A – Z of Mammyhood
There aren’t enough letters in the alphabet for the crap we need to know to parent.
A – AIM. Think of the Aims you have for the perfect rearing of your little cherub, and then lower them. considerably.
B – BABIES – Babies are class. Little chubby, fuzzy cherubs of talcy snuggles. They’re wee love bombs. And the fact that you can suddenly love this little person to infinity having only just set eyes on them, is phenomenal. And then when they arrive, we wonder if they’ll ever do anything other than sleep, eat and poo. Yup. That’s it. Boring little buggers really. But just wait and enjoy this stage, because you’ll soon have the smiles. And the smiles are fab… and then begins the EVERYTHING ELSE and you’ll soon be wishing that they were tiny and boring again.
C – C-SECTION – Not the easy way out that so many Sanctimammies like to paint it. Sections are adding fullblown surgery to the birth of your baby. You can read what I really think about that here.
D – DADDIES – Daddies are great. Now granted, many will disagree with me on this. And each circumstance is different. But many Daddies are just as excited and wonderful and hands on as Mammies. They don’t carry the baby. They don’t give birth. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAAAAAND! But Mammy, guess what? THAT’S NOT THEIR FAULT. If they are with you and willing to do what they should be doing, let them. And don’t let people refer to them as “babysitting”. Do YOU babysit your kids? No? Well why would Dad? They’re his kids too. (And if you and Dad, for whatever reason, aren’t together and hate each other, just remember that the kids are still his kids and that he still has a right to be their Dad.) And if you ARE together and very happy, just remember that wanting to kill him in the middle of the night because he doesn’t hear the babylink again, is perfectly acceptable.
E – EVERYONE – Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has advice for you. Everyone has their way of doing things. But remember, opinions are not facts. And everyone else can sometimes piss off. Go with your gut. Do what’s right for YOU and your family. And forget about EVERYONE else. If they’re not within your four walls, feck them.
F – FEEDING – Ooooooh… Is she going to go there? Eh yes. I am. I have already. I’m clear about this. You feed YOUR baby HOWEVER THE HELL YOU WANT! Breastfeeding is of course wonderful and natural, but it isn’t for everyone. And if, for whatever reason, you can’t (or don’t want to) breastfeed, that IS YOUR BUSINESS and no one else’s. And before anyone starts lecturing me on this, let me save your energy and tell you that once again, YOUR opinion is none of my business, so take it somewhere else. As long as Baby is getting fed, that is all that really matters.
G – GRANDPARENTS – Grandparents are WICKED. If your kids are lucky enough to be able to spend time with Grandparents, let them. But let me give you the heads up. Your children’s behaviour with you, and your children’s behaviour with Granny or Granda are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Usually, they turn into starved, unloved, neglected and abused little feckers the second a Grandparent is within sniffing distance. But that’s not Granny’s fault. It’s nature. It’s just not written in the baby books, but trust me. It’s like a baby law or something… They all know it and they all abide by it. Until they’re approximately 37 years old I’m told!
H – HOUSEWORK – Yeah. Who has time for that craic? Your house will forever more amen be clattered with crap. Yes, we should try to keep it clean. Yes, finding a routine that works for you is great. (Mine is my Thursday night blitz. Works for me!) But no, your house will never again be the picture perfect show home that it might once have been. Think of the dirt and smudges and handprints as your “layer of love”. I’m not saying to let your home fall apart, but bring your standards down a bit and life will become easier. No one cares if your skirting boards haven’t been dusted since 2014.
I – IGNORED – You shall be ignored. You shall feel ignored. Children love to ignore their parents. Again, this usually lasts until they’re about 25 when they realise that ACTUALLY, you were right about most things.
J – JUMBO KNICKERS – Oh the JOY of the jumbo knickers. Those of you who are packing hospital bags and reading the shitlists of what you NEED to bring, should know that where it says “Disposable underwear”, it SHOULD say “BUY THE BIGGEST BLACKEST CHEAPEST KNICKERS YOU CAN FIND AND DUMP THEM AS YOU CHANGE THEM”. Your ladybits have been through enough Mammy. Paper knickers are pushing it.
K – KICKS – Aaaaaaah the kicks. What all pregnant Mammies long for and enjoy. The cause of excitement and smiles. The cause of heartburn and rib pain! But ultimately, how our little bean communicates with us in our bellies. Don’t worry however, these kicks don’t end after pregnancy. NOOOO! They continue well into their childhood. Don’t believe me, try changing the nappy of a wobbler who is throwing a wobbler. And tell me how much you miss those kicks after spending a night with a 3 year old in your bed.
L – LIQUID POO – Self explanatory really. My technical term for this is POONAMI. As the name suggests, this poo comes in a tidal wave which destroys everything in its reach. Nothing can be saved. Vests, socks, clothes… most shall be dumped. Don’t even try to salvage them. And liquid poos are the slimiest, stinkiest and most sudden of them all. The disguise themselves as farts and can swamp an entire car seat in .46 seconds. Sometimes, it takes many grown ups to deal with the aftermath of a poonami. Enjoy!
M – MAM-ME TIME – The most underestimated necessity of the Mammy. Sometimes referred to as Selfishness or Terrible by the Sanctimammious of society. Ignore them. Mam-me time is vital and can be acquired easier than you think. In a world where let’s face it, we can’t pee on our own for approximately 6 years, we soon learn the importance of getting some time to ourselves. It can be a simple chat on the phone when the kids are in bed. Go for a walk. Go to Aldi on your own. Make time for a yoga or gym class, or just get up an hour earlier than the kids to enjoy that cuppa or read or stretch. Sometimes however, more dramatic Mam-me time is required… a spa trip. An evening out. The Cinema. That hen party you’ve been invited on that you couldn’t POSSIBLY go on. An overnight date night. Whatever it is, take it. You can’t pour from an empty cup Mammy. And you get no medals for trying.
N – NAPPIES – sometimes do not do what they say on the tin. Babies like to wait for a nice clean on before they work their poonami. Also, you NEVER have enough in the house and you should NEVER leave the house without at least 2 in your bag or boot.
O – Oh no you did not... – You did not just eat a cold fishfinger off the plate you are scraping. You did not say “Stop licking the fridge.” You did not just sing the theme tune of Peter Rabbit in the shower. You did not just say “Good boy” to your husband as he handed you the remote. If you want to read more things that you WILL do, here ya go!
P – POO – Big, small, sheepballs, slimy, black, green, gray, brown, sneaky, silent, violent, sticky, honking… sniff that bum. Not sure? Swipe your finger in… Yup. Poo in the nappy. Poo in the bath. Poo on the floor. Conversations about poo. “Good nappies” Being a parent = poo! Lot of it!
Q – QUIET – The quiet and calm that descend on a home as the last child drifts off to sleep is like nothing else on earth. Busy homes and noisy homes. And noise is fab, but you’ll learn to appreciate quiet on a whole new level once you have babies. Enjoy it however, because once they hit the twoublemaker years, quiet becomes suspicious. If they’re not asleep and they’re quiet, be afraid, be very afraid!
R – READING – Nursery rhymes, songs, stories. Get used to them and get your children used to them. Rhymes are everywhere. They go from being soothing and fun to being really quite useful with toddlers. “Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere?” (works 78% of the time!) Read to your babies. And yes, that’s the English teacher in me coming out, but I’m right. Make a bedtime story part of your daily routine from day dot. And you should read too. Not just internet forums and blogs, try something grown up and funny. Even a few pages a day helps.
S – SEX – Yes so that’s what got you here in the first place, but it doesn’t go away. We all have different ways of viewing sex. For some, they never want to think about it again. For others, they can’t wait to get back to business. It’s personal. If you’ve had a section, or a particularly traumatic birth, you might need to wait a while before getting back on the job. And it is new. It’s like the first time all over again, because things down there have changed and you might not be in as much control as you used to be of your body parts. But take your time. The first few times after birth, you might feel like you’ll never get back to the way it was. You will. It just takes time.
T – TEETHING – Labour is not the ultimate hell on earth. Teething is. It starts as early as 8 weeks and continues until feck knows when. I have a Princess who is cutting all four eye teeth at once… Try everything. Herbal remedies, gels, frozen teethers, chew toys, cold face cloths… It’s a bitch. But it is a phase and it WILL end.
U – U-turns – Be prepared. You think you’re going one way, you’re not. You are determined to do something, you don’t. “I will only feed my children organic food” becomes “Who wants waffles and fishfingers? “My child shall never have sugar” becomes “JUST GIVE HER THE FUCKING SMARTIES” “I could never leave my child for a night” becomes “Can you keep her for two?” You might have great intentions and if you can stick to them, good for you, but most of us end up doing massive U-Turns and making no apologies for them!
V – VIOLENCE – in many forms. 1. Violent mood swings. One minute, you’re beaming with joy, then a pampers ad has you in hysterics. 2. Violent thoughts as your partner snores beside you as you feed or burp for the 46th time that night. 3. Violent protection – the reaction in you when you think that someone has hurt or upset your child. It’s OK for YOU to scold and shout at them, but someone else does it, and you turn into a Lioness and are planning their slow and painful demise.
Also for VAGINAS – The most magical things in the world. Like Mammies, they can be stretched to the limit and yet spring back practically unscathed.
V is also for VASECTOMY, funnily enough…
W – WASHING – Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favour. Actually, the odds are that you shall never again see the bottom of your laundry basket. And you WILL wonder if there are 7 invisible people living in your house that you haven’t met. And you will find things in piles that you forgot you had. And you will wonder if you spend more time with your washing machine than with your partner. (The answer is possibly yes!) And yet, aren’t we #soblessed to have messy litte rascals to wash for?
W is also for Wine.
X – XXX. Babies also bring an endless supply of kisses. From the slabbery ones, to the snottery ones, to the stolen ones. And kisses and hugs and all internet love that I can send to you, one Mammy to another. Because you ARE wonderful. And you ARE doing a great job. If you’re worried about being a good Mammy, you already are one.
Y – YOU. Don’t lose you. It’s easy for me to write that with my baby now 2 and a half. But seriously. You are Mammy, but you are still you. You still have your needs and you still have your skills. And even if you aren’t able to look after them or use them right now, because you are doing the most important job in the world, you must keep them in sight as you will use them again soon. So keep up the hobby. Go back to the art class. Keep writing or making or baking or singing. Whatever it is that makes you you, show your babies and let them see you doing it.
Z – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZS – SLEEP – The Holy fecking grail. For some it is fine. For others it seems to disappear for 7 years. There is no secret or answer. And I have NO idea about it. But I can tell you that a bedtime routine from the start helps. And I must also share with you the poewr of CBeebies. Since Mini-Me was a few weeks old, CBeebies bedtime hour was on in the background. Iggle Piggle and his multicoloured pals sing and dance and then there is a bedtime story and a nice lullaby, before the screen goes blue. To this day, it is how my girls know that it is bedtime. Supper, Jammies, storybook, teeth, bed. Sometimes it works, other times, it doesn’t. Bathtime before bed doesn’t work for me. (They get too wired up.) We also had a side of the bed system. Whoever slept beside the door was on Baby duty during the night. It did help, because we both got some sleep, some nights.
So there! Chripes that was longer than I’d planned, but considering that I could write (and have probably written) posts on all of the above already, I’ve done well I think to keep it to this length!
Have a great weekend!