Thanks to Erin over at Mother of all that is Perry for tagging me in the Parenting Alphabet Challenge. The idea of this challenge is to use all the letters of the alphabet to describe your parenting experience. Here’s my experience of parenting so far:
A IS FOR ADVICE
I really feel like once you become a parent everyone seems to have an opinion on how you should be doing things, and offer their unsolicited advice for every topic you could possibly think of. Some has been helpful and some has really required me to bite my tongue. I am grateful for the support but it can be seriously annoying, soz.
B IS FOR BABY BRAIN
Regardless of what my partner says, baby brain isn’t a myth! If you’re a mom already then you should understand the struggle. And if you’re a mom-to-be, well good luck! As soon as I got pregnant my baby brain started – I’d start talking and forget the point I’m making, go downstairs to get something and immediately forget what I needed and so on… I thought it would stop as soon as I had my baby but oh no, I’m still having memory problems nine months later!
C IS FOR CLASSES
Baby massage, sensory classes, stay and play…there are so many mother and baby classes to go to! I really felt the pressure to go to so many when I had my daughter, then I felt guilty when I didn’t make it. But seriously, why are so many classes scheduled in the morning like we haven’t been up all night with our newborns? Nine months on I go to a sensory class every now and then and really enjoy it now that my daughter can get involved more.
D IS FOR DRAMA QUEEN
This statement probably doesn’t sound very credible considering how young my daughter is, but she is the biggest drama queen I know! That’s a lot coming from me, but she exaggerates so much. I have no idea how she learnt to fake cough to get attention but she can do it! I saw a meme floating about on the internet that says ‘Motherhood is arguing with a smaller cuter version of yourself’ and I think it’s now coming to fruition.
E IS FOR EXPERIMENTAL
As a first-time mom I don’t actually know what I’m doing; some things are maternal instinct and some things are just sheer luck. I’ve had to be experimental numerous times to entertain my daughter or get her to stop crying when the usual techniques don’t work.
F IS FOR FEEDING
When I was pregnant I decided I would breastfeed and that was it, case closed. I didn’t realise how emotional feeding my daughter would make me. After a complicated birth, I didn’t get to offer my daughter a feed straight away and discovered a few hours after her birth that she had a tongue tie. That led to expressing milk then topping up with formula, to having her tongue tie cut TWICE because it had reformed. I went to breastfeeding classes to help with her latch and even asked my GP for Domperidone to increase my supply. After three and a half months of emotional turmoil (there were A LOT of tears) my daughter decided that ‘breastfeeding wasn’t for her’ so we quit. We’ve been formula feeding since then and haven’t looked back. I’m now a firm believer that fed is best.
G IS FOR GUILTY PLEASURES
There are a few children’s programs that I seriously enjoy. My daughter’s favourite programme is Hey Duggee which is so funny. And I’ve taken a liking to Kody Kapow. I honestly think the writer’s cater to us parents rather than the children watching it!
H IS FOR HARD
As natural as I feel it comes to me, being a mom is hard
as f**k! Nothing can prepare you for the reality of being a mom. There are no days off, even when you’re ill and you are on the job 24/7. It can be physically and mentally exhausting, overwhelming and stressful. It is definitely the hardest job I’ve done, and yet I want more kids. Crazy right?
I IS FOR IDENTITY
There have been times since having my daughter where I’ve struggled with my Self Identity As A New Mom because my lifestyle has changed so much. I always put my daughter’s needs before mine and often forget to, or don’t have the time to look after myself. I enjoy taking my daughter to sensory classes and the park but I also miss grown-up stuff like randomly going to the cinema!
J IS FOR JUGGLING
This is literally my life! It’s been so hard trying to find balance, especially in the first few months of being a mom. How are you meant to find time to shower, cook, eat, sleep, do laundry and raise a tiny human? I have the utmost respect for single moms because I don’t know how they manage it! Everything has been put on the back burner as I have prioritised raising Aniyah, and I think I’ve neglected my relationship the most. But now my daughter is becoming more independent and able to entertain herself for longer I’m finally managing to juggle tasks and even managing the odd date night. Hallelujah!
K IS FOR KISSES
Aniyah has just learned to give spontaneous kisses, and albeit wet and sloppy it’s nice that she’s started to show affection.
L IS FOR LAUGHTER
My nine month old daughter is hilarious! She makes me laugh every day without fail. She has soo much personality and brings such joy to my life.
M IS FOR MOBILITY
Ever since my daughter became mobile parenting got so much harder! Is it bad to admit I miss when she wasn’t moving as much? Trying to do her hair and get her dressed is a nightmare. And nappy changes are even worse! She rolls over and crawls away so quickly, it is such a battle!
N IS FOR NAPPY CHANGES
It’s a given that you’ll have hundreds of nappies to change when you have a baby, and to be quite honest I don’t mind; it comes with the territory. However, I do wish that nappies weren’t as expensive!
O IS FOR OUTSIDE
I wasn’t particularly fussed about how much time I spent outside before I became a mom but now I try to go for walks with the pushchair if we haven’t got anything planned. This summer I also plan to visit the Monkey Forest in Trentham, the Safari Park and our local lido if it’s hot enough.
P IS FOR PURPOSE
I was in an amazing job and steady relationship when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. As a university graduate, I had achieved some of my goals and travelled but nothing has given me the feeling of purpose that being a mother does. I love being a mom!
Q IS FOR QUESTIONS
It’s a given that people are drawn to babies, and whenever I meet anyone randomly in public there’s always questions: ‘How old is she? What’s her name?’ Etc. Then there are the continuous questions from family ‘Is she sleeping through? Is she teething? What solids is she on?’ Is it just me as a parent that thinks the questions from others are endless?
R IS FOR ROUTINE
…what routine? This may sound hard to believe but my nine month old is her own person! I’ve tried to put her into a routine believe me, but she just won’t, so I go with the flow. As a result, my parenting philosophy has become feed/eat/sleep on demand as that is a more natural approach at such a young age. And thankfully Aniyah’s loose routine means she sleeps around twelve hours a night unless she’s having a sleepless night.
S IS FOR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Think they stop when your baby can go longer between feeds? Ha, think again! There’s the dreaded sleep regression, developmental leaps and then just fighting sleep for no apparent reason! As I’m typing this my daughter is fighting sleep and she is definitely exhausted; As am I…all the time!
T IS FOR TEETHING
ALL THE TIME but still no teeth to show for it! I’m starting to think my baby will be gummy for the foreseeable future. Which doesn’t make sense to me considering my daughter’s nappies have had that vinegar-like smell due to teething for the past six months!
U IS FOR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
There is nothing else like the love you have for your child, and I didn’t understand it until I saw Aniyah for the first time. The overwhelming love is indescribable and her dad and I still can’t believe we created her.
V IS FOR VOMIT
I definitely thought that after 27 weeks of morning sickness (fun times!) I had seen the back of vomit, but Aniyah had reflux for the first few months of her life. This meant her bottles came straight back up and often all over me/my bed. As she got older, I again thought the vomiting days were behind me, but when Aniyah has a cold it comes back with a vengeance as milk and phlegm are a recipe for disaster!
W IS FOR WEANING
I thought this weaning lark would be fun but it hasn’t been as straight forward as I thought. I’ve tried both purees and baby-led weaning and not much of it actually makes it into my daughter’s mouth. There are days where Aniyah eats really well, and there’s been many an occasion where her food comes back up in an obscene amount of vomit. I can’t wait until she’s eating properly but slow and steady wins the race!
X IS FOR E(X)HAUSTING
Are you even a parent if you’re not tired? I think I underestimated BIG TIME how little sleep I would get!
Y IS FOR YELLING!
Gone are the days of the incredible morning lie in. I don’t even bother to set my alarm in the morning as my new wake up call is the sound of my daughter basically yelling at me to wake up. On the rare occasion I wake up before Aniyah I cherish the time I have before ‘mom duties’ begin again.
Z IS FOR ZESTFUL
Although I’ve stated that I’m always tired, being a parent has given me a new zest for life. I’ve always been pretty adventurous but now I get so enthused about places I want to take Aniyah. I also seem to pluck energy out of nowhere on a daily basis which is a blessing in disguise really!
I hope you enjoyed my take on the Parenting Alphabet Challenge. I now nominate these lovely mamas to do the challenge on their blog: Loving Little Italy, 3 Princesses and 1 Dude, The Growing Mum, The Life of Dee, The Empowered Mother Collective, The Swirles Clan, Yasmine Camilla, Baby Not Included, Raucous By Nature and I Thought I Knew Mama.