Wow, what a 24 hours it’s been! I arrived at daycare yesterday just after someone shut Will’s finger in a door. I rushed him straight to emergency at 6pm, the pitch of his screams causing me to drive in the bus lane and commit a speeding offence. I wet myself rushing in only to realise there is no need to rush because no one actually acts like there’s an emergency going on. Will refused to sit so I had to walk him around and around and around. I really regretted not wearing my Garmin because I clocked up a lot of steps in that waiting room.
Finally an X-ray at 8pm but because I’m pregnant I had to hide behind the glass while two people held Will down, stopping him from reaching to me. I’m not sure which one of us was traumatised more! Pete arrived at 8:30pm saving the day with clean nickers, a nappy, a bottle of milk and a dummy. It’s the little things.
At 10pm we received confirmation that Will was fine, which we had already guessed because it had been 4 hours and he had started to move his chubby little index.
All I could think when we left was how lucky we are to get free healthcare and how humbling it was to look around the emergency room at parents I would usually judge, knowing that I’m the one that arrived totally unprepared, stunk of pee and was unable to control my child.
I used to constantly offer Will water, only to have him spill it everywhere or outright refuse it. I decided to give up but then I noticed he was waking up with bad breath, with motherhood guilt consuming me I got creative. Here are my 6 tips to get your toddler to drink water:
As soon as Will learnt how to cheers with his milk bottle it quickly became an obsession. Every time I drank a glass of water I would say cheers to him while offering him his water bottle. I still had to take about 3 sips to his 1 but better than nothing.
Ice Ice Baby
Turns out Will loves crunching on plain ice! I just get it straight out the freezer and put it in a bowl for him. He even enjoys sipping the water as it melts. Just be cautious in cold weather, once it stuck to his lip. Oops.
Mix it up
Will still has milk from a bottle when he wakes up so I just mix it with half milk half water. At least then I know he’s starting the day with some hydration.
Serve it up
Will likes it when we pour water from a bottle into a lid for him to sip from. Just be careful with this one, you don’t want this to become the only way they’ll drink water. We only do this when we’re out of the house and have forgotten his cup.
Will loves his icy poles, he thinks they are the best treat, even when they are homemade with 70% water, 20% frozen berries and 10% baby spinach.
Try a different cup
As soon as Will learnt how to drink out of a straw I switched to a straw cup and he drinks more water now without any prompting. He does still lift it in the air and often miss getting water out but we’re trying to break that habit. Will also loves drinking from a normal cup but he often pours too much into his mouth and has to spit it out everywhere so I’m going to wait a little longer before introducing that.
When I first found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to jump on Facebook and interact with other expectant mothers, after all I didn’t know anyone who was pregnant and there were only so many times I could tell my husband what size the baby was. By the time it got to the size of a blueberry he had already zoned out, so Facebook groups seemed to be the obvious place to connect with others who would share in my enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before I realised that people are idiots and they give shitty advice.
One of my friends is a registered nutritionist with a legit degree and her advice is based on current, relevant research. She also has a toddler which I believe is the ultimate masters degree when it comes to understanding fussy eaters. Whenever I saw a concerned mum post about something in her realm of expertise, I tagged Sarah in the post so she could comment. So Sarah did the right thing, she gave FREE advice to a concerned parent. The conversation went a little like this:
Concerned mum of a toddler: “Should I do this?”
Registered Nutritionist: “Registered Nutritionist here, this is the current research and advice regarding that.”
Idiot: “That’s not right, I know better. You shouldn’t give that advice. I was introduced to solids too early so I have IBS, allergies and asthma. I did this with my kids and you should do what I say.”
Me: “Well food-issue-Mcgee I really think that your talent in providing up to date accurate information in a mum Facebook group is going to waste. You need to donate your body to science for vigorous testing ASAP as you have found the sole cause of asthma, allergies and IBS. Seriously what were we all thinking listening to experts who say early introduction to food is good when you had all the answers the whole time!? Oh by the way I’m being sarcastic because you are an idiot.”
I didn’t say any of that of course because it’s not OK to attack or bully other mum’s ever. I just had the conversation over and over in my head for over a week until I was satisfied that the idiot had learnt her lesson and would never give shitty advice again.
Well it turns out I was wrong! The idiot was back, this time with even better advice on a comment I made:
Concerned mum of a baby that cries all the time: “Can anyone recommend a Chiropractor?”
Me: “Yes, I had an excellent one in Winthrop, helped us so much, here are the details.”
Idiot: “You don’t need one, they just want to make money off you, my baby cried, it’s normal for babies to cry.”
Also me: “Well It’s-my-baby-she’ll-cry-if-she-wants-to, firstly the question was to recommend a chiropractor, not discredit a whole profession of licensed practitioners. Next time I need a healthcare professional I will call you, god forbid the pharmacist will try to make money off me. I feel so stupid for taking my 3 month old to a chiropractor because he cried all the time. I mean, it worked and we found out he had one leg 2cm longer than the other but what a waste of money. I could have saved a few hundred dollars and let him be one of those kids at school wearing one platform shoe because his legs were uneven.”
I didn’t say anything like that though because again, attacking other mums on Facebook is not OK people. I just fumed in silence while driving to work giving her lots of hand clicks and head snapping but I’m sure she felt that energy, right in her core.
So why does this shitty advice annoy me so much? Surely I should be used to it by now, I mean it is Facebook after all. Well it’s the impact of these ‘experts’ weighing in on the conversations that bothers me. The impact is silence… all it does is stop people who have credible advice or opinions to stop commenting in fear of getting attacked. So please, next time you read a post by a concerned parent wanting valuable advice or opinions, stop giving shitty advice.
Sometimes being a mother makes me feel trapped. There I said it.
When I was young I wanted it all. I wanted to party, I wanted to travel, I wanted to have a career but really I was just passing time until I got married and became a mum.
I thought I would love maternity leave and at first I did. I went for walks in the sunshine, met friends for coffee, I cleaned the house, I went shopping. All I needed was to sleep more than three hours in a row and life would be perfect.
Something changed around six months. My savings started to run out and the thought of relying on my husband for money overwhelmed me. I was losing my identity and my independence but I was dreading returning to work. I was determined to make my blog a success, all I needed was for one post to go viral but it never did. I quit my job anyway because I lived too far from the office. The pressure was off and I started to enjoy motherhood again but something changed.
I found it hard to sit and just be with Will. I felt guilty like I should be doing something else. I felt unproductive, like I was wasting time.
I found a wonderful daycare that encourages free play and warms my gypsy soul. I found a job I love and started working part-time. It felt like it was all meant to be but then Will started getting sick. Nothing serious but enough to stay at home and question whether daycare is right for him. I feel like each day is groundhog day, I’m just getting by until bath time, waiting for my husband to come home so I can breathe.
We live our lives waiting for the next stage, waiting for that holiday, waiting for the promotion, waiting for our partner to propose, waiting for the wedding, waiting to get pregnant, waiting to have the baby. Then it all happens in the blink of an eye and we’re left wondering ‘what now?’
As selfish as it sounds, sometimes being a mother makes me feel trapped.