“Come, come... auntie give you potato chip...”
This has been a common joke on me amongst my friends. Because they will all remember how before I had a child, I treat their small toddlers unhealthy potato chips or questioned them the reason why the kids can’t eat cakes.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a bad friend. I was innconently insensitive. But all these? Really because I wasnt a mother at that time.
I still recall with guilt how I used to ‘judge’ my married friends, who are always late for our gatherings or meetings. Or why can’t they bring their kids out after 8pm?
Now that I have a little baby, all these make sense to me. I mean... I definitely don’t advocate being late! Even until now, I am still pretty punctual as a parent. Even if I am bringing my son along, I am still very capable of being punctual.
The only difference for me now; is that if I know that I am meeting a group of people who are never punctual, I will not care to wait another 15min to get out of the house anymore. Because I find it absurd for me, having to carry a young baby to be waiting for those well and abled people. Ya, yes. I am talking about you.
Other than that, I know really what it means for the little and big struggles of parenthood. Especially, at the beginnning.
For instance; my baby’s day to day discipline is so important. One of it is his 7pm bedtime (which most people find it too early..) *rolling my eyes* is important for him since 2months of age.
And for the record, my parents made me sleep at 8pm every weekday night during the whole of my primary school. 7pm bedtime is nothing ok? According to experts, babies usually have their bedtime from between 7pm to 10pm.
Because of this routine, I always bring him home from the sitter by 4pm. I hardly bring him out till late unless it was those Chinese New Year period. His bedtime routine of changing PJs, listening to his Cello Lullaby *like school bell rings* and the dark room smelling of diffused essential oil... yup...
Now, no matter what or how he spent his day, once he sees me, and we are home and he is into his PJs, he will asked to be put to bed.
So my those days of “why can’t the baby be out at night?” ... oh no no no... I totally understand now. The discipline of having the baby to be discipline through a routine. Ensuring they aren’t overly-stimulated to sleep, and caused them to be cranky and then hence ruin the whole world’s night? The answer is to ‘Stay Home’.
I came to realized (because I used to be one of them) how challenging it could be as a parent. The exhaustion of just facing your baby? The worries of their well-being? The difficulty of a overly-tired baby? The I-need-milk-NOW situations? The screamings of your baby in the public? Oh........ daunting.
There are so many times, we as parents wished we could be like flexible just like before we were married or without kids?
But now? My flexibility has to be worked around. And yes, some things got to give.
Like those parents whom often give their children to be cared by grandparents? This is a topic we talk about next time. But till then, you get my point. If you are single? Or married without child? Shush...