‘Welcome to the Club’ is probably one of the most popular phrases I’ve heard shared between parents.
It’s like our version of a high five. Or sometimes, like a hunger games unity salute. Other parents have likely been in the very situations that you experience day to day, and they like to let you know, as a sort of comfort I guess.
One thing I’ve noticed since becoming a parent is that, I’ve noticed how many other parents actually exist in the real world. It’s like when you buy a new car, suddenly you see that car on the road everywhere you go!
Parents are everywhere. Babies are everywhere. This means there’s potentially a huge support network everywhere. You aren’t alone in this.
The truth is, we all wing it. No one really has all the answers. Parenting a baby is a huge trial and error experience. You can read all the books and follow every parent blogger on Instagram, but there will always be some sort of random ritual you have to perform to get your child to open their mouth for Calpol in the middle of the night that would win an Academy Award for best performance.
We’ve all done things against the grain, because they are easier or work better for us, contrary to ‘guidelines’. Especially when you are so sleep deprived that your eyes are a permanent shade of rose bud pink and the amount of coffee you consume would suggest that you are, in fact, made of the stuff. Welcome to the club.
It’s not always advice or opinions that parents need, sometimes just a supportive nod in their direction to let them know you’ve been there before and somehow managed to survive, is just the right thing. I welcome new parents to the club all the time, so they always know they aren’t alone in the ‘winging it’ game. And if you can remove a slight bit of mental pressure from a fellow parents’ day, you’ll be doing them a solid.
There is always going to be the time you forget to pack the wipes in the nappy bag, or forget the whole bag completely, you will miss a lot of sleep, you’ll be late for almost everything despite how hard to try to plan and you will, without a doubt have a long list of anxieties day to day. That’s called parenting, not failing.
Welcome to the Club.