My parent manual is lost in the post!


I think it is quite clear that as a first time mum, I have no bloody idea what I am doing. There is an intense pressure if the choices I am making for my son are the right ones. If they will affect him in the long run for the worse or benefit him like they were intended. No matter how many books, and glamorous looking parenting magazines you read, you really will not be equipped for when a screaming bundle of poop and hunger that keeps you up for 4 days straight. It leads me to ask if we all know what we know now, why are we not better advised as first time parents? Or is that the fun? That you have no freaking clue on what you are doing?
 
Yep. This happened a lot.
My ante natal classes only seemed to advise me that breastfeeding was best, how to bath a baby and what happens when your mucus plug falls out. They told us what to put in our hospital bags but didn’t actually tell me what to do when I was in labour itself. I didn’t get taught any of those breathing exercises you see everyone on TV doing. Maybe I should have booked onto the NCT classes?!

Something that really was not explained, maybe this was because as not to scare us, was what happens when things go wrong? What happens if you baby is admitted to NICU? Most of all what do you do when you get discharged from hospital and have this human to look after? Even more so if they have had medical intervention. Is there a manual? If so mine got lost in the post. I do however have 4 leaflets on how to fill out a MAT B form.
 
For myself as a NICU Mum, I feel like now I have been through this; it is my responsibility to help others in the same situation. To honestly tell them what it is really like, as a mentor as such. If someone had just been honest with me, to tell me what to expect to feel. I wouldn’t have felt so alone, so alien that the feeling I was having weren’t normal. Perhaps it wouldn’t have led to PTSD.

Having a NICU baby or not, there is still the sheer shock to the system of sleep deprivation. I actually think I went insane at one point. We really need to be made aware of this, jokes aside of ‘sleeping when the baby does’, ‘get your sleep in now when they will be here you won’t be’. People need to be deadly serious about this. It’s actually used as a form of torture! I think perhaps in the last month of pregnancy you should have some sort of alarm that goes off (other than needing to pee) every few hours to get you used to it. Has anyone ever thought of doing a new born preparation boot camp? Where you go for a weekend and really find out what it is like before you give birth! As it may not be such a shock to your system.
 
Unimpressed Mummy clearly had no clue
 
Oh and in this parenting manual there most certainly has to be chapters on;

Breast/bottle is your baby being fed? Yes? Thriving? That’s all that matters. Do not ever feel guilty about the choice you make.

NOTHING WORKS TO STOP COLIC- gripe water and baby massage- please.

Silent Reflux- sucks.

Wean when you want to, when you think your baby is ready.

Baby wearing, co sleeping, vaccinations- DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY. That is all that matters. It is only a problem if it is a problem for you. If it’s not, then sod everyone else! It is YOU raising YOUR child they have no right to say otherwise. Mother knows best and all that…

Oh and it will take a while but once you hit toddlerdom you really will not give a crap if people look at you (and judging) whilst your toddler face plants the shop floor because you told that no they cannot have a flower vase.
 
parenting- being led by the toddler demon with a bucket on his head. Sums it up well.
 
The manual will not be like the parenting books you get, that just seem to do a ‘one size fits all’ approach. That are written a bit like you are putting flat pack furniture together and always seem to have really old pics from the 80’s in them?! It will be written by actual parents who have gone through it! Things that parents think you, as a first time newbie need to know!

It's only as a parent now that I have found all of the ‘debates’ on what is best for your child. I literally had no clue there was any of the arguments about how to raise your child. It really is no other business that your own. I also didn’t know that people would literally tear you apart for what you have chosen for you and your child. Oh, and the guilt, no one pre warns you of the guilt you will feel every day for the smallest of things! Urgh parent guilt.

I bottle fed my child and he thrived and was on the higher percentile lines even when he came out of surgery! Elijah had all of his vaccines because as a mother of a heart child it is my responsibility to do everything in my power to help protect him. Me and Elijah’s Dad co slept with Elijah so we could all just get some sleep. I wore Elijah until he was 9 months (and my back gave out due to him being a chunk). Elijah was weaned at 4 months due to reflux, no this didn’t give him any allergies or intolerances. He has been in nursery for a day and a half a week since 9 months old. It would have been a lot sooner if he didn’t need his op.
 
I did and will continue to do what I think it best for him, to give him the best life I can. Most of all I just want him to know how loved he is and raise him to be kind and accepting. I am sure there is enough there for me to be under attack? It shouldn’t be like that; I also feel like you shouldn’t have to explain your parenting choices just in fear for being judged. We are in it together, we should support and empower each other and teach our children to do the same.

I feel like as a mother of a (nearly) two-year-old I can say all of the above with confidence. But it took a long two years for me to even get this confidence. Again, add this to the manual there will come a time where BOOM, it’s not like you stop caring it’s just you don’t let things get on top of you anymore. Like the fact you didn’t make an organic home cooked meal, you went to McDonalds instead.
 
I just wish someone had been really honest with me from the beginning about what it was really like. That’s with the added fact we didn’t exactly have a normal start with Elijah’s operation. I think with the amazing social media community of mamas and papas out there not afraid to honestly confess and share the real side to parenting. People may get more of an idea of what it is truly like. That’s not to say it is all bad my all means it is not. It is both the best and worst time of your life being a parent.
 
 
There will be extreme highs, and devastating lows, it will be worth it all in the end. I believe knowledge is power, and any way we can get ahead of our little demons (angels I mean angels ahem) is a win in my book?

So looking back, and knowing what you know now, what would you have liked to have in your newbie parent manual?


 
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