this week’s column

Two dear friends of mine are but weeks away from spreading their legs wide and counting each centimetre their cervices dilate. And so I feel it’s time to share the immense wisdom that I have gathered in my first year of motherhood with them and other expectant mothers. So without further ado, here are my top 10 tips that are guaranteed to not make parenting any easier, less stressful or more enjoyable
1. Skip the parenting books. Unless you really want to read about how your two-week old baby should already be sleeping through the night and that if she isn’t, “you are doing something wrong you bad mother.” 2. Almost every other mother will claim to have found breastfeeding an enjoyable, moving and uplifting experience. As you struggle to force a bruised nipple in to your young one’s mouth, they will tut-tut and say ‘milk is not enough’ before telling you that their own milk
flow was only rivaled by the gushing rapids of the Niagara. Don’t believe them. It’s probably been a good many years since these women were mobile milk vans and the lapsed time has addled their minds and made them expert liars
3. Contrary to popular belief, nipple confusion isn’t something babies suffer from, but is a problem that affects mothers. As in, “What? These are my nipples? These chewed up, swollen deflated nothings? How? When? Why God why?” 4. Almost everyone on the father’s side of the family will claim that your child looks exactly like: your husband, your husband’s father, your husband’s uncle, your husband’s great aunt’s sister’s daughter-in-law’s Doberman. Learn to accept these comments with grace and ensure there are no sharp objects in the room
5. Throw out your alarm clock! You have a brand new one that bears a worrying resemblance to your husband’s uncle. Your new alarm clock will always remember to wake you up at
2am. And then 3am. And then 5am. Models with snooze buttons not in stock
6. Visitors will be curious to know what your three-day-old child has been up to. Try and resist the urge to fling a soiled nappy at their face. Or flash them
7. People who do not like your choice of name, can be offered the runners up to choose from
Suggestions like Delilah Bluebell, Purple Rain or Poppy Seed Bagel will help them see how much they like your first choice
8. Post birth, if an acquaintance asks you about childbirth and how it was, refrain from a blow-by-blow, centimetre-by-centimetre, screamby-scream retelling. Leave that for your blog
9. When your baby cries, don’t bother with rattles and pacifiers and songs. Bring out the vacuum cleaner instead. You’ll have a clean house and the sound will drown out the wails
10. By the way, no. You will never sleep as well as you once did. End of story

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11 thoughts on “this week’s column

  1. Ha ha! I needed to read this one five months ago. 🙂 My 2 cents :

    On #2 I have seen blogs which give the actual amount of milk they pumped. Depressing that I feel so inadequate about this whole issue.

    #9 is a well known solution recommended in “The Happiest Child on the Block” book!

  2. hilarious! my second is just short of 4 months, so a lot of what you says just resonates so true…
    except #2. i am one of those weird women, who is obsessive about breastfeeding… and despite a bad back and painful nipples, i do ENJOY it!
    and what about those who looked at the scratches on your baby’s head or face, and then look at you suscpiciously, as if you were doing it to them. then give you advice on how to file their nails.
    i used to hop onto shoefiend now and then, and then lost track till now.
    NICE blog.

  3. 11. Its always the baby. Its never you. Say that 10 times every morning in front of the mirror.

    Personally I wish we all could have the second baby first. we ll all be so laid back! 😀

  4. hilariously true advice.. will keep e’m in mind when i have one.. 🙂

    no snooze button… are u sure…? any chances in future products..? 😀

  5. I can vouch for number 10. More than a decade and half later I am still not sleeping as well as I used to.

    ‘Can you wake me up at 4 in the morning mum, I need to revise’. So the mum wakes up at 4 and keeps telling the child every fifteen mins, that its time to get up. He eventually wakes up at gone 7am, gets ready and goes off to write the exam. So why the hell did I have to lose sleep! I cant even scream as you don’t want the young one stressed out before the exams. I give up.

  6. Being a new mom, and an ardent reader of this blog ever since the shoefiend days, I am forced to provide some silver lining to this whole end of the world prediction.

    You can still sleep, enjoy the movies, shopping, make up…the KEY is to have your parents with you!!!

    I have both my mom and dad with me and it has been 3 months since my baby was born…I have not relaxed and enjoyed my time off from work ever before!

    You might have the most loving in-laws in the world, but still you need to have your own parents with you…for no one else in the whole world can forgive all those tantrums, strange demands and still love you with no judgments being passed around.

    Ever heard people saying, they sleep less during old age…well use it in your benefit…apparently your own mom will have a better ear for the baby’s crying esplly in the middle of the night and will be more than happy to be with the grand child if she/he just needs some comforting

    Worried about not having enough milk…!? Well, thank god you are not adding extra stretch marks to your breasts also by having super engorged breasts….you can always substitute what is less with formula…

    Even if you breast feed entirely and you are not a working mom, do get some breast pumps…this will get you some much deserved freedom. You will not be tied to the baby 24X7. Instead some one else can feed the baby while you enjoy that spa.

    Did I mention you should have your parents over with you…?? Well there it goes again, I cant stress that enough…

    Enjoy momhood 

  7. If I might add one more – whenever a trustworthy babysitter offers to look after the baby, grab the offer with both hands. Make up a bottle for the baby, hand the kid over and enjoy the brief time off! The baby will not be permanently damaged from the nipple-free experience and each moment not spent in bonding with the bundle will not result in therapy for your kid! The outrage expressed by some well-meaning aunties (“What? You actually left your baby with your husband and went to get a pedicure?”) still rankles 11 years later!

  8. Ah fun!!!!! I know all these things, repeated reading from books and blogs have given me an idea as to what life is post baby and I wonder if I have completely lost it since I can’t wait to see my lil one who is due in a month??!!!!

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