As Fiona Neill once (very rightly) said "motherhood isn't all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints"....
When I first found out I was pregnant I had a vision of how I thought motherhood would be. I was full of opinions on everything; what I needed to buy, what wasn't necessary, food (baby's and mine), exercise, things that I would and wouldn't do etc etc.
Before I had given birth I had 'made' the following decisions:
1. I would breast feed, and when moving on to solids I would make my own organic creations, and never, ever use jars or pouches.
2. I would take up buggy fit, post natal yoga and walk everywhere with the pram and lose all of my baby weight within six months.
3. I would take Daisy to mother and baby clubs i.e. music time, baby massage, messy play, soft play etc four times a week.
4. Daisy would not watch CBeebies.
5. Daisy would not have chocolate until she was one.
6. I would not dress Daisy head to toe in pink.
7. I definitely would not be the sort of mother that talks incessantly about their child.
As it happens:
1. I was unable to breast feed. Daisy would not latch on and after two incredibly stressful, painful and sleepless nights in hospital with the
breast feeding Nazi's midwives I finally began to consider formula feeding. Breast feeding just wasn't working out for either of us---- I was a miserable and exhausted mummy and Daisy was hungry baby! So on my last day in hospital we combined formula and breast feeding and then, happy in the knowledge that Daisy had three days worth of colostrum in her, I switched entirely to formula. When it came to weaning I still had my good intentions. It was so easy to whip up pureed vegetables and pulses that I did that to start with. Then I realised that it was even easier to whip out an Ella's Kitchen pouch. And it tasted better.
2. When you have just had your first baby you are so busy adjusting to your new role as a mummy there just isn't time for buggy fit and/or yoga. Plus I am a lazy cow. And it was November. I wasn't wrapping up warm and prancing around doing lunges and squats in my local park (where people I know might be laughing at me) for an hour a week for ANYONE! Its only now, a year on, that I am back to my pre-baby weight, and its not been down to post natal yoga either! Long summer and autumn walks with the buggy and a few sit ups (in the privacy of my own home, thank you very much) are responsible for that.
3.Have you ever been to any of those clubs? J-heeesus! I have never felt more of an idiot in my entire life as I did whilst singing and attempting to do the moves to Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, whilst my 6 month old daughter lay on the floor half heartedly shaking a baby maraca and smirking at me. I still haven't made it to the top of the waiting list for Baby Massage so can't comment on that. Messy play and soft play I rate highly, the latter especially now madam has found her feet as she can fall over as much as she likes on the bouncy floor without hurting herself. And I can have a coffee and a
bitch gossip with the other mums at the same time. Messy play is equally brilliant; not having to clear up after a finger painting session with a toddler is pure genius. I would be prepared to pay well over the £1 our local painting studio charges for that.
4. CBeebies is my saviour. Fact. I don't have it on 24/7 but I am partial to letting my daughter watch the odd episode of In The Night Garden or Waybuloo so that I actually have 20 minutes to do the washing up. Or get dressed.
5. Great in theory, but not in practice. How could I refuse my child a piece of her very first Easter egg? Especially when she caught me shovelling the entire packet of chocolate buttons from its centre into my mouth in one go. And I might be guilty of using a jaffa cake as a bribery tool whilst wandering round Tesco doing my weekly shop too. Everything in moderation I say!
6. After six months of "Oh what a lovely baby! Is it a girl or a boy?" I finally succumbed to dressing Daisy in pink. Just to make things fairly obvious to the old grannies that were accosting me on a regular basis of course. I still get the occasional "What's his or her name?" to which I reply "This is my son, Daisy."
7. Before I became a mother myself, I had friends that had already had children. I never ceased to be amazed at how much they could talk about their offspring. How could they speak so openly about bowel movements and get so excited about things like walking and talking! I have now become one of Those People. Check out my Facebook and Twitter updates for proof. "Daisy now points to the cat and says "miaow"!" "Daisy took thirty steps at soft play today!" Oh my god I am boring myself.
I am looking at expanding on this post as an article for my upcoming website and would be interested to hear anyone else's Confessions of Imperfect Parenting! Feel free to leave a comment or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org x