Babies work in a weird and wonderful way, just when you thing you’ve got it all figured out, you’ve finally cracked nap time and some sort of routine, they sense your glee and fuck shit up.
The newborn days, I had done so much reading I really had it figured but as the months go on, I genuinely have NO idea what I’m doing - and thats O.K.
In the back of my mind I have the nagging thought that soon I have to raise a toddler. How the hell am I going to grasp what’s going on in his head to find out why he’s acting the way he is. How am I going to make sure I'm consistent in my parenting, my discipline, am I going to give him enough attention? How to I raise a toddler not to be spoilt but at the same time give him everything he deserves and more?
As the one year mark approaches there are so many new expectations and rules to having a baby. No bottles after 1, no night feeds once they’re on three meals a day, food should not replace their main source of nutrition until 1… The pressure to have hit certain goals is unavoidable, with what seems like everyone else baby sleeping through, who’s baby is walking yet, who’s baby is talking, who’s “still” breastfeeding and those babies that never took a dummy are now revelling in the fact they now don’t face the pressure of weaning them off one!
The past few months have brought so many changes, that Oscar seems like a completely different baby and BOY has it caught me off guard. We have slowly but surely mastered three meals a day, he’s figured out how to plonk and land on his bum so thank God there’s less bumps to the head and he’s finally started sleeping better. But alas, as one area of motherhood goes swimmingly well, another falls spectacularly to pieces.
I’m being bitten alive, more so than when I went backpacking through the jungle, by my own child. 6 teeth and an enormous chomp down every time he latches on - no, thank you! We got rid of the Sleepyhead Grande in Oscar’s room so it was a week of him getting used to ending up on all fours when trying to roll over, hitting his head and getting his arms and legs stuck between the bars! To top it all off I’ve decided while he’s not teething I’ll boycott the dummy! As I write this we’re on night 2 and I’ve got everything I can cross, crossed that it won’t be too bad.
It got me thinking that with every trial and tribulation that comes with parenting and raising a tiny little human, it’s O.K. to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. You and your baby are getting to know each other a little bit more everyday and it’s important to take it day by day. No matter how hard the days are, when that little cherub is asleep at the end of the day, it’s all a blur, and you’ve learnt what worked and what didn’t from that day, to remember for tomorrow. You will get by, you’ll survive and your baby will, without a doubt, always love you! The most you can do, is your best. Being a Mum is so difficult, but the most rewarding job there is.
With our ten month Health Visitor check up this morning, Oscar's gone full steam ahead through his assessment and we've just to conquer 'Mama' 'Dada' and clapping and he'll be all caught up to the average 10 month old (with 13 days to spare). We've added into the mixer to stop night feeds, that he doesn't need them as he's on three meals a day. But that as we are going through getting rid of the dummy, to do one at a time because it would be a bit mean to totally rid him of all overnight comforts!
I aim to stop breastfeeding around 1 year and 5 weeks. 1 year because this is how long I aimed to feed for and 5 weeks because he was 5 weeks early and part of me still thinks of him as my vulnerable little preemie and I need to make sure he gets all the goodness right up until a year past his due date! The Health Visitor had very little advice about the biting other than to try unlatching, saying 'No. Don't bite Mama' in a firm tone and starting again.
So the next two months has a few little milestones left to hit before he reaches 1 year old and I finally get my boobs back! No dummies, no breastfeeding, just me and my cheeky, chappy toddler to be! Wish me luck...