Clemmie Telford is advertising creative by trade, battling baby-brain to try and come up with big (ish) ideas for brands. She lives in south east London (her instagram and twitter accounts are @peckham_mamma) with husband, wire-haired daschund and two small boys.
She is into homebirth, mainly because you can burn Diptique Candles and eat nice food after giving birth. Pizza Express pizza topped with parma ham, eaten in your own bed whilst your 3 hour old baby snoozes beside you? Doesn’t get much better.
When she is not taking rubbish selfies, Clemmie also writes a blog: ‘Mother of all Lists’. It’s a collection of observational lists about the crazy journey of Parenthood. Honest, funny and full of the type of stuff you’d normally only chat to your best mates about. Previous topics include: “How the Hell am I Going to Cope with Two Kids?” “Does Everyone Argue About This Stuff?” and “Anxiety is a Bitch.” Why lists? Because who has time to write or read more that a bullet point once you’ve had kids?
So here, exclusively For My Baba, a compendium of some of Clemmie’s previous lists entitled: ‘100 Things I Didn’t Know About Being a Parent.’
1. Even if you planned to get pregnant, and even if you tried for some time, the day you see that line appear you will FREAK OUT.
2. 9 times out of 10 your other half will be disappointed it happened so quickly. Funny how your enthusiasm wains once you are up the duff?
3. And those 12 weeks will feel like the longest time ever.
4. Especially when the ‘whole being pregnant thing’ hasn’t really hit home with your hubby yet.
5. What else? Labour involves a lot of mooing.
6. Anyone who says they didn’t poo during childbirth is telling porkies.
7. Also, you don’t have to be a hippie to homebirth.
8. Statistically it’s safer.
9. And you can burn Diptyque candles, which frankly makes any situation better.
10.And go to bed in your own bed after.
11. And when every second person that hears you are having a ‘homebirth’ says ‘you’re brave’. They mean ‘stupid’. Which makes you want to prove them wrong.
12. Wherever you do it. Don’t waste your money on a ‘special’ nightie/top/bikini to give birth in. Not worth it. You’ll end up in your birthday suit. And you won’t care.
13. Your brothers, on the hand, WILL care about you breastfeeding. In fact they will NEVER get use to you whipping a bap out.
14. You will never be prepared for The Thirst. Making boobie milk makes you thirsty, insanely so.
15. In fact, breastfeeding can be hard work. It is skill that has to be learnt.
16. It also turns cakes into crack. Getting hold of a brownie or red velvet becomes an absolute necessity.
17. ‘I breastfed and the baby weight just fell off’. Well bully for you. Not for me it didn’t.
18. It’s not just that. Having a baby does all sorts of crazy things to your body.
19. Watch-out for some serious water works:
20. Tears from hormones.
21. Tears from your milk coming in.
22. Tears because you just want to sleep.
23. Tears because you don’t actually know why. And now you’re laughing like a nutter.
24. Stretch Marks. “I am a tiger who earned its stripes”. And then had to buy a tankini.
25. Hair-loss. Not a few strands. Falling out BY.THE.FISTFUL at approximately 4 months post-partum.
26. A rearranged version of your body. Finally back down to pre-pregnancy weight (kind of). Yet still none of your clothes fit?!
27. Mummy Strength. The unbelievable ability to carry a toddler and a baby in a car seat, and a nappy bag and bag full of Boots stuff into the house.
28. One arm and one boob bigger that the other. Yup really.
29. Long toenails. Come 7pm I’d rather reach for wine than polish.
30. BUT an incredible new ability to multi-task:
31. Taking a wee with a baby on your tit? Done that.
32. Taking a poo with a baby on your tit? And that.
33. And an incredible new level of people saying the most stupid things:
34. “In my day we gave them solids at 3 months old.”
35. “Mine slept through the night from day 4”
36. “I put my down on the wait list before it was born.”
37. And, If you have a boy:
38. ‘Did you want a girl?’ ‘Are you going to keep trying for a girl?’
39. Err how about; I’m chuffed to have a happy healthy human who happens to be a boy.
40. Although, tiny baby erections start are freaky. And kinda funny.
41. And whoever said the ways to a boy’s heart is through his tummy was right. That and an early obsession with boobs.
42. You see motherhood is not like you expected it to be.
43. You could never have anticipated the level of tiredness.
44. The person who told you ‘getting up for a wee in the night when you are pregnant’ is your body’s way of preparing you for sleepless nights’ was lying. NOT.EVEN.CLOSE.
45. Like sleep, there are many things you took for granted pre-baby, that you then long for:
46. The Sunday papers.
47. Spending a holiday working on your tan (old school).
48. Partaking in conversations that are a) well-inform b) constitute conversations.
49. Try on a few a different outfits in the morning (again, old school).
50. Waking up naturally (or perhaps by the sun streaming through the window) grab a cup of tea and then drift off for a little snooze.
51. Having a bath without a bath-toy stuck up your arse.
52. Being a mum isn’t like in the movies.
53. You will never: Walk around in easy-fitting linen trousers and a blouse. (Check-out dresslikeamum: this is what we wear).
54. You will more than likely have sick on you shoulder.
55. You might actually have forgotten to clean your teeth.
56. And you may well be wearing the post-labour pants that you swore you’d throw away.
57. And that competitive mum thing? It’s over. Really.
58. Surround yourself with an army of other mums: awesome people who you respect and admire.
59. The sort who don’t talk about pooey nappies. “Poo-nami” actually makes me want to rip my eyes out.
60. Who bring prosecco to a play date.
61. Those first months of motherhood and being on mat-leave changes you.
62. You become ‘part of community’ AKA a total busybody. Even stopping to read planning notices.
63. You chat to anyone who can string a sentence together. Cashiers/baristas/old people on buses. All potential sources of adult conversation.
64. You become a shameless instagram stalker and develop #mumcrush’s left right and centre.
65. Unfortunately returning to work a browner, leaner version of yourself is not realistic. .
66. But you will have a new found ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude called Mum Swagger. Because: a) I grew a small human b) I have kept it alive c) nothing in the world is as important as that small human.
67. BUT, word of warning, having a baby will not change your husband/partner immeasurably.
68. He will still:
69. Walk past the ‘stair pile’ and never pick any of it up.
70. Leave pants beside the wash basket rather than in it.
71. Not answer the phone, when I have left a million missed-calls like a psycho-stalker. Except I’m your wife now so it doesn’t matter.
72. They will also need reminding that HAVING A SHIT IS NOT AN EVENT. It does not require a newspaper. Or an allotted amount of time. Go in, do it, get on with doing something useful.
73. You have to accept that Daddies do things their way. They dress them in their way. It might not be how you do it. But that is ok (ish).
74. And never ever refer to Daddy looking after baby in the evening as ‘babysitting’. It is called parenting for Pete’s sake.
75. Similarly, NEVER rely on Google to answer your parenting questions. Even the following:
76. 4 month sleep regression.
77. Why can’t my toddler jump?
79. Babyled vs. puree.
80. Hair loss after pregnancy – what’s normal?
81. Salt content of Pom Bears.
82. Can cranial osteopathy help sleep?
83. Ideal age gap (most find 22 months is the answer).
84. Guidelines on drinking alcohol whilst breast-feeding.
85. Google can’t parent your kids. And neither can any one else.
86. Only you know your kids. Which makes you super-mum.
87. Instinct is the most powerful thing ever. When should I wean? When should I potty-train? You worry about it for weeks, then one day you ‘just know’.
88. Remember the milestones aren’t just walking, talking and ‘sleeping-through’. ‘Mile-pebbles’ are just as important:
89. The day they can sit through an entire Disney movie. Hangovers suddenly got a lot more ‘cope-able’ with.
90. The day they get a tiny duvet & pillow of their own. Tucking them in for the first time is absolutely certain to bring a lump to the throat.
91. The day they first swear and you try to pretend you didn’t hear it and then they say it again and you know you shouldn’t laugh. But it’s fucking funny.
92. The day someone else tells you what a nice/fun/polite child they are. Weirdly you don’t feel proud for you. You feel proud for them.
93. They day they get a joke.
94. They day they get your jokes and you feel like Amy freaking Poehler.
95. The day they can actually tell you what hurts (although the old ‘if in doubt, Calpol’ rule obviously still applies).
96. The day they make you a Mother’s Day card or a pasta necklace or pick you a flower.
97. The day they first try lime/lemon. #LOLZ
98. The day they can wipe their own arse.
99. They day they tell you they love you. And you know without a shadow of a doubt that; though it is the hardest most exhausting- caffeine-fuelled-frustrating-challenging-life-altering experience ever, motherhood is by far and away the best thing you have ever done.
100. And you know said you would never go through labour again? Maybe it wouldn’t seem so terrible after all…
Clemmie Telford can be found on ‘far too much’ social media, including: