Before I became a mother, I had many a friend present me with their wee squidgy newborns to cuddle.
I remember being quite mindful that the parents were probably tired, that they were unlikely to have much food in the house, and that I should categorically make my own cup of tea. After all, they were new parents! As the weeks passed however, I failed to realise that things don’t all of a sudden get easier for them. And when I say all of a sudden, I mean ever. Like neeeeever ever.
When the novelty wears off, and the casseroles stop coming, that my friends is when things get REAL.
With this newfound understanding, and on behalf of my pre-child self, I should probably apologise to a few dear friends for the following misdemeanors:
- Blasting my horn upon arrival and double-ringing their doorbell, oblivious to the text in my pocket saying “toddler asleep, door ajar, pleeease be quiet”.
- Suggesting a mother of twins could just sporadically “nip over!” to an event (an hour away, with about an hours’ notice).
- Asking a frazzled full-time father of three to dig around in his cluttered attic to find a book I quite fancied reading (a book on life with children, ironically).
- Suggesting a two year old could simply “sleep on the couch” to allow the parents to stay and drink wine.
Those are just a few examples that spring to mind; there must be a hundred more moments of complete naivety that my friends with children have stewed over and perhaps even cursed my name.
The naivety doesn’t stop there, oh no, folks! Once I had my own squidgy newborn to jiggle, I genuinely believed that life could go back to normal once he reached three months (the normal expiration date of colic). Then I thought perhaps at six months (eating solids should help his reflux, and make him sleep, right? RIGHT???), and then finally came the excuses of teething, developmental leaps, the “terrible twos” and so on, all to sugar-coat the reality that BABIES ARE HARD WORK.
And then they turn into kids. I have been reliably informed by my neighbor that they are quite hard work as well.
…Not to worry, I’m sure the teenage years will be fun!!
So here’s an idea: Let’s start a casserole community; a casserole movement, even. We could all take turns leaving food and wine on the doorsteps of those with children between the age of two and twelve. Parents of thirteen to seventeen-year-olds get straight up gin and Victoria sponge.
Who’s in?? ♥