Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Crazy World Of Parenting

The good, the bad and the other bits

When you find out you're having a baby, as well as the immense joy and equal terror, you suddenly realise what a complete and utter minefield it all is from day one. It seems totally impossible to know where to start, what you will need, how you should feel and nobody quite prepares you for it all, however much you think you are ready, you're probably not.

From that very first moment you see those two lines on the test, your mind starts racing with a million and one questions. You never quite feel like it's happening and everything is a worry. It might take a long long time to even get pregnant and it still makes you feel completely clueless when it comes to pregnancy, birth and beyond.

I remember straight away worrying about how on earth I would cope with a baby, how would I go back to work? What's the best newborn car seat? What nursery should we choose? What high chair should I buy? What pram is best? If you're newly pregnant and worrying about these things too, then stop. Breathe. Don't worry.

As much as it is a huge life changing deal (oh and it really is), the most important thing is bringing that baby into the world both healthy and happy - that worrying thing does absolutely nothing to help that and we can all wing it to the best of our abilities. It all makes sense in the end I promise.

All babies need when they burst (ouch) into the world is love, food and warmth. Start by simply enjoying your pregnancy. Really. Those pukey, fatty days of constantly weeing, blood tests and all that fun stuff may not be the biggest joy in the world, but those other bits, those first flutters, those monster kicks, those first wiggles on a scan, those hiccups and even those teeny tiny toes poking you forcefully in the ribs at 3am - enjoy those, you'll have to get used to rubbish sleep anyway and baby is just trying to prepare you.

Once they are in the real world you instantly forget how those moments felt and as much as they are a constant source of worry inside, it certainly doesn't end when they are here. Enjoy that time of knowing they are in the safest place they will ever be, the closest you will ever be and write it all down to look back on, you'll be glad you did.

At some point you can start making a list of things you need, things you really need like somewhere for baby to sleep - not a garden slide they won't use for years or a decades worth of clothes. Talk to other parents, find out what they found most useful, what they never used and what was a lifesaver in those early days. Don't be afraid to buy second hand, they grow so quick and everything is expensive.

You're venturing into a world where cleaning up sick and poop becomes second nature. As much as some people make family life look pretty idyllic and perfect at times, believe me, it's equally as hard for us all. We all have to deal with explosive poop babies or seemingly never ending hours of crying. No matter how hard you try, you may never quite feel like 'you' again, but instead a slightly older, wiser and ever so slightly more haggard version of your former self may instead emerge, it's all good in the (parent)hood.

It's a scary old world this parenting one, but it's fun, it brings you to tears more times than I care to mention and makes you the happiest you will have ever felt in your life at points too. Enjoy the journey, don't ever rush things and most of all don't worry, enjoy the little things and stock up on baby wipes now - they are your new best friend.

*Collaborative post