You’ve read all the parenting books, downloaded all the apps and paid hard earned dollar on parenting lessons.
You’re all good to go, aren’t you? You’ve been growing this life for the past 200-odd days. Get the kid out and get this party started, you said.
Except the parenting books lied.
They really, really did.
Here’s my take:
The Hair Thing.
Despite it being quite well known that one’s locks flourish under the influence of womb inhabitent hormones, it’s perhaps less well known that you’ll pay for the extra furr ten fold when it all falls out about the 3 month mark.
As if coping with no sleep for twelve weeks and finding enough time to wash never mind style wasn’t difficult enough, once it’s finally finished shedding all over your lunch, your friends and your child, nature adds having a permanent hairband of fluffy regrowth into the mix. A particularly sexy look if like me you’re a woman who has significant post-pushing thermoregulatory issues and you spend 92% of the time perspiring profusely. Those fluffy bits really love to complete an all-round beautiful look when they’re laced in sweat and standing to attention.
The baby will for the first time in its existence show some sympathy towards its keeper around this point and shed its hair too before turning into some sort of monk-baby hybrid.
Any mother you see who has a perfect Barnett is wearing a wig.
I’m Having an Affair With The Vacuum.
I literally feel like all I ever do is vacuum, so much so all my two year old ever wants to do when we’re out is ‘Go home and see my Henry, Momma’.
All children ever do is shed, whether it be bits of dried playdoh they’ve had stashed in their ear canal for 6 months or just a general painting of the carpet with mashed potato session they’ve partaken in while you’ve sloped off for a 30 second poo break.
I often LOL in reminiscence over a lunch date with one of my best friends in days gone by while wonder baby no1 was still non-weaned and non-mobile. She’d pointed out that all the crap lining the floor had only materialised in the previous half hour that her 9 month old has spent there. Bugger off I thought, you fibbing!
She wasn’t fibbing.
My mum informed me last week that she’s bought WB#1 a real handheld vacuum for Christmas.
Sometimes They Really Make You Dislike Them…
….and that’s perfectly ok.
I was going to change dislike to hate, but I didn’t want people thinking I was an ungrateful mother of two perfect descendants. Which of course I am not!
It’s just sometimes, no matter how much your heart is filled with completely unconditional adoration for every aspect of their being, sometimes they take every ounce of your patience and your sanity and then take your self-control too.
Sometimes, honestly, they just wake up evil, and stay evil for a few days until they’re done with the monotony of evil being and revert back to being angelic. Normally only after you’ve signed them up and paid £100 for them to be ‘socialised’ at a 10 week long gymnastic course, bought them an iPad and screamed to their father while they’re getting time off parenting at their work sanctuary that you’ve downloaded some adoption papers from google and you’ve decided you cannot hack this anymore.
Sometimes you’ve absolutely had enough of the supermarket shop with a baby, a toddler and twenty two tantrums in tow. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go get some bread and milk without the child tipping the pram over and nearly murdering his baby bro while the entire shop watches on? Or if you could manage to nip and get some eggs without having to deploy all of the trustworthy anti F.A mode distractions like counting every single egg box on the aisle fifteen times, having the two year old assist with throwing (and destroying) all items both into the trolley and onto the checkout.
Sometimes it’d be nice to do anything, go anywhere without spending tonnes of money on the kids for the whole thing to be a huge battle. I’m not expecting a detailed thesis of appreciation, but at least just pretend for one second like you’re enjoying your £6 sausage and mash.
Buy A Bloody Tumble Dryer.
…and stock up on vanish oxi-action while you’re at it.
There are no prizes for being super human and unless you’ve somehow landed a man who has mastered the art of womanly appreciation there’ll be nothing other than a house full of damp smelling baby clothes to look at unless you purchase womankind’s BFF.
Babies fire out fluids constantly. If you’re averaging any less than 15 outfits a day in the early days you’ve come up trumps and got yourself a good one. Then when they’re done with bi-hourly poonami’s they move onto constantly resembling a carrot stain tapestry and then they discover Peppa Pig, who teaches them yet more delightful ways of getting covered head to toe in crap.
Cut and run, think of all the junk you’ve bought for this kid and never used. For all the stuff you’ll be flogging on For Sale and Swap, the dryer definitely won’t be one of them.
You Were Totally Prepared For The Blood.
No menstrual cycle for nine whole months sound too good to be true?
Yep, that’s because it is.
The average how to be a mum guide does go into some detail in regards to post-partum lochia but it keeps one delightful extra under wraps, all hail The Poo Period.
The Poo Period?
Yes, really. Thankfully doesn’t hang around for too long but just another little momento ofhow much damage all that pushing has done!
The Maternal Instinct.
‘You’ll wake at the very second your beautiful baby squirms, the mum instinct really is so wonderful’, they said.
Except sometimes this just doesn’t happen, and you’re not a bad mum because of it.
I really was so excited to have this natural superpower, I’d heard all about it. The midwife on our ‘active birthing’ class (active, haha) even went as far to describe how this integral part of motherhood helps you feel less tired as you’re having such meaningful sleep cycles!
Then it didn’t happen. It’s never happened. I am a complete fail at possessing this apparent gift. Sleep is my downfall and 100% the worst thing to come out of having a child for me is that I just know that if I even managed a straight 6 hour stint, I’d be a much better mother!
For 10 long years I’ve slept next to a human pneumatic drill and shared the joys having a partner with sleep apnoea brings. I’ve become so immune to The Slovak One’s nocturnal moans, groans and leaps as he fights with keeping his airway open that the poor little baby never stood a chance!
Thankfully I located a male who is completely functional on 30 minutes sleep, and one who despite never having any motherly hormones to encourage it actually has the maternal instinct! So while I do all the parenting during the day, he does the parenting on a night (excluding the breastfeeds, obvs). The perfect combo!
Motherhood is a delightful journey of extreme emotion, real worry and constant doubt.
Remember, even the best parents are allowed an off day!
Let me know your take.
Love, K x