Born To Mum: A Dad’s Approach To Motherhood

Whilst undertaking my final exams at school, I knew if I focused on getting as many questions as correct as possible in this one sitting, I’d never need to recall this nonsense again. Which, as it happens has been quite true. But on Saturday 1 June 2013 there was a need to dig deep into my mind to find out what I had done, to some degree of success, four and a half years ago.

Luckily, it all came flowing back as if the river had never dried, it was just behind a dam waiting to flow through my mind once more. Exactly the same as when I put the cot back together a few weeks earlier. The arrival of Bowie Indiana on a wet and cold, early morning seemed a far different experience from when Ava Gabrielle decided to show before the lark on Boxing Day 2008.

Aneala, my wife and mother of the two girls, read books upon books of child birth and rearing, dropping information my way for me to pick up and store away for when the girls arrived. Keywords stayed. The details fell in to the ether along with Isosceles triangles, the Periodic table and some Home Economics incident at Pudding Lane.

I’ve no idea how correct I do things. I’m not in trouble from Aneala too often, so I must be doing something right. But to me I do things how I feel it is natural. Bowie is fed, she’s clean, she’s warm, she’s bathed and she’s getting lots of cuddles. I am aware these are just the basics though. For example, I don’t know when to change routine, I’m just told I need to stick to it.

Yet Bowie doesn’t, and we have a life to lead, but the aim is to try and stick to it. A routine worked fantastically well with Ava, so we’re trying it on Bowie. But she’ll be fine whichever way we approach it because we’ll get the basics right.

And this, is where other people’s ideas come in to play on Born To Mum. Many parents raise their children different ways, some read those books, some listen to old wives tales their grandmother heard or follow the incense and go with a wizened old hippie vibe, some panic but get there in the end. Others just hand it over to a nanny and forget all about it. Many of us are born to mum, it’s just how we do it that differs.

So, please share with me any tales of frustration, hilarity and times of rare sleep. Send pictures of your drooling darling and tweet your 140-character despairs. And in return, I’ll keep you entertained with The Adventures of Avabird, The Crap We Hear In Our House, a range of coffee break length articles (for when you do get five minutes peace) and of any other wild turns that this journey with many differing routes takes us on.

Here, we offer all ideas a chance because we all want our children to grow up healthy and not to suffer, as Philip Larkin suggests they do…

They f@#k you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had.
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f@#$%d up in their turn.
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

If you have time, please visit www.borntomum.com

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