Don’t tell me I’m too young to be a good mother

With a pink blanket under her head and her seatbelt nicely fastened I walked through our local supermarket collecting our groceries for the week with my daughter in the baby seat of my trolley. This particular week I decided to start purchasing foods for my daughter to try, now I’m not really about those premade baby foods (but if you are then you do you! nothing against it, just a personal choice) so I was putting things in my trolley like organic sweet potato, pumpkin and avocado. Unbeknownst to me the truth of societies still prehistoric views on parenthood was about to rear it’s ugly head.

As I turned the corner I very nearly bumped into a woman’s trolley which she had left in the middle of the refrigerated isle. I veered pretty sharply in order to miss the trolley,  which of course startled my daughter, no more then running into the other trolley would have anyway. She cried, like babies do, so I stopped momentarily to talk to her and comfort her out of her fright. Whilst I paused I unknowingly had blocked the woman from her stranded trolley, so she approached me with a louder than necessary “Excuse me!”. I pardoned myself and moved my trolley aside, my daughter still crying and myself completely in my own mum world deliberating whether to pick her up to stop her crying or to try and distract her with the dummy she had lost interest in five minutes ago. So it took me by surprise when the woman turned to me for a second time as said “she’s not yours is she?”

Now I’ve had my fair share of questions in public, mostly regarding my daughter being my sister and my own mother looking too young to be a grandmother which are all usually met with a bit of a laugh and then me explaining that she’s actually mine. This time I felt a sting of judgement coming through. I smiled at my daughter and looked at the lady and said “she sure is! isn’t she beautiful, she’s four months old”. She peered at me down her pointed nose and said “Well I don’t think children should be having children, but she is quite cute. Bit of a shame” A SHAME. If you know me you would know I hate confrontation, unless I know you well enough to pull you up on something I generally let it slide for the sake of saving an argument. This is my family though and I’ll be damned if I let someone tell me that it was a shame that my beautiful daughter existed as my daughter.

“Thanks for your opinion, although I didn’t ask for it. Not sure how many children you know but not many of them are in 5 year relationships with the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. Guess I’m just lucky hey? Have a nice day” my heart was pounding and I was out of there as quick as I could go, neglecting to pick up the butter I was in the refrigeration isle for! I pushed the conversation to the depths of my brain hoping never to think about it again but after seeing a few fellow “young parents” attacked on social media recently for their age and their apparent inability to care and love their own children I figured now would be a good time to think about it, and god forbid, talk about it because it is 100% not okay.

All parents, regardless of their age, love their children, they want the best for their children and they will do anything they can to help them grow into wonderful, compassionate and loving adults. Regardless of the house they live in, the clothes they wear, whether they are married, how much they spent on their car, if they’re homosexual OR if they’re still what you would consider teenagers. If they were mature enough to make the decision to bring a child into the world then they should be admired for doing so, and for doing the best they can for that child.

The love you have for your child can’t be measured by how many toys you’re able to buy them, whether you could afford to send them to an expensive school or buy them all of the latest gadgets. Love is measured by the smiles, the hugs, the kisses and most importantly the empowering conversations you can have with them about becoming the greatest person they can possibly be. To care for the people around them, to love unconditionally and be accepting of everyone regardless of their differences.

I might not be 25 with a mountain of savings in the bank reserved specifically for having in children, my partner and I might not be married but we sure love each other like we are and we’ll give our daughter every ounce of love we have to give before we will ever let her feel unwanted or unloved. Young parents, don’t let anyone ever discourage you, your baby thinks you’re the greatest mummies and daddies in the world, and without you, they wouldn’t exist. You’re doing an amazing job, and if anyone thinks any less then maybe they should take a look at what’s missing in their lives before they make any negative comments about how beautifully full of love your life is.

 

xx Emily

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Baby necessities: how to not spend all of your money 

There are SO MANY cute things out there in the shops these days for babies, cute outfits, cute toys, cute furniture, cute wall decorations, they even have cute reusable nappies. And for any parents in waiting it’s an impossible task of not spending every cent you have on every cute item you find, especially if you know the gender and even more so if your little ones delivery date is still months away. 

The overwhelming urge to buy things and set things up is often referred to as nesting. It sounds so beautiful right? Nesting, fluffing little pillows to lay your little babies head on. But for the sake of your wallet, and probably the space in your house, nesting is probably best left until the due date creeps a little nearer. This in itself is so hard. Take it from someone who took a trip to IKEA recently, with whole rooms devoted to little babies and everything they need. Several times I had to stop myself from thinking but the nursery needs this beautiful beige crib canopy and matching bedsheets, and this nursing chair matches perfectly so obviously we need that too. I’m It was definitely tough, but we left almost completely empty handed and proud of ourselves for not making ourselves poor in the process.

I’ve used a few things in the last few weeks to fight the nesting urges and I thought these strategies might be helpful for others struggling not to empty their wallets on baby things that will probably one be used for a year or two.
1. Making things

Yes, arts and crafts. Especially those involving making something for your little bundle, teach yourself how to knit, or cross-stitch, or even embroidery. Keeping in mind that the initial expense of buying the equipment to do these things may cost you a little if you don’t already have them. I suggest lincraft or somewhere of the like, maybe even online if you know what you’re looking for. 

2. Spruce up what you already have

Something we have found really cost effective is spicing up plain clothing items that we have already been given. We’ve got a summer baby on the way, and of course my lovely mum has already gifted us a bunch of white singlets, lincraft has iron on patches for less than $3 each that are super cute and colourful, and now that we know the gender these help brighten up the white singlets (while still keeping them breathable for summer when he/she will probably just be in a singlet and nappy). This saves us from buying new little outfits that we don’t quite need to buy just yet.

 Also have a look at furniture you already have, dressers especially can be of great use as they can be used for change tables if they’re the right height, and then when your little one doesn’t need nappy changes anymore you’ve got a fully functioning dresser for all of their clothes. Maybe if you have something that sounds like it would work, think about repainting it as an extra little project, to you know, stop yourself from buying more furniture!

3. Write a list

It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, getting everything you want/need out of your head and onto paper does give a mighty relief, and whilst shopping you’re less inclined to think but we might need that. Because you already know what you need. Have a look online to help with the list, websites like Pinterest can be really fun and really time consuming so if you’re looking for that extra bit of distraction, simply search he/she nursery on Pinterest. Trust me, it’ll be weeks before you get off of it and actually try and buy things, they have SO MUCH on there.

4. Don’t get sucked into the marketing

It seems as though there is a “baby” everything these days, a baby bath, a baby towel, baby tissues, a baby this, a baby that. Keep in mind that just because it has the word baby in the name or infant or whatever, doesn’t mean that it’s an absolute necessity. Normal baths for example, believe it or not, can be used with your baby, and here’s the best part- they’ll never grow out of them! I know it’s sad, but they will grow up, so it’s important to remember that they will grow out of things quite quickly, and if you can avoid buying too many of those things they’ll grow out of you’ll save yourself a lot of money.

5. Remind yourself that everything will come in good time

Babies bring such an exciting and comforting feeling. For me I’ve found treasuring the moments and feelings of pregnancy is so much more enjoyable than wandering around massive shops looking for things for her/him. I have total understanding that we do need to buy things, but they can wait for another day, when everything is a little more “just right”, the money, the timing, the storage. For us, we don’t know where we’re going to be in February when our little one is due, so holding off until we know is something that we need to do. And if we need to do it we may as well do it with a smile on our faces. 

All we currently know is in February 2017 we are going to be parents, and no matter where we are or what we buy, it’s going to be everything we ever dreamed of.


(And yes that chair was bloody comfy after walking around all day)