Order is restored! Or at least something resembling order is restored.
Aoife is back at school, Rory is back at work and Seth is watching Toy Story 2 back to back whilst dressed as Buzz Lightyear.
Having been a lazy bum and taking a couple of weeks away from blogging and shameless self promotion I’m a bit tired so I decided to ease myself back into it gently and go for a Top Ten.
Here’s the Top Ten things I found hardest about becoming a parent, or more specifically a Mummy for that’s what I am.
- Child Birth
Yes, I know this is obvious but I didn’t read past week 33 in my ‘How to be pregnant’ book. It wasn’t all “oh my gosh, I peed myself…no wait my waters broke”…*scream like a banshee*….baby after 30 mins. It took days, neither child was in a hurry. It was painful, I sparkled, I cried, I was rude to the midwife, it was undignified, it was exhausting!
- Shitty Nappies
Again yes, I’d HEARD about them but nothing. NOTHING can prepare you for an explosive, up the back, out the sides shitty nappy. The one where you have to hold legs in the air, cut baby out of the vest and wipe all at the same time.It’s on their hands, it’s on their feet, at least it’s not on….no way, how did it get there? IT’S ON THEIR HEAD. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.
- Not laughing at ‘not good’ behaviour
Obviously the biting and wall drawing isn’t a laughing matter, but the sass. Well, as much as I don’t admit it to Aoife, it’s HILARIOUS. Like the time Rory asked her to pick something up, she replied “Give me a minute woman”. Or the time I put her on the naughty step and took away her treats. “Will I still have food & water?” “Yes” “Oh I’ll be fine then”. Sometimes you just have to walk away and laugh. Without them knowing of course.
Coughing, laughing, crying, sparkling, running, dancing, jumping. All not just hard, almost impossible!
- Appreciating the things that are important to them
Instead of being a destroyer of dreams and imagination, you have to appreciate every leaf/pine cone/stone/receipt placed into your bag because it’s “really beautiful” or “magic” or “stone”. It’s so hard to not point out your dismay at your handbag or pocket being full of snotty tissues and detritus.
- Being a parent
ALL THE TIME. It’s nonstop! Even if you get some time away you think about them and talk about them. If you don’t think about them then you think how you should take it easy as you’re going to have to go home and be up with them in the night. If you have the kind of children that sleep through then you’re still thinking about looking after them with a hangover. The parenting just doesn’t stop!
- Finding a babysitter.
When you announce you’re pregnant with your first child all your friends will tell you how excited they are and how they’ll babysit.
LIES. As soon as baby arrives it becomes “I’ll babysit when they sleep through” then “I’ll take them to the pub at 18”. It’s not like the Babysitter Club books I read as a child!!
Mummy Guilt/Daddy Guilt, call it what you want.
It’s intense! Before children I didn’t do guilt but childbirth brings this whole new emotion. Every decision you make leads to a feeling of guilt. Everything you say leads to a feeling of guilt. Every time you leave them, every time you don’t. Every time you tell them off, every time you don’t. “I am too hard on them, I’m too soft on them, I’m abandoning them , I mollycoddle them” OH MY GOSH. I will also put crying in here. I have cried so much more in the last 6 years than I ever did in my previous 32! I have even cried at Four Weddings and CSI.
- Dealing with your body and mind
It changes so much, at first it feels like it’s not your own. It gets big, it starts to behave differently. If you’re breast feeding it can feel like it’s completely someone else’s. It gets fatter due to ‘baby weight’, loneliness, sadness, boredom, habit. Your mind can be vicious, making you question everything. Making you paranoid. Making you feel bad about you and your parenting. Mix the two together and it’s a pretty rough time. I’d love to say you deal with it like this….but I still don’t have an answer.
- Baby groups/School playgrounds
URGH. All these other Mummy’s just being amazing, looking fantastic and coping. They breastfeed so well, they look amazing, their children behave, some of them have actual jobs as well as being a mum. Their children love Baby Einstein and only listen to Beethoven, in fact, give Sebastian a toy piano and he can compose a tune, HE’S ONLY 8 MONTHS OLD! They never look harassed and have never dropped the F-Bomb in front of their children. When you’re tired, feeling fat and lonely THIS is one of the hardest things, this leads me to
OK, I know I said Top Ten but I don’t like to conform. Being a parent is pretending all the time. We pretend we’re coping, we pretend we know what we’re doing, we pretend we’re happy with our smock dress, we pretend we’re not comparing ourselves to every other parent we see, we pretend every single minute of parenting is a breeze. It’s a tough act to keep up. We should all probably drop the pretending and then my Top Ten would be a legit Top Ten.
Aside from all that, this parenting lark is a piece of cake.