Friday, 8 June 2018

The realms of parenthood

When you have a baby people always say 'it will get easier'. It does, in some ways, but rather than getting easier and returning to 'normal', your life continues to change. Some things you leave behind, and somethings you gain. Its almost as if you pass through various 'realms'.

This is how I would categorise the various realms of parenthood I have passed through so far. Which Realm are you?

The Newborn Realm

Your life revolves around 3 hour feeds and nappy changes. You fantasise about getting a full night’s sleep. You always drink cold tea. You eat with one hand. You do three loads of washing a day. Usually it’s just the same load, three times. You always think you can smell sick. You don’t want your husband to touch you ever again. You don’t understand how something so small can dominate your life. You look at Facebook pictures of people going out and wonder if that will ever be you again. Weekends mean nothing, except an extra pair of hands, and someone to argue with about who is more tired.

The Baby Realm

Your life still revolves around feeding and sleeping. Nap times rule the world… literally. Every single day is strategically planned around nap times. Your change bag is packed to the brim with Organix snacks, pouches of puree’d fruit, and Lamaze toys! In public you appear to have your shit together. At home your husband wonders if you ever wear anything other than your dressing gown. You go to baby groups and politely chat about milestones, sleep routines and weaning. You then come home and stress about milestones, sleep routines and weaning. All because someone else said they read a proper book, and you didn’t read any books, and their baby has hit more milestones, and is sleeping ALL night, and now you feel like you failed. Your weekends revolve around who gets the lie in, and who cleans the bathroom.

The Toddler/Pre-school Realm

Your world is still dominated by naps but you have a little longer in between so can actually manage a few hours away from your living room! Tantrums are a daily event. You now understand the term ‘food bribery’. Your cupboards are full of multi-coloured plastic EVERYTHING. You can no longer go out for coffee with your friends because they are mobile. Play dates are the new baby groups. You gather in each others houses trying to have a conversation while your children fight over toys. It’s carnage, but it’s company. Life is exhausting but daytime naps are a little piece of heaven. Your weekends revolve around who gets the lie in, and who gets the child free trip to Sainsbury’s.

The school Realm

You think your life will now get easier. It doesn’t. The school day is SO much shorter than you remember. On induction day you nod along to the School Association speaker and tell yourself you will be ALL over that. You never join. You spend your Sunday nights ironing school uniform. You spend your evenings making packed lunches and promising yourself you will remember to read their book tomorrow. They bring home a lot of letters. They always need to take something into school. On one day they need PE kit, a pound for non uniform day, a home made cake, and a picture of their pet. You forget them all. They tell you they have homework the day it needs handing in. They always make a junk model. You have no idea what the toilet roll sellotaped to the cereal box is, but it is more than your life’s worth to get rid of it. Your weekends revolve around swimming lessons, gymnastics competitions, football practise and kids parties (and who gets the lie in!!).

The Teenage Realm

...tbc  😉

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