Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Advice to my Younger Self Wrapped Up in an 80s Bow

Friday, 19 January 2018

Advice to my Younger Self Wrapped Up in an 80s Bow

As my youngest edges ever closer to meeting the admissions criteria for the exclusive club of the terrible twos, I realise that in many ways I am emerging into the light having thrown off the shackles of the baby years. With this realisation I have started to think about what I would tell my pre child self were I to be able to go back in time? What nuggets of wisdom would I impart to that naive, insecure and needlessly bored mid twenties self? Except that you should maybe avoid that hairdresser in the West End as she'll give you a shag-come-mullet hairstyle that will take forever to grow out. Being that unsolicited advice is never particularly welcome I decided to wrap it up in an 80s trend gift box to go with your inevitable and highly regrettable haircut, the all important power ballad .You are welcome.


NOTHING'S GONNA STOP US NOW

Everyone has heard this old adage before but once you are not actively preventing, you are actively trying to conceive. You'll want to give yourself time, presuming there will be difficulties and you will need to get a year of "trying" under your belt (excuse the pun) before you can secure investigation and intervention with the NHS. Don't be fooled. In retrospect, those two blue lines herald our future within one month and you shall be less than prepared.

You will sit.

For 3 hours.

Staring.

Just staring.

It will be bad timing what with a new job, a house hunt underway, a husband in training and professional exams looming in the near future but the horse will now be whinnying from the other side of the door as you ham- fistedly try to wrestle with the Yale.

Just staring...



TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD

Those three dark haired children (two boys and a girl obviously) that you have always envisioned will disappear in a plume of smoke like a bad magic act. Instead, be prepared for only being able to welcome the two into your family but being lucky enough to watch your affectionate and doting daughter help mould her younger brother into something pretty fantastic.
The Dynamic Duo

ALONE


You will never be alone. You may think this is sweet and endearing that your beloved cherubs will love you so much that they cannot bear to be parted from your loving embrace. The reality is that there will be full days where you will not get a moment of solitude and this includes bathroom breaks, showers and body hair maintenance regimes. Expect plenty of questions in relation to the afore mentioned activities. You'll start offering to do all the chores that you loathe; gallantly offering to scrub the encrusted dishes until they sparkle like a Fairy advert, cleaning out the wardrobes of all the clothes which you no longer fit and even brandishing the iron from time to time merely so that you can secure a few moments of tranquility away from the barked instructions of your toddler on how to be a good cat owner, when you don't own a cat.


You will NEVER be alone

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME


There may be days when you feel like this. Don't beat yourself up, everyone does even if they don't say it. I realise that in your pre-child naivety you probably think that it is horribly disloyal to your unborn, perfect progeny but it's not that you don't want them it's just that sometimes you crave the hedonistic days of minimal responsibility.

Well that and lie ins. My word, do you crave a lie in.

A toddler is the cruellest of alarm clocks


THEY'D DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE (BUT THEY WONT DO THAT)

And by "that" they mean eat any non-beige food groups. I know you live on vegetables and have a remarkably healthy diet free from sugary treats (damn you diabetes) but your children will not be swayed by your behaviour. I know you've been told that they will eat whatever you eat and that it is merely your ability to parent that will prevent this. You are wrong. There is nothing and no one as stubborn as a toddler faced with vegetable.

Good luck to you and God speed.


This paltry portion will go uneaten


EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN

Surprises happen (you'll have two of them) and there will be times when things look bleak. You'll think you are prepared for it not to go to plan but in all honesty you will feel sucker punched. Keep going. Once you know, you know and you can start to deal with it. Hope will endure, merely shifting its focus and small triumphs will undoubtedly result. These are the things to cling to in times of uncertainty. Know that if things had worked out differently then you wouldn't have what you have now, and believe me you want what you have now.

Please though, the hairdresser? STAY AWAY.


Stock photos have been used to prevent the humiliation of the innocent

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