Rebecca Keil’s 5 Parenting Truths:
1. You’ll poo yourself in child birth and then you will get haemorrhoids, and those two things basically set you up for a life as a parent. They are motherhood! There will be so much poo and hopefully it will switch to more of your kids poo, but there is still so much poo. And then these haemorrhoids – well, they’re relevant because there’s a cream to fix most things in parenting, but sometimes you’ll just have to suck it up.
2. Sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture and you will go to some weird and wonderful places during those times but it will get better. There will be better days and one day sleep will come. We are 50% there with a 5 and a half year-old, but the three year old is still a total nightmare. When they say ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ DO IT! The cleaning can wait, the washing can wait, work can wait and catching up on Netflix can wait. You must sleep.
3. You will be constantly in awe of your children. They will do the most basic things that someone else might be like, ‘So?’ But that basic thing is everything to you. You will well up and be so proud of them – it could be over the way they say something or the way they dance.
You will go to bed thinking how did I get so lucky and why are they so perfect and it is seriously the best feeling in the world being so in love with something so incredible.
4. It is ok to put your baby in the cot and walk away or shut yourself in the bathroom and have a wee cry and take a minute. We put so much pressure on ourselves and society creates all these shitty expectations of being a good perfect parent but there is no such thing. We are all parenting in the best way we can and that is perfection. You do not have to be ok all the time and you do not have to like your child all the time. These are normal feelings and we need to look after ourselves and come back to the situation calm and ready. This is normal.
5. We should give our kids more credit. They are incredible little people who can comprehend things and are very capable if we let them try. Let them be kids in the mud and dirt and rain and let them experience how to fail, but celebrate them because they tried. Teach them and encourage them. Have conversations about social issues and be excited that they are the change that we get to shape the next generation. Raise your kids with empathy and educate them so they are inclusive and kind and strong willed and confident.
Rebecca Keil’s 5 things every new mum needs:
1. Manuka honey breast pads.
They’re soothing. Every new mum’s got to get them.
You’re going to have sex again sometime and it’s going to be horrible. I went to the doctor because it hurt so much to have sex after Rocky. I said to the doctor (who wasn’t my normal one): “Can you please look at my vagina – I think I’ve been stitched up wrong.” She said “No”. And I was like, ‘Sorry but I really need you to have a look’. She said, ‘That wouldn’t be what’s wrong’. I just hopped on the table and said ‘I paid 45 dollars to come here please look at my vagina’. Look, because I went on birth control straight away I dried up like the Sahara desert, all a woman’s estrogen goes after birth and all I needed was some lube. So get some lube.
3. A good swaddle.
Get that kid wrapped up.
Woollen knitting, you can’t go wrong.
5. White noise.
My husband and I are such believers in it. The kids don’t use it now, but I do think about introducing it sometimes. Both kids used it for a long time – we had apps on our phone to use when we were out – and it just calmed the kids immediately.