So, just incase anyone reading my blog, or my site are imagining that I’m exagerating about not being a perfect Mum, I thought I would share some info about what I am and am not good at, because everyone is perfectly imperfect!
I totally planned on Max being in his cot by 3 months, own room by 6 months, and losing all the baby weight really quickly. Obviously, I only had 7 months notice of being pregnant, and it was a bit of a shock (a nice one, but still a shock), so I didn’t manage to fantasize much, but those were my plans, along with walking the ‘darling baby’ in a pram for hours. I also planned, to take as many drugs as possible during the birth, because I was scared of pain, despite being into alternative therapies and have a water birth.
So the few plans I had went totally to pot! Max was born in 4hrs, so I had no time for the pool or any kind of drugs to work, in fact I screamed so bad I couldn’t speak for a week after! I still have the baby weight. Max refused to go in the pram or push chair, so no relaxing walking around where I live. Plus he still doesn’t sleep through the night on his own, so at 6 months I took the decision to co-sleep (an to be honest, would now do so from scratch, with the obvious safety measures). He was also one of those long feeders, who went on for hours, and just wanted to be held for ages, so I learnt to sit on sofa’s and ‘Be’ lots.
Then there were some additional challenges. We moved house while I was pregnant from a village outside Peterborough to a new townhouse in St Albans (snag lists arrrggg!). Sadly my Mum died (my Dad died when I was 20) while I was pregnant a couple of days after my birthday. Then my husband was made redundant 6 weeks after Max was born, played computer games for 3 months, was nearly offered a job in Paris (which I tried to be supportive off, but ended up in big tears, walking around Paris with smoking every where, no baby changing, and non of the lovely baby-centric stuff in St Albans), and finally got a job a year later.
The irony is that some of the things that I think I did ‘right’, you will disagree with. Then some of the things that I think were technically ‘wrong’ you will think weren’t important at all. It’s all a matter of perception!
So, what did I do well (only in my perception of course!)
- Managed breast feeding and cut back as he was ready and it suited me.
- Good at holding Max lots and just being with him
- Stayed in for the first month with him, because it was too busy just before Christmas at the shops
- Listened to what he needed, rather than attempt to force him to do something he didn’t want to e.g. going in the pram
- Used baby led weaning before I actually knew much about it (mainly because he hated puree after having a bug just after 6 months and beginning on solids).
- Didn’t use cry it out techniques, because he would have just kept going indefinitely! Eventually realised that co-sleeping would work for us at 6 months.
- Use environmentally friendly nappies
- Took Max to lots of classes, like swimming, baby signing & toddler groups
- Started Max at nursery around 18months, when my workload was increasing and he needed more experience than I could give him.
And what did I not do so well (again in my perception)?
- I was rubbish at pureeing foods, and because he was so un-keen, I bought those little frozen cubes already done for you.
- I wasn’t so good at keeping the house clean, washing done and food cooked as well as looking after Max, so a cleaner very quickly took over when we had enough dosh for it.
- Didn’t manage to use the wrap around slings, and the others couldn’t be used for chores, cos Max got too hot
- Didn’t use a standard sleep routine, because Bath’s made him hyperactive, and just making upstairs for sleep & downstairs for play seemed to work for him.
- Didn’t use washable nappies
- When started working again, didn’t manage to fit in the time for exercise and weight loss
- Would work when with Max on email etc, until became much stricter on work/non-work days
- Haven’t found a regular baby sitter because of lack of local family
- Do let Max have chocolate, crisps and watch TV
- Am still a pretty rubbish cook, although all food groups are vaguely covered – thank god for the food at nursery!
None of us can get it all right. But if we listen to our wise inner voices, we’ll do what works for us and our family (sometimes with the odd glitch first, when we realise that something didn’t work!). There is no ONE system or ONE answer for anyone, it’s just not possible.