What I Wish I'd Known Before Having A Child.

People love to talk.

The biggest thing I've come to realise is how much people love to talk from family to strangers giving me "golden nuggets" of advice on how to parent. Their need to touch my belly (personal space well and truly invaded when I was expecting.)

Plus the empty promises family members made of being there to support me only to never see them. Which is very frustrating; I mean I know we all have our own lives but don't say it if you don't mean it! I'm not even sure why I cared so much about their opinion.

Being a mum has been such an eye opener for me. I used to think I was patient but having a two year old has taught me that i'm not. I lose my sh*t daily as he tests all of the boundaries over and over. Just look at the lovely artwork he drew on my wall.

I'm thinking he could be the next Banksy, I entitled it Purple Dream.

This masterpiece was created in just 5 minutes when I went to put some washing out, with a pen I didn't even know was in the room. It's amazing how good my son is at finding ways to make a mess.

That I can't always be in control.

Naively before I had my own child I would look at the way my siblings chose to raise their children and thought my child won't be doing that. Or they'd do as their told but what I've learnt through my two year battle is to just go with it.

I've relaxing all of my rules: I had decided before birth that he wouldn't watch tv, he wouldn't eat chocolate or sweets, he wouldn't eat pork, there would be no pictures of him on social media (this is the only one I haven't broken) and I quickly discovered how unrealistic my idea of parenting was. So this morning, for instance, I offered my son breakfast at 7am only for him to refuse it.

Previously I would have forced him to eat it when I wanted or thrown it away. However, I allowed him to go and play in the room. At 9am he went back to the kitchen, sat and ate his breakfast.

Now I understand he will need to learn to eat at set times for nursery and school but I also feel like I have to learn from him. After all I'm not always hungry at 'meal times' so I can't expect him to always be just because I think he should. This way not only did he eat the food so it wasn't wasted but I avoided an unnecessary tantrum.

It doesn't have to be expensive. I'll be honest I always thought having a baby would be really expensive but I've been pleasantly surprised. Initially buying my son his bed and pram cost a bit but keeping him clothed has cost me practically nothing because I have been able to get hand-me-downs from family members and shop second hand. I thought i'd be too proud but my son doesn't know that they are not new and the money I've saved I've been able to spend on days out, i'm pretty sure my son would prefer a day of fun then brand new clothes.

Trusting my own Instincts. I have always had a positive approach to parenting letting him learn his own boundaries rather than deciding what he can or can not do. He is very good at climbing (better then me) and loves to jump off of the sofa. I also make sure that we do toddler led walks at least twice a week. On days where I don't have to go anywhere I will let him walk around the village and do as he pleases. I think this is wonderful for letting him develop his own independence but I also enjoy seeing the world through his eyes. Sometimes he wants to go to the shop for chocolate other times he walks until he finds a flower and will spend 10 minutes looking at it, touching it and smelling it. It's nice to have those moments to just stop and take everything in. Especially because he is developing in to quite a character. But there are times when I start to wonder whether I am doing the best job possible, especially when I get comments from strangers and family. For example when my son has a tantrum in public and sits down crying, I just sit next to him until he has finished. Some people don't seem to understand that I don't want to make him feel as though it's naughty for him to get upset when he is feeling mad, sad or even just overwhelmed. To me he is trying to communicate and I will wait until I can either understand the situation or offer an alternative suggestion so that he is happy doing whatever I want to do at that time.

Granted I can't always do this. If he tries to sit in the road or If i have something I actually need to do in those cases I do have to carry him kicking and screaming which I am not opposed to, but I do try to give him a voice and to listen and understand him as best I can.

I know that not everyone will agree with how I choose to parent my son but I have to trust my own instincts and know that I am raising him the way that I believe is best for him. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Have a fantastic day.

I hope to see you again soon.

Motivated Mum.

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