A new Mom’s take on Motherhood
This post originally appeared about 4 years on a blog that no longer exists called Urban Jungle Moms. Worth a read...
The greatest 'isms' I've learnt, love and now live-by in my fledging months of parenthood.
1. The holy grail of parenting is not when your child sleeps through the night (a thesis in and of itself); the holy grail of parenting is when you totally adapt to functioning normally on broken/little/no sleep.
After hiring a night nurse for four nights a week, for five months - thanks dad! I started to have a feeling of "restedness" even on the mornings after a nurse-less night. That started happening roughly three months in. Sidebar: I'm the girl who needed a minimum of ten solid hours of sleep in order to not Columbine it on the daily. I realized that I actually could cope, function and even thrive during the day even if I hadn't had my dear dear "beauty" (read: sanity) sleep.
2. P is for parenting. P is for perseverance. Persevere persevere persevere.
The various methods you read about to get your child to: sleep/eat/smile/roll/crawl etc. will work. But good Lord do you have to repeat on a loop. I have many many moments whilst simultaneously rocking, singing to and stroking the forehead of a sick child where I think: right, that's it, I'm putting him back in. Consumer Protection Act. Refund. Then I remember my little mantra. And I softly encourage myself: persevere; it will work eventually. And Thank the Good Lord, it eventually does.
3. There is no such thing as "just". Oh I'll "just" pop in to pick n pay; oh you "just" rock him a bit and he falls asleep etc etc etc. Stop lying to yourself.
This little devil word. I honestly don't know which is worse: when you hear a loved one say something INSANE like: just go put him to sleep and then come have / make (a request from the braver amoung us) dinner; Or when I hear it escaping my own lips in my usual people-pleaser fashion: "I'll just change him and then I'll meet you at the mall. Give me 5 minutes". Liars and Cheats. I've erased it from my vocabulary.
4. The second you verbalize anything successful your child has done he will immediately prove you wrong. "Oh Judah puts himself to sleep now. I JUST give him his dummy and taglet and he drifts off..." Cute Simone, cute.
Have you ever left your new baby with a grandparent for an hour or two to get your nails done because "he's so easy, he'll just sleep and then at worst might need his dummy"?
Are your nails currently done?
I rest my case - guaranteed your child decided he HATED that dummy more than hitler on nail day.
5. DO. NOT. LISTEN. TO. ANYONE. ELSE. Your gut is the only voice that counts.
Just don't. Build a force field around yourself and "Block" alla Jack from Will and Grace. DO IT.
[If you figure out how to do this then please let me know... *hangs-head-in-shame*]
6. The greatest parenting tool ever created is: a clock. The wristwatch is sheer genius.
See my bit about awake times.
Also try telling anyone about your child's day without accounting for every second. I dare you.
7. 'Awake Times' are the only magical piece of wisdom the baby books offer.
When I learned about this and then realized I have to actually facilitate the child falling asleep, my life changed.
8. The only thing your child needs is a present, calm and happy mother. (And food, probably).
See: your entire childhood body of memories for a reference.
9. Banking sleep isn't the same as a full night's sleep but it's unbelievably better than 4 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.
My MBF (mommy-best-friend) introduced me to this concept without even realizing it one night at 9pm. She replied in our perpetually ongoing whatsapp convo that she was going to sleep now because baby will be up at 11 and she's "sleep-banking". I'm not joking that chick needs a medal. I started putting myself to sleep like an eleven year old, at nine, and then I wrote a masters research proposal. Go team.
10. You know how to feed your child solids.
I promise you.
Start with something soft (porridge or pureed fruit/vegetables) and go from there. Don't be a moron. Have a little faith in yourself! If you really insist: Google one decent blog article and get a recommendation from your paed (over the phone!). And then Figure. It. Out.