I was going to do it all. Drug free all natural birth. Breast is best. Cloth nappies over disposables. All organic produce as first foods. Playgroups, music classes, anything that would kick start their educational journey. Mother Madonna, you’re looking at her. That was the plan anyway.
Reality is it didn’t go to plan from the start. Both pregnancies were hard. I was sick, I went into preterm labour, I was a high risk case. I had to birth at the hospital. I had to have the steroids after going into labour preterm. With Trilly I had to stay in hospital for 8 days while they made efforts to keep her in there. It was a success and I baked her for a few more weeks. Both births were long and tedious, I demanded an epidural after 30 hrs of labour and no one can tell me I didn’t deserve it. It was heavenly. The epidural with Trilly only worked down one side but there was no way in hell I was risking doing it again and it not working at all. Drug free and natural it was not but the end result was still the same, I have two healthy daughters and I am here too.
All through my pregnancies people would tell me what a good cow I’d be. I mean of course I would, I had gigantor boobs! Obviously they would work fabulously right? Both girls I persevered, I saw the lactation consultants, I fed through tears and bleeding nipples, I gave it all I could. And mostly off only one side because only one side worked! I was defeated. I had a broken gigantor boob. I felt broken. At 6 weeks both girls went on to formula. The change in them instant. They were finally being fed properly. It broke my heart and I felt a failure but it was best for us.
As for the whole organic produce and lean meat diet I planned to feed them when the time came as hard as I damn tried Trilly blantantly refused to eat any food. Miss has always been a see food, eat food type of kid but Trilly still survives mainly on yoghurt and ham sandwiches. We encourage her to try new food, to just taste it please but the arguments are exhausting and believe it or not she’s healthy. I will often feed her up on a banana before bedtime because I can’t believe she survives on so little. She’s growing and thriving though and isn’t that the main thing?
Cloth nappies are great but I can honestly say I didn’t do it. I didn’t realise I’d have to deal with scrapping the crap down the toilet and soaking shitty nappies. Naive I was at the reality of saving the environment and the convenience of the disposables won. I could say I’m ashamed but I honestly don’t feel any guilt on this choice.
I tried mum/baby classes. I gave them a good whirl. Trilly did gym classes from age 2 to 4 before kindy days took over. Miss and I used to hang out and even though we didn’t go to any classes that turned her into a baby genius she still developed and learned at the same rate as any other child her age. She didn’t lag behind, miss milestones or suffer from lack of stimulation on her tiny brain. Both my girls are perfectly normal. Perfectly average even. Perfectly where they should be.
In a world full of everyone’s advice and opinions it gets confusing to find your own path. To find the right way that works for you. Your mind boggles at the options and your heart hurts from the judgements. What works for them may not work for you. They say not every child is the same so it only makes sense that not every mother is and we can not all parent our children identically.
Do what works for you, your child and your family. You will never catch me saying someone else’s way is wrong if it wasn’t right for us. We all do what we have to do to get through. Spend less time worrying about what others are doing and you will be so much more confident in your own parenting decisions. Love your child, raise a good human and make the world a better place.
As I sent Trilly off to school this week and said goodbye to my years of early parenting I can’t help but reflect on the decisions I made and the children I have raised so far. They have manners after years of ‘what do you say?’ being the first response to their questions but they still fart and belch as much as the next kid. They are children, they are fine and they are mine.
I’m going to take time to pat myself on the back because despite almost failing at every prechildren idea I had of parenting and not quite being the Mother Madonna I envisioned they are still children to be proud of and unbelievably proud of them and me I am.