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10 of the best parenting lessons AKA 'Wise words from the weather woman'

Our weekly columnist, Kirsty McCabe, shares the most useful tips she has learned, so far...

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muddy puddles Make time for jumping in muddy puddles!
  1. There are no medals for childbirth. It doesn't matter how your children come into this world, all that matters is that both of you are healthy. Don't compare yourself to other mums and feel you didn't do it right. Everyone, and every pregnancy, is different.

  2. If you want to breastfeed then that really is great. If you want to bottle feed, then do it. As long as the baby is getting fed and you are happy then that's what important. I know lots of people who used a mix of boob and bottle. Again, there are no medals for this one.

  3. Talking of milk... If your baby has a great gag reflex and you now have a carpet that smells of sick, I'd recommend a mix of bicarbonate of soda and washing powder dissolved into hot water. Use a cloth to rub into carpet, let it dry and give it a quick vacuum. Sorted.

  4. This stage shall pass. Whatever you are going through, from labour to night feeds to tantrums, it's a stage and it doesn't last forever. It might be hard to believe right now, but before you know it the endless cycle of feeding and nappy changes that comes with a newborn will change and you will wake up refreshed after a full night's sleep. Seconds later this will be followed by panic until you check on the baby and realise they are absolutely fine.

  5. I'm still waiting on the toilet training stage to pass. I am pretty sure it will as I don't know any grown men that can't use the toilet and occasionally poo in their Spiderman pants. Although there are some that need to work on their aim...

  6. When you meet up with friends who don't have children do try to find other subjects of conversation. Remember how boring you found all that 'schools' chat before you had your own little darlings? Brief mentions are fine, after all, it would be odd to deny all knowledge of their existence, but unless specifically asked do not put on a smartphone slideshow of baby photos and videos.

  7. Get outside. Yes, I know the weather isn't great in this country, especially as we head towards winter but it really helps. Your mood is always better after an invigorating walk with the buggy not to mention the sleep-inducing powers being outside has on children. Invest in some decent waterproofs for you and your little ones and you can hit the park whatever the weather. Though I would probably draw the line at hurricane-force winds...

  8. Your body won't feel like your body for a while. It might never feel quite the same again, to be honest, but take a step back and look at it from a different perspective. You carried a child, you gave birth to a child and now you are raising a child. Unless you are a bikini model, I really wouldn't worry about a bit of extra wobble or unwelcome stretch marks. Don't look at pictures of celebrities who have pinged back into shape. And if you do, repeat after me: 'photoshop'.

  9. I know I've just said it doesn't matter what you look like. It truly doesn't. But after a few months of parenthood it will make you feel physically and mentally more ready to tackle the world if you do a little bit of exercise and cut down on the biscuits. I found a great class where I could bring the baby with me and even stop to feed if I had to. Otherwise a lot of the Virgin gyms have crèches and a variety of classes you can try. If nothing else it's a joy to have some me time and even better if you can squeeze in a quick shower (on your own) afterwards.

  10. Don't listen to anyone. Even me. When it comes to parenting you have to trust your own instincts and do what works for you and your family. Just savour every moment, as it really does fly past.

Read Kirsty's columns: 

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Posted: 07/09/2018 at 19:05

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Posted: 01/07/2019 at 07:47

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