Parenting is NOT for the weak.
By: Melanie Gorman for YourTango.com
While it’s true that anyone can make a baby, surviving the challenges of infancy and toddlerhood is enough to make a good person crack. I know, I’ve been there.
We all hear copious amounts of advice about how to be a great parent and let’s be honest, most of isn’t just unrealistic – it’s total crap.
Maybe it’s rooted in a good place, but the difference between talking about being a great parent and actually being one can be worlds apart.
When I think about the advice I heard, and the ideal promises I once swore to keep, here’s how far apart those two ended up.
1. I’ll never let my kid watch TV. I’ll never parent by iPad.
The reality: I call BS here. Sometimes, the only way you can get ANYTHING done is if your kid is occupied. The iPad will keep one kid busy while you put the other one down. TV can be your best friend at dinner time. Don’t be ashamed of it, at least you get to eat.
2. My husband and I will share the work equally when baby comes along.
The reality: You’re the only one with boobs; so if you’re breastfeeding, he’s not helping. That means you’re up every three hours for months. Sorry, Mum, that’s just how it goes.
For the rest of it, not all men intuitively step up. They’re not bad guys; some of them have no idea what to do.
Don’t complain about it, fix it. Tell him what to do and don’t gripe if it’s not done your way.
3. I’m only going to breastfeed.
The reality: This is a noble wish, and one I shared. But the reality is sometimes there’s no milk. Sometimes, you need to sleep. Sometimes, that can of magic powder is a godsend to quiet the baby and keep everyone sane. Don’t reject it before you’ve tried it. But remember, after months of no REM sleep, you’ll try anything.
4. I don’t need help! Lots of mothers did it before me without extra help, I'll be fine.
The reality: If you’re a martyr or victim this is true. But it’s patently false that women had no help. We're just taking a long time to realise that pro-women cultures had it easier when it came to raising kids. It takes a village. Don’t forget that.
5. I can eat whatever I want, I’m eating for two.
The reality: Someone told me it takes a 2,500 calorie deficit to lose one kilogram. Think about that the next time you’re stuffing your face "eating for two".
6. It won’t take long to get my body back into shape.
The reality: That pouchy belly is there to stay unless you fight hard against it. Don’t torture yourself into believing that you can go back to a flat belly in three-months. It took nine-months to get this way; it'll take at least that, to lose it.
7. I’m going to continue without caffeine. I’ve gone 9-months without it. I’m sure it will be fine.
The reality: Coffee is a mum's best friend. So are tea, sugar and the occasional five-hour energy drink. The reality is once you’re back to work, you have to function. A little coffee won’t hurt; falling asleep at the wheel will.