But I won’t do that…….

baby

Pre-baby, I had some very strange ideas about the kind of parent I would be. I say ‘strange’ because they were clearly not based on any kind of reality or experience and I honestly have no idea really where they came from, Here are the top 5 things that have had me eating my words since becoming a mama.

1.Use a dummy

I’ll admit it, I had a real snobbery about dummies. To me they conjured up images of mums in Tesco trying to shut up their screaming offspring without any interest in why they are upset. So it came as a surprise to me that it took exactly 3 days of having our son home before I was out hunting for a little rubber friend. Because babies cry. A lot. And actually, even when you are trying your damnedest to work out what’s wrong sometimes you can’t. A dummy can soothe a baby and offer them some comfort. When you put it like that, how can it be such a bad thing?

2. Talk shit

Literally. Parents are like old people when it comes to their child’s bowel movements- normal social etiquette just goes out of the window. It starts at home: ‘look darling, this one looks like chicken korma’. It’s totally normal for my husband to be greeted on his return from work with tales of our son’s epic turds. But soon the sheer volume and force of the stuff flying out of your child’s bottom becomes so shocking, you need to discuss it with the outside world just to check that this is actually normal and they’re not some freak of nature. The trick here is to restrict this chat to other parents. You’re far more likely to get the response you want when you describe your joy at your child finally pooping after 10 whole days when talking to someone whose been through it too.

3. The sling meal

I remember once many years ago seeing a lady eating her lunch in a cafe whilst wearing her baby in a sling and thinking ‘why on earth would anyone do that?’. Surely just put them down while you eat? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because it just might get you a meal, eaten in peace, with both hands. Utter luxury. And the ‘just put them down’ bit? Pah! Oh how clueless was I…..

4. Use my phone whilst feeding my baby

Be it breast or bottle, I had a romantic image of my baby gazing adoringly into my eyes as I fed them (no doubt influenced by TV ads). But for the first few months my son had his eyes closed during most feeds, and fed for 90% of his waking day. Alongside the overwhelming love, I felt tired and bored. Reading blog posts and articles written by other mothers going through the same thing kept me sane. That, and ordering every gadget going off amazon. God bless the smart phone!

5. Breastfeed beyond 6 months

I don’t know why I thought I would suddenly stop feeding at 6 months. Partly it was my lack of awareness about how important milk continues to be after this age, and partly I was completely unprepared for how hard it could be to stop- both from a practical and emotional point of view. My son is currently 8 months old, and I have no idea when I’ll stop feeding but no longer feel the need to put a deadline on it. Although he currently still has no teeth.

 

So there you have it. What a fool I was!

Two sinks, one baby: The night away (avec enfant)

night away

 

Recently I decided to go away and spent a night in a hotel with my husband and our 6 month old. ‘Are you mad?’, I hear you cry! Well let me tell you, it wasn’t actually that bad. In fact, we quite enjoyed ourselves.

I finally gave into the onslaught of ‘hotel porn’ which regularly lands in my inbox courtesy of secret escapes and booked a rather bargainous night away in a country house hotel. We started off with some very civilized afternoon tea. Hurdle number one- the high chair. Our little one is at that awkward inbetweeny stage where some highchairs are just too big- and it quickly became clear that, despite the valiant attempts of the staff to surround him with a sea of cushions, this was one of those times. Nevertheless, my one-handed afternoon tea was still pretty nice.

The room itself was nice and spacious, and we’d already asked for a travel cot. The bathroom was huge- two sinks! (hence the title). Our son wasn’t so sure, and displayed his distaste by pooing in the bath- the first and only time he has done this. Fun times.

Given the small person accompanying us, we’d booked to have dinner at the hotel early on. Six thirty to be exact. I’d booked this thinking that the restaurant would be pretty quiet at that time. Unfortunately we were the youngest people staying at this hotel by about 50 years, and it seems that 6.30 is THE time to eat if you’re an octogenarian. Fortunately the little man was a star, and fell asleep in his carrycot just before the starters arrived, stirring only once we’d finished dessert. At this point my husband dutifully returned to our room to settle him, leaving me to enjoy the last of my wine (I may have drunk this rather slowly).

So, we were back in the room by 8.30. Rock and roll. But to be honest, these days lying on a bed sipping prosecco and watching crappy TV is my idea of a good night.

The travel cot we arranged? Little man wasn’t a fan. He did manage a few hours, but ultimately we ended up sharing the romantic four-poster with a little gatecrasher. And you know what? We all slept pretty soundly. And that’s always a win in my book.

Coming soon: The night away (sans enfant). Oh yes, this is happening, Hello sleep, how I have missed thee…..

On reflection

It’s only bloody 2016, how did that happen?! The start of a new year always makes me reflect on the year gone by, and this one’s been a biggie! Here (in no particular order) are some of the things I’ve learnt since becoming a mum….

reflection.jpg

 

The first time out pushing a pram you really do feel like everyone’s staring at you as if you’ve stolen someone’s baby and/or you have ‘totally incompetent’ stamped on your forehead

No matter how much you try to believe that your sleeping newborn is benefitting from being dragged to a baby sensory class, it seems unlikely. I vote cake and a sofa for those early weeks.

cake.jpg

Fastening sleepsuit poppers is tougher than solving a Rubik’s cube at 2am. Don’t even get me started on buttons.

A sippy cup will go in every orifice except the mouth and then be lobbed across the room

It is possible to cry in despair and happiness within a matter of minutes

The homemade salt-free Thai green curry you spent age making will be spat out in disgust by your ungrateful offspring

The quest for the perfect feeding bib becomes the holy grail

The jumperoo will change your life. Fact.

What’s that rash? Should his bath be that hot? Am I feeding him too much? Am I feeding him too little……Motherhood= constant worrying

It really is true what people say about forgetting all about the pain of labour

Carrot stains everything (you have been warned)

weaning veggies

The smell of fish lingers in baby skin creases

The whole weight loss through breastfeeding thing only seems to work for a lucky few

Eating a meal with two hands starts to feel weird

And even though you know how horrific sleep deprivation is, for some reason you will still want another baby

Saturday night in with a take-away and a bottle of prosecco is the new ‘big night out’. Who wants drinks spilt down them by drunk idiots anyway.

And who knows what 2016 will teach me?! Happy new year folks!