Thursday, 2 January 2014

Rules for mothers

I've lost count of the number of people who have told me that after having a baby for a few months they can't imagine life without them. (I say I've lost count, I'm not entirely sure I ever started counting). I can totally imagine life without Olive, or "remember" as I call it.

One thing I remember well is what sort of mother I wanted to be. I had a list of things I would and wouldn't do.

It is about time I revisited that list, don't you think?

I will breast feed, exclusively, for six months
Five months in and so far, so good. However I am acutely aware that this is more a result of luck than anything else. I haven't had a problem with feeding, and Olive is growing, but if I was struggling with it and worrying that my baby wasn't getting the nutrients she needs I'd reach for the formula in a flash.

I will maintain a realistic view of my baby, be objective about her
A mate of mine once told me that when she dropped her child off at nursery she felt a bit sorry for the other mothers as she assumed they were looking at her and feeling jealous that their child wasn't as beautiful as hers. The kid was cute but not exceptional. I noticed other people being slightly less explicit about it but clearly seeing their kids through very rose tinted spectacles.

I was almost relieved when, at my first glimpse of her I thought she looked like Yoda. On a bad day. I wasn't going to be blinded by her cute little nose, and big eyes set-off by long lashes ... shit, I was gone.

Now I feel a bit awkward when people say how gorgeous she is - how many of us have said something similar about people kids all the while thinking "Holy shit, I never knew she was descended from Winston Churchill"?

I honestly have no idea if she is genuinely cute or not - all I know is that to me she is utterly adorable.

(NB. The husband is adamant that he is being completely objective when he says that she is cute. But he also thinks that she looks a bit like Nien Nunb from Star Wars.)

Have a bedtime routine 
This has worked. Even through all the Christmas shenanigans I have stuck rigidly to a six pm bath followed by bed. There are times when I really can't be bothered to give her a bath and start to convince myself that missing one wouldn't be so bad, but then I remember that the bath isn't just about cleanliness but more a signal to her that it is bedtime. She sleeps really well at night and I don't want to lose that, and I hope that a routine now will stand me in good stead for a toddler when bedtime become more of a battle.

Besides she loves baths, and that is when I get the best giggles of the day, so why would I miss out on that?

I won't let myself go, I'll not leave the house covered in puke.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 
*draws breath*
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha