If you are new to parenting, and especially if you do not have children, there will be many questions you have regarding parenting. Thousands. Because parenting often makes no sense at all.
So we thought we’d get our resident parenting expert* Seventies Baby to answer the most frequently asked questions [FAQ]
1. Why are mothers so tired all the time?
Well, there’s no real short answer to this. Unless you accept the answer ‘children’. The thing is, kids are balls of intense energy that recharge every night and [for a few lucky years] during the day too. Unfortunately, their energy is good for nothing except tormenting you. They NEED so much of you ALL THE TIME. They need your attention and your affection and your patience and your supervision and your tolerance and your teachings and your lap and your boobs and kisses on their bellies and if that’s not enough they even rip your heart out of its chest on a daily basis. That’s pretty exhausting stuff.
2. Why do people always want to know if your new baby is sleeping through the night yet?
Because we want to know if these beings actually exist. It brings us hope. Even though we flinch, just a little, when he hear mothers say ‘oh yes, they’ve been sleeping through since they were 3 months old’ we feel encouraged that our 24 month old may start to sleep through the night too.
3. Why are mother’s houses always a mess?
Well, because THEY HAVE CHILDREN and children are like puppies. Except worse. Because you can put puppies outside or lock them in the laundry. And apparently you’re not supposed to do that with children. Children never stop moving, eating, pooing and weeing. So there are crumbs on the floor and wee on the toilet seat and skid marks in the toilet bowl and underpants all over the lounge and chip packets hidden under the cushions and hundreds of dishes in the sink. Half of those dishes are sippy cups and those coloured Ikea kids’ plates that every family household in Australia has because don’t you know that kids like to get a NEW PLATE/CUP EVERYTIME?? Plus there are packets of baby-wipes everywhere. Because a baby-wipe is actually an all-purpose magical cleaning product. A mother can get away without mopping for months if they know how to use baby-wipes cleverly.
4. Why can’t mothers have a normal conversation – like they used to?
“Johnny! Get OFF the dining table!!!”
I don’t think that’s really fair, do you? I think we definitely can, we’re still grown-ups. Our brain hasn’t died. We can still hold a conversation. We still have a brain.
“Amelia!!! Get your finger out of your nose… Do NOT eat that! Do you want me to come over there??”
I’m sorry, what were we talking about?
5. Why don’t mothers care what they look like?
Excuse me? That’s pretty harsh. We care. We care a lot. We just also care about comfort too. Or first. It’s not our fault that all our favourite pants are stretchy… or pyjamas. Also, ponytails never date and make-up is bad for you. Also, we’re tired and our house is a mess.
6. Why do parents just let their kids scream in public places?
Wow. You people are never happy. Parents should let their children cry themselves to sleep but don’t let them cry in public. Make your mind up! Here’s the thing. Sometimes kids just scream. Often times for no good reason that anyone can see. Sometimes mums know exactly what to do to STOP that screaming and sometimes mums know that no matter WHAT they do, the screaming will continue. But let me just point out right here that however irritating and disturbing that kid crying is to you – times it by a thousand and you may get an idea of how it is for the mother. I know we look immune to it [and perhaps we do develop an insensitivity] but when our kid arcs up, especially in public, we are DYING inside and just counting down the moments until we can get the home.
7. What is ‘me’ time?
‘Me’ time is an urban myth. There are apparently mothers who have it regularly but no-one is sure if that is actually true or if those mothers are just counting hiding in the pantry eating Tim-Tams as ‘me’ time.
8. How much wine do mothers drink?
Why are you asking that? Who do you work for?
They may have one to two glasses a night. On the weekends only. With dinner. NEVER during the week. NEVER before 6pm. NEVER more than two glasses. NEVER with cheese only. NEVER on their own when everyone else is in bed and they’re watching Grey’s Anatomy.
9. Why are mothers always so distracted?
Haven’t we already answered this question? Oh maybe not. Well, you see motherhood is relentless. There’s just so much crap stuff in your head all the time and sometimes the important stuff gets pushed out of the way and we lose our place. Plus, we’ve already discussed how tired mothers are. Tired and a brain full of crap stuff = distracted. I think.
10. Is motherhood the hardest job in the world?
Yes. Please send wine.
11. Why don’t mothers ever have any money?
Because children are expensive. The family unit is a money pit that never bloody refills. Lets put aside medical bills, education and child care. Kids never stop growing! They can go through three shoe sizes in ONE YEAR and the same goes for clothes. And you know why kids never stop growing? Because they never stop EATING. They are like tubes. In one hole and out the other. It’s endless.
12. What are ‘milestones’?
Milestones were invented so parenting experts could come up with chapter headings for their books. They are based on children no-one has EVER met that latched-on immediately, slept through the night, eat everything ever offered to them, have full control of their emotions, bladder and bowel, know all the words, and have perfect fine and gross motor skills. And mothers all over the world treat them as gospel.
13. Why are children so annoying?
Derr…. Because. Children. They are little versions of grown-ups and let’s face it – lots of grown-ups are annoying too. Unfortunately, it’s harder to eliminate annoying children from your life than it is to eliminate annoying grown-ups. Especially when the annoying children are yours. And especially if their most annoying moments are when they’re behaving just like you.
14. Which is better – a stay-at-home mum, a working-mum, a single-mum or a well-rested mum?
What a stupid question. There’s no such thing as a well-rested mum.
15. If a child has a tantrum and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Yes. Please send wine.
*Seventies Baby is NOT a parenting expert.