This will probably be one of these posts I look back on and laugh. Oh and one I’m sure many a parent will have a good snigger at too. But in this stage when I’m just about getting my head around the whole ‘you’re going to be a mum’ thing I wanted to note down a few things I really want to remember/keep in mind as I change from being ‘just me’ to being the version of me that has a child. Yep. Still feels bizarre to even think that. In fact, as I re-read and schedule this I’m already noting how things have changed as I actually originally wrote this in September 2017.
First things first, when it comes to becoming a parent. I have never been an overly broody for babies person. Sure, I’ve loved seeing my friends become mums and spending time with their kids. Often think they’re cute but I didn’t spend time with babies and come away with aching ovaries desperate for a baby myself. It was more a case of knowing I (we) wanted a family and you kinda can’t do that without the whole ‘having a baby’ thing and knowing the timing would never be ‘perfect’ but it certainly wasn’t a bad time. So it happened and here we are – getting our heads (and my body) around the fact that a family is happening. Exciting times.
With that comes the realisation that not only do I have to get ready for nappy changes and night feeds. But also for telling off and tantrums and homework or friend drama and helping our child make decisions and hopefully grow into a good human being. Fingers crossed.
I guess the first thing you do when faced with becoming a parent yourself is look at your own first hand experience which is your parents and how you were raised. I am very grateful to have a good relationship with both my parents and feel close to both of them and whilst I’m sure raising me (and my brother) was no walk in the park. I think we turned out pretty decent and there’s a lot I would like to take from how my parents raised me into my own approach as a parent.
There’s a whole list of things I appreciate from how my parents raised me, along with a few other general parenting things I want to keep in mind as I try find my way in this whole ‘raising a family’ thing.
Sunday Lunch is a big deal
Something that became a weekly routine was having Sunday lunch all together. From hearing my parents music-to-cook-to choices (hello Bruce Springsteen & Elton John music appreciation still going strong for me as an adult) and delicious food. It just became a routine that I’m sure as a teenager I rolled my eyes at, but very much appreciate the importance of now and definitely something I want to hold on to. Family meals FTW.
Ok, not none as such. But from my parents any expectations never came at me in a ‘you must do this, follow this path, get these grades etc’. It was more always a case of you must try your hardest and do your best. So when it came to school reports – as long as I had the best grades for effort, they had no expectations on the actual marks I got. I’m sure they secretly hoped I would get all A*s at all times but the fact that the expectation was effort not output. Which of course I probably drove them crazy with my ultimate goal being minimal effort, maximum grades (seriously, that was the dream… ). This is something I’d love to take in my approach as a parent.
My parents have always given me unwavering support and that’s something I will be eternally grateful. When I failed to get the grades I needed to get into my university of choice (you can read more about that joyous day here) they were both absolutely there for me and never expressed how they must have been upset or worried for me. They just did everything they could to support me as I found my way to my own plan-B option. There are countless other situations where the’ve given me their unwavering support in the various situations I’ve been in or choices I’ve made over the years and it’s something I think it’s one of those things that can’t have always been easy but I am very very grateful and I hope it’s something I can give to my child.
A love of Disney
So this is *slightly* a joke. I mean I’m not going to try and brainwash my child with Disney movies (possible lies, I am likely to do this) but I am SO looking forward to being able to embrace a whole world of Disney with an actual child rather than just being me as a thirty-something who wont let go of her love of the happiest place on earth. Don’t even get me started on the whole ‘taking your kids to Disney world’ thing. As Ollie and I have been as adults and LOVE Disney World (I’ve written about our trips over the past couple of years HERE), taking our child it pretty much inevitable. So I hope for their sake they’re excited by this prospect because I’m essentially already on countdown to when they will be old enough to take to Florida, I’m thinking one plus…?! (When I originally wrote this I said four, but frankly there’s no way I’m waiting that long…Is it frowned upon to leave your child with grandparents so I don’t have to wait a full four years before I can go again myself?)
I could list a tonne of other ‘parenting goals’ type things but one of the things I really want to try and remember is that I can’t plan this. I can’t predict how it’s going to go and I won’t be perfect and no-one expects me to be. I think trying to be a perfect parent is probably the quickest way to fail. After, I’m basically taking on a full time, 24/7 job for the rest of my life for something I have zero experience or training for. It’s hardly likely that I’ll be perfect at it! But, as long as I try my best (as my parents taught me to) then thats the best I can do.
*Photography by www.bangonstyleblog.com