origianlly posted on fromSarahTonin.com
Before our first son arrived, closing in on 5 years ago, my husband and I thought it would be a good idea to take parenting classes to learn about what to expect with our new addition. It came highly recommended from doctors and friends. So we dropped $200 and signed up for our 8 week class. The first 4 weeks focused on birth and what to expect throughout the labour process and the remaining 4 weeks focused on life with baby. After the first class I already had a feeling it was going to be a long 8 weeks. The classes focused on birthing plans, labour positions, when to go to the hospital. Then with baby it was feeding, sleeping, adjusting.
We stopped attending after week 5. At this point we had given birth and hauling a newborn to a class for 7:30pm for an hour to have an instructor tell you her views on parenting just did not jive with us. This was also my first dose of the reality that people were going to constantly be pushing their views and opinions on you as a new parent.
This is my offering to new parents (and seasoned veterans will probably get a chuckle out of this)
Practical Parenting Classes aka Surviving Children
Time Management Class aka getting 28hours into a 24hour day:
As a new parent you are going to need to be able to multi-task and be fast at it, especially if you have multiple children. You must learn to prepare bottles/meals, while chasing a toddler. You will learn to change a diaper in seconds. Eat while taking a shower. Fold laundry while “relieving yourself” just to save some minutes. You will always have a schedule. You will never stick to it but you will learn how much more time it will take to leave the house. You will need to pack for any and all situations and ensure you have the necessary supplies. You will no longer “run-into” the grocery store for a few items. You now will shop with a purpose. Leaving the house is an ordeal so when it happens you make sure it is worth it and you get everything on your list taken care of. Your time is precious – use all seconds of your day wisely.
Inner Strength Class:
Did you know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Waking up at ungodly hours throughout the night for a year (or more) is an absolute form of punishment. As the primary caregiver be prepared for a battle of your own wits of wanting sleep and yet you will pull out all of your inner strength and you will get up and feed baby. You will love them unconditionally when they are crying. You will learn to endure the pain of stepping on cars, dolls, and lego (f#!#%ing lego) you will hold in the curse words. You will carry a carseat and 10 bags of groceries at one time. Again, pulling out strength you did not know you had.
When you reach the toddler stage you are going to not only learn to track ninjas but you will also hone in your ninja skills. You will be able to catch falling items with lighting speed. You will be able to jump up flights of stairs in seconds to catch your ninja toddler. You will use your ninja skills to see through walls. Your hearing will be heightened and you will be able to hear a cupboard open when in the shower. You will know their thoughts before they even happen. Your ninja tracking skills will develop as your toddler becomes more mobile – they are sneaky and catching them in the act is difficult. You will notice missing items such as shoes, keys and toilet paper missing and unrolled. This is a sign you are living with a ninja toddler.
Turning off your senses:
Let’s face it – from time to time you need your senses to be turned off. When you are changing the diaper that has exploded and has traveled up your child’s back and is leaking everywhere – you will turn your nose off. You will be able to turn your ears off after the 100th time if hearing “Mom” during the day, you will be able to block out the decibel of your crying baby in order to provide them with comfort. You will learn to block out the sound of Caillou’s annoying voice. You will touch the most disgusting things imaginable – and let’s face it, this goes hand in hand with sight – you will imagine the mouse your son brought home as a pet is a fluffy kitten, the turd nugget that escaped from your childs diaper is a raisin, the vomit on the floor is … well, vomit is a tough one. But you get the idea.
Honestly, the amount of conversations regarding poo that happen in our house are amazing. From day one, you will monitor poo, the type, texture and regularity. You will be able to plan your meals around the status of your childs poop. Every day you will do a poop check to make sure everyone has done their business, you will examine it and do bum checks. You will find pleasure in a bunged up child having a “good” poop and feeding them prunes will bring you a bit of a twisted sense of happiness.
Are there any classes we are missing? What would you add?