5 things I wasn’t a ‘natural’ at

People always talk about how parenting is instinctual, and you just know how to do things when you’re the one responsible for a mini person. However, I think there are some things that are not innate skills, and they don’t necessarily come easily! Here’s 5 things I wasn’t a ‘natural’ at:

  1. Changing a nappy

Yes, it is still gross if it’s your child. Why do people claim it won’t be?! And it’s not as easy as it looks, especially when you are changing him on a hospital bed after very little sleep for 36 hours and there is a tar-like substance coming out of his bum. Also, when he had skinny legs as a newborn his nappies leaked all the time! Luckily he is a little chubster now, but we still get the odd poo explosion.

Are dirty nappies the worst part of being a parent?!
  1. Dressing and undressing him.

It’s a fucking fiddly job! Trying to force little limbs into clothes is seriously frustrating, and when you are being watched by a health visitor you suddenly become completely inept. I was trying to stuff his arms back into his top (that I had got stuck over his face) while pretending to be calm, all the while thinking ‘she’s going to see that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, she’s going to realise I am unfit to be a mother!’ And why do they insist on straightening their legs when you try to put them into a babygro?!

IMG_4707 red
TM was a few days old here and that snowsuit was so big his little arms would fold up by his chest. We gave up trying to get them in the arm hole!
  1. Bathing

Getting in between fingers and toes while not dropping their slippery little bodies is quite a feat. I haven’t improved on this skill, as B is in charge of bath time, so let’s hope I don’t need to bath TM anytime soon as it may not be a smooth ride.

  1. Strapping him into a car seat/pram

I couldn’t get the car seat straps to lengthen one day when I was at a friend’s house, and it was such a mission trying to do them up. And the one in the pram does not like to fit over his massive snowsuit, so I end up looking like a complete idiot trying to force my crying child into something. I live in fear of trapping his little fingers too.

It’s easy. Until they struggle. Or the straps won’t lengthen.
  1. Manoeuvring a pushchair

Really not that easy. I am always bumping into things and people, and when I have to turn…well, let’s just say I ended up with the pram tipped sideways up on two wheels one day, and I was terrified. TM slept through it and I righted it without any major disaster, but I really think they should give you some kind of pram driving lesson before you have a baby. The amount of kerbs I have bumped him up/down is probably some kind of record, too.

I think there are probably a million other things that haven’t come naturally to me, but it would be too depressing to list more than five!

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47 thoughts on “5 things I wasn’t a ‘natural’ at

  1. This is so true. For most people, the first newborn they have any contact with is their own. And although the hospital or anti-natal class may show you a few things, it’s not the same as trying to do them at home on a real life subject! We gave the Tubblet her first bath with one of us holding a copy of Miriam Stoppard’s book to check we were doing it like the pictures …

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  2. Totally agree with all of the above! I have always been terrible at steering a pushchair. Then I got a double (and I mean one of those huge beasts that take the front infant into a shop 10 mins before you get there), now I don’t have to worry so much about steering. People see me coming and run for their lives so I tend to have plenty of room to move :0)

    Dawn x

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  3. I was a menace with the pram to start with, but today I impressed myself by pushing it one-handed around the supermarket without a single collision. Yay me – it’s only taken 15 months haha! Very accurate list of things that take a considerable amount of practice when baby no. 1 comes along 🙂

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  4. I couldn’t agree more! All things I was absolutely shit at. Wait till you have a toddler, its like trying to put your really drunk crying best mate to bed when you were 18, after their boyfriend snogged another girl in front of them in Yates. Its a new level of dressing challenge!!!!! I’m enjoying your blog – thank you to lovely #fridayfrolics for introducing us!

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  5. Oh hun I feel for you. I was so not a natural with anything when it came to my boys! I was terrible at it when they were first born. Don’t beat yourself up about it, we all have to learn and just because some find it easy doesn’t mean it’s that simple. xx

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  6. I feel you. I remember one time when my son swallowed a marble and I had to monitor and fish through his poop to check if it passed (i.e. THAT really fine moment of motherhood!) And i didn’t find it- neither did the follow up scan. The doctors accused me of being a bad poop checker and I gladly agreed! I wasn’t a natural at it 😉

    Anyways, This is interesting! Would love to see your posts in the Practical Mondays Link Up:)

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  7. Believe me you are not alone!! I was the same and that was coming up 4 years ago and we are just about to go through it all over again, which makes me wonder if I will still be useless!! lol. Gorgeous photo of the two of you. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week x

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    1. I don’t blame you! To be fair now they say just to wash them if you have to the first week or two as its best to let their skin breathe and settle (or something) before bathing them!! Maybe because it has that stuff on it that protects and moisturises it. So really you were just following advice! Thanks for reading, Ellen x


  8. The bit about the health visitor – SO TRUE!! I lost the ability to do anything in front of her, and bubba decided to poop 30 seconds before she arrived too which was just perfect. Ha xxx

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  9. Oh yes no one tells you about all of this. I was literally terrified of bathing my big lad when we came home thank god in Holland we have a kramzog for the first week who helps you at home. I was a menace with the pushchair especially our double I knocked over a supermarket display and ran over an old man! TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

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    1. Oh that’s a good idea to have someone to help at home! Hahaha that’s hilarious though- those supermarket displays are in stupid places sometimes. I don’t think my steering is improving much, I wear him in the sling quite a lot now so that solves that problem! Thanks for reading, Ellen


  10. Love it! I have always been ok with nappies, but I have had struggles with the rest of these! I am forever locking the wheels on pushchair so I can’t move it where I want to go! & how slippy are babies in the bath?? #FamilyFun

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  11. So true! I have 9 nephews and nieces and have cared for them all from day one, but still find it impossible getting them in and out of their clothes to change them…too many poppers everywhere! Hopefully when our first one arrives in September, I’ll be a little more experienced though! #FamilyFun

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  12. I am completely the same with the HV! As soon as she turns up I become inept at all this parenting! Getting them undressed, nappy changed and redressed just to be weighed is tortue for baby and mummy alike! Great post! #FamilyFun

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