So recently at a colleague’s baby shower, as I sat with a group of always entertaining ladies, the topic of kids came up. As usual we chatted about our experiences and shared some giggles, followed by a few awkward moments (and raised eyebrows) when we realised just how different we react in situations (yes, you know who you are!).
Now, there is no doubt we love our babies (yes, fur babies count too Lady Unicorn), but the things that come out of our mouths sometimes could not be imagined by the best authors – and our tales are true!
Later, I pondered how motherhood makes us do and say the strangest things. As mom’s we do it all the time. We often find ourselves in situations that are hilariously ridiculous, but we do what we need to do for our kids. We line up to meet purple dinosaurs that talk and dance, we hit inanimate objects when they “trip” or “hit” our babies and we kiss mud covered everythings to make them feel better. That’s part of the joy of motherhood, it makes us do things we never thought we’d do!
So often we stumble into others in similar situations, and share a little wry smile as we wrestle with shopping bags and balance the tantrum throwing toddler and the I PAD toting 5 year old. I love those little moments when I catch the eye of someone and understand fully and completely what they are going through, or when your best friend looks at you like you are in the middle of total chaos but it really is just your happy family being “normal” (I feel you Merry M!).
So, here’s some of the advice that I’ve been given by well meaning parents who have “been there and done that”:
1) This too will pass- no, really it will. And soon another stage will emerge scarier than the last, and that will pass too.
2) They are only that age once, enjoy them
Thanks for this one and I really am trying to enjoy them in between the whining and moaning and questioning.
3) They mature so much in a year!
This one is surprisingly true. There is a huge difference between a 3 year old and a 4 year old. Its weird because the changes are not that evident later on, but the first 8 years are crazy!
4) There will be time to breathe in a few years – and then you will have your next one!
5) Big school is not as fun as you think it will be.
I thought it would be easy. Parents learn and mature as much as the kids do and it’s not always an easy process to transition to the uniformity
6) Discipline is pivotal.
Yes, I know that but it’s hard! I’m not great at disciplining when it comes to my baby, so it’s been quite a ride finding what works for Pup. Some choose to deter with a firm hit on the diaper, some (like us) choose the option of the naughty corner combined with the reward chart and still others think up more creative ways – including a pet gate and a “shocking” outcome (yes, yes I’m talking about you Madam A!).
7) Your marriage changes forever – make it for the better.
Kids change dynamics. Don’t stop being a team. Love him more, give her the support she needs.
8) Fill your cup before you can help others.
I learnt this only recently (after Tiger was born). With Pup I basically learnt to live on air and love. Sleep is still a scarce commodity but at least I make sure I get my monthly massage and I take 2 hours on a Saturday to do what makes me happy- scouring the 3nd.hand stores or working on my books.
9) Don’t lose yourself
Being a mum adds to your essence, it does not strip you off your identity
10) Don’t overthink or worry so much that you stop having fun. Laugh loudly, dance in the rain, ignore the laundry and the dirty dishes to cuddle and relax
Good luck with your journey, enjoy the ride!