10 things I learned the hard way as a parent

Ruth Chambers writes the weekly ‘It’s Just A Phase’ parenting column – a wry look at life as a Kildare mum – in the Leinster Leader

Ruth Chambers


Ruth Chambers



10 things I learned the hard way as a parent

File photo via Pixabay

So here are just  few of the things I learned the hard way since becoming a parent back in 2012. I’m learning more every day! 

1. I can’t just go out and drink the way I used to before I had kids. It’s only very recently that I finally copped on to this. Lord God, freakishly early mornings and hangovers are the stuff of nightmares!

2. Wearing white as a parent of two young kids is a no go. Well it is with my two anyway. I bought a lovely crisp white shirt in Next a while back and decided to wear it out for Sunday lunch. Two minutes in to the meal Aidan flicked the fork in his spaghetti Bolenegse and it landed all over my lovely new shirt. Sigh.

3. That buying cute and trendy clothes for the kids is a bit pointless. I almost bankrupted us buying adorable dresses and trendy skinny jeans for my two. I was wasting my time. Sarah only wants to wear hoodies, leggings and runners, while her brother requests tracksuit bottoms. They do not care that mammy spent her wages in the kids section in Zara!

4. That trying new recipes for dinner is totally pointless. Just totally. Chicken and chorizo casserole, they’d love that says I. Five minutes later they are having Wheatabix for dinner instead.

5. Holidays aren’t relaxing with kids. We went abroad for the first time last year with the kids. It was lovely but utter madness too. The heat drove Sarah up the walls. Aidan kept running dangerously close to the pool and sitting down in the evenings for some entertainment and a glass of wine was impossible. I needed a holiday after I got back!

6. Trying to stop granny feeding them treats is a waste of time. I tried really hard to get her to not let Aidan eat endless amounts of treats in her house. I told her not to re-stock the treat press and to at least move it to one of the top presses. It fell on deaf ears. By the time Sarah came along I just gave up.

7. The days I pop out without a nappy in my bag is the day one of them always has an ass explosion. I say to myself, I’ll only be out for a half and hour, I’ve just changed Sarah, so she couldn’t possibly need to poo again. How wrong I was. I’ve had to stop fellow mammies with kids the same age and shamefully had to ask for a nappy. Failing that I’ve had to leg it in to Boots for supplies with Sarah stinking like a sewer and half of it stuck to her leggings.

8. That if I keep Aidan up late, he will sleep later the next morning is total bulldust. This in fact doesn’t work in the slightest. On more than one occasion I’ve kept him up some two hours after his normal bedtime. Lo and behold he’s still up at 6am. Then he’s even more cranky because he’s lost two hours of sleep.

9. Making plans for a half an hour after the kids bedtime is a stupid idea. Why? Because it takes forever to get a four-year-old to sleep. There’s the moaning that he’s thirsty. He’s hungry. He need the loo ten times. He needs 300 kisses and 900 hugs. And 400 stories before he’ll even attempt to sleep. I’m lucky if I’m out of his room in under an hour. Very lucky.

10. Don’t take them to places they are expected to be quiet. Places like church and the library. We were asked to leave the latter a few weeks back. I was morto!

You can contact me on ruth.chambers@leinsterleader.ie; Twitter - @ruthie_chambers; Instagram - @itsjustaphaseblog, or you’ll find more of my musings at www.itsjustaphase.ie