Remember being a first-time mum? You were hell bent on doing ‘the right thing’ by your child.
Often this meant altering your lifestyle to make sure they drank, ate, slept when they were ‘supposed to’.
I was admit I was one of these mums who would not attend social events, visit friends or join a playdate because I wanted to make sure No.1 slept.
A fat lot of good it did me – my kids are shocking eaters, sleepers.
Things have changed dramatically as I’ve ventured longer into motherhood. I’ve become WAY more relaxed, perhaps in some cases a little to casual to those looking in from the outside.
But it’s a coping mechanism I think, and a bloody good one.
Here’s a few things I have become more relaxed about:
I used to peel, slice or dice an apple before giving to my babies. Now I hand them an entire apple, not only does this keep them amused for longer it also improves their ball handling skills.
If they don’t eat, I don’t care. This is not always true, for example if I know they’re going to get hungry when we’re out and about and it will cost me $25 for a cup of popcorn at Dreamworld I’ll insist they eat before we go.
(hey check out the dude in the background of this photo in his budgie smugglers – so VERY GC)
I used to make sure I was home around sleep times, I very rarely ventured out at night because I didn’t want to break their nighttime routine and I was adamant they had day sleeps.
Now I try and keep them awake if it’s going to help me get some peace when I need it, and if day sleeps happen they do, if not, it means I’ll get to have a wine earlier, I mean get them to bed earlier at night.
The biggest change is the going out at night, I now have no hesitation in going around to a friends for the afternoon/evening and won’t leave until the bubbly runs out or the kids start dragging me out the door, party poopers.
I used to worry at every scrap and bump, now unless it’s bleeding a lot or a bump is more than 3mm high, I just kiss it better instead of stressing out. How much they cry is also a good indicator.
Stubbed toes now are just part of the territory and nothing to get upset about.
In fact falling over, banging their heads on the tiles and tripping over fresh air, can probably be attributed to the fact that they have an unco mum.
Every toy had to be picked up at hourly intervals throughout the day, you know like in public toilets when there is a board saying this bathroom was cleaned at 10,11,12 etc etc. I used to be a little like this and was constantly tidying my house.
Now there’s enough toys on my floor to create an obstacle course for my children, I suppose this also helps their motor skills, but also contributes to the number of falls and trips my children have.
However, it’s the getting up that counts right??
I can go to bed with washing in the basket, dishes in the sink (but not on the bench) and with the lounge strewn with lego.
- Handing over my baby
When I first had No.1 I was VERY reluctant to hand her over for cuddles, especially when she was little, just in case they weren’t as good as holding my baby’s fragile newborn neck as well as they should be.
I also didn’t want their germs all over her. I was also worried when other people looked after my kids, just in case they didn’t do it the way I did.
With No.3 I’ll pass him over to anyone who asks, I’ll them ask if they mind if I duck out to the shops for a bit!
And as for babysitting, as soon as my parents arrive to look after my kids for the night, I’m out the door, literally.
Gone are the hourly phone calls to check on them, and to tell mum to turn their fan up or down.
The biggest change is that I’ve realised there is no right or wrong way to do things.
I no longer have an opinion on what others do with their kids like I did before I had kids, and when I was a newbie mum.
We all do the best we can, and before judging I think it pays to try and put yourselves in someone else’s shoes – just for one day.
And even if that’s not how you’d do it – well tough shit – it’s not your life so butt out!