Monday, 17 April 2017

Motherhood: Five Things I Said I'd Never Do

'My baby will absolutely, definitely not have a dummy'. I laugh when I think about how strongly I felt about things like this before she was here. A neighbour recently said to me (as I rolled my eyes and popped the baby's dummy in) 'I was the perfect mother until I had a baby'. I think this is probably true of quite a few of us. It's so easy to say what you will and won't do when you become a mother. The reality is often quite different to the theory. To be the perfect mother requires having a perfect baby, and by that I mean a textbook baby, and you know what? I'm yet to come across one. So here we are, me and the little one, getting through by doing a whole load of the things that I said I'd never do...

1. The Drugs
She's on Ranitidine to neutralise the acid in her stomach, so that it doesn't burn her pipes. The route here went via Gaviscon which for some reason I felt more OK with giving her but it created one problem as it solved another and a fifteen week old baby with constipation is no fun. At all. The doctor wasn't thrilled to prescribe it and I'm not thrilled to be giving her it but the other option is a baby that screams in pain from one feed to the next as her body ejects milk from her stomach and that's no good either.

2. The Dummy
We gave in to the dummy during week three. I cried. I felt like the worst mother in the world, I refused for her to be seen in public with it and looking back I have no idea why. There seems to be a anti-dummy culture in this country and I'm not quite sure where it comes from. It comforts her, it helps her settle herself to sleep and it stops her from turning into a beetroot with fury while we work out quite what it is that she wants. Next time, I'll be packing one in my hospital bag. Oh, and yes, we'll have to get her to stop using it at some point in the future but I'll deal with what the future has to offer when we're in it. I have a funny feeling that weaning a child off a dummy won't be as great a challenge as I imagine.

3. The Electric and Bouncy Chairs
I have both. I started with neither and my mum still chuckles to herself when I put her in one of her chairs because pre-baby I was convinced of this fantasy that she would learn to lie happily in her cot or pram if we didn't introduce these seats. Sometimes she does lie in her cot, sometimes she likes a change of scenery and I joke (it's not a joke) that my day is mostly spent moving her between different receptacles. I bought the Joie Serina (second hand from Shpock) after we tried her in my friend's one and she was quiet for ages in it. It has a light, classical music, a swing function and a vibrate function. I'm not sure that it keeps her quiet for any longer than the ones with just the vibrate setting but it's good to have options. We also have the BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss. This is light and mobile, I can take it into the bathroom while I shower, into the garden and fold it down to put in the car when we visit friends. It bounces when she kicks and she loves it.

4. The Stroller
Someone gave my mum a stroller, it's a Mamas and Papas fold up, and it takes up approximately 1% of the space in the car as my beloved Joolz Geo. I said that she'd definitely be lying flat in the pram until she was six months, then we went to Ikea and needed space in the car so that we could actually make a purchase larger than the essential pack of three scissors. Out came the stroller, in went the baby. She bloody loved it. It kept her amused for longer than she would be in the pram and it did lie flat enough for her to nap in. Now I'm torn between taking the bassinet with us on holiday or switching the Joolz to the stroller option.

5. The TV
I'm not much of a TV watcher, it was rarely on in our house before this little amusement craving human landed, it was definitely never on in the day and I had this idea that she would lie quietly playing with a toy while I got stuff done. Sometimes she does...and sometimes Mr Tumble takes on the childcare while I have a shower. I still try not to leave her in front of the TV if I can avoid it but if I'm going to park her in view of the box, she might as well be learning nursery rhymes and questionable sign language rather than BBC1's offering of house auctions and rental yields from 2004.

We're sixteen weeks in and I have a feeling there will be a few more of these lists in the months to come. Is there anything you've made a U-turn on? I'd love to know in the comments below.

1 comment

  1. I totally agree! We caved on the dummy in week 5 and never looked back. Future me can deal with the weaning issue but present me is enjoying the ability to snooze my baby for a good half an hour's extra sleep (also something I didn't think I would do). It's also musical chairs/ playmats/ cot in our house too. Certain you are doing a fantastic job at motherhood. X


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