Opinions

The things they don’t write in parenting books.

It’s a well known fact that parenting is like a ever-changing obstacle course with no map or signs that your on the right path.

Thankfully though, we are no longer in 1940 where women and men stay silent about their parenting concerns. We are lucky enough to have an endless supply of books, support groups, antenatal classes and even the internet to educate ourselves on what is going to be one hell of a ride.

HOWEVER.

In the last two years I have learnt there are many ‘FYI’s’ that are left out of the available learning material.

This became more apparent when recently I had a run in with a very obnoxious couple while I was out shopping one day. The books I read didn’t teach me how to handle these social interaction so I had to improvise.

This couple was young, clearly did not have kids and felt the need to express their self-entitlement.

I was in line for food with my 2 year old and yes, I had my pram. Because a pram is the most vital piece of equipment to help  stabilise an unpredictable toddler, hold my shopping bags and keep my sanity intact (put that in your advertising Kmart!).

The line moved forward so naturally,  I followed.

While I stood there this couple started walking in my direction. I figured there’s a tone of space behind me so surely they’ll walk around me right? In a way, they did but they sure made it clear they weren’t happy about having to take approximately 3-4 extra steps to pass by.

The comment from the male: “Way to block the fucking path with your pram.”

Followed by an ignorant murmur from his underage girlfriend “Wow…your so smart lady. Fuck sacks.” said sarcastically.

They both gave me evil looks as their shopping bags purposefully smacked the pram.

PAUSE.

First of all, I was lucky enough to get through 1 hour of shopping without a tantrum.

Second, as a reward for being an awesome kid we were in line for ice cream and we were having a pleasant day up until this point.                              

Third, do you think because I’m a mum on my OWN that it’s ok to make loud comments like that? Would you have said that if her dad were with me?          

Fourth, did I look like someone who was going to ignore this? Did I have ‘I’m a chicken shit’ written on my forehead? Answer: NO.

RESUME

For some odd reason they assumed I didn’t hear them and they walked by with a thick layer of smugness on their face.

So they got one hell of a fright when I went all Cookie Lyon on them and said

“Excuse you! We’re you talking to me? Cause it sounded like you were. Care to explain?”

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Both look pretty stunned because I guess they weren’t counting on a response. After a few seconds of what I thought was a glorious stare down the guy finally said “oh nah” while he looked at the ground and continued to walk away. His girl was long gone too cause we all know those hoes ain’t loyal.

In that moment it was like catching an under sized fish and thinking ‘should I let this go?’  I had every fibre I my body saying ‘going on, give him a piece of your mind!’ However  I looked at my kid and thought, no. You’re too young to embarrass now, I’ll save the good stuff till your older. So I let him leave with his newly descended testicles. But of course not without one final intense “fuck with me and see what happens” look.

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The point is that shit like that happens all the time and the more comfortable I’ve become in my parenting role the more apparent these situations become.

If the above scenario were to happen when my kid was around the 6 month mark, I most likely would have just ignored it. Because in the back of my mind I may have thought ‘maybe they are right? Maybe I should have stayed home? Maybe I should have made of an effort to move my pram? Because after all, I’m new to all of this.” Thank god I’m not that person now!

Most times your too focused on your kids to even notice or sometimes you do notice but feel it’s not appropriate to say anything.

My advice? SAY SOMETHING.

People may stare at you, give funny looks or whisper about you to their friends. None of that matters. What matters is letting that ‘other person’ know, that shit is not ok.

To summarise,  I’ve made a list of scenarios that have occurred in my short parenting time and what my reactions were. I strongly suggest aligning your attitudes to be some what similar ….

Let us begin:

  • Prams are big and clucky, that just the reality of them. Whether they are designer or the warehouse they are not meant to be invisible and people will need to walk around them.

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  • When your kid cries in public, people will look.

WLITA

  • When your kid cries in public, people will judge you.

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  • When your kid cries in public, people will expect you to flick that magic switch to make it stop, they will be super confused when you don’t do this immediately.

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  • When you’re at a seated event with your toddler people will expect good behaviour. If your kid kicks the back of their chair they will give you the ‘why did bring your kid here?’ look. They may even request to move seats.

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  • When you approach the counter to order food with your kid and you maybe trying to teach them some independence by letting them pick and ask for it themselves. You will get toe taps, coughs and loud sighs. These are signals that people are impatient and want you to hurry the hell up.WGAF

I hope you enjoyed this weeks episode, until next time!

 

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

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Pregnancy tests, tears and foiled plans.

2014 is the year I became a mother for the first time. This experience gave me both heart palpitations and a minor stoke. To be quite honest, this was not planned. Considering I was the girl who had a magical plan in my head as how I was going to bring kids into this world. The plan was, first I would marry either Joseph Gordon Levitt or Dwayne Johnson and we live happily in a million dollar Miami Mansion. Then at 30, just like Beyonce, I would plan to have my first child. He or she would be born into my financially wealthy lifestyle, with a 10 bedroom house, have the ability to travel the world and I would not get one stretch mark.   Did I say plan? I meant unrealistic fantasy.

As fate would have it (or a lapse in sensible decision making) I fell pregnant at 23. I remember feeling ill for a week, then two weeks, then three weeks. I figured since I was early winter that I had caught some kind of super bug that wasn’t going away, I laugh at this now. Out of pure curiosity I took an at home pregnancy test. Low and behold …. negative. Weight off my shoulders and off to the liquor store I went (I’m joking, I sent Brandon instead).  Still feeling miserable and suspiciously nauseous I take a second test a couple weeks later. Then again only one pretty line appeared, negative.

It just so happened to be by chance that pregnancy test had a ‘buy two get one free’ deal on at the pharmacy. I guess this is for the dumb asses like me that take the first two test too early. So I decide you use the third one about a week later, you know just for fun.

HOLY SHIT BALLS.

The WHAT THE F*#K is that second line doing there!? This test is broken! Where’s the complaints phone number? They sold me a dodgy test, someones already pee’d on this one! After this came a few tears followed by buckets of them. I was floored. This was not my plan. However, as much of a cold punch this was to the system, I couldn’t help but have a little smile creep in.

After the dust had settled and the nerves had worn off I told my partner Brandon. Then we went back to square one and cried all over again. We had it confirmed by the doctor who kindly said “congratulations” as I sobbed uncontrollably in her office. Then she strategically slipped me a variety of pamphlets. One so epicly titled “Teen pregnancy. What should I do?” Thanks bitch but I was 23 and hardly a teen. We drove around for about an hour, kind of in a blank daze. Not really knowing what to say to one another.

About a week past and at that stage I can honestly say we did consider having a termination. Not out of selfishness or unwillingness to have kids, but out of pure fear of “we don’t know what the hell we’re doing!” We couldn’t grasp the concept of us being parents when most times we forget to feed the cat. We didn’t think it was in our capabilities to take care of and raise a child. The turning point was when we discussed this. Neither one of us could come up with a genuine reason besides fear to go through with a termination. So, we can’t just drop everything and go out clubbing. So what! We can’t selfishly spend our money on ourselves anymore? Who cares! All these little details just did not matter and still don’t matter.

We made the best decision we ever have and I doubt there will be another to top it. Having a kid in 2014 was not the plan, but to be honest I’ve never stuck to plans anyway. I’m the type of person who consistently writes a grocery list of veggies, meat and health foods. Then forget the list at home and come home with chocolate ice cream to go with my chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles.

Moral of the story? For me, it’s that things happen. Screw your plan. You can either fall in defeat or rise to challenge. Guess what? It was nowhere near as horrifically terrifying as people make it out to be.

To contradict many theories about having children. No, your life is not over. No, you will not be broke. No, you do not have to be anti-social and lose all your friend (although the ones you do lose won’t matter).

Yes, you can still achieve your life goals. Yes, your can still travel the world. Yes, you can still have friends. Yes, you can still go out for dinners, attend parties, go shopping, head to the movies. Although these thing may take a little bit of extra effort they are still possible. More than anything though, Yes, It means life will change for all the right reasons.

Life’s journey is about striving for your idea of success and happiness. I’m just lucky now have a permanent little buddy by my side the whole way..

“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
Nicholas Sparks

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