Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is one of the best experiences anyone can ever have, but there is no denying that having a baby changes your life completely. Most of parenting is a joy, but there are certain less enjoyable aspects which any new parent will identify with.
Becoming Public Property
When you are pregnant or have a newborn, expect random people to come up to you in the street and want to touch your belly or comment on your baby. This is usually done in a positive way, although if you are having a bad day with a screaming baby it really doesn’t help when five people in a row tell you that he’s probably tired. It can be very annoying but the best tactic to deal with the comments and interference is just to ignore the comments and smile sweetly.
Bags of Stuff
If pre-baby you were used to leaving the house with a clutch bag, think again. When you have a baby, you have to lug around a huge bag containing nappies, wipes, changes of clothes, snacks, nappy rash cream and loads of other things too. There are some really nice changing bags on the market which contain lots of pockets for all of your stuff, but a backpack or rucksack do the same job and can be easier to carry.
There is always one parent at every baby group whose little darling is reciting Shakespeare at 6 months old, or so they tell you. Some parents are constantly comparing their children as if it were some sort of a competition, and this can become very wearing. Try not to get caught up in their competitive conversations and if they start boasting about what their child can do, just turn the conversation back to something else.
Many mums blame baby brain, but it is so easy to lose things when you are juggling a baby and everything else too. The main culprits for getting lost are dummies and socks. There are good gadgets to keep baby socks on and these are well worth the investment, as are the clips which fasten a dummy to a baby’s clothing. If you find it hard to keep baby socks on, think about using tights instead as they are harder to lose, or allow your child to go barefoot in the warmer months.
Lack of Control
If you’re a very organised person who likes everything to be just so, it can be hard to adjust to having a baby who demands constant attention. Housework has to be allowed to slide, and you may have to start using more convenience foods as you just don’t have the time to prepare from scratch every day. The best way of coping with this is to recognise that this lack of control over your own time will not last forever, and go with the flow for a while. Rope other family members in to help with cooking or cleaning, and accept any offers of help.
Article by Morag Peers, a parent of three