Everything I haven’t learnt guest blog Muffin and Puffin

Experts, solicited advice, parenting blogs, books, more advanced parent friends, my own parents… I’ve consulted all of them at one time of another and through every ‘phase’ that our daughter goes through – I should be graduating with a first-class degree, maybe even three – because this has been a 2-year slog of a 24/7 study – yet I frequently feel like I may be the dunce here sitting with a cone hat on whilst dribbling slightly and speaking incoherently as yet, another 5am wake up rolls around.

This feeling, whilst a daily creeping one, is poignant now as I’m in a reflective mood. As our little munchkin reaches her second birthday – and in the process of booking a cake smash shoot to mark the occasion – I got thinking about the last two years and all that I haven’t learned. That is not a typo… I truthfully don’t think I know more about parenting now than I did when I first held that snuffly little bundle in my arms. One thing I do know… the goal posts change the minute you think you may just have cracked this parenting malarkey.

After the initial shock of a new-born routine, we quickly fell into something comfortable – life will have changed forevermore but you knew a newborn wasn’t an easy option and it really is just a phase… you expect to be tired and emotional and loved up and exhausted and not finish any sentan ….

Then it all changes and teething happen.

Then they start sleeping through… for a day…. And you get smug and tell your friends about your ‘methods’ that work only for it to all go to pot the following night whereby you consult google and rush to buy lush sleepy cream, throw lavender oil around like holy water and pray like you have never prayed before.

Then weaning happens and you prepare food from scratch and clap gleefully whilst they have their first tastes of foods and you vow you will never succumb to Ella’s Kitchen… and then months later you will weep with happiness that fruit and vegetables can be mixed together in a pouch!

Then they HATE all food and water and milk and will only eat crumbs that may or may not have been on your kitchen floor for three weeks.

Then they crawl and it’s amazing but having yearned for that day you have to re-learn how to get showered, dressed and generally do normal daily admin with a crawling ninja that is seemingly faster than the speed of light.

Then walking – I’ve never been so proud and in all my learning I thought this would make life easier… then you realise you can no longer pop them in a pram and go shopping because they have legs and they want to use them… so you have to learn again how to negotiate life with a tiny thing that is now upright and running away from you.

Then suddenly 2 is looming and you have a small thing with a personality, with words, with understanding and it is with profound pride and pleasure that I witness this every day… but also with profound fear that I know the answer to nothing. My husband and I are constantly looking to one another for reassurances and it really is the blind leading the blind, but we are blind together and we support each other daily and we make those decisions together (really, so no one can be blamed for any poor outcome)

 

What I have learnt is more about me, us, humans, relationships. No one can tell you how to parent, you can pick up handy hints and tips but ultimately every small person is unique… with unique needs, with unique feelings and there are no books for that.

So, while I may not have learnt anything about what the next day will bring, I have learnt this. Take it easy on yourself and just do your best. Every day that you have kept your small alive is a win, every cry you have is because you care, every shattered wake up is because you are needed. And for days when it just feels like you have reached a brick wall there’s always gin and Instagram.

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Mollies cake smash is in November so watch out for Jess’ social media!

 

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