Essential A to Z of parenting
This year I’m celebrating 14 whole years of being called mam. I know – I don’t really look old enough. And I certainly don’t feel like a responsible adult yet! I’m still the girl who can’t really boil an egg, let alone plan a Sunday lunch. Being a parent always scared me, and from time to time I do suffer from the epic parenting fail. This is an essential alphabet (full of things that may put you off having kids if you don’t already have some!) for would be parents, parents and grand parents. Don’t expect me to hide any truths from you…
Are we ready? Then I’ll begin!
A for Attention – kids demand all of yours, and in turn you get very little of theirs!
B for Books – kids love reading, and occasionally when I’ve been working this is the only one to one time I’ll have with them. Ellis loves David Walliams, Cara and I are reading Stephenie Meyers‘ Twilight and G will read anything from Julia Donaldson, as well as all the welsh story books we have here too!
C for Cray Cray – because our house is definitely very cray cray most of the time. From having to be three places at once, to having all the appointments in the world for three kids on the same day, to looking at your washing pile and ironing pile on a Friday you soon learn – this requires you to be a little crazy too! I almost put C for Coffee here because it kind of keeps you alive when you have kids…
D is for Developmental milestones – You might have heard of these. First smile, first poop in the potty, first sentence, and as a mum of three very different human beans I can tell you no two are ever the same. Daughter was out of nappies at 18 months, both boys enjoyed the nappies and hated the potty. Ellis was speaking in clear sentences at 2, DD and youngest son still don’t talk coherently. I’m joking, Cara’s just a typical teenager, she doesn’t shut up. Don’t expect your child to be able to do things it says in their NHS books. They’re individuals!
E is for Energy – let’s face it, you don’t have any. I don’t know if this changes when they reach 18. I’ll let you know in 4 years time…
F is for Family First – Let’s face it as soon as you have a child you’re a family. Whether you’re a single parent or there are two of you steering the ship. There’s no going back, you don’t exist any more, just this one unit called family. Which leads me to…
G is for Gin – And by God do you need it some days
H is for Handy Andies – Let’s face it, the amount of times you wipe snot from the noses of your gorgeous little monkeys, you should buy shares in the company! Don’t leave home without them!
I is for “I didn’t do it” – Did you eat the chocolate baby? No? Then why is your mouth covered? If I had a pound for every time I heard this I wouldn’t need to work again. And you know what they’re still using is at 14!
J is for Jam – They love it, their fingers love it, their hair loves it, unfortunately it doesn’t really go with wallpaper, carpets, soft furnishings or electrical goods.
K is for Ketchup – with everything. Forget food, just give them ketchup.
L is for Laundry – Nothing in this world prepares you for how much laundry three kids produce in a week, or even a few days. Not to mention bed linen, but my daughter at 14 can change her clothes 5 times a day, the toddler needs that many changes anyway because he loves mud, dirt and anything that he can cover himself in!
M is for mam – I am no longer known by my first name. MAAAAAAAM is now my name. But you know what? I’m proud to have them call me MAAAAAAM. I just wish it wasn’t 20,000 times per day.
N is for NO – It is a word commonly used by toddlers to tell you as the adult exactly what to do with your love and support…
O is for Oral Contaceptive – Which is how I got pregnant the third time (and wouldn’t change it for the world)
P is for Post Natal Depression – No one told me about PND. I was just expecting a huge life change, BUT wasn’t expecting to be so low after having a child. Read more here.
Q is for Quiet time – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
R is for Repeat – Like Disney’s Frozen? Be prepared to watch it 50,000 times, know all the words, to all of the songs, backwards. We have all those annoying Johnny videos on YouTube with the little one at the moment. Never seen one? Let me enlighten you!
S for Sugar – Because it’s not nice to swear in front of the children
T for Tantrum – We’re going through this stage called the terrible two’s at the moment which means that boundaries are being pushed, great learning curves are being achieved, but oh my god a toddler tantrum is the world’s worst thing EVER.
U is for Uber cool parents who offer you advice – Like, mate, you have one six month old, come back when you’ve faced world war three and Armageddon, you haven’t slept for two weeks, are covered in snot, puke and have been asked are we there yet twenty times on a five minute journey. YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW. Just for the record, this often happens in Waitrose…
V is for Vomit – Sorry if you’re squeamish, but you’re going to have to get used to the stuff. Smelling it, being covered in it, cleaning beds full of it…kids are germ magnet, and you can zoflora your house to death, they’re still going to get ill. Period.
W is for Waiting – You do this a lit. Waiting for appointments, to see the school, to see them play sports, people tell me it’s worth the wait. But they told me that when I was pregnant…
X is for Xenagogy – Yup, they should have given us a guidebook, don’t you think?
Y is for Young – because to be fair I can sing all the Arianna Grande songs because my kids keep me young <3
Z is for Zombie – Or mambie, you forget how to wear make up, do your hair, wear clean clothes (see V is for) and your whole life becomes about feeding, shuffling about aimlessly and remembering how to do things that came pretty easily pre-children.
I totally forgot about J for Joy, L for Love, U for unconditional love, and H for hugs. Because you know what? You’ll never be the same, but you definitely receive more than you give being a mambie.