18 April 2013

If I knew then what I know now - I'd change nothing

Perfection
Lordy me but the glossary of terms for new parents needs to be refined.  I read article after article where people are beating themselves up because they didn't understand the basic terminology and judge themselves harshly as a result.

I was one of them.  I have two perfect children aged 1 and 2 and lots of my friends have had babies, so basically, I'm an expert now.  Here is my starting list of misunderstood or poorly marketed phrases which would make life for new parents so much easier if promoted accurately.

Natural or Vaginal birth
It hurts.  A fucking lot.

Caesarean birth
It hurts.  A fucking lot.  But after the drugs wear off and for a couple of weeks.  Basically, those women that do it on a wing and whale music for a couple of days are soft.  Caesareans when you already have a small person or persons basically make you more awesome than Mother Teresa.

Breastfeeding
A way of feeding your baby.  So it like, uh, doesn't starve. A good basis for successful parenting.

Bottle feeding
A way of feeding your baby.  So it like, uh, doesn't starve. A good basis for successful parenting.

Co-sleeping
Any situation where the child has more stamina then you.  Which is basically all the time.  So you co-sleep pacing the corridor, on the couch, at the dining table and occasionally in public places.  Generally, try not to co-sleep while driving.  Hard to explain.

Controlled crying
This is where nothing you do makes the slightest bit of difference and you try only to cry when nobody is watching so that everybody continues to operate under the misapprehension that you're coping okay and that the baby rearing stuff is a breeze for you. Everybody does it - nobody admits to it.  It's like a cult of denial because we're basically all daft.

Supportive partner
Somebody that appreciates for the last nine months you didn't get to do anything that was entirely selfish because if you even looked sideways at soft cheese some eejit in stained crocs from the North Shore was standing out the front of your house yelling 'Child Abuser!!!!' and organising pogroms. Especially supportive partners (the kind that win Father of the Year) are the kind that bring you champagne to accompany your first breast feed and are prepared to punch the midwife in the face should they criticise you.

Weaning
The strict definition is moving a child from its mother's milk onto either a bottle, sippy cup or food. Where this is contentious is that the accepted age for weaning depends on your parental affiliations from the vaguely maternal to the militant earth mother and can happen any time from birth to age 49.  It is generally agreed that most children don't graduate still suckling at their mother's breast so if you have children or grandchildren of your own, you probably have a problem.  Otherwise, tell that pushy bitch at childcare to fuck off.

Health Insurance
A woefully inadequate but simultaneously extortionate amount of money that you pay over to some faceless institution that makes you feel protected until such time as your child actually requires medical attention and then you'll find out that they are too young to qualify for major dental, you can't prove conception date or because they turned up 8 weeks prior to due date, that all your plans to give birth in the same suite as Erica Packer will be null and void because Junior turns up 13 minutes the wrong side of 'the qualifying period'.

Yummy Mummy
All of us.  And anybody that disagrees can, well, go get fucked.

Perfect children
All of them.  Absolutely every single one of them.  Admire their resourcefulness, their stamina and their ability to beat you down into a weeping, apologetic mess.  That's the kind of balls they are going to need to make it in the modern world and you should be encouraging that.

What are the definitions you wish you'd more accurately understood when you embarked upon your parenting journey????