The Ups, Downs and In-betweens of ……..
This is a blog written by a variety of people living and parenting in Gloucestershire today and sharing the ups downs and in-betweens of real family life.
……. a mum fuelled mainly by tea and Dairy Milk
I recently read an article in which the person interviewed described becoming a parent as “The best shock you could ever have”. This really resonated with me, although not for the more obvious reasons. Certainly I was more than braced for lack of sleep, not going out anywhere and sacrificing doing the things I like to do for the foreseeable future. Whilst being pregnant with baby no1 we stocked up on weekends away, gigs, trips to the cinema, reading and anything else that we figured would be in short supply. I had also listened to various people’s birth horror stories, attended ante-natal classes, pregnancy yoga and even inflicted an episode of One Born Every Minute on myself, despite the fact that I still have no comprehension of why any woman would wish to be filmed in the throes of labour. We had watched our friends adapt to life with a mini-dictator and knew we were in for a roller coaster of huge challenge and an exciting new chapter of family life.
There were, however, many things that people omitted to tell me or us that appear to be alarmingly common. Here’s a sample from my experiences…..
1. When you are heavily pregnant many other people seem to feel that it is perfectly acceptable to tell you how large you appear to them “You’re huge” and “I can’t believe how massive you are!” are not words any woman wants to hear at any point in her life, let alone when she is full of baby, about to embark on a big life change and very hormonal . Not everyone has realised this. In fact these are words that you can expect to here on more than one occasion, particularly if baby takes its time arriving in the world. Apparently it is not acceptable to respond with “I can’t believe how fat/old/rude/weird you are either.”
2. Having a baby involves inordinate amounts of public singing. There are plenty of baby singing groups where most people would expect to have to participate in public singing. However public singing is also a requirement at pretty much every baby activity you attend – massage, swimming, signing and even on one occasion when I was waiting at the baby weigh in I was expected to participate in public singing. The fact that many nursery rhymes are high pitched and I am neither a capable singer or an extrovert are of no relevance. For the record it is also not acceptable to use wine to aid with these issues!
3. There is a high probability your child will have the ability to wrap their grandparents round their little finger. All those things that your parents never let you do are suddenly permissible as they appear to have forgotten all the rules. Your child may well accomplish a full take over of their grandparents house and have your parents better trained in under 2 years than you ever managed in over 30 years. Since when did a small bump qualify for any response bigger that “You’ll survive”. Nowadays it’s become worthy of an ice lolly. Not saying we were hard done by but……
4. Cbeebies will become a core part of your life. Not only will you know what time of day it is by what is being aired, but you will find yourself singing the theme tunes as you walk around your workplace and when you are out having adult time it is quite possible to find yourself conversing animatedly with other adults (usually the ones with small children) about the virtues or failings of various programmes and their presenters. This has now become an interesting dinner time conversation, but maybe only to those who also endure lengthy hours of primary colours and jolly music.
5. You are capable of so much more than you would ever believe. Yes you are completely exhausted and are frequently covered in snot/vomit/drool etc but the little monkeys only have to smile at you and you are hooked. They are totally addictive and you can do a hell of a lot on 4 hours sleep as long as you have tea, Dairy Milk and no one expects you to make much sense, be on time or know where you put stuff!!