Life has somewhat got in the way of blogging recently. So much so that in the last month the pudding has turned one. How did that happen and where on earth did the last year go? He’ll be asking for money and wanting to borrow the car keys before we know it. The good news is that unlike my reputation and my ability to look after pot plants, my parenting skills have greatly surpassed my horticultural skills and Otto is thriving and growing at a rate of knots.
1. Trial and error and trusting your instincts are my two top key pieces of advice for starting on the bumpy road that is parenthood. You can read as many books and surf as many parenting websites as you like but you’ll you’ll get there in the end. It’s also completely okay to ignore the advice from well meaning friends and family and do things just as you want to. Trust me.
2. And just when you thought you’ve implemented a good going solid routine and you think your so lucky that you’ve been blessed with an angelic chilled baby, it all goes out the window and he’s demanding breakfast at 5am and refusing point blank to eat anything that isn’t yoghurt. If this speaks volumes, you’re not alone.
3. In a previous life I used to read books and newspapers daily. Now my dwindling concentration levels mean that I resort to social media for culture. Sound familiar?
4. I also used to love a plan in a previous life and would be at least 30 minutes early for everything. You can’t plan with a one year old. In fact sometimes you just have to let them take the lead.
5. It’s okay to admit your relationship with your partner changes hugely in the first six months. You have to remember there are three of you now and whereas before you could channel lots of energy into one and other, this energy, if you have any, has to be channelled elsewhere and as a result you might find yourself a little distant from your other half. With a little time and work you can bridge this gap, but if like us, date night will probably mean vegging in front of the TV and in bed (asleep) by 9pm.
6. People will tell you to treasure every moment with your precious little bundle. I however can verify that it is completely okay to want to run for the hills and hide in a quiet, dark room on your own while you try and get some rest, me time and remember what life was like before you stepped on this crazy and sometimes monotonous rollercoaster.
7. As you step into the motherhood sphere a whole new world of competitiveness opens up to you. From those who stand on their pedestal boasting about their 24 hour labour with no pain relief to those who are championing their eight month old who had been blissfully sleeping through the night from birth and not forgetting those who have babies who are munching on a three course Sunday lunch by the time their first birthday swings around. There are no medals. There are no prizes. We’re in it together and a little support goes along way. (More on this next week).
8. Parenting fails are all part and parcel of being indoctrinated into the motherhood club. No one should judge you. None of us are perfect, I’m sure you’re doing a great job, even although you’ve had no sleep and you have more bags under your eyes than a successful shopping spree during the January sales.
9. Never cut your child’s hair. I learned this the hard way and Otto is now sporting an ‘interesting’ fringe.
10. It is completely acceptable to welcome 7.30pm as if you’re welcoming in the New Year. When you’re child is asleep at night, it’s as if the weekend has begun and you kick back and relax. Until they decide they want to be awake!
So, now that the first year is over let’s find out what the toddler (he’s actually still just bum shuffling) years have in store and how much taming will the little man need and how much more will he wrap us around his tiny little fingers….