Okay, so when I started to picture myself as a mother – about 9 years ago – I had all these ideas about parenting. I thought about what kind of mother I would want to be and how I would handle things. When I got pregnant in 2016, I thought about it even more. Like any other mummy-to-be, I had these ideas of things I would never do as a mum. I was so sure I could be this supermum who would always do what’s best for her children. I mean, how could you not? How hard could it be to make only wise, healthy and good decisions, right? Yeah… I came back from that. Hard. As a mum, you can’t be perfect.
Make her watch tv
I always said: “I’m not going to let my daughter watch tv or let her use any electronic devices, before she is at least one year old.” Silly me. Listen, she loves her baby mobile phone, she loves to press the buttons and see it light up and make sounds. And I have to clean the dishes or make myself a sandwich once in a while, so yeah, I let her watch tv sometimes. Especially now she’s in that phase where she cannot play by herself for longer than 5 minutes. I try not to let her watch to much tv, though. I don’t want her to get all worked up before her nap. But yeah, BabyTV is my lifesaver!
Give her snacks that are not fruit or veggies
Oof, I really failed in this department. The thing is, it brings me so much joy to shop for my daughter, I always bring home snacks for her. I won’t ever give her cookies or candy or other things with a lot of sugar or salt in them. I really don’t want her to have that, at least not yet. But recently I found mini rice cakes especially for babies in banana or appele cinnamon flavour and she absolutely loves it! It’s sweet, but does not have extra sugar in it. Also, I have these ‘corn fingers’, they look like cheetos, but are also made for babies, she devours those! And ofcourse, breadsticks! I use snacks to keep my baby happy for two more minutes, I’m sorry, I am not perfect.
Lose my cool
The first three to four months of my daughter’s life, were not easy for all of us. She cried for 8 to 10 hours a day, every day. Those four months I was still very tired and emotional and she was crying so much and so intens, that sometimes I yelled at her if she could please stop crying. It’s not something I’m proud of and it was definitely not my intention to be that kind of parent, but I just couldn’t help it, it was so frustrating for me not being able to comfort her. When she was about three months old, we discovered she not only had an umbilical hernia (which is quite common for babies), but also an inguinal hernia, which may have been the reason for her to cry so much. After they fixed the hernia in the hospital, we had a completely different baby, she was so happy and smiled so much more! I never yelled at her again, I feel so much stronger now, I hope it will last a lifetime.
Let her cry
When you’re about to be a mum, or haven’t been a mum for that long, it’s very hard to imagine you would ever let your baby cry for several minutes, without comforting him or her. Believe me, I know. But when my daughter was crying for 10 hours a day and sometimes for 2 hours straight, I thought I was losing my mind when I couldn’t make her stop crying. A friend then told me that it was okay to let her cry for a few minutes (or to even turn off the baby monitor) and just close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. It made all the difference! It didn’t help my daughter, she still cried, but she would have done that anyway. It helped me stay sane and charge my battery. Even 5 minutes of silence (well not completely because obviously I could still hear her through the walls and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way) made all the difference.
So, what did you always say you’d never do, but now you do it anyway?