10 things I thought before I had kids:
1. I shall never shout at my child: Oh you will you know. Actually, it’s more a case of shouting at yourself really, because if you are having to shout at all, chances are that you’ve reached that wonderful stage where the little minions have decided to ignore every single fricken word you say, until you are screaming it at the top of your lungs like a mad woman. And do you know what else? Even THEN, they’ll probably not listen to you.
2. I shall love my child unconditionally always. Yes, indeed. But that doesn’t mean that you have to LIKE them unconditionally or always.
3. I will never have to deal with a tantrum in a shop: Oh yes you will. The 30 seconds of your Minion’s meltdown will feel like an HOUR and even though no one is looking at you, you will feel like the entire shop has stopped specifically to watch your little Hell Demon throw his strop. You will burn a new shade of crimson that you never even considered possible, and you will discover dexterity and wrestling skills that you didn’t know you possessed as you wrangle the wriggler out the door. And yes, you will growl through gritted teeth and swear that you’ll NEVER leave the house again.
4. I will only feed them healthy, nutritious, organic home-cooked meals: For the most part, we all manage this one, most of the time…mostly. But trust me, Freezer Fridays are a thing and Leftovers are a blessing in disguise. I write my weekly meal planner on the fridge most Sundays. At the beginning of the week, it makes me feel like I’m the bestest Mammy ever. By Friday, it reminds me of just how hilarious I can be sometimes.😂 But hey! They get fed don’t they? Most days.
5. I will never be manipulated by a toddler: Yes, yes you will. And even when you are using the bribery and blackmail (that you swore you’d never resort to), you’re still being manipulated by the minion. And this is not reserved for toddlers. Signs of parental manipulation can appear as early as Day 3 of your baby’s life, when they learn that if they make a certain noise, you’ll react. And it never ends. Our kids manipulate us forever… My Daddy loves me most you know. 😉😉
6. I will bath them every night: Ok, some parents DO manage this one. If you are a Daily bathermum, I salute you and am in awe. I NEVER got into this habit. There are 3 reasons that mine get bathed.
A) It’s the weekend
B) They’re so rotten that I have no choice but to wash them if I want to keep up the facade that I have my shit together.
C) In the event of a Poonami or a Pukenado.
7. I will never swear in front of my children: Yeah, good luck with that one. 😂 Try not to swear AT your children. That should be reserved for special occasions, but swear in front of them, you shall. And do you know when you’ll realise it? When they repeat what you’ve said at full volume in front of the WRONG person, you know, like the local priest or the PHN, or the School Principal, or…a Sanctimammy. And sometimes, as mortified as you are, you’ll be slightly proud that they have used the expletive in the correct context.
8.No other child is as special as mine: This one is true. My children are the most special in the world…to me. 💖💖
9.Being a parent can’t be that hard. Everyone does it: hahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahah. Yes, everyone does it. And most of those everyones at SOME point wonder WHY they did!
10. I will never turn into THAT Mammy: Oh my Darling. Yes. Yes you will. Every one of us has an inbuilt ability to be THAT Mammy. You’ll surprise yourself.
I’m sure you could add your own Ladybelles xxx
“And that’s how valleys were made!” says Daddy, utterly proud of himself as he helps Mini-Me into her carseat. He’s just had her looking over one of Donegal’s most beautiful valleys, The Poison Glen.
They’ve stood out, looking and pointing and chatting, with Daddy being ‘the business’, informing her, teaching her, being the Daddy of all knowledge, and her little ears taking it all in. I’ve been in the car with a sleeping Princess who quite frankly couldn’t give a hoot about anything other than when she next gets to eat or sleep.
He straps himself in and starts to drive.
‘Did the Ice-age really happen then?’ she asks, still wide eyed.
‘It did indeed.’ he answers smugly.
‘Oh Millions of years ago.’
I’m enjoying this. It’s nice having someone else answer her questions! It reminds me of when I was her age and my Daddy knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING too. I was in awe of him. (I still am.)
The Him’s enjoying it too. He smiles his handsome smile at me as he stops at a junction. Superdaddy…
‘Millions of years ago Daddy? Really?’ There’s doubt in her voice/
‘Yep. Millions and millions of years ago…’
‘And was it really cold?’
‘It was. So cold that everything was covered in ice!’
(I know what’s coming in the way that only a Mammy can know what’s coming…)
‘So did Granny have to buy you a warmer coat?’
And just like that, his ice bubble was shattered into millions of pieces. It’s amazing how quickly thathandsome smile can be replaced by Grumpy grump!
I turned up the heating. It was suddenly quite chilly in the car…
Mini-Me’s powers of description and interrogation are wonderful. There are departments of Intelligence all over the world who could do with hiring her.
Daddy was driving yesterday as we passed a local school.
“My friend Nancy goes to that school.”
“Very good Darling.”
“She doesn’t go to my school but we’re still best fwends.”
“I wonder if they were in Daddy’s gym the day the school visited.”
“Some of the boys and girls from that school came to visit Daddy’s gym last month. I wonder was your friend there.”
“Are you JOKIN?”
“No. I’m not joking.”
“You mean to tell me that my BEST fwend Nancy came to see your gym and she NEVER told me?”
“Well I don’t know. Maybe she wasn’t there.”
“Was there a girl there with Red hair?”
“There were lots of girls there.”
“But was there a girl with red hair?”
“With reddy Blonde hair?”
“Ehm. I’m not sure.”
“Well it’s more blonde. Was there a girl there with blonde hair?”
“There might have been pet. I don’t…”
“It’s long and wavy and blonde… with red. It’s kind of red but a wee bit blonde.”
“Daddy didn’t notice. There were lots and lots of girls and boys there.”
“But was there a girl there with red hair and GLASSES?”
“Glasses Daddy. You HAVE to have seen the glasses?”
“Daddy didn’t look…”
“They are blue…or mabye green glasses.”
“And they might have Cinderella on the side. Did you see a girl with reddy blonde hair and bluey-green Cinderella glasses in your gym Daddy?”
(Daddy’s eyes are beginning to glaze over…)
“I’m not sure.”
“You HAVE to KNOW Daddy? She was probably wearing a blue jumper.”
Daddy is now speechless. Mammy decides to help…
“Come on now Ted, she was wearing the blue jumper like”.
It’s probably a good job he was driving…
With so many support groups and networks in place for Mums, wouldn’t it be great to see similar initiatives being set up for male parents?
Most Mums agree that the Menfolk would benefit from support groups just as much as Mammies.
Of course they would, but when we live in a society that still thinks Dad is “babysitting” when he spends time with his kids, rather than, you know, “PARENTING”, and where Dads are often dismissed as being lesser parents or not as significant as Mammies, we have a long way to go.
But change will come. And the first signs of it are seeping into society.
I know four Daddies who stay at home with their children while Mum goes out to work. And that’s just off the top of my head. Loads more share parenting duties and responsibilities with their children’s mum. It’s not a new thing.
I am single handedly fighting the “Is Daddy babysitting?” bullshit with my semi-violent responses becoming quite famous around Donegal. It may eventually be a nationwide epidemic that might even cause some bloke in Government to ban the question completely, and punishment for uttering the words will carry a sentence of a full Netflix session of Peppa Pork… or worse, Max and fricken Ruby.
But most fabulous is the rise of the Daddy Blogger. I know and follow a few Daddy Bloggers and am delighted that this rare and wonderful species are speaking out for the Daddy folk and giving the Mammy Bloggers a run for the children’s allowance.
So in order to spread the love and in the hope that maybe some of my 97% female readers might tag or share with their Daddy Bear type, I want to share my top 3 with you. (If you know a Daddy who might enjoy following some really cool Daddy types, tag away and share this with them.)
My Favourite Daddy Bloggers!
The Stented Papa is a must follow for ALL parents. I’ve met this dude. He is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met and his blog has me in stitches laughing frequently.
Daddy Poppins is the hilarious and honest musings of an Irish House Husband. Serious wit here my Lovelies!
Digital Dad is brilliant. Again, funny and so honest, his posts will crack you up!
OMG Family, Life and Food keeps it real and relevant. Love his food posts.
These guys are a breath of fresh air. Get following!
If we can get Dads sharing and reading and recognising and empathising with other Dads, who knows?
Eventually we might live in a society that praises and applauds all the amazing Dads who DO exist, rather than wondering what’s wrong with them for being, you know, Dads?
And yes, there are some useless Dads out there. but remember, there are some useless Mums out there too. Shock fecking horror! I get in trouble every time I say this, but hey! Giving birth doesn’t make you the best parent. Loving the child does, and that includes the parents who love their children from different homes and sometimes from afar.
If you have any Dad bloggers to recommend, please do so in the comments!