Monday, 9 September 2013

Parental Advice

I have always been Maternal, my life goals involved having kids & being married before 25 (aiming high, I know) and I can happily proclaim, I have a 3 year old & a one year old & have been married for just over 2 years, at age 25 years & 9 months. (Hold your applause & leave your congratulations till the end)
While my school friends were travelling the world, I was having babies & naming them after parts of it.
I had my daughter at 22, it was an amazing & painful experience, that made me wonder why they don't hit you in the head with some form of blunt object as your labour starts. 2 years & 10 days later, I was back & welcoming into the world a sweet little boy, this time with the help of the most beautiful man in the world, no, not my husband, the anaesthetist (Can I get a hallelujah up in here), what an incredible invention the epidural is!
I'm lucky that most of my closest friends, where also having babies at the same time & were there to offer advice, support & understanding on the new, exciting & slightly terrifying life as a parent.
I recently found out a friend is expecting her first child and it made me think of all the tips & tricks I've learnt along the journey so far & thought I should pen them, in the hope they may be of assistance to mothers-to-be.

Firstly, NO, Labour is not like "bad" period pain, unless of course your period pain is like being stabbed in the guts/lower back with a machete that's been set on fire, while being run down by a road train. But "Breathe through it", you'll be fine.
Secondly, all the white clothes hanging in your cupboard, there is no place for them anymore, it just doesn't hide the bodily fluids & food scraps the same way a nice pattern or plain black does .. Don't feel you still can't be fashionable, it's just that you probably need a stronger scented perfume to cover the associated essence of aforementioned child bodily fluid.
I don't suggest letting your appearance go by any means, but I recommend finding a different hair style & method of applying make-up that can be done quickly and/or with one hand. Because, all though looking and feeling great is still a natural desire for most women, the notion of a happy baby by far out ways any concern for your hair and make-up or lack there of.
You will never sleep the same again, not because your baby is crying or your toddler see's sleep as a punishment (although this may occur on occasions), but because every little sound or slight movement will have you up and checking on them, getting your ear so up in their grill that you can not only hear that they are still breathing, but the sound of their subconscious asking "what are you doing lady?".
Silence, although beautiful and relaxing, is not always a good thing. This is especially true when you have a toddler. The sound of nothing quite often means the possibility of elaborate wall art, the unravelling of every toilet roll in the house or the use of your make-up to decorate themselves, younger siblings & any furniture that is white and/or expensive.
Happy families often have a pet, child combination, but what is not displayed in the family photos featured in glossy magazines is that your child will help themselves to both your furry friends food and water & may even attempt to handle a dried poo or two.
I suppose this brings us to the next point, have eyes open and watching at all times, if you can somehow obtain another set for the back of your head for the first 10-20 years of your child's life, this would be ideal.
When your child first learns to draw, don't jump in there with an assumption like "That's a great picture of mummy", ask questions, there is nothing more shattering to a child then them having to explain that it's actually a picture of Dora feeding a snow leopard, under a rainbow. If this happens, reassure your child, they are an amazing artist & you just forgot your glasses/brain.
You will soon come to realise how very little you know on two occasions, 1) when a child first starts asking 150 quick questions a day and 2) the first time they bring home their grade 1 home work.
Lastly, be prepared, no matter how long the labour, cheeky the child or exhausted and overwhelmed you are left feeling, their is NO greater love then that of a mother and child. You will forever look at the little person you created and count them as both you greatest challenge & biggest achievement.
On bad days remember that this too shall pass and on the good days count your blessings, there are many people who never get to experience the pure joy & unequivocal love of being someone's Mum or Dad.
Finally, Good luck, much love & remember, parenthood is not a job, it's an incredible and incomparable adventure, enjoy the ride.

Tilly
Fox n Pup x
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