Being a parent is hard, rewarding, full of surprises, good days and bad days. Devon is 19months old whilst I am no expert in parenting there is a lot I have learnt along the way. Here are the top 5 things I wish I had fully understood before becoming a parent –
1 – Breast Feeding is Hard so be prepared – Oh gosh I wish so much I had been fully prepared for how hard breast feeding would be. My biggest regret is not having an emergency supply of formula for when we came home. At 3 in the morning when no shops are open that one small bottle could have been the game changer and not bought on the apprehension and negative feelings I now hold of breast feeding.
2 – It is easy to judge until you are in the situation. Before I was a parent I had many opinions of what my child would be like and how I would raise them. Life was very black and white when it came to how it would be. For one, I would breast feed, no ifs no buts. 3 months after being born Devon was solely Formula fed. What I am trying to say is that their are no rights or wrongs in parenting and the best way to enter it is to be open minded. I have definitely learnt it is all to easy to judge others when we are all doing the best we can.
3 – It is OK to have a day sat on the sofa watching telly. This applies to before baby arrives and after they are here. There is nothing wrong with having a day to recharge and hide from the world. It is not a day wasted. We don’t have to be rushing round all the time ticking items off a list. If you want to snuggle on the sofa under a blanket and let the world pass you by for a few hours then that is the perfect time to recharge. If baby is sleeping we don’t have to be super woman and tire ourselves out cleaning, cooking, sorting out work. Sometimes the most important thing we can do for ourselves and those around us is absolutely nothing!
4 – Your body may spring back after birth but it might not stay like that. I hadn’t been prepared for this. After Devon was born I slimmed down almost instantly, hooray I thought! A year later and things have changed, yes my body sprung back but then a slightly slower pace of life than before, less physical activity and the challenge of birthing a child, then raising a child have all taken their toll and my body is not what it used to be and weight has crept on and skin looks tired and yes I know I should love it but we aren’t quite friends yet.
5 – You will be hard on yourself, but you will also surprise yourself. Some days I feel like the worst mother in the world. Some days I am the best. When I am scrabbling round the house trying to put together a lunch from an empty fridge or we run late for yet another class I berate myself for my disorganisation and why can’t I be like those mums who have a constantly stocked fruit bowl and an endless supply of home cooked meals stashed in the freezer. Then I see Devon play nicely with a friend, get excited at seeing the ducks, watch as she runs off to hug a family member and burst with pride as she beams and waves at complete strangers as we do the food shop and I know I am doing a great job, just as every other loving mum out there!
Image in main body: Via Unsplash Jenna Norman