We have all had it. The well meaning comments or questions from people that you can’t believe come from a good place. The face just doesn’t match the voice! Here are my favourite from the list of things people say when you have a baby…
You look well! – You’re still fat!
Wow you look incredible! Really incredible! I can’t believe it! – Where’s your baby bump and how the hell did you get so thin so quickly? Bitch. (I’ve not experienced this one myself)
How’s she sleeping? – Shit! I didn’t know they did eye bags in that shade and size!
How are you feeding? – If it’s not the same as me you’re doing it wrong.
When can we go and drink prosecco? – You’ve been so boring recently.
Soon enough, you won’t remember the pain of labour – I tried my best to block out the hideousness of what happened to me but I will NEVER forget how your much it hurt when my child tore my vagina apart.
She’s so peaceful! – She doesn’t cry all the time you liar.
Your baby is so cute! – He looks like every other baby and I wouldn’t recognise it if I fell over it.
Oh sweet! – I’m not really interested in what you’re saying.
All babies look like Winston Churchill – Your baby looks like Winston Churchill.
Who does she look like? – I can’t see any of your husband in her, are you sure she’s his?
I’m sure mine was talking/walking/any-other-milestone by now – Behind already. Looking at you two, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Bluebell Apple… what a unique baby name! – Why would you torture your child with a name like that?
What a cute… baby. What is its name? – I am politely trying to figure out if your baby is a boy or a girl.
It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you have a baby, huh? – Your house is a pigsty.
He’s really got a set of lungs on him! – I want to leave. Now.
It’s great you’ve been able to find the time to post so many pictures on Facebook! – I’m sick of your kids face.
Would you like me to watch the baby while you take a shower or something? – You smell.
Thanks to everyone for their submissions! Send me yours below, on Twitter (@makinglittleppl) or via Facebook and I’ll add my favourites to the list. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please like and share. Interaction really boosts my confidence and encourages me to write more. More blog posts available here.
We all know it’s a bad idea to drink when you have to be up with the little people the next day. But we still do it. We all become the Hungover Parent. Not me of course. I’ve just heard the rumours…
5.45am Hear a faint rustling of sheets. Lift head. Owwwwww. Check time. Bury face and close eyes hoping everything goes away.
6am Hear rustling and gurgling. Close eyes tighter and pretend to be asleep.
6.05am Sick burp. Mmm jaegermeister.
6.15am Hear Baa Baa Black Sheep over the monitor. Shout into pillow. Faaaaaaaaaaaarck.
6.18am Hear Baby start stretching. Ask Husband “why two” in barely-there-voice. Husband growls.
6.30am Lie straight on edge of bed whilst being hit in the face with comforter. Wish you had gone on milk run.
6.32am Agree that Peppa Pig is a great idea. Search for 60 minute compilation on YouTube and hit play.
6.33am Lie down and close eyes. Smell something gross.
6.34am Change Baby nappy. Gag. Taste prosecco.
6.37am Sigh heavily at wee on the bed. Cover with a towel and lie on it.
6.40am Close eyes. Drift off to sleep to soothing sounds of Peppa.
6.42am Use wet wipe to clean baby sick out of hair. Retch at smell. Taste vodka.
6.43am Dry heave over toilet
6.45am Stare at Husband’s back imagining what it would be like to hurt him. Try to smile at Baby.
6.47am Clean off clogged up mascara. Put in eye drops. Successful on 3rd time.
6.50am Stare at Baby blinking lots. Try and snuggle in.
6.51am Turn over away from Baby scratching lips and kicking delicate stomach.
6.55am Turn back again to shush baby. Lie patting tummy and making coo-ing noises in gravelly zombie style voice.
7.32am Groan as Peppa finishes. Agree to one last one. Can only find 30 minute compilation. Smile inside and carry on patting Baby
8.02am Offer up stale Digestive in attempt to stave off breakfast.
8.05am Sit up. Take deep breaths. Tell Toddler you’re fine and try not to cry at how you ended up here.
8.10am Put Baby back to bed.
8.20am Pour cereal. Eat cereal.
8.22am Vomit cereal.
8.25am Pick Baby back up before head splits. Put Baby on Husbands back and leave the room quickly.
8.27am Clean up Toddlers spilt cereal.
8.28am Burn toast.
8.30am Eat toast with Toddler. Lie about not remembering the words to “5 Little Ducks”.
8.45am Suggest going to watch more Peppa
8.50am Doze off on sofa
8.54am Wake up being hit in the face with a cup. Provide more water. Down a pint for self.
8.57am Tell Toddler Mummy is fine, tummy just didn’t like the toast. Baby does it all the time, it’s ok.
9am Beg Toddler for cuddles
9.01am Bury face in Toddlers candy floss hair and cuddle round tum.
9.02am Cry when Toddler strokes face and says “I love you, Mummy”.
9.05am Feel guilty for crossly saying no more Peppa. Agree to watch Frozen to say sorry.
9.55am Wake up in panic. Where the hell is Toddler?!
9.57am Relief as see Toddler on kitchen floor surrounded by tubs and lids.
9.58am Annoyed at realise tubs contained rice, pasta and sugar.
10.05am Pause cleaning. More vomit.
10.10am Stomp upstairs to get dressed (and check on Husband and Baby).
10.12am Noisily sing “Let It Go” with Toddler.
10.14am Pick up Baby and snuggle. Smile smugly hearing Husband argue over clothes and relent on Scooby Doo costume.
10.30am Check clock to see if it’s time for Baby to sleep again yet.
10.35am Give Baby more milk to make it be quiet.
10.45am Frantically search for paracetamol and Barocca. Shout down to Husband for tea and crisps.
10.47am Make own tea and get own crisps.
11am Change pooey nappy.
11.03am Vomit up crisps
11.05am Check clock to see if it’s time for Baby to sleep again
11.10am Feel guilty for refusing to do jigsaw on bathroom floor with Toddler.
11.15am Lie on bathroom floor covered in towels pretending to do jigsaw.
11.20am Ask Toddler if she’s tired yet.
11.30am Break out in sweat as doorbell rings.
11.31am Argue with Husband about who’s going to answer door.
11.32am Freeze as hear front door open.
11.33am Run to shower on hearing in-laws voices.
11.34am Make “aaaah” noises in steaming hot shower.
11.40am Continue to stand in steaming hot shower.
11.46am Continue to stand in steaming hot shower.
11.47am Cry after Husband rubs bum against glass and shouts “Here’s Bummy!”
11.50am Start getting dressed really slowly.
12 noon Start countdown. 7 hours til bedtime.
12.10pm Wake up in bra and jeans on bed. Curse under breath.
12.15pm Cough lots to make voice normal. Clean teeth for fourth time.
12.17pm Fake happiness to see everyone. Excuse self to wretch in toilets.
12.30pm Steal cheese from Toddlers lunch. Frantically search cupboards for Mini Cheddars and Coca Cola.
12.35pm Tell everyone hangover is gone.
12.40pm Excuse self to put Toddler to bed.
12.50pm Lie down on bed as new wave of nausea hits
2.07pm Wake up to Toddler shouting “Mummy”. Hear faint baby crying. Groan. A lot.
2.10pm Try and think of reasons not to go to the park.
2.30pm Shiver on bench at park. Text in-laws and apologise for earlier disappearance.
3pm Countdown. 4 hours til bedtime.
3.25pm Argue with Toddler over leaving park.
3.30pm Watch Todler rubbing face in mud in tantrum. Rub face a lot as realise it’s bath night tonight. Then pizza…
3.32pm Drag Toddler by foot back into pram.
4pm Countdown. 3 hours til bedtime.
4.30pm Assume Baby jiggling position. Feel sick again.
5.25pm Defrost Toddler food.
5.30pm Eat half of Toddler food. Half-heartedly argue over ice cream for pudding.
5.32pm Give Toddler ice cream.
5.35pm Day dream about Dominos.
6pm Start move towards stairs muttering about pyjamas.
6.15pm Sniff baby and toddler. Confirm with Husband that baths can wait til tomorrow.
6.25pm Argue with Husband that you’re deserving of giving Baby milk in rocking chair in dimly lit room.
6.30pm Complete journey upstairs
6.40pm Let Toddler run around naked.
6.50pm Agree that Elsa & Ana probably don’t have to clean their teeth every night so we’ll do them twice in the morning.
6.51pm Read stories in best auctioneer voice.
7pm Collapse in exhausted heap on sofa.
7.13pm Accept offer of beer.
7.15pm Wonder why didn’t have beer at 6am.
7.20pm Order Dominos Meal Deal for 4.
8.15pm Devour 2 persons worth of Dominos.
8.25pm Complain about bloating.
8.27pm Pass out on sofa.
10pm Wake up in extreme state of confusion. Climb stairs on all fours.
10.05pm Stare at bed and remember dirty bedsheets. Feel for wet patches.
10.07pm Shrug and get in anyway.
Sound familiar?! Are you a hungover parent?! If so, please like and share on Facebook or Twitter (@makinglittleppl). More blog content here.
Previously, when I considered myself to be a high-flying career gal, I thought the worst word in the world was ‘no.’ “There’s no such word as no! Where there’s a will there’s a way!” I would tell my team enthusiastically. I was wrong. I was stupid and ignorant. The worst word in the world is in fact, ‘The worst thing in the world is a toddler asking you why. All. The. Time.
I like curiosity. I enjoy a thirst for knowledge. Wonderings and philosophising (to a degree) are things I consider to be signs of intelligence. ‘Why?’ from the mouth of a babe is reflective of an innocent mind with so much to learn; a sponge waiting to soak up all that it is presented with; a blob of clay ready to be moulded into a sculpture of tomorrow. I myself like to know the reason behind things. “Just because” has never been a satisfying answer to me. I always want to know why so that I can understand and remember. I used to ask it a lot. I have become slightly more measured in when I use it: “Miss, why is now not a good time to explain what an anus is?” (#truestory from year 10 Biology); but I still think asking why, particularly as an adult, is powerful and that you learn a lot about people and situations. For this reason I will happily answer “Why?” to the best of my ability. I try not to give direction without reason. I don’t expect anyone to blindly follow my instructions, and I am happy to offer explanations. Especially with the Girlies. I am very conscious of it.
With the above in mind, I embrace the word ‘Why?’ from my curly blonde, pale-faced three-year-old. I enjoy the challenge of trying to answer a question in a way she will understand it. Where possible I speak to her like an adult, which has the added bonus of distracting her with trying to repeat whatever word is new to her and she enquires about the meaning rather than the topic, which we have long-since exhausted. This goodwill though, is on my “Good Mum” days. I’m lying. They’re not days. They are patches. Patch is probably too much. Moments. Yes, my Good Mum Moments. You know the times….the first half an hour after they wake up after a lie in…just after you pick them up from school…whilst they’re (silently) eating breakfast. In these times I will happily pontificate as to why eggs have a sunshine in them, or why the colour pink is called pink and not splergimlp. I will patiently provide explanation on why the sky is blue (note: according to Husband, the correct answer is not “it’s a reflection of the sea” but Rayleigh Scattering – dispersion of the colour blue being more visible to the naked eye, to you and I).
But today, I cannot deal with it.
Because today the word ‘why’ does not mean ‘why’. It means I-want-to-drain-every-last-iota-of-energy-from-you-then-knock-you-over-and-stamp-on-your-head:
“Move away from the edge of the sofa or you’ll fall off.”
“Don’t touch the cake pans after they come out of the oven because they are very hot and will burn you.”
“You need to wear your raincoat out to the car because it’s raining and you’ll get wet and cold.”
“Why do I have to wear my raincoat Mummy?”
“You must drink your water or you poo will hurt your bottom.”
“Let’s tie your hair up for nursery so you don’t get nits again. All that shampoo-ing and combing wasn’t very nice, was it?”
“Why wasn’t it very nice Mummy?”
Let me ask you a question. Is my communication unclear? Is there something in my vernacular that fails to provide good reason or justification? Am I stupid, ill-informed or deluded? Have I lost the ability to speak clearly, enunciate or make myself heard? Tough to answer in text form but I hope you trust that I don’t sound that different in real life to how I do in your head. The ‘Why?’ from Girly no1’s mouth is just another habit and comes more easily to her than ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘OK’. But because of the things I have outlined above, I feel compelled to answer. She deserves an explanation. If I am to be successful at this mothering thing then I must answer the “Why?” with an appropriate response and expand her little tiny mind. But somebody please tell me, what do you do in this situation – it could go on forever:
“If you put your hair in your sisters hand like that, she will probably pull it.”
“Because your hair is beautiful and curly and she can’t resist giving it a little tug.”
“Because she’s a baby and they give into their urges.”
“Because that’s what babies do.”
“Because of a biological predisposition.”
“I’m out. Ask Doctor Winston.”
At this point a little puff of smoke comes out of my ears and if you listen really carefully, you’ll hear a crackle like a static shock. I should add here that I have tried other things. The coaching technique:
“Why do you think?”
“Ummm….is it because….can you ask me Mummy?”
“Ask you what?”
“Ask me why.”
“Nooooooo Mummy! You ask me!”
“I am asking you…..oh! You mean ‘tell me’….“
“Yes! Can you tell me why?”
She gets cross and frustrated. So do I. She looks as me exasperatedly as if to say you are the adult. My teacher, my parent. Your job is to educate me and tell me why. What good are you to me if you cannot fulfil this one simple request?! So I try again. Until I am out of explanations and I resignedly hang my head, thinking ‘let someone else fill the sponge with whatever it needs.’
“Mummy, I’m wet. My water bottle is wet too. Why am I wet?”
“Because the car in front braked suddenly, so I had to. Sorry darling.”
“Why did the car in front throw water at my face?”
But why Mummy?
I know every child goes through the “Why?” stage. I have heard many a parent growl in frustration as they answer why their beloved brat shouldn’t eat the squashed McDonalds chip that is resting on dried dog poo. Or why wiping snot on your sleeve is so disgusting that it makes the Child Free Folk gag. I try and remind myself that “Why?” is good, curiosity is something to be applauded. I play stupid games to challenge myself to answer questions until I can no longer answer myself. Mostly I laugh. But some days, I sigh. And I say…”just because.”
Am I on my own People?! Please tell me I am not! If you have enjoyed, please like and share! Thanks lovely readers and friends xx
This list is Things You Might Feel in the First Year. You might not feel them but I sure did.
5 mins post delivery: Elation, disbelief and tears. Shit. A human just came out of me. Did anyone else see that?! Other than the 45 people that were in here at the time?
30 mins: Exhaustion, awe and gooey mushiness. Look at it. Just look at it. Wow.
3 hours: Disbelief. Slight concern that Baby won’t be quiet and I don’t know how to look after it. Where’s the thing you press to call the midwife? Can she come home with us? Feed it more. Pain killers wearing off, down below feeling a little bruised.
6 hours: Uncomfortable. Fanny and arse on fire, can’t sit down. Shifting uncomfortably from left bum cheek to right helps. Want to go home.
12 hours: Drained but excited. Babies in ward waking up constantly. Mine slept, I got 5 hours! I’ve got this Mum shit down! Can’t wait to get home.
12.5 hours: Embarrassed. Just been told off for not waking Baby up every 3 hours. How was I supposed to know?!
1 day: Impatient. Still waiting for going home papers. Still can’t sit down.
1.5 days: Panicked. Just had midwife spiel on all the things you should and shouldn’t do, the appointments you have to make, the legal requirements you’re supposed to remember. What have I done? Who thought this was a good idea? Lower half of body in excruciating pain after jumping up to gather leaflets in eagerness to demonstrate how good a mother I’m going to be.
1.7 days: Delighted. Walking (shuffling) through the double doors out of the hospital with sleepy little baby. This is going to be marvellous!
1.75 days: Sluggish. Wondering who drove a bus into your vagina and whether you’ll tick over to 24 hours parking since that’s how long this 200m walk to the car is going to take.
1.8 days: Overjoyed. Home! Back into gooey mushiness and gazing wonderment, especially as all it does is sleep! I love it!
2 days: Terrified. What the fuck? Who let me bring this thing home? I don’t know how to look after a child! Why does it keep making that noise? Oh….the Baby has gone green. It’s covered in poo. That’s ok. I can handle poo even if it does go from ears to toes. Cleaning is fine. Pretend it’s a dirty frying pan. What’s next? Don’t worry about what’s next. One thing at a time. Deal with the shit.
3 days: Worried. Unable to remember the last time I closed my eyes and that high pitched wail didn’t pierce my ear drum. Arse and fanny swollen to the size of a house. Just want to sleep for 12 hours like before it got here.
4 days: Tearful. Boobs swollen to watermelons. Wondering when I might not feel like I’ve been run over by a bus forwards, backwards and forwards again.
5 days: Mortified and Irritated. Wet patches on my top. Milk keeps seeping through in front of my father in law. Sick of the smell of flowers, they keep making me sneeze. Baby sleeps on all visitors then does nothing but wail for me. Go away! It’s my Baby!
One week: Annoyed. Thought “sleeping like a baby” was a thing?
Two weeks: Shit! Got a cold. Fanny stinging constantly and only relieved when crab walking naked round house. Found all the leaflets from the midwife and haven’t done any of it. So, so tired. And Husband is a dick.
Three weeks: Amazed. 4 consecutive hours sleep last night! New. Woman. Still feel like eyeballs have been sandpapered but can survive on this. Only 40 minutes late to friends house today. Winning! Bits are itchy but bearable. Love Husband, he’s so great.
3.1 weeks: Disappointed. Aaaaargh! Must have been a one off. Back to 3 90 minute blocks of sleep. Why hasn’t stupid Husband got boobs?! Think I might die of sleep deprivation. Cuddled the checkout boy in Tescos by accident. Call mum begging for her to take the Baby away. Call back 10 minutes later to cancel, guilt set in. Such a bad Mother. Didn’t mean it. Promise. Missed doctors appointment altogether as caught in a poo-eat-sick spiral. Begged for new appointment. Fanny relief came in the form of a cream. Why didn’t they send me away from the hospital with this?!
4 weeks. Defeated. Can’t take this. Babies shouldn’t have such stupidly small stomachs. Whose idea was it to have a baby anyway?
5 weeks: Elated! Baby smiled! Love it so much! It’s so cute, look at this!
6 weeks: Hopeful. Black clouds are clearing. Last 3 nights had 2 lots of 4 consecutive hours’ sleep. That smile…
6.5 weeks: Delirious. Doctor talked about sex at 6 week check. Laughed all the way home. Then cried when saw Husband. Please don’t run away with Hot Receptionist with her stupid in-tact fanny.
8 weeks: Furious. Why the fuck are you stabbing my baby with all these diseases? I’m not coming back for the next set of immunisations, this is ridiculous.
9 weeks: Ashamed. Tried that thing the doctor said about. Fanny is a cave. It will never be the same again. Cried during sex. Husband will never touch me again. Just take him Hot Receptionist…
11 weeks: Satisfied. Tried “it” again in spare bedroom after Baby fell asleep on our bed. It was ok. Bit like being 16, but ok. Will leave handcuffs and lingerie in the drawer for a while longer yet.
3 months: Knowledgable. Researched immunisations and decided to go back. Resisted punching doctor. Gave advice to another Mum in docs waiting room. Feel like a hero. I know stuff! Feeling brighter. Accepting of new life. Wish I could get back in my jeans for date night.
4 months: Organised. Routine established. Days have structure. Baby wakes up at 3am then 7am. Do-able. Joined gym. Have the occasional thought about going back to work, throat swells up.
5 months: Confused. Weaning? Is like weeing? Thought potty training was ages away. Must talk to other Mums.
5.5 months: More confused than ever. Buy blender. And bananas. And rice. Basmati?
5.6 months Wrong rice. Return it and buy Baby rice.
6 months: Exasperated. Routine lost. Spend all day feeding. Shit stinks.
6.5 months: Betrayed. Dada?! Are you kidding me?
7 months: Trepidation. Err….it moved. WTF? This house is a danger zone.
8 months: Anxious. Why must everything go in the mouth?! You can’t eat Babybel wax! Wish it would lie still again.
9 months: Heartbroken. “Keep In Touch” day at work. Cry on train. Cry in toilets at work. Call home seven times. Run back to the train station and snap heel on new shoes. Don’t care. Don’t let go of Baby for 3 hours. Re-do finances and research working at local nursery.
10 months: Pained. Back killing from holding baby upright so it can walk. Can’t you just crawl again?
11 months: Focused. Spend all day on knees with arms around Baby making a cage to stop it falling on face. Bump on head from last week. Am waiting for Social Services to knock on door. Finally able to do button up on pre baby jeans. Now to lose muffin top.
12 months: Proud and Reminiscing. Made it to a year! Baby is so big and so clever! More so than every other baby at nursery. It’s gone too fast! Remember how cute it was? Remember that sniffly noise it used to make? Big sigh. Maybe we could go away for the weekend and drink and lie in like grown ups. Remember when we used to lie in? Remember how much fun Friday nights were? Remember when parents used to say all those cliche things and we’d roll our eyes but now we know they’re all true? Don’t care….love new life.
Recognise any of these as things you feel in the first year?! Send yours in via the Making Little People Facebook page or on Twitter (@makinglittleppl). More blog posts available here.
Having two beautiful Girlies is absolutely and categorically the best thing I have ever done. They are heavenly. I worship them. But there are one or two things I miss…
- Wallowing. Being able to wallow in my own illness or hangover. Just to lay, uninterrupted, flat in my smelly bedsheets and moan, angrily scrolling through my phone and sneering.
- Morning sex. There’s always a child making noise when I wake up. It’s not conducive to romance.
- Sounding like me rather than my mum. At least 50% of my day, my mum’s voice comes out of my mouth rather than my own. I tried not to the other day…my toddler ran around like Drop Dead Fred.
- Reading Grazia in the bath with a glass of prosecco every Saturday. I may as well cancel my subscription. And my bath is full of mouldy rubber toys that dig in my bum cheeks.
- Complete reckless abandonment to alcohol. There’s always a niggle in the back of my mind reminding me they’ll be in my face in a couple of hours. Unless I stay away at which point I do recklessly abandon all sense of motherhood….until the morning when I torture myself with guilt and disgust (even though most of the time I haven’t done anything wrong)
- Size 10 skinny fit trousers. Ok, maybe this should be on the “since I got married list”
- Skyscraper high heels. I just can’t do anything above 4″ now. Kurt Geiger must have seen a major profit drop.
- Waking up after 7am. I long for the day I look at my phone and it starts with a 10. That did actually happen the other day but only because I fell asleep at 8.45pm and I had my 12-hour clock on.
- A smooth flat tummy. Mine feels like a wicker basket.
- Spending more than 2 and half minutes on my hair and make up. I used to have time to put liquid eyeliner on. Now I don’t have time to unscrew the lid.
- Walking past a pub and going for a drink. Mmmmmm. That’s me recalling that Ale-y, alcohol-y, sweaty smell.
- Enjoyable 5pm to 7pm. I miss the pub. How has someone not invented a family mute button?! I promise I’ll only use it Monday to Friday from 5pm to 7pm. And maybe midnight to 4am.
- Peeing alone. I don’t want much from life, just to have a little breather on the loo. I don’t want the door to be opened and the world know what my poo face looks like. That should never be shared.
Again, I love my babies. Really I do. But it’s ok to miss things. Let me know the things you miss in the comments!
Read more of my posts here.