Print this out and stick it to your fridge. Future you will thank you for it, because having a baby (or two) requires a lot of mental preparation and then a healthy dose of humour to get you through the reality of what lies ahead – and to remind you that it’s not JUST you.
New mum resolutions
I will not:
- Expect to sleep from 10pm until morning.
- Stay in pyjamas all day.
- Forget have baby and leave it behind in pram at butcher’s. (To be fair, I did remember chuck steak and toddler but must remember my most important attachment next time.)
- Be lazy about toilet training toddler.
- Forget which boob baby fed from last time.
- Let toddler wrap entire house in toilet paper just because am tired.
- Expect to be woken in dead of night and not be disappointed every time it happens.
- Dress in way that reflects am on top of mothering thing and am not letting basic sartorial elegance go by wayside. (Note: must accept yoga pants do not actually look like smart black pants. No one is fooled.)
- Toilet train toddler so as to reduce overall household nappy consumption.
- Keep journal of which boob baby feeds from.
- Engage in educational and stimulating craft activities with toddler at least once a day.
Monday 4:55 am
Am woken to the sound of someone very rudely shouting from the next room. Wonder momentarily who would do such a thing at such an ungodly hour, then remember I have baby. Baby is yelling. Must tend to small human who cannot feed itself.
As soon as I enter the room, baby stops yelling and smiles like butter wouldn’t melt in mouth. Pause to appreciate tissue-ad-worthy mothering moment, then momentarily forget why I came in here. Remember baby and take baby into bed and feed from left boob (or was it the right?) … zzzz
Wake with baby draped across neck like strange anatomical necklace. Baby is in deep sleep. Decide to lie very still with baby necklace strangling me just to get a little more shut-eye.
Husband’s alarm wakes baby necklace. With baby’s bottom so close to face, cannot ignore bad smell emanating from the rear end area. Lie very still, while breathing only through mouth and hope husband notices smell first. Unlikely, but worth a try.
Hurrah! Husband has taken one for the team and lifted baby necklace off neck. Is now in baby’s room changing nappy.
Toddler wanders in rubbing eyes and grumpy. Like it was MY choice for him to wake up now. Toddler crawls into bed and instantly becomes not tired any more and ready to play peekaboo in very annoying way by lifting covers and blowing cold air across body. Try to sleep through it but it proves impossible.
Check toddler’s sodden nappy-pants. Consider it a huge good omen for the day ahead that we are leak-free and can avoid starting the day by washing a load of wet sheets and PJs.
Am currently waiting in local café for totally unsympathetic childless friend who likes to meet in cafes to catch up. Have been meaning to explain that cafes are no longer viable option for adult conversation. But owing to new mum resolutions, have decided to give café thing with toddler one more go. Need a fix of adult life if only by proxy. Friend is late and toddler fast losing patience for sitting still in the chair.
Baby sleeps peacefully in pram until toddler pokes it in eye. Baby howls.
Friend calls, she’s running late. Can I wait 10 more minutes? Take one look at toddler who is now wearing babycino cup as a teeny-tiny hat and decide to cut and run. I tell friend we need to go now. Friend appalled and judgemental.
Back home, baby asleep. Toddler claims to need to go wee-wee and prepared to use potty. Is it a trick?
Spend 20 minutes in bathroom with toddler while toddler pretends to wee while singing Hot Potato on a loop. Toddler unaware there are other verses to be sung and just sings the one about the potato. When I try to move him on to ‘cold spaghetti’ verse he corrects me angrily like I’m the fool who is not in control of one’s bladderly functions yet. He keeps up the tuneless, circular-breathing rendition of Hot Potato whilst not weeing one drop. Suspect desire to use potty was elaborate ruse to trap me into an audience for his impromptu concert.
Silence. Sweet silence. Toddler asleep, with nappy securely back in place. Who am I kidding? This child is nowhere near toilet training. Baby still sleeping. Forget again to write down which boob baby fed from and open up phone to download app. Get distracted and end up on Facebook instead. Watch ‘Cats who are overly dramatic’ video and then a monkey released into the wild from a crate for the first time. Cry my stupid eyes out and fall asleep dribbling.
Wake up to toddler poking me. Baby is crying. Toddler begins to sing Hot Potato again while dancing a merry jig around me. Catch toddler for a quick nappy check. God bless nappy-pants and their step-in nappies and nifty resealable sides – no more pinning down toddler in a death grip to change a nappy. Hurrah for advances in nappy technology.
Decide to distract toddler from Hot Potato marathon with educational and stimulating craft activities. Set up dining table with paper and crayons. Try to direct toddler to make an origami boat. Toddler watches intently then makes a ‘ball’ instead. Then makes lots of balls and demands a box to put them in. Find large nappy box and let toddler fill it with his origami ‘balls’. When he’s done he tips them out and puts box on head. Sings Hot Potato.
A small miraculous sound comes from my lap where baby is sitting. Baby is giggling. Then baby is laughing like a drain. It’s contagious. Now we are all laughing like lunatics in the asylum. Pause to enjoy tissue-worthy-mothering moment.
Just fed baby from right boob. Right boob. Right boob. Right boob. Toddler went down like a dream, after only two read-throughs of Dear Zoo, whereupon toddler feigned surprise both times at what was in the final crate sent by the zoo. (A dog, in case you are wondering.) There’s something sweet about a small human being with the memory of a goldfish.
Am settling in for the night and looking forward to a nice long sleep until morning.
Tuesday 2.17 am
Damn it. Forgot about new mum resolution to not expect a full night’s sleep AGAIN. Have also just fed baby and forgotten instantly which boob baby just fed from. In other news, the house is quiet. Children are sleeping. Husband is snoring gently from next room. Life is good.