I saw one of those quotes that had been doing the rounds on Facebook the other day. An oldie but a goodie.
I should mention up front I have 3 kids, and boy oh boy is the third time around a WORLD apart from the first time!
Like a lot other first timers, my husband and I had no clues when our daughter was born. To try and get prepared, I had magazines and books galore. I read ‘Up the Duff’ (as you do), and then went on to ‘Baby Love’ as my bible when my little girl was born. I stressed about all sorts of things. Was she getting enough milk? Was she eating enough? Was she too hot, too cold, God forbid, sick? And why oh God why, won’t she sleep!
She never slept so we’d CONSTANTLY be rocking her in the damn pram every night, spend hours walking around the streets with her, rock her in our arms, whatever worked (not much did). We were SOOOOOO tired! I remember going to our first Mum’s group meeting when Holly was 3-4 weeks old and saying how astounded I was at the complete sleep deprivation, we just had no clues how hard that would be! And breastfeeding! My God, I won’t even go there. I persevered but it seriously almost killed me and I think maimed me for life (how jealous I was of those people who found it so easy – lucky, lucky sods!). Daughter number two on the other hand never saw the light of day. She’d sleep, wake, feed, brief 5 minute play, straight back to bed. No fuss, no rocking, people probably didn’t think she existed in those first few months – brilliant! Can’t do that with number 3. He gets carted about everywhere at all times of the day. He just has to fit in a sleep when he can. I also tried breastfeeding him for the first month, sadly same old issues appeared so instead of beating myself up about it, and battling for months, I stopped. I was wracked with guilt for the first month or so, and then the blissfulness of what it meant for me set it. Right decision.
So contrast that first year with Holly to my first year with Felix and i’ve definitely learned a few things along the way. Felix was a wee whoopsie daisy moment – he’s wonderful, wouldn’t want to be without him and I love him to bits, but he wasn’t exactly planned! So the first month there was quite a few expletives wondering how I was going to cope with three at my “advanced maternal age” (Gee, thanks for that, like I didn’t realise).
My husband was recently telling a new father to be at his work how Felix gets cold milk. Remember constantly asking in cafes for a jug of hot water to warm the bottle? None of that. Felix never knew any different and he appears to be absolutely fine : ) He also looks pretty grubby most the time. I’ve given up on washing his knees (and my floors obviously) so it appears like he hasn’t had a bath for a week. There’s no changing his clothes 3 times a day and dressing him up to go to the supermarket either. He’s lucky if he gets pants.
Other gems I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing are the dog cleaning the high chair. Brilliant. Licks it all clean, sometimes even cleans Felix. Can you imagine doing that with number 1 child? No way. I also have got into the habit when I am trying to do something of watching him from my kitchen as he plays out the front of the house on the concrete patio thing, edging his way down the fence to the front gate (he’s safe, he can’t get out) in plain view of the main street. Like the dog, who you have to drag in from getting pats at the front fence, he just loves it out there. And it’s easier there than constantly fetching him from the stairs, his next favourite pastime (we cleverly got rid of all our baby stuff after baby number 2 so we managed to find one old gate, but haven’t got around to getting another for the damn stairs yet – it’s on the list). Anyway, i’ve had a few people stop and look concerned – where is that baby’s terrible mother they are no doubt thinking. Except the other day one guy stopped and said, he’s not your first is he? I have 5 kids, whatever works. Yup. I’m with you.
Facebook is fun to watch some of the classic first time parent questions come through. Detailed, graphic, panic stricken questions. Ah the memories! Don’t get me wrong though. I’m no expert just a little battle hardened. Saw this post today from Scary Mommy (love Scary Mommy! It means there are others out there that are not perfect parents too – phew!) ‘10 Differences Between Novice Moms & Pro Moms‘. Classic. My point exactly. My favourite is number 2. Ha ha!