The parenting A-Z challenge is just that — and A to Z of all things parenthood. I know some of mine are a little tenuous but.. It’s harder than it looks, I didn’t anticipate struggling on so many letters!
Tagged by Typical Mummy, thank you Ella!
A for Accidents. They happen, and while you torture yourself for months afterward because your baby has started to head butt, trip, fall and scratch… The cliche saying ‘accidents do happen’ is something to keep in mind. I remember being devastated one morning when BB was much smaller, because he had scratched himself on the eyebrow during the night very badly. He still has the scar and that creeping guilt still manifests.
B for Bing! Bing is a favourite in our house, and I can’t argue. I hero workshop Flop and his amazing gentle parenting techniques, and I do think Bing is one of the cuter little franchises that BB can indulge in — he has pyjamas and some plushies. One he sleeps with.
C is for Cooking. I love to cook, and for the first few months I did find it hard to manage to do so with a little one around. Now he can raid the pan/pasta drawer and explore some of the kitchen implements it isn’t so bad!
Right now I’m exploring different food textures with him, so giving him bits to test, taste and play with. Bell peppers are a favourite of his — red onion, not so much!
D is for Daredevil. This is one of the most exhausting aspects of parenting a toddler who has no sense of danger, isn’t afraid of anything and has absolutely no sense of self preservation at all. He’s constantly climbing on things, balancing on objects and testing his boundaries. I often joke that he’s going to be the next Levison Wood or Bear Grylls, but honestly? I want to protect him from the world but nurture this sense of curiosity and adventure he seems to have.
E is for Exhaustion. I’m too exhausted to even go into this one, it’s pretty self explanatory!
F is for Forgetting. This ties into E — it’s pretty tough being sleep deprived in charge of a tiny human. If someone tells me to do something on Monday, by Sunday night I’ve forgotten. Ask me what I did at the weekend? Ha! I don’t know!
G is for Gardening. Gardening has been my therapy this year and I love looking after my little green babies with my real baby. He’s pretty good with the plants these days, but it took a little bit of compost eating to get to this point. I find having a garden or outside space that I want to spend time in, makes sunny days that much more special..
H is for Hair. Or, the lack of real effort you get to make anymore. I used to care about my roots and straightened it every day — now I’m lucky if I get chance to put a dye on it. I call it my ‘natural’ look but really, it’s my ‘I don’t have time for this’ look. Having a baby has worked wonders for this former makeup addict too, as I barely wear any now. In recent weeks, I’ve even embraced my natural brows after painting them on for years.
I is for Independence. Not just independence for your new charge, who despite being small and fragile needs to learn the ways of the world (in very tiny, easy to manage chunks!) but as a parent you both lose and gain independence.
You lose the ability to go out by yourself, but, you sometimes feel all by yourself. Alone but not alone, your partner in crime is tiny and inexperienced, so you have to take the reigns and lead.
J is for Judgement. As a parent you get judged all the time for the decisions you make. Don’t be the person who judges everyone negatively, everyone has their own way of parenting and lets face it — we are all in this together. I covered this in one of my Living Arrows posts, where a mum was treated pretty terribly because her son was very snatchy. Don’t be one of those whispering, finger pointy parents. Be a supportive, kind face for the mother who is struggling!
K is for Kindred Spirits. This ties into the previous point really — it’s always worth offering a smile to that mirror image of yourself hustling towards you with dishevelled hair, a screaming toddler and a look of devastation on his or her face. That smile of support can often make or break someone’s mood!
L is for ‘Let it Go‘. No, not the song from Frozen — the mental release of letting something go and not brooding on it. It’s better for you, better for your family unit and better for the day ahead. Whether your partner has drunk that last little bit of milk you left for a morning coffee, or whether the baby kept you up for hours… Let it go, and look for the good in the day ahead. Otherwise, it becomes a long day and you won’t be the fun, open parent your child deserves.
M is for Morning. You’ll be seeing a lot of these — and a lot earlier than you used to. I’ve changed my habits after a year and a half, from being a fully fledged night owl to a proactive morning person.
N is for Next. Before BB arrived, I (being an only child and grandchild) was the apple of my families eye. Now, I’ve moved back in my role and become the ‘next’.. For example, they don’t call to hear how I am any more. It’s BB, then me. I don’t mind a bit either, because he’s the first in my world too, so instead of feeling a bit pushed out like some mums have described I’ve embraced it.. Although it’s completely understandable how mums can feel a little left behind once little ones arrive.
O is for Odd Socks. Socks don’t exist as a pair once you become a parent, that’s one of the first lessons I learned. It’s a fact!
P is for Poo. Poo doesn’t even fluster me anymore, no matter where it might appear. While BB teethes, he gets nappy rash terribly so I try give him as much time without a nappy as I can — that often results in discovering happy little accidents around the house if I’m doing some chores in the same room as BB and giving him a little CBeebies time!
Q is for Quarantine. I’ve learned the importance of keeping distance between my child, and sick people. It spreads like wildfire, my son is some sort of catalyst for germs that means they go from 0-100 in a matter of days, resulting in a very grouchy child… Promptly followed by a period of recovery in which every adult in the household gets something like the bubonic plague rather than the common cold that BB had originally. No recovery period for us either, we have to get on with work or looking after BB and pretend everything is rosy!
R is for Reality. While it’s wonderful to see people on TV bossing parenting, while juggling fifteen clothing empires and a modelling career — don’t be fooled. They have help, and access to funds you might not have. You are doing brilliantly by doing what you can!
S is for Singing. I hate myself singing, but I’m happy to but out a rendition of Baby Shark in the middle of Home Bargains or the Friday market if it pleases BB.
T is for Tantrums. I have a 15 month old and already he knows how to put me to shame in the tantrum department. I’m talking screaming, rolling on the floor and wrenching kind of tantrum. He impresses me that he has that much in him even at his tender age, but it equally fills me with terror that he has that much in him at his tender age and we have years to go for him to hone his craft.
U is for Unprepared. Never, ever be unprepared. Pack 24 nappies for an hour trip, with juice, and a teddy bear, and snacks, and a first aid kid, a tent, some sleeping bags, a small heater and a ration pack. You can never be over prepared, but you most definitely can be unprepared.
V is for Variety. Always try and do something new and different, always try and get out and do something otherwise you’ll drive yourself mad. Don’t get yourself in a rut of staying in and watching CBeebies!
W is for Wandering. Get to know your local area a little better and wander — you’ll be surprised how many people pushing prams are doing the same. Whether your goal is the shops, a friends house, a park or just picking a direction make the most of getting out and exploring what your town or city has to offer.
X is for ‘x‘. It’s about the little things — having a baby isn’t just your life changing experience, it’s also your partners. It’s really easy to get swamped down with early mornings and sleepless nights, but make that extra effort to connect with your partner. Even if it’s an extra x on the end of a message, let them know you care!
Y is for You. Baby is priority, baby is important. But so are you. Try spend a little time to yourself sometimes, even if it’s just a bath or a self care routine — it’s really easy to lose your identity when you become a Mum and it’s really good to touch base with your own self every now and again.
Z is for Zombie. All the above culminating into the one title of ‘parenting’ means you’re officially no longer human. Welcome to the zombie hoard, Mum (or Dad!)