As Harry nears his ten month birthday (yes, I count every month as a birthday and no, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon) I thought it was fitting to compile a list of things I have learnt in this time.
1. Drink wine. Lots of it. If I thought I was partial to a glass of red (or six) before I became a mother, boy did I fall in love after. Wine is the universal medicine of mothers. It relieves aches and pains, shuts down any feelings of stress and anxiety and cures all symptoms of a tough and testing day. I recommend one glass a day, minimum, for anyone with a child under the age of (at least) ten.
2. You will try wake up every day before your child and you will fail, miserably. There is no task like trying to get ready for the day with a naughty-nearly-one year old. Friends must allow at least half an hour leeway when arranging meetings as there is certain to be one more nappy change before you leave the house.
3. Now is not the time to grow out your hair. I chose possibly the worst time in my life to let my hair grow long again. How I have any left attached to my head at this stage I’m really not sure. A tangle teezer and copious amounts of conditioner are a must.
4. Get iPhone insurance. Now. Your phone will be smashed multiple times in the foreseeable future. If you can keep your child’s mucky mits away from it, I implore you.
5. Peppa Pig is Gods gift to parents. If you can get through the day without the Bing Bong song repeating itself in your head. If you haven’t yet discovered it and it’s many glorious qualities, like at least half an hour of silence, I suggest you start now. Plus the piggies are really cute.
6. Jaffa cakes are acceptable dinner items. For children and starving parents. I think almost every mum and dad I know has started out with the good intentions of raising a sugar-free, gluten-free, (fun-free) vegan, raw juice drinking child only to realise (very) quickly that when your pride and joy hasn’t eaten a thing for the last three days you will give them almost anything to stop their gorgeous chubby leg rolls from fading away. Popular snacks in my cupboard include rich tea biscuits, Pom bears and blueberry flavoured rice cakes.
7. Poo, glorious poo. When you become a mother you will (probably at some point) eat, breath and sleep the stuff. It’s a topic never far from your mind and one you are constantly telling your friends, who don’t want to hear it, about. You will also learn in this time that your child will get to an age where he can remove his own nappy and poo on your sofa.
8. There will be tears. From both parties. Babies cry. It’s a fact of life. They can’t express themselves any other way. I’ve been quite lucky up until now that I have had a mostly happy and content baby but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his moments. He’s also now learning that if he cries enough he 9/10 times will get what it is he wants. Queue tears. Lots of them. And not just from him. I’ve learnt that if Harry cries enough, 9/10 times I will join him. Someone pass the waterproof mascara..
9. Moving country alone with a baby is very hard work. And I’m not sure there are many people mad enough (apart from myself) to do it. This is explains my (not very) noticeable absence from social media and general life.
10. People say being a mother is the most rewarding job, and they’re right. To get one smile a day amongst a thousand tears is enough to make it worth it! Aww.