Once upon a time, in a life far, far away I didn’t know a thing about parenting or motherhood.
Well, I didn’t really need to did I? It would be odd to be all about parenthood when one had no children.
Now my brain is saturated with parenting methods, strategies, advice, tips and know how. So here is a little list of things that are so common place during my daily life that I no longer give them a second thought.
1. Changing Nappies: All day, every day there will be at least
a million one nappy change. My day begins with a nappy change – think of it – starting your day with cleaning a pee or poo from someone else’s bottom. Now I just do it as automatically as cleaning my teeth. In fact, it is actually exciting to me now when we get to the point where we need to move up a size or move from baby dry to active fit- that’s pretty sad really. Don’t judge me to harshly…
2. Dress a toddler: Dressing a baby is pretty easy. They lie there. You have to move various body parts but you can pretty much slip them into outfits. Granted, within ten minutes they may have poonamied or been sick all over an outfit, which means you’d have to change again, but it’s not too difficult. A toddler is a whole different ball game. There’s movement and throwing of items – it’s a slightly more stressful affair but soon it becomes just another aspect of a mummy’s day.
3. Transition a child in and out of a seat: I spend a lot of time extracting Pudding from car seats. Again, it’s that tiny bit harder with a toddler who can arch their back when they don’t wish to be sat in the seat. Negotiation doesn’t work with a child when they haven’t got a full grasp on the English language – trust me I’ve tried. This is such a regular part of the day that it doesn’t even register any more, but on the plus side I feel more definition in my arms – bonus!
4. Pull a pushchair from the boot of the car and put it back again: In pre-parenting days there was no issue with boot space. It was something that was just not thought about. Now, cramming the pushchair in the boot requires military planning and dexterity to ensure that it is put away swiftly and safely. Plus I have to remove a wheel to fit it into my car boot. This too is now such a routine part of the day, I just don’t think about it. It’s still a faff though…
5. Wipe down a high-chair: After every meal there will, of course, be the obligatory schmoo splattered about. This will feature in every crack and crevice of the high-chair and usually on the surrounding area. It is a sign of a fun filled family meal. Or of a desperate parental attempt to get Pudding to eat something. Either way there will be a mess and that mess will need a clean. By me.6. Pull out my breast to feed: Odd how once the idea of exposing my breast in public would have brought with it humiliation and shame (and would have only been the result of alcohol), now I quite happily wap it out in restaurants and cafés. This is obviously because my breasts are actually fulfilling their main purpose – to feed and soothe my child. In the early breastfeeding days it was cumbersome and awkward to feed but now it’s easy and enjoyable. If you’re breastfeeding and struggling – hang in there – as it actually gets better and easier however, perseverance is needed. Plus a full boob of milk can be used to distract from a saggy mummy tummy when wearing fitted tops… 7. Pack a change bag for every possible scenario imaginable: Gone are the days when you would carefully place a lipstick, comb and cash card in your purse and be done. Now, you have a mummy bag and that mummy bag is filled with every conceivable item you could possibly require for your child. Plus it doesn’t stop with a baby – the older your child/children become, the more crap you’ll need to entertain them with. My bag currently holds a trillion spare nappies, change mat, wipes, a dry emergency change of outfit for Pudding, emergency snacks, baby reins, nappy cream, sippy cup, purse, phone, partridge and a pear tree. Ok not the last two items but everything else. It’s like bloody Mary Poppins in there!
8. Do the hip hold: No, don’t worry, this isn’t some newfangled dance that the hip, young things are doing now a days. This is the hold where you sit you toddler on your hip whilst trying to do something else e.g. answer the front door, run a bath, take the rubbish out etc. It is often accompanied by swaying or gently swinging to try to appease your child from having a meltdown. It is quite idiosyncratic and will vary from mother to mother but generally most mums do the hip hold. In fact I’ve seen baby carriers designed to make this hold easier. Sadly, you may find that you’ll naturally end up veering to the side opposite of the hip you do the hold with but the Quasimodo look isn’t that bad…
So those are eight little things that now make up my current, everyday mummy life. As they say though, these things won’t always feature so best enjoy them while I can. One day I’ll change the last nappy, wipe down the high chair for the last time and have a child too big too hip hold!