Baby shopping. Baby product shopping. Not shopping for actual babies…

Pic: These signs lead to stores full of baby things

Following some recent conversations with friends (both pregnant and yet-to-be), I had memories flood back to me about those first months of (first time) pregnancy where everything was so overwhelming! I remember thinking, wow there’s going to be a real life human baby in my house at some point – what crazy nonsense is this?! I’m going to have to buy it stuff and I don’t even know what all that “stuff” is!!! Oh, God help me!

OMG! ZOMG! OMFG! (yeah that’s right – I can abbreviate with the best of the cool kids)

I remember going “shopping” for the baby (now known as the Little Mister of course) where all I’d do is stare at everything and realise that having so many “options” meant every decision was 15 times harder. I would go home empty handed with loads of information swimming around in my head after I’d drilled the shop staff for all sorts of facts about prams, cots and car seats! I’d then put it all off for another few weeks while I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening (luckily I started my “shopping” expeditions fairly early in the piece – start of second trimester I believe).

If I could say one thing to those who are in that same boat right now, it would be: Don’t panic. It will actually all come together. You’re a smart woman/man and you want what’s best for your baby. It does all start to click eventually 🙂

It’s so funny how we can conquer so many new skills in life – just see a challenge and go for it. We complete university degrees, buy houses, plan massive holidays in strange places, drive out to old Aunty Whatsit’s place in the middle of nowhere without a decent road map, plan wedding extravaganzas and start small businesses…yet we freak out at the idea of buying a few things for a new baby!

I spent a lot of time asking friends with babies (and my mum) what they found useful in the early days. I asked them what they found irritating and whether I could avoid those irritations/inconveniences myself. I got over my fear of looking stupid in front of baby product shop staff and just asked them whatever I wanted to know. I visited places several times until I could go there without having a mental breakdown and everything started to seem more familiar and not so scary!

While I had a bit of a budget to stick to, I didn’t obsess over getting the very very very best price on everything. If I could save $10 by going to some shop a bajillion miles from home, it wasn’t worth it while I was heavily pregnant and very confused (not to mention you’d spend the $10 “savings” on fuel to get there anyhow). If I found what I liked and it was good value for money, I just went home with it or made a plan to come back for it as soon my funds would let me. Gotta weigh up the stress factor vs everything else. I’d feel great every time I could tick something off the list.

My strategy was also to make sure I had all the “will need it in the hospital or the day we leave hospital” stuff. The stuff you can’t make it without in that first week or so. After that, things can come together at a moment’s notice if need be and the people in your life can be really helpful running about for you (some will even bug you until you let them do something so you may as well let them feel useful) if you have a lovely support network to call on. It helped me focus and not think of forgetting a few little things as the end of the world.

How did I pick the big stuff (you know – the really intimidating stuff)? Mind if I share? (that was rhetorical haha)

Cot
All I wanted was for the cot to be attractive enough to match the Little Mister’s nursery colour scheme (which was simply clean with white and blue). It had to be something that would be good enough quality to last for the use of more than one child. I wanted it to have a bassinet level option (for when the baby is little and not as mobile), for the mattress to be able to drop down later when you need to trap a crawling, toddling maniac child who may be learning to climb, and for it to later convert to a toddler bed. It goes without saying that it had to meet national safety standards. As long as a cot was a reasonable price and had all these features, I was stoked. I’m still very happy with my decision. Seriously, just keep it simple.

Pram/stroller
This one baffled me from day one. I won’t lie. There are so many choices, so many features and so many opinions on the matter you feel like your head will spin off! Not to mention there are so many very very expensive products to stare at in utter disbelief. There are some babies out there just pimpin’ in their tricked out rides. Or whatever the kids are saying these days. Pretty sure I just said something really inappropriate there…moving right along…

My requirements? It had to have a comfy bassinet option for when my Little Mister was very small and spent most of his time sleeping. It had to be good at manouvering in tight spaces. It had to be light enough to lift in and out of the car several times a day. It had to be easy to assemble or fold down because no-one wants to be that person in the carpark taking half an hour just to get their baby out of the car and into the stroller, or out of the stroller and into the car! It had to be good quality so it would last for the use of more than one child, hopefully with the option of being able to even transport two children (a toddler and baby) at once if need be in the future.

Look, I’ll be honest. I also didn’t want it to be butt ugly. You have to wheel that thing about in public all the time, y’all.

Car seat
I wasn’t really too fussed. I didn’t need the top of the range, “only celebrities use it” kind of thing. I didn’t want the cheapest thing either. I wanted a nice, middle of the range product that looked comfortable and of course, safe. As we weren’t going to start with a capsule in our car (they are great for transporting sleeping babies to and from the car but they aren’t great for longevity’s sake – we figured we could hire one if the baby turned up and we wished we had one), we wanted a car seat that could range from birth to a few years old. We got one that went from newborn to 18kg (or roughly an average sized four year old). I figured that if there was a second child entering the equation at some point then we could purchase a car seat that takes a child to 7 years old (the legal age a child has to be in a seat until) and the younger bub could have the smaller one. I have been really happy with the seat we’ve chosen. It’s grown with the Little Mister (or he’s grown with it I should say) very nicely.

Basically, everyone I talked to in the baby product shops was really helpful. There was one lady with a really pretentious name that I cannot remember right now, who bugged the hell out of me at one of my favourite stores, but on the whole these staff members are really used to talking to parents-to-be who have NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING or WHAT THEY’RE IN FOR! That’s what their business is about, so if they treat you like an idiot…quite plainly, they deserve to lose your business and anyone else’s. You’ve never done this before and should be treated as such (without someone being a condescending a-hole of course). Also, you’re pregnant (or your partner is) and they should know better than to mess with you (or them) haha.

Also, don’t freak out if something doesn’t go too smoothly. I had to wait until I was 8 months pregnant (and very very hugely so) to get my pram delivered to a shop far far away because they’d run out of stock or some crap (my savings did actually make it worth it luckily), and my cot arrived with some damage that I felt could compromise its safety meaning I had to return it and get it replaced. If you let these things wash over you and deal with them calmly (while being sure to assert yourself and get what you deserve), I promise it can actually be fun! 🙂

Have any other advice to share? If you’re a parent, how did your first shopping ventures go?

I thought about including what my product choices were, but I decided it’s not so important to get a certain brand or model. It’s about making sure the product meets your specific budget and has the features you think are important. Also, I didn’t want to seem like I was paid to do this post (I wish haha). If you really do wish to know, please don’t be afraid to email me. Also, while I’m explaining myself, I’d also like to say that I am only describing my personal experience whenever I do one of these “advice” type posts. I am not saying that what was helpful for me will be helpful for everyone – I’m big on the whole “each to their own” adage and will never claim to be an expert on any topic! Just another first time mum figuring stuff out 🙂

We had weather. We never have “weather”.

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So, we’ve had a recent bout of stormy weather in my corner of the world the last week or so. In other parts of the country, hell even in other countries, this would just be something that I imagine you hardy people would just take in your stride. However, where I live this kind of weather (or any weather at all) is just unheard of and we all lose our shit minds.

We like to think that we live in an eternal summer where all we need are shorts, tee-shirts and a bit of sunscreen to protect us from the elements all year round. As soon as it rains, we freak out. We drive either really really slow (without our headlights on) or we speed up (without our headlights on) because we’re rebellious: “I’m not gonna let this rain tell me what to do, dammit!” BAM. CRASH.

Or…we don’t leave our houses. At all.

“Sorry, mate. Can’t come to your party. It’s raining.”

“Can’t come into work today. It’s raining.”

“I’m not going to the shops today because it’s raining.”

“Gonna have to cancel our lunch date – rain.”

Granted, this week’s storms did actually give us something to worry about (I personally was quietly crapping myself in the middle of the night when the second one rolled in). People did lose their shit roofs or is it rooves? Why is my brain not working? They lost that stuff that sits on top of our houses and keeps us dry. That thing. They lost those. And cars, trees and fences. And I can’t be entirely sure, but I think people lost their cats too. I heard cats in the night and it sounded like they were flying.

Sleep deprivation…

I started to feel like the zombie apocalypse was finally arriving. There was a sense of excitement and electricity in the air (which is ironic because no-one had any electricity). Shops were selling out of generators and torches and dry food. People were lined up at MacDonalds as far as the eye could see so that they wouldn’t have to go home and cook in the dark on camp stoves. People were getting crazy at the petrol stations. GOTTA GET TO THE SERVO IN CASE THEY LOSE THEIR POWER AND I CAN’T GET FUEL! My gran even had to buy me a sandwich, because I didn’t have cash on me and all of the EFTPOS machines were down at one point. That’s gotta be a Category 1, Code Red right there.

Worst thing? I lost mobile phone service. I couldn’t charge my iPhone. My go-to boredom busting fallback was no longer available for anything except emergency calls and sparse tweets (priorities, people). People were driving to each others’ houses to check they were alive after the phones went down. Somehow we all had time to comment on the storm via Facebook, but that’s neither here nor there.

The local (almost derelict) shopping centre was shut due to lack of power…where I swear that just for a tiny instant everyone sighed with relief and thought, “Phew. Now I won’t have to go there for a while.”

I have to admit that the wind was very scary and loud. It made interior doors bang and rattle in my house. It whistled and swirled and shook everything on my property at least just a little bit. I LOST A POT PLANT. I lost a pot plant. I just typed that twice to emphasise the emotion that it deserves.

With no electricity I had to play with my Little Mister by torchlight and act like there was nothing different going on. Nothing to worry about. He looked at me a bit strangely, like “Dude – this isn’t right” but he played along. I bathed him in the dark (luckily I have gas hot water and not electric). I had to sleep near his room when the baby monitors weren’t working. He was a little trooper. On a more serious note, I did feel so much more responsibility than before. I had someone to protect beside myself now!

This stressed me the eff out. I won’t lie. But I stayed cool (on the outside) and I stayed strong. We survived the fallen pot plant of 2012.

Pic: Viral meme on Facebook (appears to link back to someone called Kelly Pitman)

Here’s my advice to my fellow Western Australians.

Buy shoes. Real ones. You don’t need a lot. Just maybe one pair. Something to protect your feet from scary puddles and stuff.

Also, buy a jumper and a rain coat. I know it’s expensive and you might only need them twice a year, but one day you’ll really need them.You don’t want to catch a common cold. That’s just nasty.

Business owners: Provide heating, shelter, and somewhere for our wet umbrellas in the winter. Oh and electricity.

Drivers: Turn on your headlights when there is heavy cloud and/or rain. Drive to the conditions. Don’t freak out and do weird things. It’s just water.

In the case of power failure, calm down. It’s just like camping except you’re in your own house. Which is stronger than a tent. So you’re cool, right?

Also, if rain and wind were enough to stop a whole city – how would Melbournians survive on the other side of the country? Wind and rain are totally their thing. They just get on with it.

You’re all welcome.

Back in MY day…

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I can’t believe how far the world has come with technology and social habits since I was a little kid myself. It’s crazy, really. Mobile phones used to be the size of bricks and only fancy business people had them. The internet was not all that exciting, except for the thrill of giggling with your 14 year old friends as you snuck into chatrooms your parents would be having a heart attack over if they knew. Computer games had graphics with square pixels the size of small countries and if you wanted to listen to music you had to use a cassette player, rewinding and fast forwarding until you could listen to your favourite song over and over and over and over. Heaven forbid if the tape got worn out and started scrunching up in the player. You’d have to save up all your pocket money to replace it…then leave your house to go to the shops where you’d buy it!

I sound like I’m about 100 years old (and yes sometimes I do feel it when I’ve had one too many sleepless nights), but I’m only 28. It’s crazy how fast the world is moving these days.

I hope that I’ll be able to be one of the kind of/sort of cool mums that isn’t too embarrassing, but just embarrassing enough that I fulfil my duty as a parent. It just wouldn’t be a childhood if your mum didn’t embarrass you just a little bit, right? I like to think that I’ll probably keep up enough to know what music my kids are listening to (although that whole Call Me Maybe/One Direction thing has thrown me so maybe I’m not that cool), get a feel for what television shows they’ll be watching and keep an eye on the movies they might try to sneak into before they’re old enough. I also hope I’ll be able to still use the internet and be proficient at using the iPhone 15 by the time it is released (seriously – so gonna happen).

In saying that, I think I’ll be a bit old school. Some of my values just won’t be changing easily. Which will make me soooo unpopular. I might look back on this in 13 years and realise I was being ridiculously idealistic, but I hope I’ll stay true to my vision of my parenting future.

“Go outside and use your damn imagination!”
I want my kids to play make believe. I want them to run around pretending to be characters from their favourite kids shows (the original fan fiction) and make their own props and costumes out of old clothes and bits of garden junk. I don’t want to be afraid that if they hang out in the yard they’ll make a mess or stab themselves with something or catch some kind of dirt related disease. When I was a kid, I ran around like a crazy person digging holes (my parents lived on an acreage so it was allowed), building things out of sticks and branches and getting physically active (I sound like Huckleberry Finn or something). I didn’t rely on video games, the latest gadgets or the “real” toy shop merchandise to dress me up as my heroes/make believe characters. I would scrape my knees falling off my bicycle and while I was protected and cared for, I was never wrapped in cotton wool. I know times have changed and we’re far more aware of evil predators and various illnesses and while I will adapt to the times, I like to think my kids will have a bit of freedom to explore their independence and stay socially active (IRL that is).

“Turn that off when we’re eating dinner and look at me when I speak to you!”
Yep. I’m gonna be a stickler for manners. No kid of mine is going to get away with staring past me at a screen while I talk to them about something important. They’re not going to be texting or tweeting while we’re eating dinner or spending quality time together (if it detracts from what we’re doing) either. There’s a time and place! I want my kids to live in the moment – not miss it all because they’re staring at someone else’s moment on the television or online. I want them to look back when they’re my age and remember a real childhood. I want them to grow up to treat their work colleagues, friends and romantic partners with the same respect. It starts at home is the saying, right? I don’t want simple social etiquette to fly out the window just because we’re living in an increasingly technological world.

“You want it? You earn it or you can wait until your birthday or Christmas!”
I remember when my brother and I were kids, there would always be a new games console on the market or some kind of toy/clothing/book that we wanted. OK, so books my parents were a bit more relaxed – educational and all that. Anyhow, we knew that if we wanted it we had to beg for it for Christmas or our next birthdays (whichever came first). We’d get impatient and probably annoy our parents every so often as we tried our luck at getting something earlier, but we knew what was expected. We had to negotiate with extra chores, save up our meagre pocket money allowance or even “get a loan” and then pay off what we received in advance with chores afterwards (and no more gifts until our debt was cleared). Now, I see the latest gadget and everyone’s uncool if they don’t have it RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Damn consumerist society. I don’t remember it being so bad 20 years ago. God, 20 years ago. Makes me sound like a bloody dinosaur.

All of this, while frustrating at the time, has made me a better person and as an adult I thank my parents for taking this unpopular approach. Yes, Mum and Dad. You were right. Yep. I said it. I now know how to be patient. I don’t believe I walk around this planet with an over the top sense of entitlement. I appreciate what I have and I don’t buy what I can’t afford. Take that, Generation Y haters!

I hope my kids will learn the same lessons. Either that or they’ll steal my credit card while I’m sleeping…

“I’m sorry, but you’re going to have a childhood.”
Look, I was the worst for this when I was a kid. I wanted to be a grown up, not having a clue that one day I would be a grown up and wish I was a kid again! I would watch M15+ movies at my friends’ houses (where my mum didn’t have her ever-watchful eye on me). I would stay up late with a childhood friend/partner in crime who will remain nameless so we could titter away at dodgy SBS channel movies on weekend sleepovers (I have some vague memory of some naked wood nymphs dancing in front of a bonfire under a full moon – on the television, not in real life). I wanted to wear make-up and act like a teen when I was really just a tween. I would swear a lot (as long as my parents or school teachers weren’t in ear shot). I would get all boy crazy and be deluded enough that I would be mature enough for a “relationship”…which luckily for my parents was never tested because I was always in the “friend zone”.

Basically, I know that a few misdemeanors will get past my vigilant parenting attempts, but when possible I won’t be letting my children watch adult television shows they shouldn’t be able to understand. I won’t be letting them dress like mini adults when they’re just kids. I will not expose them to my adult problems unless completely necessary and even then, age appropriate explanations will be given. I won’t be allowing them unlimited internet browsing time without permission or supervision. I will encourage them to focus on having fun and being as carefree as possible (while still fostering a sense of responsibility to themselves and others) while they still can. Kids just know too damn much these days. There are 8 year olds who want to dress like Kim Kardashian/Lady GaGa/Nicki Minaj/Snooki, sing along to sexually explicit songs while dancing in a way that would even get a grown up in trouble! I know I was kind of headed down that road (even though I had NO IDEA what “going down on someone in a theatre” meant when Alanis Morrisette warbled about it in the 90s), but if it wasn’t for my parents fiercely protecting my innocence and my right to enjoy a childhood, I don’t know that I would enjoy adulthood now half as much. I would have been jaded and washed out by the age of 15! Parents can’t control every influence their kids are exposed to, but they can be the main influence – that safe place to come back to for good guidance. I hope I can be that in this ever increasingly adultified world (yes I made a word up).

Um…also? We’ve all seen what can happen if we don’t…

Pic: I rest my case.

I will probably also spend all my time telling my offspring all about my youth, boring them senseless…

“Back in my day…”
We didn’t have Google! We had to go to the bookshelf and use an encylopaedia set to find out information for school assignments. I’ll explain what that is some other time.

We had to press a bunch of buttons on our mobile phones to call someone and text messaging was a newfangled concept which involved pressing numbers several times until we got to the letter we needed to use. We would then repeat this process until we had a whole word…and then another one…and so on. Texting could take hours.

Books were made out of paper.

Justin Bieber and One Direction (or whoever the new teen sensations will be) weren’t even born yet.

All the movies and television shows you enjoy were once actually other movies and television shows that have been remade. ALL OF THEM.

There were lots of children’s television characters that didn’t wear pants, hung about with small children and no-one cared.

There was this thing called MySpace…

 

So now that I’ve convinced you that I am in fact an 80 year old in a 28 year old’s body, I will leave you with that.

What’s your take on this? 

🙂

My truth about the first few weeks of parenthood.

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So the other night I was watching one of my all-time favourite television shows (Offspring – OMG I love it), when a character came into the hospital not long after giving birth and had a small breakdown because she thought she was failing as a mother. One reason was because her birth did not go to plan (she didn’t want any drugs but succumbed as it got very difficult and painful) and the second was because some people had told her that those first few weeks of motherhood are the “babymoon” and are supposed to be so perfect and blissful, but she didn’t feel her experience was matching up. Even though that was just a small part of the episode, it stuck with me. How many times do “all the people” tell you something is supposed to feel/be a certain way, only it isn’t and you start to think you’re the only one, questioning yourself? Asking if you’ve done something different or wrong?

As my Little Mister starts to close in on 7 months of age, I find myself thinking back to his early days (say the first 6 weeks). I remember him sleeping for 18 hours a day, just feeding and needing cuddles. Even now I look back at that time with rose-coloured glasses. I think, “Wow – all that time he was asleep! I could have gotten so much housework done! I had so much free time to watch TV, shower myself, have a nap, blog, go to the toilet. Why didn’t I appreciate that fully? Blah blah blah.”

Then I wake myself up with a firm (metaphorical) slap to the face (with a big, metaphorical cold fish). Wait a second, I tell myself, it wasn’t that easy at the time! I think back and remember not ever believing that those beautiful moments of sleep would last, rushing through my showers, my meals and anything else I had to do. I remember trying to heal from my C-section, having to move gingerly and be careful what I lifted or how I positioned myself when I sat down. My husband had to help with everything and I found that disempowering. It wasn’t his fault by any means – he was doing a great job. I just felt at odds with the role I was supposed to be relishing as a new full time mummy. I had to learn how to do heaps of things from my husband, when I’d always pictured myself figuring it out first. I remember finding everything so new and daunting. Everything from figuring out how much formula to feed the Little Mister (we had to measure top ups on top of breast milk as my supply was bad – we’d been separated in the first few days and I was stressed and on anti-biotics). Wondering if we were letting him sleep too long at a time or not (he is naturally a great sleeper but all of the damn books and some people acted like he was going to die or waste away if we didn’t wake him up every three hours in the night to feed). Trying to negotiate trips out of the house with him. How did I know if I’d packed too much or not enough? I learnt the hard way a couple of times. Could I make sure that everything revolved around feed times/nap times? Worrying about his sensitive, immature stomach when he was mildly colicky at bedtime. Creeping into bed at night, worried about waking him. Listening out ALL night to hear him breathing. Not knowing whether it was right to do this, or right to do that. Feeling lost when he would cry because it takes a little while to figure out a new language – baby language. It was a while before I figured out what a hungry cry, anxious cry, pained cry were like (sometimes they can be remarkably similar). When his sleep started to decrease a bit, I took a while to figure out how long babies are usually happy to be awake for before they’ll show tired signs and need a nap. Once I mastered that (and a host of other baby quirks), I started to settle into my role as mummy.

Yes, the first few weeks are AMAZING. You want to watch your beautiful baby sleep all the time. You realise in the middle of the night that you still love them (even though you once wondered if it was possible to love ANYONE at 4am – sober). You feel all the love of your family and friends as they gather round, sending gifts, sharing cuddles and giving compliments. If your partner has parental leave or has taken leave for those first few weeks, it can be a godsend as you rest and you’re not expected to get anything done but heal your own body and nurture your baby.

Sleep deprivation can be a nightmare. I’m not gonna lie. And for some babies (who perhaps start off as awesome sleepers), it actually gets worse when they’re older as teething, separation anxiety and the power of movement arrive. Told you I’m not going to lie. However, if you call on your support networks: people who can babysit a couple of hours in the day between feeds so you can sleep, your partner, someone who might even help you cook or clean so there’s less to worry about, you’ll start to adjust. Just don’t feel like you should be a super human. It’s taken me the good part of 6 months to realise that I don’t have to be an all entertaining, all new, all fresh human experience for the Little Mister ALL the time. We can have quiet days in and we can get out and about a bit too – he’s going to be fine if some days I’m not feeling well or need to rest. Babies are working hard all day and all night as they develop, so the occasional “boring” day in probably isn’t as boring for them as we think! Gotta stay human/sane and look after mum so she can look after bub. Overworked zombies are not the best caregivers, apparently 🙂

It’s scary and it’s hard in those early weeks. In the more challenging times I would just pray for the Little Mister to learn how to smile. I would find myself just thinking wistfully, when he can smile perhaps I will feel better about it all. Perhaps the smiles will make each day a little easier. It was difficult when the only way he knew how to communicate was by crying or behaving grumpily. I was just hanging out for that smile. For those new ways to communicate.

They do come. And it is as lovely as they tell you it will be. Although new challenges pop up all the time, you start to know your baby well. You become really in tune with their quirks and their ways of communicating. You learn what time of day doesn’t go well with them. You learn the places/sounds/activities they like and don’t like. You learn the best times to take them out and when it’s time for them to stay in and spend time snuggling or catching up on rest in a comfy, familiar place.You find your own rhythm. Hopefully you get to know other mothers with similarly aged children – my hospital set up a mother’s group and we still meet and we share SO MANY IDEAS/CONCERNS/LEARNINGS/ADVICE on our Facebook page it’s not funny! I thought that stuff wouldn’t suit me (worried I’d be bunched with people I have nothing in common with other than motherhood, or that it could get bitchy or pressured), but it’s been fantastic. I know that if we get out of the house to meet, we all understand the logistics of just leaving the house and negotiating feeds and naps. I also know that we are all learning together and it’s great to know you’re not alone and share resources.

So if an expectant mum asked me what it’s like, I would tell her all of the above. It’s the most special time for sure, but it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It’s hard work, sleeplessness and constant confusion/overthinking/worrying (and kind of will be for a long time). However, if you surrender yourself to it all and embrace it, you will know that your HUGE love will conquer all in the end. I always tell myself, I grew up and don’t have to sleep with my arms swaddled. I can go to sleep all by myself at night without a dummy or someone cuddling me. I can walk around properly and talk and feed myself (and boy do I feed myself – oops). My Little Mister will grow up fine if I just relax a bit and do my best. The challenging times aren’t FOREVER 🙂

Don’t listen to those weirdos who have forgotten the hard parts when they look back on those early days of parenthood. They’ll either tell you it’s all hell on Earth or that it’s all perfect and easy. There is a fantastic happy medium if you let yourself find it.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I refuse to let myself glorify those times when the present day gets tough. They were real, they were amazing and they were terrifyingly, terrifically overwhelming. I wouldn’t change a thing.

x

Was your reality different? Please share x

You know it’s a good day when…

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I’ve always been a fan of counting your blessings in life and finding the positives. All those little things that make up a big picture and tell you that your life is good. This especially comes in handy when you’re a first time mum of a six month old boy! At times your patience is tested to its limits and with teething, sleep regression (it’s totally a thing), newfound separation anxiety, my husband not being around that much at the moment and who knows what else! The lofty expectations I had BC (Before Child) of what a good day should entail are now just a distant memory and my focus has become more about not taking the little things for granted!

You know it’s a good day/night when:

The Little Mister likes his food so much that none of it goes on his bib or his clothes, meaning I won’t have to change him at all or add to my ginormous laundry pile!

The Little Mister doesn’t spend half an hour rolling around in his cot when he should be napping.

I only have to get up once or twice in the night (or not at all), and each time I do he settles back to sleep as soon as I’ve addressed his problem (he’s normally an angel when it comes to sleep but he’s teething and experimenting with movement at the moment – praying it’s just a phase).

I get time to blog!

I somehow manage to get everything the Little Mister needs washed and in the steriliser for the next day, instead of scrambling around at the last minute because I’ve fallen behind. Seriously nothing more satisfying than knowing you can wake up the next day and not worry about it all until it suits you 🙂

I get giggles and smiles every time the Little Mister sees me – especially if it’s in the middle of one of his grumpy/teething days.

The Little Mister shows off a new skill or an improvement in a skill. It’s so great seeing something new each day.

I’m feeling exhausted and crappy and I see another friend on Facebook posting about the same problems. It can be good knowing you’re not the only one and your baby hasn’t turned into some kind of freakish monster – just a very normal monster 🙂

The Little Mister isn’t being clingy and he plays happily nearby while I get housework done! In fact, it’s a good day if I get ANY housework (non baby related) done! I think back to how lazy I could feel BC (Before Child), thinking about how housework was the most boring, pointless chore and I laugh. If only I knew then what I know now – my house would have always been spotless. I LOVE HOUSEWORK NOW. I KNOW. It’s a special treat – a luxury! I know I’ll get more organised as time goes on, as well as the Little Mister becoming more independent, but man it’s difficult at this stage!

The Little Mister doesn’t vomit while playing with his favourite toys. Meaning I won’t have to wash them (or figure out how to wash them when the label says not to wash them – it’s a baby toy – they should have thought of that)!

I hear the Little Mister waking up for the morning on the baby monitor, check the time and realise we both slept in!

I don’t wake up at 2am out of habit and then start thinking about all the stuff I’ve got to do the next day, all the stuff I did the previous day and how to solve all of the world’s problems.

I can somehow get us both out of the house (even for a couple of hours). I feel so relieved that I gave the Little Mister new experiences and exposed him to different stimulus (or is that stimuli?). I get guilty otherwise (even though I shouldn’t).

 

There are so many other little blessings in my every day life, but I’ve listed the main ones!

 

What little things let you know you’re having a good day?

 

 

Am I not SAD anymore?

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This past week or two, the wintery weather has suddenly fallen upon my little corner of the planet. The night time feels cooler, the clouds cover the sky more often than not and the rain has begun to fall a bit more regularly. The rain cover for the pram is finally being used, I’m wearing my good old trackie pants and the air conditioner is getting a rest!

I’ve never been a fan of winter. In fact, each year (other than a bit of Autumn wistfulness as new clothing hits the racks at my favourite stores) I dread it. The clouds, the wetness and the addiction to winter comfort eating have always got me down. All the songs on the radio turn into dreary commercial rock (Nickelback anyone? Shoot me) to match the weather and you have to layer up your clothing so anything cute you might have started to wear is eternally hidden under rainproof wear and those coats that strippers wear (I cannot for the life of me remember what they’re called right now – it’s been a long summer – wait they’re called trenchcoats – meh). At times I would feel just downright negatively introspective and just on the border of depression after a long bout of wind and rain. I guess I’m prone to that SAD thing (Seasonally Affected Depression/Disorder or whatever it stands for – I’m no doctor). I suppose winter also reminded me of cramming in depressing winter classes at university and feeling so damn stressed about everything life throws at you in the winter.

Last winter was so different. Last winter I was pregnant and itchy with PUPPP rash. I was also quite…warm all the time because of all the extra ‘insulation’ (I look back and think of the Little Mister’s foetus as my inbuilt hot water bottle). I had the air conditioner on constantly, as the muggy, wet weather would aggravate my rash and I suppose my husband did a good job of not arguing with me when he was probably freezing his you-know-whats off! I had to say goodbye to my leggings because the cheap fabric rubbed on my legs too much, causing me to itch. I had to wear custom altered maxi dresses from sale racks with giant scarves (to hide the rash on my neck and chest) and I had to find jackets that could hang around my giant bump without looking too strange. I felt unattractive, lonely and puffed out! I spent a lot of time on the couch, napping in my bed (when my pelvic pain would let me get in without taking half an hour just to lie down) and wandering aimlessly between the computer and the kitchen. I just couldn’t do much else – especially when soaked in the greasiest ointment you can imagine!

While it was obviously no picnic (bloody oath!), I was grateful the whole time for the fact that I had conveniently fallen pregnant in Autumn and would give birth in Spring – mostly dodging the warmest, sweatiest weather of the year. I came to look forward to seeing weather forecasts full of cold fronts and bad weather (it meant that I could stay in without feeling guilty or left out of things). I liked the days where everyone else would whine about the cold, because it meant that I would be the most comfortable.

For all the bad moments, last winter I experienced some amazing life changing moments. Feeling my Little Mister kicking inside me, playing with his little feet, elbows and knees as he pushed them against the skin of my bump. He kept me company when I felt cumbersome and… stuck. He made the discomfort worth it. The few things I got to do was attend a good number of AFL (Australian Football League – Aussie Rules) games to cheer on my team, the West Coast Eagles. These days cheered me up immensely when I wasn’t well. They were special times – especially as our team was doing so well (proving a lot of naysayers wrong)! There was the game in Melbourne (our last real holiday before the baby came) and there were a couple of games at home – one being right after I found out that I had gestational diabetes on top of the rest of my damn problems! For a few hours I felt cute (wearing my maternity jeans – finally – it was cold enough for my rash to not be as much of an issue), normal and I could forget about my blood sugar (kind of – everyone was eating meat pies and drinking soft drink) while the team won and the Little Mister kicked whenever something exciting happened.

So this year, I realise that I don’t think I’ll hate winter anymore. I’m sure I’ll get sick of it over time (I feel like that about every season at least for a little while towards the end of it) and there will be days when the weather feels like it’s stopping me in my tracks, but I think it’s growing on me. I feel grateful that this winter I can wear jeans (first skinny jeans in a loooong time – got a little bit of tummy to hide but I’m cool with that). This winter I can wear leggings in fifty million different combinations of colours and designs with nice, big, comfy tops (when I can actually afford to go clothes shopping – the possibility is still nice though!). This winter I can snuggle up real close with my Little Mister and dress him up in the cutest outfits (he was always near naked in Summer because he’s sensitive to heat – I have a theory it’s to do with my pregnancy)! I can enjoy those winter comfort foods I love (within reason). I will save on my electricity bills – not so much air con running all the time. I can look after my skin, so it’s ready for a nice reveal next Summer.

I never thought this would happen. I actually think that Winter and I might become friends 🙂

What’s your favourite season?

Puppies are not babies. Sigh.

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OK, so it’s time for a little bit of light heartedness around here…

Throughout my lifetime, I’ve seen several puppies grow into successful adult dogs in my family homes. My husband (then live-in boyfriend) and I even adopted one when she was about five months old when we became an adults who felt capable of keeping something alive (which I imagine is what my parents thought about when they adopted me haha). I still can’t keep plants alive, but that’s another story…

Since then we’ve also raised a very rambunctious Labrador/German Shepherd cross, from puppyhood and let me tell you, that was an eye opener. My husband was working away for the first couple of weeks of her life and I saw myself imagining what it would be like to look after a human baby – alone. This canine infant cried all night, escaped every barrier I created for her and was certainly not toilet trained! She chewed on everything in sight (including my hands) and ate a lot. I remember thinking, it was lucky she was SO cute as I recovered from three hour nights of sleep and got on my hands and knees daily to scrub the tiles she had soiled quite comprehensively.

I used to always laugh that having a puppy was like having a baby and that it was all good practice for parenthood. Similarities? Both are cute, they grow up way too fast and your love for them is unconditional.

However, there are also many differences between human puppies and dog babies.

No way! Get outta town!

It’s true. Apparently, it’s not OK to bathe your human infant outside on the lawn by simply dousing him in shampoo and rinsing with the garden hose…even if he is particularly filthy. Also, you can’t put nappies on your dog. Well, you could, but people might think you were a bit weird. I can’t decide which way I’d rather go. Let the baby poop all over the yard, saving money and time where nappies are concerned (just doing one big clean up every few days), or put nappies on your dog, saving the unsightly view of your garden if you fall behind in your lawn clean ups. Hmm.

You have to buy a sh*tload of stuff to have a baby. When you get a dog, you just get a bed, bowl, squeaky toys (that will be half eaten within days), a collar, council registration tags and a few vet bills. No-one really analyses these decisions with you, asking “What colour collar are you buying? Will it suit the puppy’s gender and match your puppy’s style? What kind of bed should I get for my puppy? I want one that will last for more than one puppy’s puppyhood and can convert into three different types – bassinet level, cot level and toddler puppy bed! It must also match the decor of my house and the theme I’ve chosen for my dog’s space. Are the dog toys I’ve chosen educational?”

OK, so some people do. There are a lot of hardcore dog lovers out there. I’ve probably been a lot more casual about the whole thing. I just ask, “Can she eat it and will it be spread all over my lawn by tomorrow morning? No? Well, I’ll take two.”

Usually when you get a puppy, it can already walk. Even the adorable rescued puppies who have three legs instead of four can do this adorable hop/walk thing. For reals. I’ve seen it on YouTube, Oprah and Ellen. Human babies have to be carried or wheeled everywhere. If you put them down anywhere, they just kind of flop about and they can fall off things. Which is scary. Although, I am nervous about the day my Little Mister can walk around. The thought of having to childproof everything to the nth degree terrifies me.

Another thing: You can’t leave your baby home alone with a bowl of water and some biscuits, while you work/party/do the grocery shopping. Apparently that can get you into a lot of trouble. Also, there might be some ethical issues around the idea of microchipping your child so you can be contacted when they get lost. Sounds like a great idea, but apparently it’s not the done thing…yet. I’m sure someone’s working on it.

I guess there are pros and cons in having either a dog or a baby. I’m lucky enough to have both. We’ll see which ones eat us out of house and home first, shall we? 🙂

Do you have a fur baby or a human baby? Both?

It’s not just my voice.

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Note: This post is quite emotionally revealing and has been difficult for me to write (it’s taken a few weeks), but I felt it was important to express because I am sure I’m not the only new mum going through it.

All my life I’ve been a very strong minded (some may be reckless enough to accuse me of being stubborn) person. I’ve always known what I’ve wanted and how I feel about certain issues. Which is mostly a good character trait to have, and occasionally I learn the hard way. Luckily I do usually learn pretty well from my mistakes, but I like that I am passionate about my beliefs (while trying to be open minded enough to change those beliefs when necessary).

However, if you asked some of the people who know the ‘outside’ me (those who aren’t in my household or my immediate family) about this trait, they might look at you funny. When something doesn’t sit well with me or I feel confronted, I dither about, overexplain my position or pretend it’s all good when it isn’t. Sometimes I’ll even be silly enough to ignore my gut instincts, because I’m scared of what people will think if I do my own thing. I could get all psychoanalytical about how I think it’s a fear of not belonging, brought about by my ultimate rejection as a baby (leading to my adoption), but to keep things short and simple, I care too much about what people might say if I go against the grain. It doesn’t ultimately stop me in most cases and I might appear strong and sure of my decisions in the end, but it usually comes after a massive inner struggle that can last for days (or more appropriately 3am moments at night)!

Since I fell pregnant with the Little Mister, I’ve had to be mentally strong time and time again. I’ve had to find courage inside myself, in order to speak my truth. You see, it’s no longer just my truth anymore. My voice is no longer just mine. I have this little guy in my life who cannot speak yet. He cannot make wise life decisions that affect his wellbeing. I have the highest honour, the biggest responsibility. His dad and I must be his voice. I will sometimes have to be strong and make unpopular decisions or do something people might not agree with if I know in my heart that it’s for the best.

It is my duty to be strong and assertive. To carve my own way where my little family is concerned. I can’t dither about, ignore my instincts or doubt myself constantly just because some people out there may be ignorant or judgemental. I need to realise that we (my little family) don’t have to answer to anyone. We’re good people, we’re proactively educated, and we will always do our best to raise our baby.

I respect other parents and their choices. I am not perfect and I do judge occasionally (like when a pregnant woman says she’s going to drink Red Bull all night at the club – overheard on the train usually), but I do believe that being a new parent is hard enough as it is. Every parent is different and every baby is different. Most of us grow up relatively OK. Some may have more issues than others, but we all do what I believe is the best with what we know how at the time. If we know better, we do better and I always try to know as much as I can.

I guess what I’m saying here is that we might falter sometimes when we speak up for ourselves as individuals and we might ignore our own needs when we shouldn’t, but since having the Little Mister I have learnt a very valuable lesson in using my voice because right now, it’s his voice too. I have to get over myself. I have to stay strong. I don’t have to get confrontational (that’s not always constructive), but I have to believe in myself, not doubt what I believe in and quietly do my own thing anyway (without tearing myself to pieces with guilt or fear about it).

I don’t want to stand up on my somewhat unsteady soapbox and go on about how I’m a mother and all others should bow down because I’m the first person to ever have a baby. I just have to set limits and draw lines. I have to take calculated risks and believe in the fact that no-one knows my baby (or my family) better than my husband or I do. I have to stop listening to those who love to judge someone else (even worse when it’s other mothers who should know better), because they are probably insecure themselves and don’t know how else to feel OK about their own choices.

It’s not just me anymore. Someone else is depending on me and I take that responsibility very seriously. If I ignore my gut feeling where his needs are concerned because I’m scared someone will tell me I’m doing it wrong (even though it’s actually none of their business), then I’m not doing my job. I’m always open to learning and improving, but I need to trust my ability in seeking out the right answers and not blindly follow someone else.

When the Little Mister was born, I felt thrust into the unknown (in both the best and the scariest way). I wanted to show that I was eager to learn and I wanted to trust in the fact that billions of people on this earth have given birth before me. If I had my time over (and maybe I will one day) I would stand up to the people I was scared of. I would trust more in my intuition. I would tell the well intentioned midwives that I didn’t want them to grab my nipples when showing me how to breastfeed – that I could tell my baby knew exactly what to do without them grabbing me the third, fourth and fifth times. I would tell them I was too stressed to express every hour if they all kept walking in the hospital room and watching me each time I had a quiet moment and that it wasn’t helping my milk to come in. I would say that the real reason I was crying on day 3 of my hospital stay was because it was unnatural that I hadn’t seen my baby the first three days of his life and that my painkilling drugs had worn off making me realise that I was p*ssed off that they were acting like it was normal that he wasn’t with me – not because of stupid baby blues (they didn’t help but they weren’t the real reason). I would tell my friends that it’s OK that my Little Mister doesn’t spend a lot of time overnight with his grandparents so I can go out more, because I feel like it’s my job (and my pleasure) to be with him when I can. I am still teaching him to manage his separation anxiety and he gets plenty of time without us (let’s go easy on him – he’s 5 months and 3 weeks old), and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in my life. I don’t know if they think about any of this, but I worry that they do. I just have to be OK with my decisions and wear them with confidence. The Little Mister’s doing great (all the usual baby maladies aside) and so am I! We’re happy 🙂

I need to tell people it’s not OK to just rock up at my house with very little warning and start making noise during the Little Mister’s bathing, feeding and bed time unless they’re planning on staying the night in his room. 😉 I need to be able to say, “Sorry I can’t afford that. Our income is limited right now and we’re channeling our funds into our family home or the baby’s needs, before we start spending on other things. Some months will be tighter than others.”  and not just try to keep up when it’s simply not possible, out of the fear that people will think we’re tightwads or will start analysing our spending. “Oh, I saw her buying a $4 magazine last week. She can’t be THAT poor.”

That’s not everyone else’s voice. That’s the mean voice inside my own head. Stupid voice. The nice voice should remind the mean voice that my husband and I work very hard to budget our cash and we believe in living a balanced life. Our finances are our own business and they don’t stop us from living our life. So to hell with what some hypothetical, imaginary mean person might think!

And now I sound crazy with all this talk about voices in my head and imaginary people…moving right along…

I need people to understand what it’s like to have a baby – the challenges, the need for stability and the energy it requires. Sometimes I just have to ask tell everyone straight out what I want or what the Little Mister needs as an individual (not all babies are the same in a situation). They might not actually be mindreaders (!) and it’s not fair to assume that they will understand a situation they’re not familiar with or that they haven’t lived.

Most importantly, along this journey into parenthood, I’ve noticed a pattern. Every time I ignore my gut instinct because I’m worried about what people will think, I take a bit of a detour down the wrong path. From now on, I am going to try harder to stay true to myself and my family. I need to trust that those in my life are strong too and they can handle my truth.

If I don’t stand up for my Little Mister, who will?

Have you ever found it difficult to stray away from the pack or speak your truth (this is not just a mummy specific question)?

Five months: What it means to me.

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April marks five months of my Little Mister’s life. It’s an odd age to consider a special milestone, but to me it really is an important one. I didn’t realise just how important it was to me until it arrived and it brought with it the revelation that I had been waiting for this date for all of my adult life (and perhaps even before that).

I have spent my whole life trotting out my little life story to anyone and everyone who seems particularly interested in my “background”. You see, I look Asian on the outside but on the inside I’ve always been an Aussie. It brings with it a lot of fascination and the need to ask me for an explanation. Especially when I’m out with my parents, who don’t particularly resemble me physically!

I was adopted from South Korea as a baby. How old was I, you ask? Well, I was five months and one week old when I arrived in Australia, ready to start my new life as a very loved and cherished Aussie bub.

Every time someone asks (rudely or politely) where I’m “from”, I start my well rehearsed, finely tuned, short spiel. I can sum the situation up in a very short time: “Well, I was born in South Korea but I was adopted at five months old and being Aussie is all I’ve ever known.”

It explains my looks and it lets someone know that I don’t have an unusual ethnicity or different cultural practices (so they don’t start talking to me really loudly or slowly or make assumptions about what I eat or how my family views education blah blah *enter Asian stereotype here*) . Of course, it doesn’t always sink in, but that’s another story 😉

Anyway, I always dreamed of being biologically related to someone. I have loved my life and have always felt extra loved and extra wanted because my parents had to go to such lengths to bring me to them when my own biological family didn’t choose to keep me. It’s just that I dreamed of having that dream my mum/s couldn’t have. I dreamed of being able to carry my own baby safely to term and be able to keep him or her forever. I dreamed of one day having what I had never had – someone who maybe looked a bit like me and shared my genes – in my life.

I’ve spent my life being fascinated by family resemblences. Looking at brothers, sisters, their parents and wondering what it would be like to resemble someone. The advantages, the disadvantages.

When my little man reached the five month milestone a few days ago, I realised what my parents were receiving that September night in 1984. A little very chubby five month old, who was smiling (a coping mechanism I have used to this day), grabbing at things and completely aware of her surroundings. I see what an undertaking it would have been for me to fly all the way from South Korea to start a whole new life and never look back. When my Little Mister starts to show separation anxiety and tests me at night time, crying as I get to his bedroom door after I’ve said goodnight, I realise that I would have had some idea that nothing would ever be the same. That time of my life shaped a lot of who I am today and it is bittersweet when I think about it.

I realise what a gift I have had. I have had a bonus five months with my Little Mister! I’ve seen him from day one (albeit briefly before he was rushed to another hospital for three days – long story). I’ve watched him grow and learn. I was able to breastfeed him (not that it was very easy but I got the opportunity), I was there to give him his first taste of solids: apple puree and broccoli puree (not a fan but we knew we were pushing it haha). I was there to bring him home from hospital and change his first nappies, watch my husband give him his first bath. My parents may have missed out on those moments with me, but I realise one thing. The bond between parent and child is the same no matter how you came together. I now know exactly what my brother and I meant to my parents (and still do). I am so blessed to be a child of loving parents, and a loving parent of a child. Blood isn’t thicker than water: love is.

As my little baby starts to get “boy” legs instead of tiny baby legs, and he starts to push for independence, trying to hold his own bottle and take control of his own spoon, I’m realising just how fast he’s going to grow up! I love who he is (when he grins his face off and puts up with my shenanigans) and I am so glad I get to keep him forever.

Just like it was for my parents, five months is just the beginning of a very special journey. I realise now that what I craved all my life was not simply a little ‘me’ or a genetic relative. I just wanted to realise, to KNOW, that the love I have for my child is exactly the same as the love my parents had/have for me. Perhaps deep down, I needed the confirmation. I needed to know for sure that blood and some genes don’t make an ounce of difference as to how much a person can love (even though with all the blessings and love in my life I already had a pretty strong inkling).

I love you, Little Mister. Thankyou for choosing me as your mummy.

It has to happen sooner or later.

Pic: Those are just cordial, right? I have to wake up in the morning, you know.

Last week I went out for dinner with The Girls. It was a nice, casual mid week meal, with lots of chatterboxes sitting all around the one table at a local fish and chips joint. Of course we’d rearranged the long tables so we could all see each other and therefore maximise the amount of different conversations we could participate in all at the one time (there are a healthy number of us). The guys just wouldn’t understand haha.

I was in such a good mood and the baby was at home sleeping, with my husband on duty that I did something wild and crazy. I went to the pub (where I ordered a non alcoholic drink) and stayed there for a WHOLE 45 minutes extra (after clearing it with my husband because I wanted to be considerate).

I know. I’m out of control. Next step? Rehab. Clearly.

Oh and sadly, just that little jaunt had me feeling tired all the next morning. I have shamed myself. It’s all over.

You know what, though? I was actually happy with that! I had a fantastic time, I had a short but much needed break from looking after the Little Mister (coming off the back of two weeks of him not being so well) and it was fun seeing my friends and talking about things that weren’t all baby, baby, baby (and no I’m not going to break out into a Justin Bieber song). OK, so sometimes we talked about babies. There were three of us mummies and one mummy to be in the group after all 🙂

Then this last Saturday evening, I was driving home from a quick trip to the shops to return some DVDs to the rental shop (yes we still rent DVDs from an actual shop). It got me thinking. What would I have been doing at that time on a Saturday night before I fell pregnant (not much more than a year ago)?

Oh, that’s right. I would have been making/buying myself a terrible dinner consisting of either hot chips, something else that was processed and stuck in the oven or maybe breakfast cereal (the pre-nightclubbing breakfast dinner of champions)! I would have most likely been home alone because my husband was working away a lot at that point (FIFO) and my stereo would have been loud as I sang along to every brand new song I’d had time to listen to, download and sync to my iPod. I would have finished dinner and started trying on every outfit in my wardrobe, just wandering aimlessly from room to room of my house for a few hours until magically, I was looking amazingly dolled up and somehow all the clothes I’d ever owned (we’re talking short skirts, sexy tops and little black dresses) were on my bed. I would shrug my shoulders and think “Oh well, I’ll get to that later”. I’d head out at say 9pm and the night’s events would go as follows:

– Hang out in a seedy pub with my friends

– Declare it too seedy for ladies such as ourselves to be seen in (bahaha)

– Move to another bar where we’d decide it was too quiet

– Have a deep and meaningful discussion/argument over when was too early/late to head to a nightclub

– Dance about in one club and decide the music was too crap

– End up at the nightclub which is named after an exotic bird, but is not really an exotic place but at least the music was alright and the dancefloor was always just full enough and usually I’d run into my brother and his friends or a bunch of other people we knew

– Decide we’d had enough of clubbing when the music turned into crazy rave beats and a headache started setting in

I’d then go home, crawl into bed (after shoving all my clothes that I’ve ever owned onto the floor), pass out and wake up at 10am the next day (which is when I’d do the dishes from my awful dinner and put my clothes away).

I would spend all of Sunday morning lying on the couch watching trashy shows on my DVR and loving every moment of it!

Oh how things change!

Nowadays I spend most of my weekend nights in (not including casual dinners at other peoples’ houses), unless there’s something really really important on like an engagement party or wedding. I whiz about getting ready in a matter of minutes (not dawdling for hours) and find myself dressed in clothes that cover all my stretch marks (which I picked out in my mind HOURS OR DAYS AGO in order to save time). If I’m feeling particularly wild and rebellious I will throw on a necklace and earrings (stuff a baby normally loves to grab and pull). I might even have time to blowdry some volumiser through my hair! Sometimes I can even convince myself that I can still rock a smokey eye or a bit of snazzy eye shadow. Yes, I just used the word “snazzy”. The transformation to dorky parent is almost complete. The only need for multiple outfit changes is if the baby spews on me, dribbles on me or proves that I am likely to have a wardrobe malfunction later (by pulling things apart with his little monkey hands).

I’m usually home long before midnight and as I sneak my sleeping babe (who might have stayed a few hours at his grandparents’ place) to bed, I feel relieved that everything’s fine and in the morning I’ll have enough energy to enjoy him.

This month it’s all going to change. Not entirely by my choice. You see, I’m part of a bridal party for a wedding and where there’s a wedding there’s also a hens night to plan and execute. There are also several planning meetings and related commitments. I am so excited for my beautiful friend and bride to be, as well as honoured to be given such an important and special role in her big day, but this forces my hand. I have to face the fact that at some point this month I am going to have to let someone else look after my little man for a WHOLE NIGHT at a time. I’m going to have to let someone else feed him, change him, bathe him, settle him and know when he needs to nap. I know that all of his grandparents are very capable people (hello – my husband and I are alive and kicking so that proves it right?) but you see, I am a worry wart.

Don’t get me wrong. I have left him in his grandparents’ capable care several times for a while at a time. I don’t mind if other people cuddle, feed or bathe him (and they have – I’ve just always been around). I’ve just never attempted a throwback to my old life since he was born. I’ve never left all that responsibility to someone else completely for 24 hours or so. I know that those who care for the Little Mister will do a great job and even if it’s not the same way I’d do it, he will come out of it alive and happy in the end (even if his sleep is a bit off). It’s more that I worry for his loving, generous babysitters. What if they have a bad time with him because they don’t know him the way I do (all those little tricks that seem specific to his quirky personality)?? I don’t want to just be someone who dumps their grumpy baby with someone and forgets about it for the night. I think I’d feel bad! I also don’t want to leave some kind of mum-zilla like 10 page document with them on how to care for him because, well…that would be insane and insulting!

I’m going to have to relax. Or be sedated. Hmm. Carefree and childfree no longer belong in the same sentence! Child free? Not so care free!

I’m sure I’ll let you know how it all went (perhaps I’ll like it so much I’ll hire a nanny and become a professional party animal who wears skimpy leopard print and stripper shoes all the time) – how my life has turned upside down in the last year!!

What are you worrying about this week? Let it all out – free therapy 🙂