Beware the parental pitfalls

Just Ella Bella

Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella



Almost four years into this mothering thing I find myself looking back and realising I was not really prepared for all of this. Here are five lessons I learnt rather early on:

Sleeping like a baby

1. The phrase “sleeping like a baby” is apparently a sarcastic comment, because sleep interrupted by nagging and crying is hardly restful. Neither is sleep that can only be achieved when people tiptoe around you, avoiding noisy toys like they are in a low- budget spy movie.

Quite expensive

2. Babies are quite expensive – I knew they weren’t cheap, but I didn’t expect my monthly “baby budget” to rival the cast of Jersey Shore’s “tan budget”. It shouldn’t, should it?

Cause havoc

3. A one-year-old can cause roughly the same amount of havoc as a rock group on tour, in less time. Seriously, back then I could put Aidan down in the family room, go to my bedroom, put down my bag, come back and all heck would have broken lose. He unpacked cupboards, threw and pulled cushions off, climbed in to cavities … at any moment it could look like a toy store had set up a badly organised pop-up store in my house – and I know he is not the only one. Many a child I know can take a room from “showhouse quality” to “I promise I’m not a hoarder” in no time. The scariest part is that now, three years later, not much has changed.

Multiple personalities

4. Kids have multiple personalities. Aidan will go to lunch with his dad, eat a few chips, colour-in, play in the play room, awww … sweet! He will go to lunch with his mom, throw a few chips on the floor, eat his crayons, get on the table, squirt juice out of his juice box – uhmmm … same kid? When he was little he would sing along to nursery rhymes with me and repeat phrases, but when I tried to get him to do it when someone else was in the room, he made me look like I had a vivid imagination and all he could say is goo-goo gaga.

They change everything

5. Kids change everything you thought you knew about having kids, every eye-roll at a noisy kid on a plane, every judgmental thought about kids throwing tantrums in a shop – your views will completely change. In fact, if you have ever as much as thought “my kid will never .” or “I will never let my kid …” chances are you are about to eat those words, along with whatever half-eaten slightly soggy treat your kid decides to “share” with you (you shouldn’t say no to a baby offering you something apparently – yum).

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