10 ways to prepare for parenting

Preparing for Parenting
I know lots of people who are due to have babies soon. Many for the second time, but some are going to be first time parents and it got me thinking about the sort of stuff I’d like to have been prepared for.

I mean, I knew about the sleepless nights, the dirty nappies and the constant feeding, but I had no idea what to expect further down the line. If I had then I might have felt more, well…prepared.

So aside from the sleep routines, the weaning and the potty training (which go by in such a blur, you’ll wonder if they ever actually happened) here’s the bits of advice I wish people had shared so that I felt a little more prepared for parenting. (And as with my stance on all advice, take whatever works for you and leave the rest exactly where you found it!)

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To be a Mother…..

I’ve had a lovely day today. Spoilt by my fantastic hubby last night, treated to a lie in this morning, then presented with cards and chocolates by two little people of the toddler variety.

This afternoon we’ve been out for a lovely dinner and had a random walk in a field. Apparently we were looking for chocolate treasure!!

It was only this afternoon while I was clearing up all the mess created by the tiny tearaways (for the eleventy billionth time!!) that I remembered how very different Mother’s Day was a few years back. And I began to think how different it might still be….

I spent years assuming that I would be able to become a mother the instant we decided to start a family. I spent so many years trying not to get pregnant that I never actually considered how difficult the whole process is.

We put off starting a family for a long time, I wanted to finish my studies, we wanted to move to a quieter area and a bigger house.

The period of time from us deciding to start a family to Lil Man being born was a very difficult one. I fell pregnant four times but none of those pregnancies were meant to be. That awful word, miscarriage. It was hugely draining. I spent many a day feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach, physically and emotionally.

Days like Mother’s Day were unbelieveably difficult. Seeing everyone else celebrating being a mother when it was the one thing I wanted more than ever, but couldn’t be was…..well, I can’t even begin to describe it. I felt happiness for my mum, and my friends and family who were celebrating the day, but also a lot of sadness for what I thought might never be. I thought I knew deep down that I would be a mother one day, but the more time went on the harder that thought was hard to keep hold of.

Thankfully, that thought became reality. Lil Man was born, and later Lil Miss and our life hasn’t been the same since!

I have friends who have suffered the same, and I also have friends who have suffered far worse. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to lose a child you’ve given birth to, no matter how old they are. And I can only begin to imagine how hard days like Mother’s Day are when you’ve experienced that. Or how hard it must be when your own mother isn’t around to celebrate with you.

So, today I have been celebrating, but also thinking of and sending my love to all mummies. Particularly…. Those who are yearning, but yet to be mummies. Those who are mummies to angel babies. And those who have spent Mother’s Day missing their mums.

I realise how blessed I am to be a mum to not just one, but two adorable toddlers. I might moan about the lack of sleep. I might moan about the lack of my ability to grow eyes in the back of my head. I might be screaming inside with frustration when I ask one of them a simple question for the tenth time and STILL don’t get an answer. But I also know that they are two of the best things that have ever happened to me!

Kate x