Hola mummies. Alright. Sit yourself down with a brew for this one, it might be a long’un!
The next topic of my THINGS NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD is: You might fail to reach your own parenting expectations. And to make it a snappier read, I’ve done a top ten, or a Top of the Flops-style chart, as it were.
When I was pregnant, I had several rather grandiose ideas about the kind of parent I was going to be. Ideally, I was going to style myself on a mixture of Mary Poppins, Annabel Karmel and Supernanny. I have ended up being more like Alan from The Hangover with a touch of Uncles Buck and Fester.
1) FOOD. I had plans to make all my own baby food, and give Little J a mix of organic purées and baby-led mushy treats. Little J had other ideas. Shunning my cooking, he prefers an Ella’s pouch or a Cow & Gate jar any day, he usually shares cake or pizza with me and for the last fortnight he has eaten only banana.
2) BABY CLOTHES. My child, I decided, was going to look lovely every day. Their clothes would be freshly pressed, they would always match. Ha. I’ve taken to dressing J in little trackies every day, as they look comfier than jeans when crawling, he’s lucky if his pyjamas match, let alone his socks and I’ve probably ironed about five of his garments since birth. He also wears 99% hand-me-downs (which is actually quite cool – and eco-friendly, right?!)
3) TOYS. All Little J’s toys would be wooden, and have some kind of sensory aspect. This has not happened. J prefers cardboard boxes, anything out of my handbag, expensive tech (laptops, X-boxes etc) and is currently destroying my copy of Heat magazine for a laugh.
4) TV. Telly would be banned, obvs. Little brains and eyes need other stimuli. Erm, yeah right! Little J is obsessed with Night Garden, can recognise the first note of the Waybuloo theme tune from miles away, and even he doesn’t understand why the pyromaniac ginger kid from Fireman Sam has so far evaded any legal proceedings.
5) BABY SIGNING. I was going to have a go at this. I haven’t done. And, judging by the amount of dust-covered but otherwise unopened baby signing books I see on our local Facebook buy and sell site, nobody else has either.
6) BREASTFEEDING. Well, ok, I’ve had no choice with this one. I had planned to breastfeed for six months, and I have done. But despite this rather chufty claim, I’ve been trying my hardest to push a bit of formula on him since he was 10 weeks old. He just won’t have it. See my previous curveball post. Humph.
7) HOUSEWORK. On maternity leave, my house would be like a palace, I had decided. It most emphatically is not. It looks like a small branch of Mothercare that has been hit by three tornadoes and the Tasmanian Devil. All the time.
8) SLEEP. I planned to be meticulous about routine and ensure that Little J was a nice, no-cry sleep-solutioned 12 hours a night guy. He’s not. He currently co-sleeps with me, screams in my ear for breastfeeds half the night, takes up all the bed and wakes me up in the morning by pulling my hair and squealing with delight.
9) BODY. I, naturally, was going to be one of those lucky yummy mummies who was back in their size 10 skinnies several weeks after birth. I am not. I thought breastfeeding would help, but in my opinion it’s actually hindered my losing much weight. I can’t do any diets like the 5:2 or the cereal diet, which I long to do, and the lack of sleep means I crave sugar and carbs all day. Oh, and I eat loads of cake. This might be a contributing factor (unconfirmed).
10. BLOG. I would write a mummy blog. Hurrah! One that I’ve managed, although my planned daily posts happen once a week if you’re lucky 😉
Hope this has made you smile anyway. Has your actual parenting lived up to your pregnancy expectations?