The Perfect Equation of Motherhood
If I'd have known how important numbers and equations would become the minute I became a parent, I would've concentrated more in Maths class. Instead of scrawling notes to my friends about how Luke from class B had glanced at me endearingly (or just glanced) during break, I would've concentrated on nailing fractions and indices (know what they are? Me neither). From religiously noting the number of ounces my newborn has consumed (and thrown up) to going insane trying to solve the mystery of the 45 minute nap, parenthood has become a number of difficult sums I'm constantly trying to answer.
How many ounces can my boobs hold?
Boobs tend to become pretty important once your baby has arrived; suddenly you'll have grown bazookas the size of footballs that become increasingly difficult to carry around. I breastfed exclusively for the first few months of A's life and as most new Mother's do, I umm'ed and ahh'ed (and panicked) about how many ounces my child was consuming.
Is he getting enough? Too much? Why is that boob holding so much more than the other one? Which boob did I last use? Then, once I took to pumping, it became a competition. My poor partner would arrive home from work to be greeted by a noise similar to the 'chugging' of a small train, only to have a small container of breast juice shoved in his face, "7oz today, dear! That's the most I've got out of these bad boys so far!"
How many outfits will I need?
The impossible question because you can guarantee the day you pack enough, your toddler will have deftly learned how to use a fork and will barely drop a morsel of food, yet if you've forgotten to pack their spare clothes, you can be assured you'll be experiencing a nuclear-poop explosion; usually when you're out for the day with nothing at hand. Oh crap. Literally.
The mystery of the 45 minute nap.
There comes a point during baby's first year where your bundle of joy will suddenly make life more complicated by forgetting how to fall asleep at nap-time; cue a lot of googling the lyrics to nursery rhymes (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star will quickly grate on you), back-rubbing (for baby, not yourself) and
threatening rocking. Of course, once you've got yourself through an hour of all that and the little one has finally closed their eyes, they'll rudely begin to scream a mere 45 minutes later.. EVERY SINGLE NAP TIME.
I scratched my head, I read the books and I (obviously) turned to Dr. Google for answers. I tried rousing baby slightly early in the hope he'd drift back off for longer, putting him down later or earlier and bribing him with chocolate cake, all to no avail. The elusive 45 minute nap is a conundrum that continues to haunt my nightmares to this very day, and what fixed it? NADA. If I've learnt anything from motherhood, it's that the books don't have all the answers; sometimes your kid just wants 45 mins and ain't nothing gonna stop 'em!
A parent's worst enemy - the 38°+ temperature.
It's the one we all fear the most—the dreaded fever. Be prepared to check your little one's temperature a thousand times in that first year; you'll eventually be able to throw out the thermometer as your hands will become incredibly astute at detecting a normal temp/a moderate one and a burner (this one's bound to send you off panicking to A&E with nothing packed but a dirty sleep suit and an empty pack of wipes).
The equation of the toddler nap.
As soon as you've dodged the 45 minute nap, you'll begin to encounter the much more welcome 1-3 hour naps the toddler parenting crew are always talking about - welcome to the club! Only problem is, your toddler will now decide that sleep is due to happen at the same time as anything you've ever planned. Baby group? Nah, I think I'll take a nap. Meeting a friend? Getting a bit tired actually, Mum. Work to do? I'm not feeling that tired today, think I'll stay up and help you. Can I bash on the keyboard? Naps are for babies!
Plus, of course, you'll live in fear of the day naps end, forever..
Through all of that stuff, I think I've discovered the perfect equation of motherhood; happy baby + happy parents + [a few chocolate biscuits for both parties & a decent few hours kip] = a simple life! Of course, that's only up until the next one comes along, ahhhh.