The OH and I have been talking about having another baby. Personally, due to financial reasons and what not, I don't think we're ready. This is where I also discovered I was the boring and sensible one in the relationship.
I've given it a lot of thought, and although I feel I am ready for another baby, there's a lot of doubts that are swarming in my mind. A lot of these are doubts that people failed to mention to me upon the birth of my first baby, Princess. Things I will never, ever forget, but also things I feel are also worthless as advice. The doubts I am talking about are the facts we all know, but don't really know at the same time.
Here's listing a few..
The very first one on my list is the pain of child birth. When you think child birth, you think pain. Your mind doesn't automatically jump to the little bundle of joy at the end - please tell me it's not just me? - sometimes it focuses on the negative experience you're about to have. Princess's birth was horrendous. There were 5 people present at my labour (all family but not in the same room at the same time) and every single one of them said I shouldn't have been left as long as I was, so I have sort of lost faith in the system. Everyone I have spoken to has said you forget the pain you felt, it all becomes a distant blur. Most importantly, it doesn't matter because you forget as soon as your baby is born.
For me, this isn't true. Mostly because my pain was halted after I had a spinal block right before my emergency section and she was evicted from the sunroof. My most vivid memory of child birth is wishing I was dead. Dramatic, but true. Maybe I'm a wuss, who knows? We all have different pain thresholds, but none of us knows what the other has felt. My point is.. if someone tells you labour is easy and it doesn't hurt.. don't trust them. It hurts. A lot. And if it doesn't? Consider yourself fucking lucky.
Everybody and their Grandad tells you about those sleepless nights. They all say "Oh, don't be expecting any sleep any time soon!" As a new parent, you take it in your stride. You probably stay up till 2am (or is that just me?) and then don't rise until 11am (fuck off with your judgements, I used to work evenings, okay!?) and assume you'll just be able to cope. Nobody tells you that sometimes, you won't sleep for TWO DAYS straight. They don't warn you that sometimes, 13 hours worth of bed time, but being woken up 20+ times, does not equal a healthy amount of sleep. They also don't warn you that your child can take EIGHTEEN months to sleep through the night. The closest I ever got was a block of 6 hours. Finally, upon turning 18months and sleeping in a proper bed, did I get 8+ hours worth of sleep. Do not under any circumstance assume your child will 'sleep through the night'.
This brings me to parental advice. Take every single thing you hear with a pinch of salt. I was once told that you could most definitely not give your child rusk mashed up with milk in a bottle.. unless your health visitor told you so. Apparently HV advice reduces the risk of choking.. who knew? Majority of the time, the piece of advice you have been given is third hand. Unless your friend/family has experienced said advice personally.. do not trust them. What could kill one child is perfectly reasonable for another. If you're ever worried, trust your Mothers instinct. It's not a myth, and it's there for a reason.
Number three.. never underestimate the power of television. I bet each and every single one of you promised yourself you would restrict the amount of viewing time of television that your children got. Even those of you who stuck to this promise.. I bet you have caved. Sometimes television, or more importantly, our childs favourite programme, can honestly save us from insanity. I always swore that Princess wouldn't spend all day watching TV, I would find better ways to keep her occupied. Confession - the only reason I have a Sky TV subscription is to keep her quiet. C Beebies is just NOT enough - sorry Mr. Bloom, as much as I love you.. she doesn't. Never promise yourself you won't do something.. I can guarantee you that you will.
Which brings me onto our next topic. Bribery. Sweet, sweet bribery. Without incentives such as toys, sweets and chocolate, my house would have probably imploded by now. When Princess is throwing one of her all out, cut-throat tantrums and the only thing to shut her up is chocolate.. trust me. I'll do it. I'll candy floss my arm if I have to, anything to get her to stop. It is never just as easy as telling your child to 'stop'. It is never just as easy as telling a child you're disappointed in them. Sometimes drastic action has to be taken. And by drastic.. I mean blackmail.
I always promised myself I wouldn't give in to tantrums. I'd stand my ground. If she was wrong, I'd make her realise it. I probably couldn't have been more misguided.
Don't get me wrong, I teach her right from wrong every day. She now knows it's wrong to pinch the dog by her nipples. She also knows it's wrong to dunk her toothbrush in the toilet water. But when she throws an all out fit because I tell her off for picking the cat up by it's neck, I don't know what do to do. By fit, I'm talking the head banging, eye watering, lung shrieking sort of tantrum. I have tried time out, I have tried ignoring her and I have tried smacking *gasp, shock horror* whatever, everyone has been there. But when nothing works.. what do you do?
You give in, that's what you do. You stop whatever you're doing and you let them continue doing whatever it was that made you stop in the first place. 9 times out of 10, the last 30 seconds was that dramatic for them that they have completely forgotten what just happened. You however, are reaching for the wine..
Also.. no one ever told me how much crap I would consume. I'm not talking about shoveling my pie hole with chocolate cake because I've had a bad day, I'm on about the amount of general shit that accumulates in your house. This crap usually consists of some of the following: McDonalds toys, garden bric-a-brac (including stones, sticks and leaves), other childrens toys and mouldy food. If you move your sofa out from it's regular spot, be prepared to feel slightly nauseated. More often than not I find sweets, pieces of toast and toys I have long since forgotten about.
Also please keep an eye out for .. *looks shifty* .. stolen goods. More than once I have left a shop with something I haven't paid for. If the shop is local then I will give it back, I'd rather not shit on my own doorstep thank you. Sometimes though, Princess has managed to stow these things away in her pram until I've found them a week later - one of these things included a £12.99 Max Factor foundation stick, and most recently a DVD from Blockbusters.
I was just a little bit gutted the foundation wasn't even my colour..
This one is corny, but I don't feel cheesy for saying it. No one can ever, ever describe to you the love you feel for them. This love will more than likely escalate into fear and that fear into panic. I often find myself worrying about how Princess will cope when she reaches school. Will she make friends, will she find the work okay, will she be alright without me? She's not even two, get a fucking grip. But do you know what? I can't. Fears like these are present every single day and they range from 'she's not eating enough' to 'what the fuck did I do wrong?' Either way, you will never stop worrying.. not for the rest of your life.
I often feel I'm ready for another child. Who am I kidding, I'm as broody as hell. But when I look back on Princess's last two years and imagine it times two.. do I think
"What do you take me for..!?"
"Bring it on!"
Right now I have no idea. However I do know that you can't have alcohol whilst pregnant.. can I last 9 months without my wine?