Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Seven "Real Truths" I've Learned as a Mom

Seven "Real Truths" I've Learned as a Mom

At the recent Babytime Show I met enough beautiful babies – and belly bumps – to make my uterus start contracting! Chatting with some of these new moms or moms-to-be got me thinking about my own experiences… There are a million books, magazines, and websites that let you know what to expect when it comes to pregnancy, labour, delivery, and caring for your baby. But somehow I was still unprepared for the “real” reality…

1. You can do all the research, planning and organizing you like – the reality is, your baby didn’t read the Birth Plan so he/she is coming out the way they want and there’s nothing you can do about it!

2. Not everyone glows when pregnant. Some of us were definitely not the thick-maned, dewy skinned goddesses that grace the covers of trendy style magazines. Some of us were just fat and miserable with no ankles and our heads in the toilet. Stick THAT on the cover of your magazine!

3. Labour & delivery hurts. A lot. I expected that. However, no one warned me about the hellish nightmare known as the first “post-partum pee”. Now THAT’S something I could have used a heads-up on…

4. Everybody has an opinion… and odds are whatever it is you’re doing is wrong. Breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping, cry it out vs. snuggle it up… Here’s the real truth - whatever it takes to get you & baby through the day in one piece (more or less) is the right decision for you.

5. When people offer to help, take them up on it! We don’t have to look like we’re on top of everything because – let’s face it – we’re not! Most of us are just barely hanging on during those first few months so if someone wants to offer me a little piece of nirvana in the form of a coffee or a meal that I didn’t have to make (and that I can eat with one hand), then sign me up!

6. Your boobs will never be the same again. Enough said.

7. God made babies and little children look like angels when they’re asleep. I’m pretty sure that was no accident – one little glance at that innocent little face and somehow all of the chaos, turmoil and misery you've endured throughout the day fades away…. Almost!

Come on, ladies – time to spill the beans. What are YOUR “real truths”?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My Not-So-Guilty Little Secret

Get your disapproving head shakes and harsh finger wags ready… I’m going to blow your socks off!

Here it is… My kid watches TV. And I don’t feel guilty about it. Not a bit. In fact, he’s actually watching it right now while I write this. Take that!

I know that many of you reading this right now are patting yourselves on the back and congratulating yourself for never allowing yourself to stoop to the level of the dreaded “electronic babysitter”. To that I say, hey, if my lifestyle makes you feel better about yours, then there’s my good karma for the day…

When my son was a baby I repeatedly tried those Baby Einstein videos in the hopes that he would mindlessly sit and stare at the screen (you know, like every other baby on the planet apparently does!) so I could actually catch my breath. No luck. In fact, he was about two years old before he finally cut me some slack and noticed that weird square box with all the sounds and pictures I kept trying to sit him in front of. I still remember the day he wandered by the TV with a dinky car in each hand and stopped… and stared… and watched.

Instantaneously, Max & Ruby became my heroes and finishing a hot cup of coffee once again became a reality. I couldn’t have cared less that they he wasn’t learning another language, or solving the problem of world peace… heck, I didn’t even care where their parents were (it’s a TV show, people… if you want to get all judgy, how come no one ever cares that Dora’s parents send her off on her own through mountains, jungles and rivers just to get them a gallon of milk??) All I knew was that my wonderful, amazing, beautiful, loving, hyper, high-maintenance, non-sleeping toddler was giving me the 20 minutes I needed to tidy up, start dinner…. even go to the bathroom without company. My paradise had arrived!

Fast forward about five years and my handsome little devil still watches some TV, and has added additional screen time on the computer and his DS to the mix. Have I stunted his intellectual and social well-being and essentially turned him into a screen zombie? Not a chance… He powers through books at top speed, has earned himself a brown belt in taekwondo, loves photography, hiking and “mini sticks”… and is truly the most amazing kid I know.

So let’s all take a deep breath and enjoy the lovely glass houses we all live in. And enjoy the fact that we all love our kids and want the best for them.

And enjoy that hot cup of coffee whenever we can.
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