10 things I have learnt since becoming a parent 

1. Parenting is something you can never prepare for. 

I had some really good apps and parenting books whilst I was pregnant. They were like my bible. I spent a large percentage of my pregnancy reading about what I needed to do to establish a good sleeping routine (Fucking lol), when to wean, and how to clean a newborn’s bottom with cotton wool and water. At that time, I felt incredibly smug. I had this ‘Mummy thing’ down to a tee. Right? WRONG. Do you want the truth? As I’ve mentioned many times before, these babies do not come with a manual. They aren’t the same as the next. So take it from me, don’t waste your money. Spend it on a pregnancy massage, or a fat takeaway where no one will judge you. Those apps/books haven’t seen the light of day since N popped out. 

2. “I’m tired” will become a frequent phrase on your repertoire 

Now, everyone tells you that you’ll be tired. You think you know how to pull a few all-nighters. What no one tells you, is that you’ll be pulling all nighters forever. My kid must be faulty because he’s two and still rarely sleeps through the night. I’ve been permanently tired since about week 8 of pregnancy. You’d have thought I’d be used to it by now… but I’m really not. It takes everything in my power to not pinch people’s cheeks very hard when they tell me that their little poppet has been sleeping through since birth. Were you aware that there’s a 3am that doesn’t involve alcohol? 

3. Multi-tasking is something that comes very quickly. 

Pre pregnancy Abi was a bit of a clumsy twat. She could barely stand on one leg without falling over, and everything took her about fifty hours to do. Since N has come along, I’m pretty gifted in the art of multi tasking. I can change a nappy blondlfolded whilst texting if needs be. Multi tasking makes my life so much easier and it really does become second nature. 

4. You will take pictures of EVERYTHING. 

Nothing is sacred here. You’ll take photos of vomit, your child’s explosive bowel movements and of various piles of washing that need to be put away. It’s just sort of an initiation into motherhood. I remember saying that I wouldn’t post many photos of N on social media… look how that turned out. Pictures of your child are like crack to parents (not in a weird way). I can spend hours flicking through the thousands of pictures of N on my phone and in my albums. I’m also that really annoying mum that likes to thrust my phone into people’s faces like “Look! N pretended to use a shoe as a phone today, isn’t he precious??????”  

5. You’ll want to bottle the pride that you feel. 

Every day, N does something that makes my heart literally want to burst out of my chest. For example, instead of waving today, N actually said “bye!” for the first time ever. Not a big thing to your average Joe… but I wanted to run around my street screaming and fist pumping the air like an absolute wanker telling everyone that my baby is just SO CLEVER, like he was the first child on planet earth to ever say bye! My friends without children are sympathetic to my little pride outbursts, but they won’t really get it until they have their own. 

6. You’ll develop a love/hate relationship with CBeebies. 

My relationship with CBeebies has been known to be slightly rocky. As much as it keeps N entertained whilst I shower, clean (scroll through Facebook, try and take a quick ten minute nap) and tidy up, it can involve a huge stand off with your two year old when you want to watch grown up programmes like; everybody loves Raymond, Jeremy Kyle, Dance moms etc. N has become so conditioned to CBeebies that he’ll thrust the remote into my face and demand “beebies!” Until he’s blue in the face… he goes fucking nuts when the bed time song comes on. At such crucial times, you put Tiny Pop on and hope for the best. I’ve have been slightly criticised for letting N be babysat by CBeebies sometimes whilst I’m busy (trying to drink my tea when it’s actually bloody hot)… but fuck it. I’m not sure why I should be apologising for letting him watch programmes that were created for his age group. So fuck the haters, CBeebies is great. 

7. Being a parent makes you a better person. 

I’ve become so much more sympathetic, emphatic and more aware of other people’s feelings and emotions since becoming a Mum. For me, it’s made me want to go more out of my way to help others. On the flip side, I take much less bull shit. Rather than worrying about losing friends, I’ve realised that they aren’t really friends if they can’t respect my authority and responsibilities as a parent. My main purpose on this earth now is to provide my baby with love, care and happiness and if the people that used to be friends can’t accept that I can’t just go out for a piss up at the drop of a hat… shows what sort of people they are. It’s not an insult, but they will understand when they have children of their own. 

8. The world is a much, much scarier place. 

I’m a bit weird, I’ve always found natural disasters terrifying. So films like the day after tomorrow, 2012 and volcano scared the living shit out of me. Now… EVERYTHING scares the bejesus out of me. When N was first born, I’d convince myself that anything and everything could kill him. Probably a bit of my anxiety and depression surfacing, but things are still as terrifying now. I look to the future to when he’s at school. What I’ll do if he’s bullied at school, groomed on the internet, abducted on a school trip… things that are very unlikely, but not impossible in our society. Sometimes, I just want to wrap him up in cotton wool, and keep him safe from all the bad thats in our world. But if I did that, I’d also be sheltering him from the good. 

9. When your little one inevitably does something dangerous and falls, there is a pretty good chance he didn’t learn from it and will do it again. 

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve told N to stop climbing on his toys, to stop jumping on the sofa, to stop bringing balls up the stairs. “It’ll all end in tears, then you’ll be sorry” I say to him. It does all end in tears, he’s sorry for about 30 seconds, then smugly jumps on the sofa whilst making eye contact for good measure. 

10. Sometimes kids are dicks. It’s okay if you don’t love every second of being a parent.

I’m not age specific here. From newborn to teenagers, children are sometimes just dicks. They push buttons and boundaries thousands of times and sometimes they might scream in your face if you give them the wrong flavour yoghurt. That’s just part of the journey. Rumour has it that a glass (bottle) of wine at the end of the day does help ease the dickishness of a child. As I write this, N is screaming at me because I’m selfishly writing on my phone rather than helping him put his screen on his interactive bike (even though he’s been asking for it on and off all fucking day

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Why I blog…

I’ve been blogging properly for about two years now. I’ve had many positive comments and praise for the writing I do, but I have had a few negative comments recently. Not that I give a flying fuck what these fools think, and I don’t need to justify myself to anyone, but here are just a few reasons why I do, what I do. 

1. I find it therapeutic – writing about my life experiences calms me. I’m able to express myself in a way that I can’t speak. If you know me personally, I suffer from what some call foot in mouth disease. Not an actual disease that can be spread, but basically my mouth has tendancies to run away with itself before my brain engages itself to filter out any inappropriate speeches. When I write, I have time to think about what it is that I want to convey, without (always) coming across as a massive bellend. 

2. I want to show you all the REAL side of motherhood – I am not above showing you everything in my life. The good, the bad and the ugly. I promised you all the raw emotion that one feels when you haven’t slept in weeks because of fucking sleep regressions, I promised to show you the real me. The real me is not filtered Instagram posts where I’m #blessed. I mean I am blessed, but there are some points of motherhood that I don’t feel blessed, I feel #cursed instead. And that’s not a crime. 

3. I’m actually pretty intelligent – not me tooting my own horn, at all. A lot of people assume that because I have bleach blonde hair, and don’t talk like I’ve got a stick shoved up my arse, that I possess an IQ of a donkey. I’ll have you know, that actually, I’m quite logical. I know a lot about particular things, and I’ll happily tell you if I don’t. I’m always keen to learn. I can’t tell you how many people have read previous blog posts and said, and I quote; “wow, Abi. I didn’t realise that you knew so many different words.” Pardon? I have an A-level in English, actually. So there *sticks middle finger up, and tongue out* 

4. I get lonely – writing allows me to kill some time whilst CBeebies plays on loop in the Tepid Tea Household. It allows me to keep going until nap time, and I can kill time anywhere. In the bath, whilst watching mr maker for the 50th time this week, whilst Daddy is watching YouTube videos. The list is endless. 

5. Because vlogging freaks me out – I don’t have a very good camera voice. In fact, I sound like a man in drag. I never really have any makeup on so I just look like a man that’s been dragged through a hedge backwards. I don’t have very good camera etiquette either, I’d probably freeze and ramble on about the same shit. (Much what I’m doing here) 

6. It’s a personal thing – which sounds really strange, because I’m sharing this with the entire planet. But I like to look back and see where I was, at a particular time. I like to look back and laugh or cry at what happened on that day. It’s something that will always be accessible to myself, and to others that just need to know that they aren’t alone. 

7. I feel that I can help – I have actually received some heart warming and emotional messages from a few people that make my blogging really worthwhile. Because, I don’t see the point in sugar coating it. I mean, you can’t polish the turd that can sometimes be mum life. Your kid doesn’t sleep either? You hate being pregnant? You’re fed up of cleaning up baby sick and shit? Me too. Join the fucking club. I’ve always got my arms open wide to those that need a chat and a hug. 

And there you have it, even though I don’t need to justify myself to you or anyone, I have. I love what I do, and this solidifies why I do it. Don’t let anyone tell you not to do something (unless it’s drugs or something along those lines👀 Drugs aren’t cool.) 


Toddlerhood

So, we’re finally here. It’s N’s second birthday on Saturday. I’m not entirely sure how this has happened. I am savvy enough to understand the concept of time, don’t worry. But I am completely gobsmacked that I seemed to have just blinked and my tiny, red faced little newborn is now a wild, lively and very headstrong toddler. 

The other day, I had to bite back the tears as I threw the last of N’s baby bottles away. It was his decision, he didn’t want them any more, and as amazing as that is… it broke my heart a bit more than it should have. Aside from the dummy and nappies, my baby has grown into a proper little boy. (I’ll write a separate post on the dummy in time, because I cannot be doing with the backlash I’ll undoubtedly recieve for still allowing him to have one.) 

I write an awful lot on the stressful, horrible parts of motherhood, but I really do think that it’s because I was in a very bad place. For those of you that have been following my journey for some time, you’ll have seen that I’ve had a pretty hideous bout of post natal depression. I’ve been on my medication for just over a month now and I’m so pleased to tell you that I have actually been feeling a lot more like myself recently. Which is fabulous. I’m not as stressed, and I haven’t cried in weeks. I’ve found myself becoming a lot more positive about life. I’m not sure if it’s a placebo effect, but either way, I’m feeling pretty good. (I still have shitty days, but I know that’s normal.) 

With all of these positive feelings surrounding me, I’ve been loving spending time with N. usually by the afternoon, I’m about ready to stick my head in the oven. Which is actually really sad. The last few weeks, N has been an absolute joy to spend time with. He’s like my little shadow, in a good way. He can still throw some mammoth bitch fits, that’s for sure. But instead of getting stressed about it, I’ll laugh to myself and deal with it. He’s his mother’s son, alright! 

But do you know what’s just so brilliant about having a toddler? That kid loves me so much, I can just see it in his face. I’ll leave the room for a few minutes, come back and he’ll greet me with a “MUMMY!” and a massive slobbery kiss. I’ve never been someone’s life before, but it’s actually really nice to be wanted so much. I am totally embracing all of the love and cuddles and dribbly kisses that he has to offer, because before I know it, I’ll be writing to tell you all that he’ll be going to school; making friends and going on play dates without me. He’ll be too embarrassed to tell me that he loves me and give me cuddles and kisses in front of his pals. 

I think back and wonder how long N has loved me like this, I wonder if this is all that he’s ever wanted from me, but I’ve been too busy taking out my issues on him. I then get a truck load of mum guilt and instantly want to go and pick him up and tell him I’m sorry that I’ve been a bit shit recently and that I love him more than it’s possible to love anything else. 

Because I do. That kid is my life. I might have been pestering Daddy for another baby… but we all know that I’m not doing that for another few years yet! 

Just checking in…

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on the writing front. 
Things have been a little bit strained over here in the Tepid Tea House. It’s not been the greatest of starts to 2017, but we are rolling with the punches. 

To be honest, I’ve had so many feelings and things to write about, but frankly haven’t had the heart to put how I’m feeling into words. I’ve almost lost how to make light of a very rainy month in my life. 

You’ll all be glad to know that I’ve finally accepted some medical help for my anxiety/depression. I’ve started some anti-depressants that I was once so against for personal reasons but feel that this may be the right path for me to take on my road to recovery. They have some strange side effects and I’m riding them out to some degree until they finally start to help how I’m feeling. The good thing is that I’m talking more about my feelings instead of bottling them up, which is something we should all do. 

On a lighter note, N is doing great. I’ve lined and it’s now two weeks until he turns two whole years old. He’s talking a lot more, and is so full of love and life. I used to almost dread my days off with him but since I’ve had him to myself for 4 days straight, I’ve completely fallen in love with him all over again, tantrums and all. I can’t wait for spring to come when we can go on some proper adventures in our wellies, and get ice cream together. 

A couple of months ago, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’ve realised that N is that light. He’s taken my hand and he’s pulling me through this very long and dark tunnel and I know that he and his Daddy will pull me through to the very end, where there’ll be sunshine and rainbows and I can have a cup of tea and be happy once more. That’s what I’m hoping, at least. 

Since it’s #timetotalk week, I think it’s really important to be honest with you all, and to be honest with myself. I’m fed up of not being okay anymore. I have to accept that this road may be very lonely and long, but to remind myself that there will be others who are taking the same road, and others that will take our hands and pull us through to the other side. Depression tries to segregate us from anything and everything, so my only advice to those that love someone like me, who is a little bit faulty in the brain department, to take them, hold them, and tell them that everything is okay. A hug can do the world of good. And be patient. Patience is key. 

It’s here that I must once again thank you all once more. Thank you for reading, thank you for your kind words, and thank you for just being there. You all make my world a little less grey and monochrome. I’d love to be able to write again in a few months and tell you that I’ve found that light, and that there’s sunshine and rainbows at the end of the tunnel… so we’ll see.