Parenting is definitely a learning curve. You make lots of mistakes, you have lots of upsides, you have happy memories, sad memories, funny memories, and lots of little memories inbetween.
We are all only human, and we all know, becoming a parent, doesn't come with an instruction manual - well, ok, there are heaps of books out there to guide us along the journey, but lets be honest, how many of us do actually stick to and follow all those guidelines?
But, along the way, we learn how to parent in our own ways. No parent raises their kid(s) the same way, or at least very rarely will you find two sets of parents who do things exactly the same.
So I've decided to share a post on some of the things I have learned since becoming a mum, twice over, to now, six and four year old girls.
1. Social life? Whats that: Your social life becomes pretty much, non existent. You may think that as your little darlings get older, your social life will slowly start to return, but trust me, it doesn't. Well at least for me it didn't. My social life is now pretty much running after my kids, accompanying them to their social events. Dance, playdates, youth clubs, birthday parties.... the list is endless. They have more of a social life, than I have!
2. Sleep is for the weak: Although some parents are EXTREMELY lucky, when their babies and/or children start to sleep right through... DON'T always bank on it happening anytime... soon. My first born, who is now six, was an AWFUL sleeper, she would wake, every hour, on the hour, every single night! When vaccinations came, the sleeping reduced even more.. I used to tell myself, she'll sleep through, when she's over teething - that didn't happen.. when she's no longer drinking milk - nope.. this went on and on and on, me, foolishly fooling myself. She's now six years old, and only this last few weeks has started sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG. Now, my youngest, who is now four, was always a fabulous sleeper. Bedtime routine was always bang on 7.30pm and she would be spark out, and still to this day, she sticks to that same routine, unless we're out or busy and she does stay up a little later - BUT.. she wakes once every night, usually going back down quite quickly - but will still wake up once through the night.
3. Splitting yourself in two halves, isn't possible: No sir! This one, isn't so bad nowadays, but when the girls were younger, trying to divide my attention between a baby and a toddler proved to be rather difficult. I needed to split myself in half, which was merely impossible. I survived though, like all mothers. We have to, don't we? But, it is hard. Especially during the terrible two's stage, and all you want to do is curl up in a ball, and hope you've become invisible to the eye of the tiny human you've created.
4. Alcohol? is it even legal for mums?: In the whole of six years of being a mum, I can count on one hand the amount of times, I've got properly drunk. One of those times being my own hen party, six months ago! Alcohol literally becomes your worst enemy. You go for months on end without having a drop, because of that non existent social life, that when you do indulge in some wine - who am I kidding? pass the gin! you end up chatting utter nonsense to your chums, telling every other person you meet in the toilets that their your best friend, and suffering from a three day hangover from the morning after. Then ask yourself - is it really worth it? Agreeing with yourself that, it most definitely isn't, when your hugging your toilet seat, while the kids are screaming for their breakfast, and you can just about lift your head. Swearing to yourself that you will never ever touch another drop again, until the next time you're lucky enough to escape the wrath of your husband and kids and get a night out again.. and forget about that promise you made yourself.
5. Friends: did someone kidnap them? yes, this one is probably the same, for most, if not all mums! You have those best friends, the very best in the world, before becoming a mum, right? You go everywhere with them, do everything together, and throughout your pregnancy, they're calling themselves 'auntie', wanting to be Godmother, and promising to be there throughout it all.. then, after a week or two of the baby arriving.. poof - in a little cloud of fairy dust, the friend disappears, never to be seen or heard from again. Strange right? - yeah, it happens. A lot!. If you're lucky enough to have the same friend(s) throughout it all, you are very lucky, and have a true friend right there!
6. True Friends do come: I promise. They do! It might not be right away, but you do eventually find your true friends. I met mine. I have only two, true friends, they are also my best friends. Now, we don't see each other often, infact we barely see each other at all. But we talk almost every day. We don't even live in the same areas. These girls, I tell them everything, and trust them with my life. I wouldn't be me, without them in my life, even if we don't see each other often, we know, we are always there for one another. It is most definitely worth the wait, when you do find your true friend(s)
7. The word MUM: Ok.. when your little darlings are little tiny babies, learning to crawl, talk, walk etc.. the first time you hear those precious words Mama you will become an emotional wreck. You'll want them to repeat it, over and over again, you'll record it and play it back constantly, you'll upload it to social media, to show all your friends that your precious baby is calling Mama now, and it is an amazing feeling when they first say it.. and for a good while after that.... BUT, when they reach, well the age of my girls now - and all you hear repeatedly, ten thousand times per day, Muuuuuuum, she's hitting me. Mummmmm, im hungry, Mummmmm can you get me a drink, Mummmmm.... just for the sake of saying 'Mum' - yes, it does become quite annoying, and you do feel like saying - nope, my name is not Mum!
8. Does Daddy Exist? No, literally.. does he?
My girls will walk straight past their daddy, to come to me. I could be up to my neck in a mountain of ironing, while he's lounging on his xbox and they'll come to me to get them whatever it is they're looking. I could be relaxing in a bubble bath while he's watching television, and they'd bypass him, sneak upstairs, and come interrupt that relaxation. I could be making dinner, doing the dishes, doing anything at all, whilst he's got his hands free and doing nothing, and still, they will ignore the fact that he's doing absolutely nothing, and has all the time in the world to help them - but still, they'll come to me.
9. Judgement Day, is Everyday: Sorry guys, but its true. When you become a mummy, or a parent full stop.. from that moment on, you are judged on every aspect of your life as a parent. You vaccinate, your judged, you don't vaccinate, your judged, bottle feed, breast feed, judged, nappies, cloth nappies, judged, Weaning, judged, Schooling, judged, Letting them eat fast food or letting them eat organics, JUDGED. You are literally judged, no matter what you do, and no matter how you raise your children. So raise them however the hell you want, because you'll be judged either way.
10. When did they grow up? You will literally question this, all the time.
I find myself questioning it a lot of the time, but more so in milestones. Their birthdays, first days of school, starting a new year in school, when they do something that is so grown up.. just the slightest little thing and i'm asking myself, where did the time go?
They don't stay little for long. So cherish every moment, even the moments when they may drive us a little doolally.