The A-Z of Parenting
Let’s face it, parenting isn’t straightforward. There are twists and turns and ups and downs throughout the journey. There are good days and bad days, sleepless nights and restful naptimes, cuddles and tantrums. I’ve tried to sum it all up with the help of the alphabet… how many of these resonate with you?
A – Is for the innumerable Adjectives you will call your baby – cute, adorable, chubby, darling… It will be directly proportional to C.
B – Breastfeeding. A large part of what you will be doing for the first few months of your baby’s life.
C – Is for the constant Cuddles you will bestow upon your baby/ toddler (while calling him/ her one of the adjectives I mentioned in point A).
C is also for Calpol, which, as a Health Visitor once told me, will be a constant in your child’s life for the next six years. Fever, teething pain, general pain, anything really, requires a dose of Calpol.
D – Signifies Death of sleep, privacy (your toddler WILL watch you pee, crap, bathe, change…), intimate moments, late nights partying, late lie-ins on the weekend, pretty much the death of your life before your baby!
E – Is for Exhaustion. It will become a permanent state of being for you. You will go to bed tired, wake up tired and remain tired for the next five years or so.
F – Fussy Eaters. 99 per cent of toddlers/ young children will refuse the food you give them. Unless its chocolate!
G – Is for Guilt. Momguilt to be specific. Something you will experience at least once every day. Guilty for going back to work. Guilty for not going back to work and not pooling in the finances. Guilty for letting toddler see TV all afternoon so you can rest. Guilty for feeding him cheerios for lunch because you were too tired to make a meal. Guilt. For never being perfect and not being able to do it all.
H – Is for Hormones that will be running wild after you give birth, while you breastfeed and pretty much all the time you’re being a mother.
I – Independence. Ha! Forget it. You and your entire existence now depends on / revolves around baby/ toddler. You cannot just leave the house to go shopping. You need to time it according to your baby’s naptime/ lunchtime/ non-fussy time. You can’t just grab your purse and go. You need to pack an entire nappy bag with snacks and drinks and nappies and a change of clothes and more snacks and toys and wetwipes and some more snacks (toddlers love to munch!).
Life is all about your kids now
J – Jealousy. When you see other women strutting around in their high heels and summer dresses and oh that awesome handbag, with shopping bags in their hand, while you stroll around in practical jeans and flat sneakers and a huge nappy bag! Shopping for snacks and wetwipes.
(But the jealousy soon vanishes when your baby flashes you with a cute-as-ever toothless smile or your toddler hugs you and says ‘I love you mummy’)
K – Is for the countless Kisses you will give your baby all day (and sometimes most of the night too). And you won’t even realise you’re doing it.
L – Love. Like you’ve never felt before. Unconditional. Growing more each day.
M – Memories. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital? And we’re already celebrating his third birthday!
N – Nappies. A constant in your life/ house/ nappy bag/ purse for the first two to three years of your baby’s life.
O – Onesies. What your baby will practically live in for the first nine months. You will possess many and will even get emotionally attached to at least one, which you will never throw or give away.
P – Potty Training. That all-important step that mums dread and look forward to at the same time. The transition from toddler to Big Boy. Bye bye nappies!
P is also for Patience – you will need LOTS and LOTS of it. Feeding your baby his first solids; waiting for your toddler to put on his own socks, potty-training, repeating yourself over and over and over again… parenting requires oodles of patience.
Q – Is for the Questions you will be bombarded with once your toddler really starts talking. Interesting ones like ‘Why is the sky blue and not bright pink?’; baffling ones like ‘What is cement made of?’; weird ones like ‘Why can’t I have a playdate with Peppa Pig?’ and embarrassing ones like ‘How was I born, mummy?’.
R – Is for Routine and Repetition. You will follow a routine that will revolve around your little one. When to feed him, what time to put him for a nap. And your life will feel very, very repetitive. You will do the same thing at the same time everyday. Until a new routine develops.
S – Sleepless nights. Something ALL parents have been through/ will go through!
S is also for Sex. Or the lack of it!
T- Tantrums. I won’t say more.
And Toys. Your house will soon be full of them.
U – Is for Underestimating yourself (as a mother) and your toddler. You will often think you are failing your child, or not doing your best, but know that what you are doing is the best you can. You are a Supermom.
And your little walking talking toddler isn’t as innocent as you think he is. He is curious, wants to experiment and figure out the world so will stop at nothing. Don’t assume he won’t dash across the road or won’t climb on that table or won’t put that piece of lego in his mouth. He will. Never underestimate his skills.
V – Vaccinations. There will be frequent visits to the doctor in the first three months for the dreaded but all-important pokes. These will continue in the early years of your child’s life, though won’t be as frequent. But will be as dreaded.
W – Is for Wheels on the Bus. The official toddler anthem.
X – Is for X-citement! You will have to fake it often, like when you see a Fire Engine and hear it go Nino Nino. Or when you go to meet Santa. Sometimes, however, you will experience genuine excitement like when your baby takes his first steps or says ‘mama’ for the first time.
Y – Is for your YoYo-ing emotions (due to sleep-deprivation, exhaustion, hormones). One minute you’ll be happy, the other snappy. You will laugh, cry, love and want to pull your hair out all in one day. Or one hour.
Z – zzzzzz. More sleep. Sound sleep. Uninterrupted sleep. What all parents want.
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