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Parenting by Vicki Page, Secret Vent

March 18, 2019

Isn’t it funny how before kids you really think you know what it will be like to have kids.  I mean I bought a dog that I shared with a girlfriend and we thought we understood what it would be like to have that responsibility?  Boy, were we wrong! Having a dog and having a kid is like comparing making a cup of tea for one and catering for a wedding banquet. Now both of us are mothers to 3 children each, we sit and laugh and laugh and laugh about how we thought we were prepared.

First, you buy a dog. You do not carry a dog inside your stomach for 9 months stretching your skin and bloating your fingers and toes.  You are not worried that every morsel you eat could affect the career of your unborn child. Secondly, you do not have to push a dog out from within you, you simply tie a lead around its neck and walk or carry it out of the shop or breeders. Thirdly, whilst I know a dog requires a certain amount of paraphernalia, nothing prepares you for the scale of equipment a baby needs.  

Both require a bed, but a dog bed is usually a lovely large padded cushion possibly in a basket.  A baby bed, aka cot, requires the latest technology in mattress, at least 5 to 6 sets of bedding for those wonderful nappy leaks, various hanging toys and gadgets to entertain the baby, a cot frame that allows different levels for the base to be lowered to, and all this to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  

The baby is often entitled to its own room, the dog generally must share either with the owners or in the kitchen.  The baby has a monitor so that the parents can stress over every sound, whilst a dog snores to its hearts content in its basket.

Toys, most babies have about 70 billion toys, a rough estimate, within about 3 weeks of their lives, dogs get bones, chewy toys and balls, definitely less than 70 billion because you don’t have to worry that you are not accommodating their hand eye co-ordination, their ‘sponge like’ brains and billions of ‘neurons’ that must be stimulated.

Eating, ah the joy of feeding.  First, it’s the whole milk feeding, don’t even go there with the breastfeeding, but after that the weaning, ensuring the correct amount of nutrients are mashed up and pureed for little Tommy.  Not for the faithful dog, even the fussiest ones have a bowl or two that they eat from. Babies have another 50 billion plastic utensils that are a must, or you are clearly already a parent failure.

Training, now here I do think decent dog owners will say that training can be intense and can be hard to achieve and I give them this, as I say, I was a dog owner too.  However, once trained and correctly disciplined, your job is done.

Kids are never done.  Ever. Training and disciplining are ongoing and ever changing.  At first, we are only interested in ensuring they have correct tummy time so that we can brag at how many weeks little Susie could hold her head up.  Once this is achieved it’s the hand and eye co-ordination and sitting up by themselves, then crawling, then standing, then walking, then toilet training, then attachment disorder time!  It literally doesn’t stop. I don’t think it will ever stop.

My kids are all now in primary school, with two of them looming towards the 11 plus.  I’m not pushing them to do this, but there is still an element of pressure even when you are not fussed.  Honestly, there are times I think I should have stuck to dogs, my hair would probably not have quite so many silver ‘highlights’!  But no, whilst it is entirely stressful on a daily basis, I don’t think parent could say they would be without them, well on most days..  

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t like to moan about parenthood.  Parenting is bloody hard. And there are so many views these days on how people should and shouldn’t parent.  It can become a little overwhelming at times, and we all need a good moan about things! From how tired we are, to how expensive it is, to other parents in the playground, to spouses not pulling their weight etc.  

This is one of the reasons I set up Secret-Vent.  Sometimes people do just want a good old moan, to vent about their spouse without informing the entire village they live in, and we all know what village life is like!  They just want to get what they are feeling off their chest, without hurting people or bitching. Sometimes we feel so much better when we say something out loud. I know mums that have told me that they are not enjoying motherhood as much as they expected to but feel bad saying it.  So many people do feel the same, but people are too scared to admit it and look bad. I know people whose marriages are boring, they want to talk to others about it but not to people they know who may judge them. I know people who are worried about their kids and just want to talk to others who may be feeling the same way.  

When I set the website up, I really hoped that it would help people to talk more, and realise they are not alone.  I also know that when people do dare to write on public forums about the way they are feeling about certain topics they can get attacked by people not agreeing with their views and so they don’t dare venture back!  Secret-vent covers everything, anonymously.  You can rant on there from the smallest issue to the largest one.  People offer advice and/or humour to help you through.

So, whether you are a dog lover or a parent, a man or a woman, a bus driver or a politician, whether you need to come and let off some steam about something, or just have a read and see if you can help someone, just know that I doubt very much you are alone in your way of thinking!

Just a few rants already made on Secret-Vent:

 

Parenting Issues

Less Bubble Wrap Please

Is it just me, but do you get called by the school for every little detail that has occurred? It seems to me that we have become so overprotected that this has extended into our schools. Playgrounds are where children, I assume, play. I had a call to say my son, aged 6, had kicked a boy whilst playing football, and that I must have a talk to him. Entirely out of character for him to do this, I asked him what had happened? He said he had accidently kicked his friend Thomas whilst playing football. Funny that him and Thomas walked out arms round each other after school that day. I even spoke to Thomas’ mum to make sure all was ok, and she didn’t even know anything about it. In fact her reply was, isn’t football supposed to be a contact sport?

I then got a call about same child because his new bobble hat and scarf set he’d had for Xmas, which had a skull on it, might insight gang warfare, I jest not! This is the same school that said my daughter needed me to come in for a cuddle because she’d had a tough morning with maths. When I got there, I wish I’d never answered the damn phone to be honest, she was fine!

The more we pander like this, the worse it will get! Let kids have the occasional playground scuffle! Let them resolve it! Obviously, I’m not talking anything to do with bullying here. I’m simply saying, that if adults jump in at the first hint of an emotion, how will a child ever learn for themselves? School isn’t just about the lessons in the classroom but the life lessons too. Let our children thrive and stop wrapping them up in too much bubble wrap! Vent over!

Spouse Issues

Welcome to my world of kids

Ok, so we get back from a wonderful day at the beach with the kids.  Tiring but fun.  Beach is no longer a relaxing place for adults with kids.  Its lifeguard/clown day and its very tiring, but worth it for the kids smiles.  We head home and get in and as we begin to unpack and bring stuff in, I notice that I am no longer passing my husband on the trips back and forth to the car.  Anxious that I must complete this task so I can get the kids, fed and into bed at a reasonable hour I look for said hubby. Laying on couch knackered!  Come on I say, lets just get this done so we can BOTH sit down.  I just need 20 mins, he replies!  20 mins?!  20 mins?!  You don’t even get 2 mins when kids are involved. Get up and help.  I can’t, I’m pooped.  Conclusion. Females are definitely the stronger species.

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