Thursday, 28 June 2012

Voyage of Discovery: Selfless Parenting

Many of you would have taken one look at the title of this post and probably thought, what drivel is woman on about now?

I am not a selfish person although I do enjoy my own company, can easily get lost in a good book (or trashy vampire series for that matter - finished the Twilight series in less than 2 weeks while still working a full day and commuting!), and I love computers, blogging and generally doing things in my own time.

When my husband and I decided to try for our first baby in July of 2009 we were completely aware that having a child would forever change our lives.  Little did we know that it would completely change us but only for the better.

As I said earlier, I'm not wholly selfish but never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine the amount of washing, mess, and other bits I would have to clean, wipe and deal with and the sheer volume of it all from such a minute creature.

For example, no one tells you about exploding nappies and when they did tell me about the different types of (interesting) poop, I would go onto auto pilot and grin and nod at what I thought were appropriate moments but not actually taking in a single revolting word.  Why would I be interested in some baby's bodily functions?!  I wish now that I had listened to their advice and warnings.  Needless to say, before baby I would have run a mile and now when I see a dirty nappy, I execute the cleaning up procedure with military precision.  Baby wipes, nappies, drying cloth, changing mats, spare clothes, nappy bags, nappy cream, iPhone (Peppa Pig re-runs are a lifesaver when changing a wriggly 2 year old) are always at hand and it's safe to say that I could probably change a nappy in under a minute, maybe a bit longer if it is a bit of nappy nuclear warfare.  The biggest thing though is...I don't gag at the thought of it, I simply get on with it.

The same applies to baby vomit.  Oh my word!  Where does it come from?!  Projectile vomit that can cross an entire room, splatter everything in sight, getting in your hair, down your back, stuck in high chairs, on the cat or dog, you name it, nothing is safe!  I thought it was bad when I saw tired looking moms sipping on their extra large cappuccinos while cuddling babies who were dribbling milk sick from the corners of their mouths onto their clothes and inevitably onto mommy too.  In my opinion, small bits of milk sick have nothing on when a child has reflux or is genuinely ill.

Again it is needless to say that I now know that if I'm in a projectile vomit situation, I sprint upstairs with my daughter in my arms (if at home) and leap (carefully) into the shower with clothes on, turn on the shower whilst simultaneously stripping both of us down, de-vommiting and sanitising us, then drying and dressing us both.

Hubby and I now always keep spare clothes, a towel, plastic packet and extra baby wipes in the car too for short and long journeys as these seem to be the main two places where disaster strikes most.  Bottles of water in the car at all times are good too if the situation gets particularly messy, and you can rinse baby's mouth out too to help them feel slightly better.  Rather prepared than not!!!

Before baby I would have been sick at the idea of cleaning up someone else's vomit.  I do still gag of course because it is revolting (I'm only human!) but as it is my child, I honestly don't think twice about going to her rescue.  I love her and would do absolutely anything to make sure she is happy, comfortable and feeling better as fast as possible.

Sleepless nights can also take their toll but since I was used to working odd hours when I was a chef and also being a bit of a night owl in my early 20's, I found these manageable.  This is the one thing that I knew we would have so was pretty darn well prepared but all my mommy and daddy friends and was willing to listen as I am (slightly) competitive and wanted to prove them wrong.  I could manage sleepless nights.  My baby would sleep through.  It would be fine.  Well, thankfully it was and my daughter slept through from 10 weeks, was a healthy baby and even when teething would only be restless for a couple of nights.

Having a child in my life has definitely opened my eyes to the person that I am and the person, mother, wife and friend that I can be.  Our daughter is supposed to be learning from us but instead we are learning so much from her and loving every minute of it even if some of those moments are a little icky.



  1. Oh great, I'm so glad you warned me about the projectile vomit! Tonight Little Bean peed on me as I was putting her in the bath (me still in my 'work' dress). So I ended up jumping in the bath with her. Will make a note to pack an 'emergency clothing/wipes pack' in the car for future - great tip!

  2. Aah yes, the towel in the car. Used to need that on a regular basis with my eldest. My youngest though hasn't ever been sick in the car (touch wood), although she's overall a much sickier baby! Go figure!


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