Childless? Sure, Hit Me With Your ‘Parenting Advice’!

Ah that old chestnut.

What is with women/men who have no children telling you the best way to feed/change/rock/soothe/play with your child? Of course, those who don’t have children are always the best ones to remind you what you do wrong, aren’t they? Especially because they have read all the research and baby books and every scientifically proven article ever in the whole wide world. They also have a billion

Ha!
Ha!

friends/relatives/significant others/distant nobodies who have children and so that qualifies them to know the BEST for YOUR child. They explain their research and their opinion to you, and the whole time all you can do is smile and nod.

My question really, is why? Why do they feel they are the most qualified of people to give their advice on parenting? I chose to formula feed my daughter and I have received tuts of disapproval in public when I don’t whip out a boob. However, if I was to breastfeed I would get tuts of disapproval FOR whipping out a boob.

I’ve been informed not to rock Sophie to sleep before putting her in her cot, because that would make her too clingy and expect rocking before bed. Hmm, being as she is a baby I would expect her to want hugs from Mummy or Daddy before bed to make her feel relaxed and comforted. I rock Sophie until she is sleepy or asleep before I put her in her cot because otherwise she thinks it’s playtime when she spots her animal mobile. I want my baby to actually sleep at 7.30 when I put her down and not spend the next two hours laughing to herself, then crying because she is TOO tired. This was told to me by a woman on the train after a conversation about how old she was and how she was sleeping. I asked if she had children and she said, ‘No, but I know lots of people WITH children’.

I’ve been informed that giving her a dummy is lazy parenting. When Sophie was 6 weeks old, she kept vomiting her feeds, but she was crying for food. Or so I thought. I gave her a dummy which previously she had refused. Sophie promptly fell asleep, and I learned that my daughter finds a dummy a comfort to suck on while she falls asleep. No more vomiting from overfeeding! My new couch now hides when I bring out the bleach but at least my baby is happy. I don’t plan for her to use it when she is talking, as the dummy fairy will be visiting waaaay before then. Now, Sophie only uses it to get to sleep then she spits it out. She is much more interested in her hands than her dummy, unless its to hold the handle in her mouth.

The funny thing is here, is that I always welcome suggestions from anyone – heck someone may actually have advice that is good. Before I got pregnant, I always had an idea of what life would be like as a mother. I always imagined the very cute, small, warm bundle

MESSY
MESSY

I would hold and rock and stroke the face of. I imagined an instant routine and soothing baby tears and a happy contented CLEAN baby that was all mine. You do don’t you? The reality however, is so different to what the so called experts tell you in books.

What I got… well, aside from the obvious cuteypie that is the fruit of my womb, I got a messy, snotty, dribbly child.

I have coped with: explosive shit and projectile vomit, been peed on, puked on, shit on, dribbled all over, had food sneezed at me, changed nappies that leak into BRAND NEW baby clothes, had snot fly at me, pacing the flat at 3am singing the Shut Up song – my own invention, tried to dress a child that preferred to eat her feet than put them in a baby grow, had two necklaces ripped off my neck, had my ears screamed into, handled a sick child, handled a teething child.

Not one of those people who gave me unsolicited advice said to me ‘oh yeah I know what you’re going through, I’ve been there’. Because not one of those people have babies themselves. They read a book by an expert and expect that to be the case. That babies follow the books. They don’t. What works for one baby will not work for other babies.

And just because your mothers’ sister’s cousins’ auntys’ brothers’ friends’ wife told you otherwise doesn’t mean you have a clue what you’re on about. Until you are in it, you have no idea what the Mummy Club is like. You can babysit and coo over a cute baby. You can even feed and change them. But until you’ve had to handle the hormones, the scary feeling your baby will die in their sleep, the consistent whinging when they find their voice, the crying that doesn’t stop and you can’t figure out the WHY of it then hold your stupid opinions. Everyone can guess but no one is an expert on babies – even the ‘experts’. Supernanny for example, has great ideas…but no kids of her own. Her methods may work for some, but won’t work for others.

If I’ve said it once, I’ll repeat myself a thousand times. I will do things MY way, what works for ME and my Hubbers. If that requires formula/dummies/a smack on the butt when needed when older, then that is what I will do. You wanna tell me I’m doing it wrong?

Well, in that case I hope you have the most awkward, whingey little shitbag of a child ever. Then I will laugh as each of your personal opinions of dummies/formula/smacks on the bum don’t work. Sayonara!

<3

No Silver Spoon…Just Plastic!

Sophie is being weaned! Oh GOD my baby is growing up!!!

We went around Asda today and bought some lovely bright orange plastic spoons and green star bowls. We got a load of Ella’s Kitchen pouches and a box of Cow and Gate baby porridge. We did a bowl of baby porridge when we got home – a bowl is about 6 teaspoons. She ate five of those six spoons as well as a 6oz bottle of formula!

Loving the porridge!
Loving the porridge!

She is a right little piggy and absolutely loved trying something new! She kept pulling these little faces that said how much she hated it but then she would smack her little lips and grin for more…as you can see!

We are going to try her on a pouch of warmed mashed banana tonight and then follow on with a bottle. Hopefully this will allow her to sleep through for longer as her tummy will be warm.

I felt SO tearful earlier. Mixture of total pride that she is growing up but also so sad that my tiny newborn is becoming more independent. She is my absolute sunshine and it makes me so sad to know that the wrinkly prawn is so big now.

I need to have a new baby!

I bought a gorgeous yellow dress with green tights for her for Church on Sunday.

 

I am so so excited that when we do her Christening Husband is getting himself baptised as well! He has already been christened into the Church of England but he doesn’t want us to go to different places when we die and wants Sophie to have a good example set for her. I think it’s wonderful! I cannot wait to tell his mother…

D.A.D – Today is a personal DADDY APPRECIATION DAY

Less ranty this one. All about Daddies. Just one in particular – Sophie’s.

Everyone who knows me knows how happy I am with Husband. He is perfectly imperfect for me and a perfect Daddy for Sophie. In no particular order I am going to make a list of thank-yous just to him ❤

Husband cuddles Sophie whenever HE wants one, regardless of whether SHE does

Husband makes bottles AND sterilises them correctly

Husband does the 2am-morning shift which means Mummy gets a lie in nearly every day!

Husband will laugh his head off at a shitty nappy because the farts and smells still make him laugh

Sophie smiles her head off whenever she spots Daddy

Husband makes up his own stories to entertain her

Husband baths with her and splashes with her just to have skin to skin time

Husband will tirelessly play with Sophie and invent names for her teddies: Gerry Giraffe and Terry Tiger are two!

Husband will bring her into the kitchen in her rocker while he washes up just so she has some company

These are just a few of the things I wanted to list. I see everyday how many women complain that their husbands are uninterested in playing with or interacting with their babies, and that their relationships change when they have a baby.

I feel very blessed and very lucky that Husband feels like I do: he helped create the little creature that is Sophie and he watched her birth, cut her cord and he did her first feed. He was the second person to hold her in her life and they have the most incredible bond. He is every bit as connected to her as I am and I carried her for nine months.

Our relationship has become even stronger, and I wanted to show my appreciation that I have someone like him in my life.

“If I had my life to live all over again, next time I would find you sooner so I could love you longer”

Judgey McJudgeyson – Yes, THAT is YOUR Name!

I am all for a good debate/heated conversation/argument/downright bitching session. Of course I am, I am a woman and by nature we are fiercely overprotective of our own opinions and naturally think we are right. Put up your dukes! I am right and you are wrong and I will argue you into the netherworld’s until I am proven so!

Damn skippy

Not really – while I have very strong viewpoints I do try to see another opinion. Lately though, I have been getting increasingly irate at all the judgmental and not to mention, BITCHY women I know. I went to an all girls secondary school and I hated it. Growing up with so many brothers I learned to fight like a boy. Basically, this means calling someone out and hashing out an argument. As quoted in Mean Girls, all the fighting in girl world is sneaky. Its horrendous and they judge you and sneer at your opinion and quietly make you feel like shit when we all know all girls want to be accepted by their equals.

However this post is specific to Mums.

During pregnancy we are all very much banded together and going through the same or similar feelings and issues and changes. When we doubt things like sex in pregnancy or stretchmarks etc, we are issued with a rallying cry of ‘it’s your body, your choice, ignore the haters, do what you like! SCARY WOMAN POWER!’ There’s unity and support and outrage at the nasty menfolk who made us SO pregnant we are sick, with sore boobies and hormones and weight gain. IT’S THE MENFOLK WITH THE PENISES – THEIR FAULT!

And then we become mummies. Some women, like myself and my Bestie, stay supportive of others choices even when we don’t agree. Then there are the others. I should probably whisper the next bit just in case they can hear me… the Supermums.

Oh good, they didn’t hear me! Phew! You know the ones I mean right? I’ll do you a list –

SuperMum read ALL the manuals on parenting. Ever. And now has a specialist degree on babies.

SuperMum disapproves of women who poison their poor defenseless babies with disgusting formula *spit*

SuperMum disapproves of all things that non-SuperMums do

SuperMum disinfects all things in case baby gets yucky germs. Including visitors. And the oxygen outside.

Scratch that, SuperMum would never dare bring baby outside. There are more yucky germs!

SuperMum never EVER EVER puts the baby down and therefore have superior iron bladders

SuperMum does not get anything wrong. IT WAS IN THE BOOK IT MUST BE RIGHT!

These are the women who have a baby and automatically become judgmental beasts who start their sentences with BUT WHAT DO YOU MEAAAAAN YOU ARE NOT BREASTFEEDING??? DIDN’T YOU KNOW YOUR BODY IS A SACRED VESSEL FOR YOUR CHILDS USE ONLY??? YOU MUST LATCH YOUR DARLINGS, NO I DO NOT CARE IF YOUR NIPPLES ARE HANGING OFF, YOU GAVE UP YOUR RIGHTS AS A WOMAN WHEN YOU BECAME A MOTHER!

That was an extreme except for the bits in pink. Not every breastfeeding mother is a scary beast at all – I know a lot of boobiefeeding mothers who are brilliant and lovely including Bestie. I’m just referring to the ones who one moment support you as a woman then believe as soon as you become a mother you are a 24/7 baby-led junkie who must do nothing else but see to baby! Mid pee and the baby cries? Don’t finish – run and grab the baby because if you leave him cry for longer than a second Cortisol will flood into their system and they will stop trusting you!!!! Don’t pierce/circumcise your child – you are making bad choices for them and they shall forever hate you and spit on you.

I may seem like I am exaggerating, but there are honest to God women in this world who are so determined to follow all the books and be so perfect that they think anything less than what the books tell them is incorrect. Well you know what? When I spent 8.5 hours in labour and 2 of those pushing Sophie into the world, I did not see a book hanging at the end of her cord. All these so called ‘experts’ have got a big problem – the babies we had DID NOT GET THE MANUAL! No baby is born with one.

The majority of experts out there write books on babies and their milestones and most of them don’t even have kids!

In a nutshell – why can’t mothers just support each other regardless of whether they agree with opinions? I mean, do I have to feel looked down on just because I use formula? No I bloody well shouldn’t.

And if you run into a scary SuperMum, do me a favour and tell her that you left your baby in a pile of glass once to play. She doesn’t have to know you mean sand.

Lols

The Great Debate

And no, I’m not talking politics. I’m talking BOOBYMILK and FORMULA. There is always a huge argument about whether breast is really best or is formula the best. Every mother has breastfeeding advice given to them by hospitals now and sometimes formula feeding is put second by midwives. I am not talking about every midwife or every hospital, this is just a generalisation. 

Sophie being formula fed

This wikipedia page has all the info you will ever require about breastfeeding, and this wikipedia page is all about formula feeding. Do you see the significant difference in the amount of information about breastfeeding and the benefits and the lack of the benefits of formula feeding? Now, there are so many benefits of both boobymilk and formula milk, and my opinion is what is expressed in this blog. *Disclaimer* – MY OPINION IS NOT LAW, IT WORKS FOR ME AND FOR MY DAUGHTER AND DOESN’T HAVE TO GET UP YOUR NOSE. Moving on…

I admire every woman out there who has the guts to breastfeed. However, it just wasn’t for me and yes it was for a very selfish reason. Are you ready for it? No, really, are you ready??

I did not WANT to.

Ooo let’s all give that a moment to sink in. Has it done so? Good. Now, let’s take a moment to judge me as a terrible mother who blah blah blah blah… Zzzz… oops sorry were you busy judging me? I took a nap instead of choosing to listen.

My daughter is guzzling up to 24 ounces of Chateau Cow & Gate 2012. It has a light and creamy nose, disgusting to an adult but the way she holds her bottle when she’s chowing down makes me happy. She is just over 12lbs in weight, is laughing, chattering, holding her head up when on her front. In short, all the milestones she should have hit already, she has hit.

I think ladies who get up the guts to breastfeed through the utter pain of the hot, cement filled bombs that used to be boobs after birth are flipping amazing! When I was done having Sophie, I for the first few days wondered WHY people always complained about sore boobs after. Then Oh…My…God. The PAIN. My boobs swelled up like balloons and leaked milk night and day. Of course, Husband thought this was a great adjustment in our lives, but the rule was most definitely to look but not touch! My nipples were sore, huge and throbbing with heat. Having seen how hard my daughter would suck on a bottle teat, I was thanking the BoobyGods that I hadn’t allowed her to latch. I could barely lift my arms above my head.

My midwife (ah the wonderful, patient Lorna) at the hospital saw us at 34 weeks and asked outright whether we would be breastfeeding or not. I was expecting a fight or disapproval at my choice but when I said ‘bottle’ she actually accepted my decision with a smile. All too often friends and family have told me that they have had to argue with midwives or other staff because their decision to bottle feed and honestly, I find this ridiculous! Hospital staff are in a position of care and should support the hormonal ticking timebombs that are most pregnant women.

Boobyfeeding

Yes, breastmilk is the best thing a baby can have – the nutrients and the room temperature and the ease of access are all good reasons. Live bacteria, it’s completely natural. Kinda like Yakult in a tit. But what about the babies who refuse to latch? Or the mothers who suffer from cracked and bleeding nipples to the point the pain of it makes them cry, then the baby gets agitated and screams the place down? Or the thrush/mastitis? What about the babies who are allergic to breastmilk no matter how many times you change your diet? What about the feeling of utter desperation and failure when your baby is screaming with starvation because you don’t actually produce enough milk?

See, all these reasons can be fought through after the first couple months/weeks, but sleep deprivation, insane hormones and the shock of just pushing a person out of your body can really make all the above reasons a right turn off. I know that babies can be allergic to formula, which is why you can switch formulas. But you can only change your diet so many times before you have nothing left to change if a baby is allergic to your milk.

Then we get onto the bonding. I kind of take offence at the idea that bottle fed babies don’t bond as much with their parents. Yeah ok, breastfeeding allows a different kind of physical skin to skin, but I’ve fed Sophie while topless. Sophie rests her hands on my hands while I feed her and we maintain eye contact throughout most of a feed. The only difference is that she doesn’t feed from my body. She and her Daddy also have a fantastic bond. And to be honest the utter relief of having Husband taking over and assisting with bottles in the night (and day!) was one of the biggest reasons I didn’t succumb to postnatal depression. That’s not to say that Daddies of boobyfed babies don’t bond at all.

Then there’s the issue of babies that ‘are prone to allergies and sickness’ when formula fed. Well, I don’t know about that. Husband was boobyfed, I was bottle fed. He’s sickly, I get sick maybe once every two years. SHRUG

Unfortunately as a new mother, I have been ganged up on by ‘lactivists’ who believe breast is the ONLY way to go. Balls to that I say! The way to go is what is both best for mother, for baby and for family, whether that be booby, bottle or straight up sticking the baby on a cow (no, not really)

Too effing right!

As long as every baby is fed, warm & happy, then you Mother’s out there are doing a FANTASTIC job.