So I searched “headache and tired” today and was diagnosed with a rare, life-long condition called Twin Mum Syndrome. Apparently, it starts to improve in about 18 years. For now, the symptoms can be eased with Teletubbies and a very nice glass of wine.
But honestly, if you went through my Google history it would be littered with search queries such as “help! My baby has reflux” and “fungal nappy rash won’t go away”. If I can give you any advice, do not look at the nappy rash images. But as I sift through the plethora of parenting forums, the underbelly of motherhood is revealed. Women desperately searching for a solution to the millions of parenting scenarios we are tasked with solving every day… without so much as a clue where to start.
Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual. Just pooing, screaming, hungry little humans that require you to anticipate what they want, when and where. And when you fail to meet their exceptional standards, they don’t exactly provide constructive criticism.
Case in point last night. Luca was amidst a dinner meltdown. Apparently he doesn’t like mashed potato as evidenced by him shoving his hand down his throat to pull out the saliva-soaked potato before throwing it on the floor and proclaiming “NO!” [finger pointed at me with a remarkable resemblance to the way I tell him off]. Best part was that he maintained eye contact the whole time, the little bugger. Fortunately for me, this wasn’t my first rodeo. I strode into the kitchen (had a quick giggle not to lose face in our Mexican potato standoff), picked up a “big boy” spoon and handed it back to him. Turns out, he actually quite likes mashed potato when he can feed himself. Mum 1 : Luca 0.
But who do I have to thank for this motherly wisdom? Google. Well to be more precise, some mum out there that stumbled upon a solution to mealtime meltdowns and kindly shared her experience so the rest of us Mums could save the day (and the mashed potato from covering the floor).
Apparently, it is supposed to come to us instinctively as mother – the ability to solve everything from removing poo stains to administering Panadol to a toddler. But I can assure you, I have no bloody idea what I’m doing most of the time as I’m sure many Mums can relate to. And the times that I do have it figured out, it’s mostly thanks to the millions of mums that have paved the way before me.
So I say thank you to my mum, my mummy friends and all the other millions of mummas (via Google) that welcomed me into the clique and continue to help me navigate motherhood. And in the spirit of paying it forward, I have compiled a few tips of my own for other newbie mums:
1. Double bag the dirty nappy bin bags to avoid angry neighbours leaving notes about your bin being “contaminated” with maggots. It’s a whole new level of gross.
2. Brush your kids teeth in the highchair. Kids hate brushing their teeth at the best of times, at least this way they can’t escape and “accidently” lose their toothbrush down the toilet.
3. Wear earplugs to sleep. Not because you don’t want to hear them at night. It just dulls the screams enough to avoid an adrenalin surge that will guarantee you won’t be able to fall back to sleep after the little angel has nodded back off.
4. Make life simple. Bone broth and organic carrots are great if you have time, but fish fingers won’t kill them either. Either way, there is a good chance they’ll be stealing vodka from the liquor cabinet when they’re teenagers so just do the best you can.
5. Do something for yourself every day… no matter how small. Like I am today, sitting on the couch watching Netflix because it’s more enjoyable than spending the afternoon cooking a weeks' worth of meals to freeze and doing 7 loads of washing.
Got some mum wisdom to share, let me know in the comments below!