I had my first baby at 26. I was the first of my siblings and close friends to have a baby, and to be honest did not know that much about them. This however did not prevent me from having firm views on certain issues relating to baby and child rearing.
Back in the baby days again with our beautiful little boy, I had a chuckle to myself recently about how many of things that I was “never going to do”, that I actually do!
- Leave the house with baby vomit on me.
THEN: I often wondered if these women did not care about there appearance, having patches of white on them.
NOW: I start the day clean. Try to wipe the vomit off as the day goes along, but only bother to change my top if it is a) saturated and b) if I am going out by myself!
- Use my own saliva to wash my children.
THEN: How disgusting!
NOW: Only used in those break glass in emergency cases, but I unfortunately have to admit to have wetting a tissue and wiping a toddler’s face on the way into a party or two, to clean them up.
- Eating cold left over food off the kids plates.
THEN: As above, how disgusting!
NOW: I aim to eat with the kids, but on those times when it doesn’t work out, when scraping the dishes before stacking the dishwasher, I will often find myself eating some cold pasta or stray bit of veg.
- Going to the toilet with an audience.
THEN: Surely the children can manage for 45 seconds without their mother.
NOW: Realise that the exact moment that I want to go to the toilet, will also be the exact moment every child will need my attention.
- Crumbs in my cleavage.
THEN: I could never even imagine that this would happen to me.
NOW: With the way maternity bras are designed and the fact that I often have baby in hand when eating my lunch or snack, it is amazing the crumb collection that can be found in my bra at the end of the day.
- Call my children by the wrong names.
THEN: My dad could rarely say the right name first off when talking to one of his four daughters. How hard can be to say someone’s name I thought???
NOW: Will often say a number of wrong names before I say the name of the child that I really want to talk to. I have increased the level of difficulty here for myself by naming 3 out of 5 children with the same starting letter.
- Use a dummy (pacifier).
THEN: To be honest, I am not even sure what I had against the dummy, I just was never going to use one for my kids.
NOW: Used a dummy for 3 out of 5 kids. Numbers 1 and 3 used it for a couple of months until they could co-ordinate their fingers and thumbs respectively to suck on. Number 5 looks like taking the same path. I had been using a dummy to help him get off to sleep, but he is now rejecting it and prefers human flesh.
- Think that my children are the most beautiful children in the world.
THEN: Surely a parent must realise the less flattering aspects of their children’s appearances.
NOW: I know I DEFINITELY have the most beautiful children in the world!
- Allow my 3 year old to wear bathers in winter.
THEN: How hard could it be to put some warm clothes on a child?
NOW: My 3 year old has worn on a number of occasions his bathers (board shorts and rashie top) on the walk to school when it is less than 14 degrees celsius. He is happy, not feeling the cold and I still have my sanity, therefore I live with the bather wearing.
Love so much, that I think my heart could explode.
THEN: Thought I would love them.
NOW: Sometimes overwhelmed by how just how much love they bring to me. A love that simultaneously can make me want to laugh, cry and scream!