Just Some Thoughts

It always seems, like the troubles you’re having right now with your kid(s) are the only ones there have ever been. How quickly you forget the newborn sleepless nights, the waking up three or four times to feed. The nights spent lying on the couch, breastfeeding and clock-watching. The colic that seemed endless.

When people around you with babies complain about the same thing, you find yourself thinking ‘oh, that wasn’t so bad’. How quick we are to forget. And dismiss other people’s problems as trivial. But when you were going through it yourself, it was the end of the fucking world.

How quickly you forget the post-natal depression. And the fact that at one point in time, you despised your baby, and didn’t feel like a mother. Rather you felt like a babysitter. A pair of breasts to feed a little demon. How quickly you forget the denial, and the fervent wishes that you could go back and change things. Not be a mother. Not have a  screaming child at 3 in the morning.

How quickly you forget, once your child is sleeping through the night, what it means to be sleep-deprived. And once you’ve achieved sleeping through the night, how simple it seems. And how you try to explain your method to other mothers. Who just don’t seem to get it.

Yes, parenting is hard. Parenting is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. But I’ve learnt one thing. Whatever drama you’re facing now, that seems like the end of the world. It’s only temporary.

There’s something far worse waiting around the corner.


For Those Who Have Sons…

And for those who should be GRATEFUL that they dont. Thanks, Shebee, for emailing me this one…

And you also find out interesting things when you have sons, like:-

1.A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 200 m2 house to a depth of 10 cm.

2.If you spray hair spray on dust balls and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.A 3-year old Boy’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 20 Kg boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 6m x 6m room.

5.You should not throw cricket balls up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a cricket ball a long way.

6.The glass in windows (even double-glazed) doesn’t stop a cricket ball hit by a ceiling fan.

7.When you hear the toilet flush and the words ‘uh oh’, it’s already too late.

8.Brake fluid mixed with bleach makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies,

10.Certain Lego’s will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old Boy.

11.Playdough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.Super glue is forever.

13.No matter how many jelly crystals you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.

14.Pool filters do not like jelly crystals.

15.VCR’s do not eject ‘BL&T’ sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.Marbles in petrol tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.You probably DO NOT want to know what that smell is.

19.Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.The fire department in Brisbane, Qld, has a 5-minute response time.

21.The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

80% of Men who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid.

The Humorous Side of Being a Parent

Bad Mommy Moment

I learnt something the other day.

When they tell you not to leave your kid unattended in the bath, it’s for good reason.

I left The Kid unattended in the bath for about 2 minutes, while I went to prepare his bedtime bottle.

Needless to say, as I picked up the bottle, and walked toward the bathroom, I heard a thump and then some heart-wrenching sobs. My kid had leaned over the edge of the tub, because he’d dropped a toy on the floor, and he spilled out onto the tiles. Head first, of course.

And his nose started bleeding, and he cried. And cried. And cried some more.

I had to get into the bath with him, and lay him on my chest and rub his back until his tears were gone.

Yes, terrible mother. Bad mistake.

Lesson learnt: do not leave Kid unattended in the bath. ever.

Potty Mouth

I had just changed my son’s nappy on Sunday morning, folded it and threw it in the nappy bin. Walked into the kitchen to go get something and suddenly it dawned on me that it was far too quiet.

You know the saying ‘if I’m quiet you better come find me’?

I had one of those moments.

I walked back into my son’s room and discovered him sitting quietly on the floor, with the open nappy on his lap.

He was shovelling handfuls of poop into his mouth, and his face was covered in it as well.

I wanted to die, I was gagging the whole time I was cleaning him. With Dettol. And a scrubbing brush.

this is toast and Bovril, but you get the idea

this is toast and Bovril, but you get the idea

Parent vs Non-Parent

There is a question that faces each of us at some point in our lives – to be a parent, or not to be? A certain little book entitled ‘No kid: 40 reasons not to have kids‘ that has mothers worldwide in a fury of indignation.

Why? Because the author herself has three children. The message of the book? Stick to saying ‘me first’ and avoid the trap of motherhood. Have fun, focus on yourself. It’s a brave woman who will stand up for her right to have children.

So. Is motherhood really all that bad? Let’s look at some of her reasons to avoid it.

1. The desire for children is a false aspiration. According to whom, exactly? And why is it false? I see nothing wrong with wanting to have children. I mean, no one wants to be alone in their old age, right?
2. Childbirth is torture. Point made, but a c-section wasn’t all that bad, and can be undertaken voluntarily, with good pain medication too.
3. Don’t become a walking, talking feeding-bottle. Breastfeeding is not compulsory.
4. Continue to amuse yourself. Fair enough, but a little selfish, no?
5. Subway-job-brats: no thanks. Sure, no one likes to hear screaming kids on public transport or in public places, but so what? reason enough to avoid procreation? I think not.
6. Keep your friends. If they’re not there after the child arrives, they were never friends in the first place. Be honest.
7. Dont fall victim to the atrocious ‘baby-talk’ that most parents use to communicate with their spawn. Not all of u talk to our babies like that. it annoys me even, granted.
8. To choose a nursery is to close the door on the hall of fun. Au contraire, I say.
9. Children kill desire. Kiss your sex-life goodbye. Okay, maybe for a while, but it doesn’t last forever. Sex after baby can still be fantastic, it just requires a little more effort.
10. They are the death toll of the couple’s relationship. I disagree.
11. To be or to make: you should not have to choose. And you dont have to choose. No one said you did.
12. The child is a vicious dwarf of innate cruelty. It may seem that way, but really they aren’t.
13. It is conformist. Really? And that matters why?
14. Children are too expensive. Indeed they are. But they are also totally rewarding. Totally.
15. You become a slave to the capitalist machine. You dont HAVE to buy that baby monitor/compactum/baby sling. In fact, they’re a waste of money.
16. They give you a headache. So does watching tv or drinking to amuse yourself (see reason 4).
17. They are drudgery for parents. I’d say this is true only about 15% of the time.
18. Don’t let the notion of the ‘ideal child’ fool you. True. But then who wants to have the ideal child? I want a child that is unique, is his own person.
19. You’ll inevitably be disappointed by your child. That’s a bit pessimistic, dont you think? Never ever once have I ever been disappointed by my child. In fact, he manages to amaze me at least once every hour.
20. To become a soccer mom – what a nightmare. Agreed, but not the WORST punishment in the world.
21. Parenting, above all else – no thanks. why not? Responsibility isn’t all that bad.
22. Dont fall victim to contributing to a child professional’s income. Fair enough, but it is great to have a little help sometimes.
23. Families are horrible. Shame. Is your family that bad? I think my family is lovely, circus-freaks and all.
24. Do not return to childhood. Again. Shame, was your childhood that bad?
25. To stick to saying ‘me first’ is a mark of courage. And it’s even more of a mark of courage to say ‘I manage to find time for myself, even though I must make time for kids and partner.’
26. A child will kill any fond memories you had of childhood. Not so much.
27. You will be unable to prevent youself from wanting your child to be happy. And what, exactly, is wrong with this? How is this supposed to put you off kids?
28. Childcare is a set of impossible dilemmas. Not really. Every dilemma has a possible solution. Mothering teaches you to problem-solve creatively.
29. School is a prison camp with which you will have to make peace. School wasn’t all that bad. Why else do they say that ‘school days are the best times of your life?‘If you think it’s that bad, then just home-school your kids, man.
30. You can raise a child, but for what future? Wow, negativity reigns, I see. You raise your child because he or she IS the future.
31. Flee from benevolent mediocrity. Huh? How is parenting a contributing factor to benevolent mediocrity?
32. Parenting will make you soft. I disagree. Parenting teaches you to be hard inside. And to do it with love.
33. Motherhood is a trap for women. Again, I disagree. Even though my pregnancy was unplanned, I dont feel trapped.
34. You must choose between being a mom and a success. Again, I disagree. I dont have to choose. I will succeed, but it just might take me a bit longer. In fact, I have even more incentive to succeed now that I’m a mother.
35. When the child arrives, the father disappears. Disagree completely. Not every man is like that. Some men take to the Mr Mommy role naturally. Most others can be taught. It’s not that hard.
36. Today’s child is a perfect child: welcome to our perfect world. Perfection measured by whose standards?
37. Your child will be in constant danger of paedophiles and pornographers.True enough. But not reason enough not to have children.
38. Why contribute to a future of unemployment and social exclusion? Such negativity….
39. The planet is over-crowded enough already. Fair enough, so only have ONE child.
40. Turn your back on the ridiculous rules of being a good parent. I agree.Do parenting your way, one day at a time. Make your own rules.

Okay, if you’re anything like me, those reasons either made you scream with laughter or seethe with rage. My pregnancy was both unplanned, and at the time, unwanted. That’s no secret. Although being a mother is not the easiest thing in the world (the hardest jobs are often the most rewarding) I’ve still yet to regret becoming a mother.

If it were all that bad, why would people be spending a fortune on fertility drugs and procedures? Because it’s completely worth it. It either makes you wake the fuck up, or fuck out completely.

But we must take this book for what it is – a satirical, bitingly funny (and sometimes) true representation of what it means to be a mother. (or a father) it’s not all giggling plump babies, the smell of talcum powder and the idyllic scenes usually represented in adverts like this one. Motherhood, in my experience, is about shitty nappies, snotty noses, milk-stains on your clothes, and constantly smelling like vomit. But motherhood is also about being excited when your child first smiles, first crawls and laughs. Motherhood – it’s the bad, with the good to take the edge off.

Can women be honest about the downsides of motherhood? Is an important question.

It’s still taboo for women to express mixed feelings about motherhood, but many don’t find the idyll they’d been led to expect.’ If you’re a mother, does that ring true for you?

Certainly. And that’s what the author of ‘No Kids’ is saying. That sometimes mommyhood sucks, and sometimes it’s so completely amazing, it just about breaks your heart. Okay, she doesn’t say it outright, you have to read between the lines for that. I think Anne Taintor gets it completely right with her sassy, funny magnets. One that I especially relate to it her  ‘remember sweetheart, mommy loves you, but she doesn’t have to like you’ magnet.

And that’s completely true. You can love being a mother, without having to like all the things that go with it – wiping snotty noses, being a soccer mommy, changing shitty nappies, having to do potty-patrol, and dealing with tantrums.

I’m all for being completely honest about it. I love being a mommy, but I hate all the tedious tasks that come along with motherhood. But, overall, is it worth it?

I’d say – definitely. Motherhood is totally worth it, despite all the bad press.