched-up receipts, old lipsticks and out of date mints included your keys, purse and phone. Now you have a changing bag, containing nappies, nappy bags, wet wipes, teethers, teething gel, food pouches, milk bottles, dummies, snacks and Calpol. I don’t even carry a handbag anymore. I use the changing bag as my bag too. So chic, eh?

You just want five minutes to yourself in the porcelain throne room.

Gone are the days you used to go to the bathroom on your own. The definition of luxury is having an uninterrupted shower, or time to do your business without having to attend the whims of your babe. If I don’t get a shower before Sonny gets up, it means a shower with his nose pressed against the shower doors, while he bangs it with his tiny fists. In Game of Thrones, there is a lot of competition for the (Iron) throne. But, whoever gets to sit on it at least has time to do their business…

Babies are a lot like dragons (cute ones).

They’re noisy, demanding, messy and have an insatiable appetite, and that’s just babies. Yes, dragons and babies have quite a lot in common. Your baby, though you love them dearly, can be a little monster, stopping you sleeping, eating and showering and generally, having a life. Still, much like Daenerys, no matter how big and annoying they get, they’re still your children and you heart them to the moon and back.

You’re always on the Night’s Watch.

Okay, the Night’s Watch is no more, thanks to a certain Ice Dragon, you know what I mean if you’re a mama. No more snuggling beneath the sheets and not waking up until the alarm goes off. You hear every snuffle and rustle. You check if they’re warm enough or that they haven’t pulled their favourite bunny over their face. Then, if you don’t have a sleeper, you need to dig deep to get through the night.

You always need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Life in general throws lots of curve balls. When you’re a mum, these usually come in the form of your baby’s bodily fluids. But, other than that, babies are unpredictable, and when they get mobile, you need eyes on the back of your head. Much like the GoT characters, it’s handy to have a third eye like Bran.

You’re always in danger of losing your head…

Not literally, thankfully. But, motherhood is stressful, emotional and exhausting. Be sure to get some you time, whether that’s a power walk with your head phones full blast, a catch up with your bestie, or just having the house to yourself for a few hours. It’s important to feel like the you before you became a mama too.

You must trust your instincts at all times.

This is the best advice I can impart. You will get lots of advice, but you know your baby best. It’s great to take everything you hear on board, but, as I’ve said again and again, your instincts will never lead you far wrong. Sansa eventually came good on trusting her instincts, and she’ll be a better woman for it. So, trust yourself but by all means, ask for advice when you need it.

You get through a lot of wine…

Cersei is rarely seen without a goblet of grape juice, nor is Tyrion. In fact, most of the characters enjoy a tipple or ten. When it gets to 7pm, your thoughts will drift to that lovely chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge. It might just be one glass (totally going to get myself a goblet though), but it’s mummy medicine, and you deserve it after a day of nurturing a little dragon, I mean, baby.

You’ll protect your kingdom with ferocity.

You’re a mama dragon, and you’ll do anything, and I mean anything to protect your brood. They’re you’re everything and nothing is more important than family. Just ask Arya. Oh, and don’t forget, being a mama makes you a queen and you deserve a crown (and a huge goblet of wine).

Catch Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic tonight at 2am or tomorrow night at 9pm.

All I Want for Christmas, by Sonny

So mum, I know I’m going to get loads and loads of presents but here’s what I really, really want for Christmas…

Milk

It’s really yummy and I can’t get enough of it. I especially like when I can lie back and do a starfish and not make any effort to hold the bottle. More of that good stuff. Keep it flowing.

Fruit

You’ve started giving me mushy fruit and stuff. It’s okay I guess, I kind of like apples, pears and strawberries but I’m not keen on blueberries or carrots. They’re weird. Does anyone even like them? I also like doing a mic drop with my spoon and smearing food all over my face and hands. That’s fun. And don’t even think about eating if I’m not. That’s so not cool!

The Remote Control

Basically anything that I’m not allowed. It’s fun to change channels when you’re watching something you like. I also like tinfoil, crisp packets and zips. Not fussy really.

Hair

Why can’t you wear your hair down all the time mum? I like seeing you wince when I pull it. It’s also good to suck on.

My Dummy

I want you to always be on hand to put it in when it falls out of my mouth. It’s annoying and far too much effort to put it back in my mouth myself. Yes, I know I pull it out myself, but, come on, I’m a baby!

Sleep

I love sleeping. I’m a baby. I’d like you to respect this by being quiet when I have my afternoon naps and please do not make any sounds during the nighttime. Breathing is permitted, if you must.

Cuddles

Not too tight please, just enough so I can feel nice and cosy. Don’t put me down even when your arms start to hurt.

Rude Noises

Belching, wretching, fart sounds. The ruder the better! Does this make me a proper bloke? Hope so.

The Cat

I like fluffy stuff so it’s annoying when the silly cat jumps off when I grab it.

Hanging Upside Down

This is a lot of fun for me, I don’t care if it hurts your arms. Whatever.

If you adhere to the above, I guess I’ll wish you a happy Christmas. Not happier than mine obviously.

Also, I still want new toys that I can play with for five minutes before getting bored and nice new clothes that I can vomit on. And I’m going to get you back for dressing me as a pudding.

Sonny x

Baby gone… how The Cry is about every new parents’ nightmare

*Contains spoilers.*

“Of all the things that can happen to a person, there are a few things that could be worse, can you think of any? There are none. And the whole world, they want to look at someone that it’s happened to. Everyone wants to judge, look for clues so maybe it won’t happen to them.” Joanna.

I watched The Cry on catch up after my husband recommended it. Yes, you read right. My husband, who’s usually scathing of TV dramas said “it was quite good. I want to see what happens next.” Hell, me too. I’m completely breathless after the first episode. The Cry is a four-part psychological drama about a young mother Joanna (Jenna Coleman) who slowly unravels after the birth of her first child to a man who cheated on his wife to be with her. She receives little support from her now fiance Alistair (Ewen Leslie), who nudges her in the middle of the night to attend to their screaming infant, and sleeps through a long haul flight from Glasgow to Melbourne while an exhausted Joanna paces the aisle, while dispassionate passengers throw her ugly comments, “maybe you should feed your baby”, one man growls. Even a prissy flight attendant tells her to keep her tiny baby quiet. Once they land, Alistair bemoans over being jet lagged, while a bristling Joanna goes to get him a coffee.

As tired and wretched as she feels, the worst is yet to come. As they make their way to their beautiful beach-view apartment, they stop at a shop for supplies. Alistair goes in, only to be joined in a few minutes by Joanna, who inexplicably has left their baby in its car seat. My hackles rise. “The baby!” I cry inwardly. Surely she will have locked the car though? No. The pair return to the car, Joanna grimly observing a few tins in the carrier bags. Then, Alistair makes the horrifying discovery that their little baby is gone. He runs shrieking down the empty road, while a dazed Joanna searches the car, the magnitude of the situation not really hitting. Then, she feebly shouts “help!”, her cries slowly reaching reaching a painful crescendo, “help!”. It’s utterly gut-wrenching. My hand reaches for my three-month old son’s chubby leg (the same age as Noah) and I feel a cold shiver. It’s horrible luck. There’s no doubt many a devoted mother has released her grip of a buggy to run after an errant older child in a store, or nipped into the house for something with the baby strapped in the car seat in an unlocked car. But, there’s more to it. We see Joanna in the opening scenes preparing for a court appearance. Her sanity is being questioned. There are witnesses lambasting her for losing it on the red eye flight to Melbourne. Surely she wouldn’t have harmed her baby son? There’s also Alistair’s aggrieved ex, the reason he’s taking his family to Australia – to get custody of their young daughter. Could she have something to do with it? And even more odd, at what appears to be a TV appearance to make a plea for their missing son, Alistair whispers matter-of- factly in Joanna’s ear, “do you think you’ll cry?”

Aside from the unimaginable pain of a child going missing, we see Joanna coming apart at the seams before Noah goes missing, with his incessant crying. Although I’ve just been a mum for over three months myself, I judge her, when she falls asleep with her baby on her chest on the sofa. I judge her for keeping her baby in another room with a monitor on. And what do I know? I’m hardly an expert. It’s not just me though, she bumps into a pristine mum on the street who comments that her baby is probably too warm. Even my hubby remarked, “oh, I wouldn’t do that, and did you see when she fell asleep on the bed leaving her baby in the other room?” It’s awful that we’re so quick to judge, as Joanna tells her psychologist in the opening scenes.

It’s a harrowing watch whether or not you’re a parent. I’ll watch the next episode with my husband, as we hold our baby close.

The Cry is on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm.

Image courtesy of BBC Pictures.