In a months time my Little Devon will be 18 months old and a fully fledged toddler. I know I repeat myself a lot when I say, I just don’t know where the time has gone. So much has happened in what feels like a short space of time, we have all learnt lessons, grown as people and become much more appreciative of the world around us. So what have I learnt in this time? I don’t think its anything ground breaking but it’s little snippets of confidence in myself, a trusting in my instincts that I think have been key.
When you are pregnant and not long after having a baby, everyone has advice for you, from century old wives tales to world health organisation rulings (which change all the time), some of it seems to make sense, some just seems to be obscene! I listened to everything people told me, I took it all in and then I acted on the advice that was right for us and Devon. Devon used to get terrible trapped wind as a baby, as a couple we spent ages trawling the internet looking for cures, asking friends and health professionals for advice and suggestions. In the end it was little snippets of advice we took from all sources that created the routine to ease her discomfort. Somedays we would crack it and somedays we would be right back to square one. I guess what I am trying to say is don’t dismiss the information you are given, listen, digest it and bank it until the time you may need it. However it is your baby and your rules, what worked for someone might not work for you and never be pressured into something that doesn’t feel right for your child or you.
Don’t be afraid to delete people! Recently I have been through and deleted people from my social media accounts that were having a negative effect on my mental well being. Through no fault of their own they were portraying a life of a wonder woman and I felt myself longing to be like them. They seemed to spring back after their babies, had the perfect birth, the cleanest house and be eating the most wonderfully looking meals all the while I was shouting at them to just post a picture of baked beans on toast for dinner or a demolished pack of Whispa bites! Nearly 18 months in I struggle to keep a house clean, a business running, myself looking presentable, food on the table, clothes ironed and a social life for Devon and I so seeing everyday those immaculate Instagram photos, they had to go!
Every child and parent is different. This has been a touchy subject for us, Devon doesn’t walk yet and in her appearance is quite a young looking child. It can be hard not to feel offended when asked her age and on replying being met with an ‘ow’! ‘or she’s quite baby like isn’t she?’ or not ‘walking yet?’ But like the advice, everyone in the world has an opinion. I guess parents who have toddlers who start walking really young must have their backs raised by ‘I bet they are a handful’ or ‘keeping you on your toes?’ Its hard not to take comments personally and on occasion I have struggled not to snap. But babies and toddlers are all so different, Devon may not walk but she loves her food and will happily sit at the table and eat a meal and has done from an early age. What I am trying to say is whats ones strength is anothers weakness and vice versa.
Babies and toddlers will hit milestones when they want to, not when you want them to! This has been my biggest learning and why I am not overly worried about Devons lack of walking. When we tried to transition her to start using cups for her water she hated every cup presented to her. We spent months worrying about her getting dehydrated, buying every cup design available, feeding her water on a spoon and trying to trick her into using them. She just wasn’t interested! Just when we felt like she would never be able to drink from anything other than a bottle she picked up her cup and drank. Since then she has happily used her cup as if it was never a problem. Now I look at her and wonder what I was so worried about, she was always going to do it, she just wanted to be the one to choose when. At the time when you are in that bubble of trying to achieve something it can feel impossible and endless but have faith it will happen.
No part of parenting is easy for everyone, I have often heard people with multiple children say they found the newborn stage easy. Well I didn’t and I think they forget that when everything is new to you nothing is easy. Don’t feel like you are doing a bad job because someone tells you they found it easy. Parenting is all swings and roundabouts!
I hope these little ramblings have helped, some days I feel like I have my shit together and am super woman, others I feel like the worst mum, wife, businesses owner in the world. But I am trying to learn to accept that this is life and if I manage to clean the bathroom in Devon’s naps then that is a huge win! Every mum struggles no matter what they say so never beat yourself up about your own battles.