Dummies, TV and McDonald’s are all things the Husband and I told each other we wouldn’t give our young children.
Ironically these three things are probably commodities I would hate to live without, well maybe not the Maccas.
But I’m sure I’m not alone in this respect, I bet most parents (before they have kids) had ideas about what they should and shouldn’t give their children.
It sounds great in theory, but once you’re living (the dream – ha ha) then these ideals often go out the window, or are ceremoniously thrown out.
Dummies, or as other countries call them, pacifiers, are what I like to call ‘sanity savers’.
With No.1 I was determined not to give her a dummy because I (as someone who wasn’t a mother yet) thought they weren’t necessary. But she was in constant reflux agony and the sucking reflex helped, so I bought her some.
However, she was just six months old when the scaremongering got to me and I was convinced by some friends and family (and those stupid mothering books) that having a dummy would just lead to problems.
So I took it off her. Oh the heartache and crying, we were both in tears for days. But my sneaky sneaky, clever girl found her fingers and started sucking them and has done so ever since.
And herein lies the dilemma, you can take away a dummy but not children’s fingers. In saying that, sucking fingers doesn’t worry me, it’s the nail chewing that does. But that’s another story.
Needless to say I took dummies to the hospital when I had No.2 (much to the old annoying midwives disgust) and in fact he still has them when he sleeps.
(Here are my three gorgeous boys – note No.2 with dummy, he is about 2 and a half here )
Tsk Tsk I hear all you non-dummy mummies say. Funny though, most of the mums that I know with three or more kids have them. Why? THEY ARE SANITY SAVERS.
Speaking of ways to stop insanity, the beloved television. I remember spouting to anyone that would listen that when children watched TV it was like they were looking at a strobe light (ahh the good old days).
So it was not on at all unless it was Baby Einstein, eg slow, boring and ‘educational’. This changed once No.2 came along, TV started to become a little bit of a help for me.
Once No.3 was born TV became my second BFF, and even now if I want some peace and quiet to work or just to calm everyone down I flick on the telly.
And go on, judge me all you like you non-telly mummies. I admire your strength and courage but I wonder what happens when they get older and because they haven’t had it, they crave it.
That brings me to my third point. I can almost hear my pre-mum self saying, ‘there is no way I’ll ever give my children fast food or chippies, especially NOT McDonald’s’.
It just so happens that my children do eat it occasionally as a treat, or when I really need them to do something, usually let mummy work. And you know what, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, feel guilty or apologise for it, and neither should any mum.
We do what we have to do to get by. And while it’s not really want we thought would happen I think as long as there’s a happy medium it’s not the end of the world.
But I’m sure there’s lots of non-dummy, smelly-telly, macca-hater mums out there feeling very righteous. However, just remember until you have walked a day, or a week, in someone else’s shoes, it’s actually not fair to judge other mums, they are probably just trying to keep their heads above the water.
And as a mum that is what I’ve come to realise. We all do things differently and the sooner we can accept it the better. I know my way of thinking has changed dramatically since becoming a mother of three.
But perhaps it’s for the better, and maybe I’ve got three gorgeous, chip, Tom and Jerry, and dummy-loving children for a reason – to make me more understanding and accepting of others.
Just a thought.