Parenting Advice which actually works.

I bumped into the lovely midwife who guided me through my first four pregnancies today. She was working in the local charity shop where I was browsing with my eldest who is currently off work while doctors investigate his odd illness which gives him back pain and the jitters!

I said hello and she asked which one of "her" babies was with me. We had a nice catch-up and I was very happy to see her seemingly enjoying her retirement. She had joked when I was pregnant with number 5 that she planned to make me her last patient but I kept having more babies and she really needed to retire!

madmumof7 with DH#1
Meeting her again took me right back 20 years when as a nervous first time mum I attended my NHS antenatal classes. I remember wondering what to wear, who I'd meet, whether I'd come away reassured and prepared or more terrified than I already was.

I walked into the clinic and took my seat in the circle and looked around at the varying bumps. My "bump" looked like plain old fat in comparison - I was one of the mums due last out of the group.

I came home and told DH all about the different characters I'd met - then just a few weeks later he got to meet them all when he joined me for the "dad's night".

We  took our seats next to an elegant blonde lady ( that would be you Jo) and her bored looking husband. We were asked, as an ice-breaker, to write on a piece of paper why we wanted to have a baby. DH and I chatted with the couple next to us and while we scribbled that we needed an excuse to buy a Scalextric set they wrote that they fancied buying a Hornby train track.

Imagine our dismay when the midwife started reading out answers from the other couples - answers like "we wanted to a child to mark our commitment and love", "We wanted a baby to prove our everlasting love" and so on and so on.

We squirmed until the midwife got to our silly answers - which were met with a look of disgust and a snarky comment about immature people not taking things seriously.

We are still friends with the couple we sat next to, along with another two couples. We meet up as regularly as we can with 12 children between us and I also bump into some of the other mums at the secondary school some of my older children attend.

I have to say that those friendships were the best thing I got out of the classes. The actual birthing techniques proved a bit of a waste of time as I ended up with an emergency C-section( the first of my 7 Caesarians) which was an eventuality  we hadn't really been prepared for at the classes.

Dummy or no dummy -your choice!
In fact the most useful piece of information actually came from one of the Health Visitors who gave us a little talk about "after the birth" - a time we could not begin to imagine as we sat there all lumpy and bumpy.

After informing us of the very real problem of post natal depression (she told us she had suffered for 6 years after having her baby) she spoke one line which became my mantra.
And I'm going to share this little gem with any new mums or struggling parents out there now.


A simple truth which is easy to forget when you are tired and emotional and will do just about anything to get a nights sleep. So take it how you will. 

I mutter it under my breath when I am tempted to give into a tantrum. Feel free to join me, or shout it in your head if you feel you need to remind yourself that you are perfectly entitled to parent your way whether that means attachment parenting or happy with a buggy, breast or bottle feeding, using a dummy or not, and potty training when you feel the time is right not when your MIL says it is!


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