Am I an expert?I don't have a certificate in parenting, but I can class myself as an expert only by my 17 years of experience. 18 if you include being pregnant, which is an achievement in itself. There are no exams you can take or really any rule book you can read and learn, because there is no definitive right or wrong.
I have wanted children since I was about 15 years old. I rambled about this fantasy in my first ever blog post way back in 2009, not long after receiving youngest son’s Autism diagnosis, but back to eldest Skilts for a moment. He is the reason I become a mum and as sappy as it sounds. THE BEST job in the world.
It was August 1998, I was living in my first house share rental, with then boyfriend. We had only been together 17 months and were up to our eyeballs with student debt, when we discovered the (unplanned) news that I was pregnant. Now didn't I just say I couldn't wait to become a mum, so you would think I would be ecstatic about the news. Oh no. The complete opposite. I was petrified. Wholly unprepared and totally clueless. The decision was made to move back in with my parents who were kind enough to not charge us any rent so that we could save for a deposit to be able to buy our own house.
We stepped onto first rung of the property ladder in January 1999. We had started to settle in when I went into labour on Tuesday 4th May. Up until this point my pregnancy had been text book, but my labour was to be anything but. Now I won't go into too much gory detail, or I risk putting you all off me for life, but it was genuinely harrowing and I came very close to not surviving. Baby got stuck and mummy hemorrhaged. I have a 7 hour blank from when I passed out to coming round not even knowing if I had had a baby or if he or she was ok.
Fortunately we both survived although I went on to suffer some PND although I did not immediately realise what the problem was at the time and chose to block out my worries and nightmares about the whole episode by organising my upcoming wedding to DadiSkilts. So in a period of a year, I purchased a house, gave birth and got married. Three of the biggest stresses you can experience in a lifetime and I did them altogether. I had a not unsurprising breakdown and signed myself up for 3 months of counselling shortly after becoming Mrs Skilts.
I am sure plenty of other people manage with all that life throws at them and that is great, and I know plenty more that don't. One piece of advice I will give is don't be scared to admit that you need help. Stress is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you have tried to stay strong for too long. We ALL need to be able to have a break. It is not failure. If you do not recharge your battery and oil your engine then you will fail.
In future posts I will share with you my experience of the following topics.
- Controlled Crying
- Timeout step
- Reward charts
- Potato painting
- Patio chalks
- I spy
Is there something else you would like to see covered or would you like to get involved and write a guest post on a parenting topic important to you. Get in contact either by commenting below or by emailing me directly. I would love to hear your thoughts.