So, we’re technically still relatively new at this parenting malarkey. I mean, my child doesn’t even answer back yet as her vocabulary currently only stretches as far as “cheese”, “shoes”, “snack”, “tea”, “mummy”, “daddy”, “baby” and “no”. I only really have toddler tantrums to go on at the minute (this is going to come back to bite me I now fear). But still, this year has taught me a lot about being a parent…
1 – It is not easy
Anyone that says it is is either superhuman or downright lying.
2 – Your own social life takes a backseat
Anything and everything you do revolves around whether it is child-friendly or works around nap times… The importance of having a ‘baby group’ of friends, or as I call them – my baby mamas, is so important, not only so you can have a snippet of adult conversation to keep you sane, but also so your children can expel some energy as a group! As for your friends from pre-children, you just have to hope they understand you haven’t forgotten about them and that you will regain contact at some point in the future!
3 – You must make time for yourselves
Following on from above, this is something I am AWFUL at! I feel huge guilt asking for babysitters but I’m slowly getting over this…or my husband just plans things and arranges it so I have no option to feel guilty (bring on the spa break next week – huzzah!!). Even our date days tend to be family orientated, but why should she miss out?! But, yeah, even if it’s making sure you have your evenings to yourself, something we have worked very hard for (routine, routine, routine, blah, blah….), then do it!!
4 – Travelling with a child is hard
We have always always said, since the day we discovered I was pregnant, that nothing would change just because we have children. I like to think we have stuck to this as best we can. We have had some amazing holidays this year, including a long-haul flight with a 1-year old (*high five* to us), and yes they are different experiences because of being avec child, but the benefit and joy the whole family gets from this is SO WORTH IT. Just don’t forget the nappies, stroller, snacks, toys, bottles….
5 – Being a parent isn’t a job
Even if you are a stay at home mum or dad, parenting is a lifestyle choice, not a job. You don’t get sick leave, annual leave, lunch breaks or financial reimbursement for your efforts (quite the opposite). Going back to number 1 – IT IS BLOODY HARD. You guys are incredible. (And if your other half is in charge of the child/children, it is not called babysitting…).
6 – You will spend a fortune for your own benefit
I’m talking clothes, toys etc. They really don’t care what they are wearing, but I do, and I will take full advantage of the Next sale to ensure that she looks better than I ever do. And then there’s toys, such a huge expense and for what? Them to be thrown all over the floor (we end most days with “have you seen the ‘t’ from her puzzle? Or the chicken from the duplo?”) and her to be more interested in scribbling on a blank piece of paper with a free pen! The 10 minutes of happiness they bring in the first place is more than worth it though…
7 – CBeebies is your best friend
Or BabyTV if you’re still in the early days.. I frankly don’t care anymore if Postman ‘f**king-incompetent’ Pat wants to babysit my child, he is welcome to her if it gives me 5 minutes to brush my teeth, as long as he doesn’t drop her out of his helicopter (since when does he have a helicopter?!).
8 – Its OK to be bored sometimes
I started this blog lark because I needed something to do!! I only write when Lyla is asleep or at nursery, but it lets me at least think about other things during the day. Even with a jam-packed schedule of gym tots, swimming, soft play hell etc, it is ok to be bored of kids stuff!!
9 – You will never go to the toilet alone again
Even if you close the door, they’ll be there, usually with ‘baby’ too, just so you have one more set of eyes watching you.
10 – Your own child is better than anyone elses
Even after a bad day – they are the bomb, and spamming social media with photos of their amazingness is totally acceptable. Just don’t pretend they’re perfect, no-one believes you.
11 – It’s just a phase
One day you will feel like you’ve ‘cracked it’ and life will be easy from now on. You’ve not. It was just a good day. But for the bad times, just remember it’s a phase and they WILL get out of it!
12 – DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT ANYTHING
Everybody in the same position is going through the same thing – trust me! No ‘rod for your own back’, no ‘bad habits’. Just a baby needing a cuddle, a toddler learning about the world, or a child needing guidance. Oh, and accidents happen, it is not your fault (Lyla’s recent black eye proves this). They will love you no matter what, and whatever is an ‘issue’ one day, will have resolved the next. Just wing it! And to quote my new favourite phrase – “Mother like no-one’s judging”.
So as 2017 approaches, I say ‘bore off’ to *New Year, New You*. I’m just going to keep doing what I do, and so should you! And I know I will read this list a number of times, because although I might sound like I believe every word I say, I need reminding too.
I will keep blogging, start vlogging (eek), and get some confidence in myself by doing so, because surely if you love doing something it doesn’t really matter what other people think?
So Happy New Year to everyone, go cray cray for me while I fall asleep in my jimjams at 8pm!! Here’s to another year of adventures..
Sian and Lyla xxx