Our daughter has recently learnt to walk and being the naïve first time parents that we are, we were jumping for joy, not giving a thought to the implications of this massive feat. We were so excited; how could we not be! It was so amazing watching her learn to do this and it’s such a major accomplishment. She literally woke up one day and just started doing it. Considering she is a late walker I can honestly say we were relieved to see her finally able to do it.
Very quickly though, the excitement has turned to a horrifying realisation that we may never sit down again! One of us seems to be constantly chasing her, stopping her from getting into things she shouldn’t. She has discovered a whole new world and seems to want to slowly dismantle it. Even small tasks such as going to the shops has become a tactical nightmare.
Firstly, we make our battle plan, sorting out how long we need to be at each shop, what we need to get, and whether there is any chance of getting out without injury. We make our plan with military precision, and then it’s time to go into battle.
The shopping experience becomes a never ending avalanche consisting of every product within our daughter’s reach. In our naivety we had not realised how easy we had it before she walked.
This can be said for so many moments as first time parents. I remember while I was pregnant, we would look at each other smugly, thinking “we’ve got this!” We thought it would be a piece of cake, we were young, cool, smart, we would be perfect parents. Honestly how hard could it be?
Yep we were bonkers!! Bringing Isla home from the hospital was definitely the most exciting, it was going to be just like the movies, or the million photos on your friends Facebook pages, cute pictures of a happy sleeping baby and relaxed, perfect looking parents.
Laughable really! Within days these thoughts blew up in our faces. Instead of all the wonderful things that you see in the movies, we were dealing with a full frontal attack. Feeds every 2 hours, pooping every 3 hours, constant sleep deprivation (a perfect form of torture)! Our daughter seemed to have declared war on the entire household, even the dogs were wary to come inside.
Every parenting magazine, Facebook post and family movie, they all give us this unrealistic idea of what it will be like. Let’s face it, it probably took the magazine or that friend 45 minutes to get the perfect shot. The key is to ignore all of it, otherwise you just end up feeling like a failure. And I promise you that’s not true. Society doesn’t like to admit that it can be hard, that it’s not all perfect moments.
Eventually, after 10 weeks, a treaty was met and sleep slowly descended on our house. We started to feel like we could face the outside world, we were no longer on the battlefield just trying to survive, instead we were cosy and loved up at home with our beautiful girl.
Turns out the rosy coloured scene takes awhile to settle into but its well worth it. Survival is possible and the end result is a wonderful little person who becomes your entire world. I laugh at how naïve we were and can still be (it’s not over yet), but I know we will go to battle anytime for our little girl, because she is that precious.