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 


  1. Question...since you are now "been there done that" and all I have done is read about being a mommy...does doing a bath daily dry out her skin? I've read that you shouldn't bathe little ones every day but not sure why.

    1. No, I only use soap once or twice a week so I'm only wetting her rather than washing away the skins natural oils (and I have never used shampoo on her hair) so her skin is still as soft as a ... well, baby's bottom. Also I think I only gave her about three baths in her first two months - I just sponged her down as necessary. Looks like you don't have long to go - good luck!

  2. yes, cute.
    And ehm, don't call it puke, it's just milk. Second hand milk. I had heard that babies cause mountains of laundry, I just hadn't realised it would be MY OWN clothes that needed frequent washing because of all the milk.
    Besides, fresh air is more important than clean clothes, I think

  3. I feel as if I'm not dressed properly now if I don't leave the house with sick or snot on my clothes somewhere...
    I will say for mine that a daily bath does dry out her skin so she gets a bath every other day or so. To mommy someday, see what works for your baby. On the days we don't bathe her, she gets wiped down with water and cotton wool in the bathroom on a towel so it's not that different as to confuse her routine.
    I think you end up doing what works for the baby you have, rather than what you planned to do. They have their own agenda!
    She is beautiful by the way!

  4. She is cute.. and that's that.

  5. LOL you've done well! And the last one...sorry that probably wasn't even possible!

  6. As an internet stranger I feel I can be impartial here - she's a real cutie. Although to be fair I can your husband's point about Nien Nunb! She's gorgeous, congratulations.

  7. I'm totally objective....I think she is darling. And ALL babies have a bit of a sci-fi look to them at one time or is part of what makes them so magical and fun! You are doing a good job mama. Keep it up.

  8. That whole "Oh I can't imagine my life without her..DRIVE ME MENTAL"....and I have kids. Of course a person can't imagine what their life would be like without their child once the child exists....but guess what some parents DO experience life without their child after it's birth for various reasons.....

  9. Amen to it all. Oh, and my kid's cuter than yours :D
    (unless he's being a typical 3yr old)


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