Being a parent is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It is highly rewarding, but you work damn hard for that reward. I face new parenting challenges all the time, just when you think you’ve got it sorted, then BAM – the kid throws a curveball at you and you’ve got to figure out a new way to cope. There are different parenting challenges by age, that’s for sure. Each one seems to floor me!
Let’s look at some parenting challenges I’ve faced so far with my 11-month old.
1. Lack of sleep
My child has ALWAYS been a terrible sleeper. From the moment he was born, I could not put him down to sleep. He wanted to be on me all the time and would not sleep otherwise.
This made sleeping difficult for me. to start with, I stayed up all night holding my baby until my partner came down around 6am to take over. I eventually gave up and started to bedshare with Leo which helps a bit as it means I can feed him and roll away, then if he starts to wake up I can quickly get my boob in his mouth.
But take tonight, for example, he wouldn’t sleep and didn’t go to bed until 10:30 pm. This is bad news for me and my blog because I work when Leo is in bed. Leo’s lack of sleep doesn’t only mean I get lack of sleep, but it is disruptive to my work.
It’s now past 11 pm, I’m tired but I have work to do!
We went through. a period where he was going to bed at 8 pm, it was brilliant. But the last couple of weeks have been horrific!
2. The physical abuse
They nip, hit, pull your hair, grab your skin and squeeze it, bite, scratch and the worst of all – Leo points his finger and digs it right into my skin, then wiggles it around like he’s poking between my bones and veins. It makes my whole body quiver
When I’m trying to feed him to sleep, he scratches and hits me. His arms wave about and he knocks my phone out of my hand. Them when he goes to sleep he seems to always end up sidewise with his feet pushed into my ribs or chest. Then when he wakes he kicks me.
I was not ready for this level of pain!
3. Changing nappies
It’s never fun changing nappies but things have got harder recently. As soon as I lay Leo down, he screams and cries. He also twists himself onto his front and sits up immediately.
It’s so hard to change a dirty nappy as he’s fighting against me constantly. Then putting a clean one on is also a challenge. He is so strong! I try to change it as quick as possible but him fighting me only makes it harder.
4. Back pain
It’s lovely to sit and binge watch TV while your baby is asleep on you. In those early days, it’s probably the only time I’ve ever done that without feeling guilty. But after doing it for hours on end, you ache. You need a wee. You need a drink You’re hungry. It gets uncomfortable and you get trapped hunched over unable to move.
I mean him crying. Not me. Mostly. I knew babies cried. Of course, I did. I was prepared for Leo to cry a lot. I was prepared for him to have those moments where he cries for hours on end. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how the crying would make me feel.
It seems to stir some emotional turmoil up in me. Something so strong that makes me feel like I am going to EXPLODE. I lose sight of what’s around me and the only thing I want to do is soothe him. It doesn’t matter where I am, my boob is coming out to calm him down. Whether you like it or not
6. Dropping things on the floor
Awww, let’s take Leo to the pub. It will be nice. Let’s take a few toys to entertain him!
We give him a toy, he looks you dead in the eye while he drops it on the floor. He cries until he has the toy back. And repeat over and over again.
7. They want what they can’t have
Picture a room full of toys, absolutely everything a little boy can dream of. And Leo manages to find an iPhone cable that’s hidden behind a cushion and tugs on it playfully.
He then cries when I take him off it.
Now read it again but change ‘iPhone cable’ to: remote, PlayStation controller, mums glasses, a phone, laptop, the cats food dish, the cat. Modern day parenting challenges, huh?
You get the idea.
I spend most of my time saying ‘LEO, NO’ I might just change his name to Le-No.
Leo was a late crawler. He was almost 11 months old before he started, so it’s only been a few weeks. But fuck me (excuse the language), WHAT IS HAPPENING?
I cannot do ANYTHING anymore. He moves so quick, just crawling around banging his head on stuff, pulling himself up on anything and causing trouble. He particularly likes to bother the cat and she isn’t fan. Rather than moving out of his way, she just sits there and stares at him like she wants to murder him.
9. Going out alone with your baby
Going out with your baby is SO hard. It’s a logistical nightmare of trying to figure out how to get yourself ready with a screaming or very mobile baby. Then getting the baby bag ready, which order to put shoes on/get the pram in the car/get baby in the car and how on earth do you carry all these things?
Then you have to figure it out at the other side of the trip.
Women’s. clothes. need. more. pockets.
You need pockets for your phone and car keys at a minimum.
Then if you go supermarket shopping it’s just even worse as you have to figure out what to do with a baby while you’re back and forth with the shopping. Like is it safest to leave them in the car seat while you’re in and out or is it safer to let them roam around the house? Has anyone figured this out please because I cannot?
10. TV Guilt
Baby TV is insane. It’s flashing lights, dancing veg, colourful and musical. It captures a babies attention. It captures it TOO much.
I’ve recently banned baby TV because Leo would get so absorbed in it. I would say his name and he would not look away from the TV. You sit in front of him and he moves so he can see it, not even acknowledging you.
I know a lot of parents swear by baby sensory, Cocomelon and Super Simple Songs but the guilt just got too much for me, especially after reading an article that said it overloads a baby’s senses which is why they become so addicted. Whenever he was crying, if we put it on he would stop. And I feel terrible about it!
We’ve been watching a bit of CBeebies lately, it’s the type of TV where he will watch a bit but isn’t in a complete trance so I feel much better about it. Not that I want him to watch loads of tele, but sometimes when he’s being hard work I just need 5 minutes to sit down and not be touched while I enjoy a coffee!
I expect this was one of the biggest parenting challenges during covid-19!
What parenting challenges have you faced?