I was talking to some Mummy’s today about how your expectations change so dramatically once you have a little one. So, I thought I’d write about what’s changed for me…
Reality: Labour was hard, and tiring and it f’ing hurt! I was induced and spent the night pacing the ward. It was just over 32hrs from induction to baby. I slept for 1 hour in this time. So when I was in established I didn’t give a monkeys that I was swearing, crying and screaming at my husband for daring to take my gas and air away.
2. No dummy…they’re evil.
Reality: I still think dummies are horrible things…when used for the wrong reason (eg: simply to keep the child quiet). We used a dummy for a few weeks in the gap between bad reflux that was keeping J (and us) awake all night and finding out it was actually an allergy to cows milk protein. Once J was on the correct formula we stopped the dummy as he no longer need it to pacify him and help the reflux.
Reality: I went to two groups. A baby group (with friends) and a sensory music group. I tried others but found that they were too clicky, didn’t cater for his needs (one was a messy play group and most items were milk based and as babies aren’t known for being the cleanest creatures everything would be contaminated so J kept reacting), boring…and I was just tired. Babies are hard…so I stuck to my two groups. Then by age 1, no groups. My friends went back to work before me and I didn’t like going on my own. The sensory group became too structured for my rebellious boy. (As a toddler he now goes to a gymnastic group and he did go to a special needs group…but he now goes to preschool instead).
4- I’ll lose my baby weight within 6 months…
Reality: Erm. J is now 2yrs and I’m still pretty much the same weight. Let’s face it, I’m tired, I’m busy and I’m poorer than pre-baby. The energy and time I do have I would rather spend with J, not the gym. The money I have goes on family days out, healthy fruit and pack lunches for J (and I get whatever is left) not gym classes and those fancy wraps. My husband still loves me and my little boy loves me. That’s the important thing.
5- I’ll sleep when he sleeps…
Reality: Omg, who actually does this? Really, anyone? If I had slept when J slept then nothing would ever have gotten done around the house. J’s waking hours was spent attached to me or I was playing with him and stimulating him. Then when he slept I was sterilizing, washing up, putting wash loads on, general cleaning etc. Sleep pretty much went out the window from the 3rd trimester!
Reality: This is quite a sore subject actually. I really wanted to give breast feeding a try. When J was born and he was crying I said to the staff that I wanted to try and feed him. She said she was busy helping a first time Mum (erm…I’m a first time Mum too!) so give me an information booklet and told me to see how it went. Nothing happened. I thought my boobs were broken. I asked for help repeatedly to be told that someone would be with me soon. No one came. So, my husband went and asked for a bottle of milk. The FAB team came round but as J was asleep they said they’d come back and speak to me, and see me in my home. Neither things happened. I was discharged and on way home picked up formula. That was the end of our breastfeeding. I cried for months over this, and I can feel the tears building as I type. But, J is a healthy and very active little boy. I don’t think he missed out or is disadvantaged because he was formula fed. Next baby I will definately not pressure myself so much and whatever happens, happens.
7- No screentime till he’s 2.
Reality: I was adamant that children have too much screentime. For some children, yes I still think they have too much screentime. But I think there is a happy middle ground. After a couple of months I started by putting Baby Einstein DVDs and YouTube videos on in the background…because they are educational. It was responsible parenting, haha. I tried to limit trashy day time tv but soon I just missed background noise so Cbeebies and TinyPop was introduced. I thought it was lesser of the evils. J liked the theme tunes but never really sat and watched the screen. It wasn’t until 14/15m he became more interested and started to develop favourite programmers. Once J turned 2 he got his own tablet. It’s a second hand basic tablet that I have disabled pretty I have everything on and uploaded toddler apps. This way he can play on the tablet (and leave Mummy’s alone) and I know he’s not going to delete anything important or download things and give me a £100 bill. I do still limited his time on this as he is only 2. But he explores colours, puzzle games and listens to educational songs so it has its benefits.
I could go on and on. I should have done a ‘top 20’. End of the day, you have to do what’s right for you and your family. As long as your child is safe and healthy then just go with it. What expectations vs reality have you realised since parenthood? 😂
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