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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Reflections

Reflections
They often say your children are a reflection of you.  What they see from you makes a huge impression on them.

Well I’ve started to notice a lot of myself in one of my mini me’s.

Surprisingly it’s not the one I always expected it to be.

People often joke about how they’ve never met two children that are so alike their parents. Lil Man could’ve been easily mistaken for his dad when comparing baby pictures and Lil Miss could’ve been mistaken for me.

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Bribery & Corruption

I need to stop bribing my children.

There I said it.

Yes I admit it. I bribe them.

I bribe them to do stuff so it doesn’t take an hour to get out of the house. I bribe them so it doesn’t take fifty attempts to get in the car & I sometimes bribe to go to sleep so I can get some work done.

Yes, you can judge me.

I judge me! I’m not perfect. Far from it in fact.

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An elephant’s memory

elephant pic blog

Yesterday hubby sent me a text asking when we moved to our house.

’26 January 2006′ I fired back without even thinking about it.

‘Wow, that was quick. And you’re good’ he text back.

That little comment made me reminisce about how good my memory once was.

‘Memory like an elephant. Up until 2008 anyway!’ (And yes, I had to check the text to see what I had replied!)

Unfortunately, my memory does not work like that anymore.

I now struggle to remember what I did two days ago, conversations I had with people yesterday & texts/emails/tweets I sent five minutes ago.

Sometimes I even think about replying to someone & my brain tricks me into thinking I’ve already done it.

In my previous life I had a caseload of around 120 clients. I knew all of them! I could place names with faces and even knew the names of their kids, husbands/wives/partners, where they lived, what they did and other random details about them. All off the top of my head.

Now, I’m lucky if I can remember my own kids names! Ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the jist.

What the hell happened?

Is there some sort of pregnancy hormone that dictates you’ll remember all sorts of specific details about your past but your short term memory is shot? Which means you can’t remember to buy milk when you’ve gone to the shop purposely to get it. You still forget to give your friend the present you bought for their little one’s birthday in April (that happened yesterday, sorry). And you hide presents your friends gave you in advance for your own kid’s birthdays somewhere safe so they don’t find them, only to still be looking for them six months later. Thankfully I’ve found it now. And thank god it was a book and a toy, not clothes!

Is it because we only a limited amount of useable brain space and with two little people & all their needs, likes, dislikes, etc. there’s not much room left for other stuff that isn’t so important?

Actually, while we’re on that can someone please tell my brain that remembering to eat lunch, feed the dog, pay bills and reply to emails are all pretty important stuff?!?

Is it because that part of our brain that reminds us what we went into a room for escapes during the birthing process?

Or is it just me????

What was I talking about again?

Would you feed your baby junk food?

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What would you like for your dinner today? How about a tiny amount of low grade fruit & veg, lots of water, plenty of refined starch, arsenic & some pesticides?

Well, that’s what it seems you get in baby food jars!

I’m totally ashamed to say that for a short period of Lil Misses life I actually fed her some of this. Which is what I now realise to be, tantamount to baby junk food.

The most shameful bit is me being completely ignorant and very naive as to what these jars of baby food contained.

When Lil Man was weaned I proudly steamed, boiled & puréed lots of different types of veg, mushed fruit & gave him the best diet I could. We then went on to do a combination of baby led weaning & mushy food.

I think he only ever attempted a baby food jar once in his lifetime & rejected it.

Clever boy.

Unfortunately, Lil Miss drew the short straw. She arrived when Lil Man was 14 months old & rather a handful. By the time she was weaning he was an energetic, tantrummy 2 year old & I had limited time to bring out the food processor and the tiny food cubes & start the pureeing process. I tried, but failed miserably.

This meant that the poor mite ended up with jars of baby food. I even read the labels & thought they couldn’t possibly be that bad otherwise they’d have all sorts of nasty numbers on the ingredients. I knew they were second best to me making everything from scratch for her, but I just could find the time to do it.

How I wish I had MADE the time now. How I wish my fridge had been full of jars like in the photo above (that’s not my homemade baby food btw, mine never looked that good!)

You see, I’ve just stumbled across this very eye opening post, the truth about baby food jars. I know it was written a few months ago, but the sentiment is still the same. I doubt much has changed in the baby food industry since.

And now I feel very very ashamed.

I also feel glad that we didn’t do it for long, the cost started to spiral & it became apparent that she preferred what we were eating (not that I can blame her at all!!!) so we moved onto baby led weaning.

Thank. God.

How great is hindsight?

No wonder all these babies spit it right back out again!

Anyway, the moral of the story is, if you are thinking of feeding your baby jars of baby food, please don’t. Spend 2 mins mushing up a banana instead of spending your money on this crap & filling up your little one with the baby world equivalent of big mac and fries!

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