Yet Another Parenting Blog

The goings on of one more (mostly!) ordinary family

Parenting: a very honest post about expectation vs reality

I haven’t blogged for a while, mostly because I haven’t had much to say. But on Good Friday, a bank holiday in the UK, when I’ve arranged activities for the boys to do on my own with them once again as my husband works, I found myself staring into nothingness whilst standing at the kitchen sink earlier, and my mind wandered. It wandered to that place where I remembered what my expectations were of becoming a parent, before I fell pregnant.

I never looked at pregnancy or having a baby through rose-tinted lenses. I was aware that pregnancy was hard, and growing a small person took a lot from you. However, that didn’t prepare me for the reality of an entire pregnancy of hyperemesis gravidarum. (Which isn’t just severe morning sickness. It’s all day, all night sickness, amongst other things! But that’s for a different discussion!) It also didn’t prepare me for recovery from an emergency c-section, following a traumatic failed induction, caring for my firstborn, a 10lb 8oz hunk of a child, whilst my husband had no paternity leave whatsoever.

That’s where I first went wrong. I’d anticipated a couple of weeks of the three of us, getting familiar with this parenting malarky. Not being thrown in at the deep end, coping, for the most part, alone.

Some other assumptions I’d made, included if I ended up bottle feeding, that I’d not have to do every single goddamn night feed myself. Wrong.

Or maybe, I wouldn’t have to change every single nappy? Wrong. (His sensory issues mean he finds it very difficult…)

I might even get a lie in, perhaps once a week, when husband could get up with the baby instead? Wrong.

Now, I’m not saying my husband isn’t a great father, because he is, and he does the best he can in the ways he knows how, by providing for us all.

Although, this leads me on to my next point.

If someone had told me, before I got pregnant, that I would have to: give up my career, sacrifice my body, never for it to return to anything like what it was before I was pregnant the first time, and also sacrifice my mental health, that I would have to do every single school run myself, go to almost every medical and school appointment myself, I may not have been so desperately broody as I was for so long. Perhaps it was also no surprise that I ended up with postnatal depression.

First child got to the age of 2.5, and had a couple of mornings a week at preschool, and I felt some resemblance of normality return. At 3, he got his 15 free hours a week, and I felt ok again. I had my body back, and I had some time for me, because I wasn’t going to get that time any other way.

Then I fell pregnant again. And you know what? I was hoping that this time around, my husband might have some paternity leave. And if I bottle fed, he’d help out with some night feeds. And he might help with nappy changes. And I might get the odd lie in. Maybe even just once a month.

Nope.

Then our eldest had his ASD diagnosis. Which wasn’t a shock, but I thought knowing that was the case for sure, having it in black and white, would mean perhaps I’d have a few more helping hands every now and again?

You guessed it; I was wrong again.

So, here I am, with youngest at 2.5 years old, doing a couple of mornings a week at preschool. And I am completely unapologetic that I am counting down the days until he starts his 15 hours at preschool once he’s 3, and then school full time after his 4th birthday, because I need some hope that I might be able to recover my body and my mental health.

My expectations of having someone helping out with the parenting duties regularly, cooking a meal once in a while, coming out on family days with us, were completely and utterly wrong.

I don’t have any regrets, because that’s just not how I roll. I know that a decision made was the right one at the time, not to be regretted later. But if someone had told me exactly what my life would be like as a mother, I’m not sure I’d be writing this very blog post today.

Parenting isn’t all roses; it’s not all fun and games. It also doesn’t mean I love my boys any less. But it is REALLY hard. It changes you. Physically. Mentally. It really changes you.

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A hair-dryer kid in a toaster world?!

A friend shared this link to an autism parent’s blog with me, and it really resonated.

I think it’s a great way to explain autism.

Admittedly, I did have a tear in my eye when I read it, but I think it was mostly happiness from more proof about how accepting and forgiving children are of each other, regardless of any differences!

Anyway, I felt it was worth sharing 🙂

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An apology to all those concerned with my children’s oral health

Let me start by saying sorry. Sorry to all dentists, hygienists, speech and language therapists, health visitors, and anyone else concerned with my children’s oral health.

I know all about the best cups to use; free-flowing if they have a lid, or even better, ordinary open-top cups. Water throughout the day. Squash/juice at mealtimes only etc etc.

But my mental health can no longer cope with mopping up spilt drink, after spilt drink, after spilt drink.

Whoever said, “Don’t cry over spilt milk!” clearly didn’t have a two year old and a six year old who frequently knock over cups of milk (or water. Which, incidentally, seems to travel a lot further than milk, although definitely leaves a non-sticky residue. Unlike milk.). The most frustrating instance of this is when you’ve just cleared up one drink, and a second goes flying across the floor in exactly the same place you’ve just cleaned up. I’m not exaggerating when I say not a day goes by without at least one spilt drink.

So, sorry, but these children are having non-spill cups for the foreseeable!

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I’m done!

Do you ever have those days when you just think, “I’m done! I have nothing more to give!”?

I suspect the fact it’s the end of the half term break has a lot to do with how I’m feeling, but I really do feel like I’ve had enough.

This week has been hectic, with a few unexpected bits thrown in. Typical of any half term break, then, really!

And I’m feeling nit-picked and hen-pecked. I load the dishwasher – it’s loaded wrong. I wash and dry the clothes – they don’t smell right/still have creases. I tidy up – it still looks like a pigsty. I prepare meals – yuck/boring.

So, yeah. I’m done!

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Think I have my sh*t together?

gotmyshttogether

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Serendipity

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This tiny little aeroplane came in our eldest son’s Lego advent calendar, and his younger brother took ownership of it, taking it absolutely everywhere with him – even to bed.

Last month, after Saturday club, during a tantrum in the car park, our youngest son dropped it and it broke apart, and one of the blue pieces (not an easy-to-replace piece, either!) travelled so far under a car I couldn’t retrieve it. I wasn’t expecting to ever get it back again, but there was a part of me that was hoping we might just find it there when we returned today.

Today, I pulled up in the car park, and was absolutely delighted – and surprised – when I opened my car door, and by my feet was laying the very piece of Lego we lost a month ago! Slightly worse for wear, but still attaches perfectly to other Lego pieces.

So here it is, against the odds, the tiny Lego plane, once again complete!

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