Parenting can be a complete minefield, just when you think you’ve got it sussed something else crops up to throw you off track. I was a Girl Guide, so I always try to ‘be prepared’ and for parenthood that meant reading all of the books that people tell you to read, Gina Ford (she went in the dustbin), the Baby Whisperer (some pretty sound advice), Dr Miriam Stoppard (not bad) but all of these books were missing something fundamental, the reality of real parents. I’m not saying that any of these authors hadn’t had children but their books were ‘their’ take on parenting and we all know that everyone is different. I found the books by Mumsnet to be the most helpful; Babies The Mumsnet Guide and Toddlers The Mumsnet Guide, and now there is a new book to add to their collection “Why did nobody tell me?” from Bloomsbury and again this book didn’t disappoint.
Why Did Nobody Tell Me? “Home truths every parent needs to know”
This is a witty but truthful collection of hints, tips and anecdotes gathered from the message boards of Mumsnet. Who else would you trust to tell you the real truth about parenting, if it’s not from real parents themselves?
These are a few of the quotes which I particularly liked;
“She is a fairly recent mum exactly the same as you and quite possibly feeling less than adequate. Cut her some slack, stop judging, don’t seek out the bad in people – you might eventually find one or two kindred spirits to hang out with while you get acquainted with motherhood”.
This was one of my biggest fears when I first became a parent, I was never really worried about how I would care for my baby because I was confident that I would always do my best. BUT being a first time Mum can be quite lonely in the beginning, you want to get out and find things to do with your little one but Mother & Toddler Groups can be daunting places for new Mums, I was sure that everyone would be judging me and looking down on me but it turned out they felt just the same. I just tried saying hello to anyone who looked in my direction, yes it felt odd, almost like I was out trying to get a date but in the end I found some great friends and they helped to make those first few months/years of parenthood a pleasure.
“I love that childbirth is about the most macho thing anyone can do and it’s only women who can do it. Let’s all recognise that its effing hard however it’s done. Well done everybody!”
This comment was written about Having a Baby, not a Birth. I had Pethidine with my first (and hated it) and I had no drugs with my second. Some women are made to feel ashamed because they had drugs during childbirth, my take is providing baby gets here all in one piece and healthy, that is all that matters.
“The way people talk, you’d think I should be preparing myself for a lifetime of hardship, coming in stages that are each worse than the last”.
This one came from the section “Ignore unsolicited advice parenting advice from old biddies on buses. To be fair some of them have given me quite sound advice and I think the trick is to take everything with a pinch of salt. But the one thing about this quote that amuses me is that people make parenthood out to sound like some kind of horror movie and it’s not, it has it’s times but parenthood is the single most rewarding part of my life that I am completely proud of. My children test me, but I always say I like a challenge, but they make me laugh like no-one else can, they hug me just at the right time and my life would be lost without them.