From Festival To Parent – How Did I Get Here?

If you’re anything like me, you’re caught between the awkward old person at the club that should have left a decade ago and the soccer mum driving a Kluger with a designer nappy bag that matches her loafers.

To be perfectly honest with you, if it weren’t for my ‘lifestyle choices’, I would probably have no qualms being that awkward old person hitting the dance floor. But that ship has sailed.

So here I am, a parent. Launched into the adult world pretending like I have this whole grown up thing down pat. As with most of my professional career, my first tip to parenting trash bags, fake it til you make it. Whatever you do or say, be sure to execute it with unshakable confidence and no one will question you.

When some nutcase asked me, “Will you be using the Ferber method on your baby?” without hesitation I replied, “Absolutely”

To me the Ferber method sounded like a recipe for unappetizing baby moosh. However, with a straight face and the conviction of a general sending his troops to war, I answered in the affirmative. I later learned that this is a sleep training method that I personally believe to be insane. (No judgement) Fortunately, I never saw that person again. In the event that you do bullshit your way through a conversation, simply say that method didn’t work and you are going experimental.

Here’s another valuable tip. Babies are incredibly inconsistent. Seriously, this whole planning, routine, methodology crap will only ever get you so far. In short, they are babies, not trains. Even trains are prone to disruption and get off schedule. What works one day, won’t work the next. Or maybe it will. That’s the fun of babies, they like to mess with you and keep you on your toes. Cheeky buggers. Excruciating cuteness is an instinctual survival mechanism that stops you from leaving your baby at a random church door.

So what about the rest of the stuff you need to know? You could get naked, run around in circles screaming in your kitchen and panic, or you could resign to the fact right now that no reading, talking to your mum or watching reruns of Super Nanny can prepare you for this. It’s like taking an internship with the Palmer United Party as Clivey’s PA. Every day will present itself with a new challenge dealing with a highly unpredictable squishy baby who, most days will make you laugh at how silly they are.

The pay off? A bond so crazy strong that you actually think you may explode with an unadulterated love you never knew existed. Apart from the cuteness factor, there’s something about spending that much time with another human being. You have such intimate connection, after-all…you made the little person!

Suzi O’Shea

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