PARENTS

What Parents Should Not Fret About

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Things parents should not fret about

Definition of a Mother: Always carrying lots of other people's belongings and likely to have stains on her clothes. Her most feared word is milestone and her most feared person is a Yummy Mummy.

Worrying is her main occupation, often about things she won't remember the following week because

a) her brain is the size of a chocolate raisin from sleep deprivation (or she worries that it is)

and b) she'll be worrying about something new.

Her worries will continue until - well actually they'll just continue.

Will I ever get into a night time routine?

All routines are good because they make your life easier, or so we're led to believe. The problem is someone forgot to tell the baby - how jolly is that?

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So the only person in control of the much desired routine is the one who really doesn't give a teat whether they wake you once, twice or even three times a night.

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No point stressing about disturbed nights; some sort of pattern will eventually emerge, just expect a random pattern and of course by the time you're lulled into thinking you've cracked it, another slightly different random pattern will emerge.

Your best bet is to get used to a constant state of flux.

My two-year-old has only got a vocabulary of five words but my friend says her child speaks in sentences.

Well your two-year-old sounds pretty similar to a lot of children I know after 12 years of full time education so I shouldn't worry too much.

Remember never compare your child with someone else's (apart from, favourably of course) and don't take any notice of other mothers - they're probably lying to impress you. Before you believe anything, insist on proof!

How can I keep my baby safe from bacteria?

What can you do if you're breastfeeding? You can't sterilise your nipples – actually you could but evidence would strongly suggest that boiling them would be dangerous, not to mention painful.

As long as you ensure that all other milking equipment is sterile then you must stop stressing. From the moment your baby starts to reach out their tiny fingers and grab they will be in contact with 'dirt'. Life isn't sterile and as some experts say, a little bit of dirt is good for you.

Which expert should I believe?

The experts have one thing in common, they all say something different. So if you're battling with conflicting advice from Gina Ford, your granny, your mother in-law or the lady on the no.7 bus, the answer is go with what works for you and what your gut feeling tells you. Always remember 'mummy knows best.'

I can't compete with Yummy Mummies. I don't even have clothes that fit.

Don't even try. No one likes a yummy mummy they just pretend to. Remember the Stepford Wives? They were made of plastic.

My child is only just walking but my friend's child was walking months ago!

Did you know that Mo Farah didn't walk until he was 15 months old? Sorry that's actually a lie. I have no idea when he started walking but I would bet my children's legs on the fact that his mother worried just as much as the rest of us about his physical development.

My worries started the day I came home from the hospital and continue.

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As soon as one milestone is ticked off you worry about the next.

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When they can crawl you'll worry about them walking, when they can walk you'll worry about them running. Best to chill and just let it happen - believe me once they're mobile you'll wish they weren't.

I sometimes use the TV as babysitter. Am I a bad parent?

Well it depends who you talk too. Personally I don't think you are and the chances are that those who don't, you wouldn't care much for anyway.

Will life ever be the same for me and my partner?

Well the simple answer is no and the less simple answer is also no, that is until they've grown up and left home by which time you won't remember who you were anyway. But different doesn't have to mean worse or better, it's just different.

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