My friend says I’m weird now.
To be fair I think she means I’ve changed and true to my nature I have gone to the other extreme.
I have surprised myself in the process.
When the twins were born I was naïve to say the least. I adored babies but was as knowledgeable about how to look after them as much as I am knowledgeable about the offside rule. So I learnt, I read books and I studied to be a mummy. I found loving them was an innate ability, raising them as babies was challenging but intensely rewarding and now parenting them as little people is unbelievably tough.
Five years on and second time round I am riding the wave a little more. With the three of them hanging from me I find I don’t have time to read parenting books and if I did have time I would rather read a novel.
BB seems to be turning out to be a rather beautiful mesh of what I read first time round and what motherhood taught me.
I am not as strict (sorry twins) as before, if she doesn’t sleep for a two hour nap every lunch time I see the world keeps turning. If she needs feeding in the night then so be it. If she wants a cuddle all day then my arms are willing and able. I seem to have completely abandoned rules on food; twin boy and girl didn’t taste sugar till they were four; BB has cheerios for breakfast.
I once saw people who breast fed past 6 months as oddities; and now he who helped create them worries I will be waiting outside the classroom to give BB her mid morning feed.
I didn’t even know about attachment parenting and now find myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first sling and love nothing more than cuddles in my bed.
I still use a routine; bedtime is seven and naps are fixed. I no longer think I know best when it comes to babies but I know what works for me and my brood.
With BB I appreciate my older two more; to say I was clueless when they arrived I think I did an ok job so far. They eat well and sleep well; use manners sparingly so must be storing for when they are older. They have incredible inquisitive minds which at times drive me batty but I wouldn’t change it for the world (although if toning it down was an option….)
Parenting is a struggle both in your own home and out in the big wide world. I have judged before and am now repentant. Like all careers it takes time and confidence to do it your own way. There are days when it all goes to plan and others when bedtime can’t come quick enough and the pinot calls you from the fridge.
Mums are their worse critics and I for one am declaring that I will do my up most to no longer judge those that choose different ways to me and will accept any form of advice from here on in and I proudly accept the label of weirdo!
Please note advice is particularly needed in the following areas:
How to raise five year olds to not be mad and demented.
How to get five year olds to eat cabbage.
How to wean a baby off cheerios.
How to teach your children to tell the time without shouting like a loon.
How to hold your temper.
And finally, how to get the last word against a five year old.