What you need for your baby …. even if he is a prince …

Having a baby is one of those joyful tinged with panic situations.  That last 9 months, or however far along you realise you are pregnant.

If you are adopting or having a baby through another route, the time line may be longer or get compressed into two frantic weeks.

Baby magazines, product advertising and all the “punt my product” blogs and forums make it really hard to buy what you need, and not find yourself blowing your salary on a chair that is pink, and for what ever reason costs R6 000.00 but you just must have it!

Right now my heart goes out to anyone pregnant with a baby – especially a boy child.  Because the media is going to go Little Prince crazy – and you are going to see heaps of items that you “just must have” but the reality is that you probably will never use.

I acquired a ton of things when Connor was joining us.

Georgia I also made sure I was organised – though the fact that she was a girl came as a bit of a surprise and required fast dashes to the closest Woolworths by Kennith when she made her entrance into the world, as I realised none of the “green” items were going to do.

Isabelle was a much calmer affair.  I knew what I needed, and it really was not a lot.  I did not spend much on all the new fangled items – and in most cases trolled for second hand items – let’s call them pre-loved or vintage which sounds so much better than second hand.

My friend Joyce asked me to a baby list in 2011 and I went to look at it again this morning – so here is ANOTHER BABY LIST that you probably don’t need, but there we go.

Not a comprehensive list, but just some thoughts.

Basic must haves:

Breathable cot mattress + mattress covers x 3 (this you buy new from Toys R Us after you have the cot as mattress must fit your cot)

Normal bedding – fitted sheets – usually you do not really buy duvets + pillows etc, as they can be hazards to a baby in a cot, so I tend to buy them because they look pretty not because they are a necessity.  I bought from Treehouse factory store, but you can get these anywhere.  Isabelle sleeps on a mattress + sheet, and then I put loose blankets on top of her.

Bumpers (to stop baby’s feet getting caught in the bars of the cot) are usually recommended for small babies, but I found Isabelle kept pulling hers down – so I ended up purchasing two great sets and never using them)

Changing mat – you need one that goes on your compactum –  big thick thing with raised sides.  Treehouse is good for this.

Box/Container for toiletries that stands on your compactum – I suggest a wooden one from Builder’s Warehouse or a plastic one from Plastic Warehouse.

Polar fleece baby blankets x 3 – 4 – I use these a lot, and just layer them when baby is cold.

Receiving blankets – 4 – 6 of these, also used to keep baby warm, used underneath baby, used to add layers, I am using some of Connor’s ones with Isabelle, so these are great to hand from one baby to another, and have a thousand uses.

Towelling nappies – not as nappies, but as puke cloths – buy a pack from Jet – fairly good quality and you just need something to reach for every time your baby up chucks.

Sleeping wedges – can buy anywhere – basically to stop baby rolling over on to his/her back, Toys R Us have these.

Baby towels – I ended up with dozens of these, and the hoody part is nice, but really not a have to have — and you always end up getting a dozen of these.

Kango Bath support for baby – you can pick these up anywhere, and they are pretty useful stuff.  I had a purple one and it was brilliant.

Microwave sterilizer – you can pretty much buy these anywhere – stick with the cheap and cheerful R89.00 one, no need to dip into the R450.00 one which just looks jazzy but essentially does the same thing (stay away from Miltons – used to clean bottles)

Decide on a bottle system – I use NUK, but different people use different ones.  The problem is the bottles/teats are not interchangeable, so once you decide on a system, you are pretty much stuck with it.  I got a free NUK one, and then just used it since.  Bottles are expensive and you need about 6 of them, so it is one of those things you buy, then do not open, and if you see baby is using them, then you open them.  (you do not open them so you can return them if your baby for some reason just does not like the particular system)

Bottle brushes – do not try to purchase the NIMBUS 2000 range, buy what ever is being sold at PnP or where ever.  I can’t say I used this that often …..

Decide if you are going to use a dummy – and then purchase – I opted for NUK (because I liked the bottles and the product) – but dummies are not a necessity, and you need to make a decision upfront as to whether you want to go with one or not.

Nappy bag – for your sanity opt for a backpack styled one.  (contents spare clothes, food, dummy, wipes, nappies, traveling changing mat – something that is always packed and ready to go, so if you need to go somewhere, you grab it – so it has duplicates of what ever you use for baby, and the idea is to have it packed so when ever you have to go somewhere you grab it and go)

DO NOT BUY CLOTHES, I HAVE MORE THAN ANY CHILD WILL EVER WEAR AND MOST WITH LABELS.  People give you and buy you clothes, and if you are feeling vaguely like watching your bank balance, people will drown you in baby clothes that all seem to arrive and look like they have never been worn.

However if you want to dress your child in Keedo/Naartjie/Earth Child, then please buy clothes.

Shoes are a total unnecessary purchase and are purely a “cute” purchase.

The only thing you need to purchase are probably vests – I prefer the ones that do not clip at the crotch, but most prefer the ones that do.  Your baby will be little in winter, so you need to purchase these as you will need one to two per day.

 Toiletries:

Nappies – I suggest you start with Pampers and go from there.  Buy from PnP and if you decide you do not like them, cannot use them you can return to PnP for a refund!  You average about 5 per day on a young baby.

Bum cream – I swear by Lucoderm – can buy from any chemist – comes in a tub, lasts for ages.  One tub will pretty much see your baby through from birth to about university, so no need to buy the full range of nappy creams.  Many of them are not great, and other than smell nice do not do a whole lot of good.

Wipes – buy what you can afford, Cherub works well, and is a good price, but I also like the Pampers ones.

Baby wash – I tend to use Johnsons Baby Top to ToeWash

Baby Powder – I use Johnsons with Camomile (purple label) – because I like the smell.  But most professional nurses would suggest an odourless plain powder based product without any frills or fuss.

Medication to keep on hand: Calpol, Empiped (suppository), Voltarin (suppository), Nurofed *****, Panado – you want to keep a ready supply of medication to combat temperatures, young babies pick up a fever quite easily.  Have a stash of short syringes (no needles) as getting medication into the back of a baby’s mouth/throat is a trick and a syringe will be a great tool.

Very useful: nappy sacks – fragrant plastic bags to dispose of nappies.  I use these when I go out – it makes me look civilised even though I have baby shit under my finger nails.

Pack of cotton wools makeup swabs – I find them useful for every day – wiping little areas and so on.

Johnsons Aqueous Cream, which I use on occasion.

Bepanthen cream – good for odds and sods, bites, dry areas, and so on.

Bathroom Stuff:

A non-slip mat in the bath.

Bath toys and one of those little bags that clip on to the side of the bath to put toys in.

A bath caddy for baby’s toiletries.

Baby toothbrush – I started with a baby toothbrush really early, so they get familiar with the brush and the toothpaste in their mouth, so that when you start brushing life is easier as it does not become a problem.  Easier to start with this in the bath when they are little as a game, so it just becomes a non-issue.

Sanity purchases (your sanity):

Mechanical/electric bounce/swing chair – try to find one second hand.  This was my tool of sanity with Isabelle who never stopped screaming.

Curtains or blinds that block out light totally – quite a good idea to do this from the start.

Rocking chair/wing backed chair/small single couch in babies room – will saving you standing rocking baby, and sometimes you end up sitting in babies room when baby is sick.

Electronic thermometer – buy from PnP – cost probably about R400.00 – total sanity purchase!!!  You will use it forever, I have a Braun Thermoscan and it is still going strong and I think it is 5 years old.

Mobile above cot – having one with music is a nice touch – the music and the moving things do sooth baby, but you can buy this second hand.  Really nice for baby to look at and the music does sooth some babies – I must confess that Isabelle liked hers while the other two kids were not that interested in them at all – so I think the mobile was for me, so I could stand and look at it when I was rocking one of them to sleep.  So buy a mobile you like – maybe Robert Downey Junior has a mobile!

Night light – I preferred not to use one, but some people do use them.

Baby Monitor – buy new – like a walkie-talkie – one goes in baby’s room and one in your room, so you do not need to keep going to open the door to check on baby, quite useful, but really not a necessity.  They do however help you to stop going: ‘Did you hear something?  I am sure I hear something.  Do you hear something?  I am going to go in and check.”

Floor doughnut – its that pink or blue cushion thing they lie and play on, with cushioned sides so they do not roll off.  You use it quite a lot even when they are sitting up.  Eventually the dog will go and sit in it, then you will say “Gee, I am glad I bought such a cool dog bed from Treehouse!!”

Seat cover – goes under the baby seat to protect your car seats – no matter how much you swear your child will not eat and drink in the car, sadly we all succumb to throwing Marie Biscuits into the bag with a bit of Oros and praying it buys us 10 minutes of quiet time.

Front seat cover – it fits over the front head rests and has pouches facing backwards – great to prevent baby kicking and damaging the back of the front seats, and nice to store odds and ends.  There are really expensive ones, but you can pick them up for dead cheap and car type stores, rather than baby type stores.

Window sock – slides over your window, so that baby in car seat is not sitting in direct sunlight.  Really nice – need to buy ones that fit your car, quite expensive, so a nice to have, not a must have.

Tiny Love – Gymini Kick/Play – baby lies on the floor underneath this thing and then plays with the things above it.  Sort of daily useful, but not a must have.

Big Purchases:

Wooden Cot (buy second hand)

Travelling Cot (fold down type) – not a necessity, and really only something you will use if you go away with baby.

Compactum – with drawers (buy second hand)

Narrow cupboard with drawers – little baby stuff fits better in drawers so if you buy a wicker basket draw thing or similar it does make life easier as you rarely put their stuff into a hanging cupboard.

Picolo/Snug and Safe – Baby car seat, carry around thing that you use for baby – it tends to become a baby feeding chair when baby is small, and where baby sleeps while you are in a restaurant, so find one that has an easy to clean cover.

Pram + Car seat (this is also the Piccolo/Snug and Safe – so you need to decide to buy this as a unit i.e. Graco Travel System or as two separate item.

(Car seats are by weight, small babies are strapped into a Piccolo and are rear facing – and they stay like this until they around about 12 kg I think, then move to a forward facing car seat – so best to leave the purchasing of a front facing car seat for a bit later.  Discovery does give a voucher for this, which is great.)

Good place for second hand stuff:

I can’t think of the company’s name – I think it is called Second Time Around or something – 021 762 2474, 309 Main Road, Kenilworth – but the owner is really nice, it is a small shop crammed with stuff, and good to touch base with her and explain what you are looking for and then she looks out for it.

Good place to shop for bedroom things:

Treehouse in Parow – corner of Zelda and Jagger Street, Goodwood, 021 591 1814 – really good to lurk around there, can pick up some really good things on sale.

Gumtree is a good place to lurk around – someone is always selling something.  Just use your natural Nancy Drew alertness when dealing with anyone.  Do not meet or go to anyone’s home – meet them in a public place, ensure you check them out before you meet them (if all they have is a gmail account and a cell number, then maybe rethink that meet).  I have been lucky and have bought a lot of things through gumtree, and saved a ton.

I hope that list helps you a bit ——-

I decided not to include this item, but now that I look at it, well, there are a few ideas of how I could use this —- at my desk with tea …. I like the way the packing has “stew/cocoa” on it.  Because those two tastes go together so damn well.

bizarre-products-1

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Who said money cannot buy you happiness? Clearly someone who undervalued R5

Connor is really keen on a WII – we are really keen he pays for it himself.

We are funny like that.

He has saved up some money and is always asking me for “chores” for money.  There is not a lot to do around the house as I have a Pepe and a Roderick.

I get him to empty dustbins, water the plants, sweep the kitchen, empty the dustbins, that sort of stuff.

I never ask him to do hard labour or work in a coal mine, or stitch a soccer ball – but I get him to do bits and bobs so he feels he is doing something, and he gets R5.00 – R50.00 for his efforts depending on the level of work.

Yesterday we are driving home, and Connor asks me for “odd jobs for money.”

I know there is nothing I need done.

But then I think “what do I want?”

I realise right now I just want peace and quiet.

Connor can physically not play the “quiet game” as he just speaks way too much, and I know that game will fail before the traffic lights change colour.

Me: “Connor I will give you R5.00 if you do not argue with your sister today.  Over anything.  I don’t care for the reason.  I want to drive home in peace, eat dinner in peace and you two go about your evening without fighting over anything.  How does that sound?”

Connor: “R5.00 – okay!”

Me: “Remember no fights…”

Oh my heavens.  R5.00 bought me peace and happiness for one evening.

Not one fight.  NOT ONE FIGHT over invisible letters, she is touching me, she looked out my window, she is breathing too loud, she is snoring and faking sleep ……

Best R5.00 I ever spent.  I am fine with bribery.  I think we are all learning a valuable lesson.

Connor can make easy money.

R5.00 seems to be a good price.  (I got a flood of them this morning from the PnP lady so I always have them in my purse from this moment forward)

I might keep my sanity (or my rather tentative grasp on it).

R5.00 for one evening x 7 evenings is really not that high a price to pay.

They will fight, odds are I need to bank on 3- 4 evenings at R5.00 at the very most.

Some days my parenting techniques will be spoken about in awe, and with wonder (I wonder how child services did not go and fetch those kids……sooner)

17 Irrefutable Parenting Truths ….

….. according to me ….. these are not universal truths ……..

<some are mine, some I borrowed/stole/lent without asking>

  1. When you find yogurt on your butt, learning it’s origin is not likely to make you feel any better.
  2. No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. (Thanks Bill Cosby)
  3. When your toddler farts, don’t look at her lovingly and say, “Do you need to poop?” Otherwise, you might be surprised when your attempt at discreet passing of gas is punctuated by the same words compassionately (and loudly) uttered by her.
  4. What works for one child in a family, will not work for the other(s). Nature and nurture theory can easily crumble as one child gorges on tomatoes, while the other cannot bear the sight of them (swap out the word tomato with just about anything i.e. discipline/Barbie Dolls/jungle gyms or what ever).
  5. The one thing about parents is  that no matter what stage your child is in, other parents who have older children always tell you the next stage is worse – always – and then smile at you in a be-littling fashion.
  6. Learn how to spell “diarrhea” so that you  can cancel play-dates via text without loading your dictionary app.  Texting “the runs” does not have the same impact.
  7. The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet.
  8. We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.
  9. Even though it seems totally improbable that a toddler would poop at the precise moment you are reading to her about how to poop in the potty, it is not.   Refrain from reading such books whilst she’s in the bath.
  10. Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.  Remember that as you stand and offer advise to a mom who has a child throwing a tantrum in aisle four at Woolworths.
  11. Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.  (Oodles of wisdom there …..)
  12. People like your kids a lot less than you think – be aware of this when you visit friends and take your off- spring along.
  13. If you want a baby, have a new one.  Don’t baby the old one. (Chinese proverb, very clever, if you read it, sit with it, the read it again ….)
  14. The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.
  15. If it is really quiet in the house, do not put your feet up and think “thank gawd I get a break” – get off
    your arse and go and investigate what they are doing.  They are doing something, usually it involves
    a small flame and possibly the cat.
  16. Kids will forget something you told them 5 seconds ago, but will remember the “less than complementary comment” you made about your mother in law and repeat it back to her, word for painful word over dinner, with you sitting there and a mouthful of food.
  17. If a child screams “someone come wipe my bum!” get up, put the wine down, go and wipe their bum.  Bum duty is pretty grim.  Cleaning poo off walls, the toilet and the child when said child attempts to wipe his/her own bum is far more grim.

Freaking hell ….

 

I do think it is one of those situations where I am spread too thin and feel a little bit all over the show.

Trying to be good about keeping the blog up and alive is sometimes hard work.

I love blogging, but I prefer to write when I feel like it rather than when I have to.  The problem with “feeling like it” is that you sort of need to be in the zone, which right now I am not right now – the result is that I start posts and get a few paragraphs in and then lose the steam … and they lie there forlorn staring and me, begging to be finished. 

I need to still write the article for the magazine, so need to get into the head space for that (again a bigger deal for me than for them no doubt).

I need to still clean out my bag – as I get so frustrated every time I have to find something in there.

Today I got myself into a total tizz looking for keys, inside my bag.  After about 10 minutes of going ape-shit because I could not find my keys inside my stupid bag …. I then discovered them lying next to my laptop, on my desk ….. where I put them this morning …….so I would not have to scratch in my bag …. to find them.

I heard a radio article this afternoon as I got in the car, and the bloke was talking about being a responsible parent and that the best thing you could do for your child, was give them the gift of time.

I thought it was the gift of life, but I have been mistaken before.

Darryl, the presenter, went on to explain that you needed the time to sit and just listen to your child and hear what they have to say.

Which of course makes me feel all the more guilty as I really lack patience and often cut them off with a screeching: “just get to the point already…” ………….I mean seriously, how much crap must I actually listen to before you get to the part where you say what you need to!!

But on the more sane hand …..

I am really enjoying the photography part and the other blog.  

But that again takes a lot of work and of course more of my attention away from being able to listen to my children and even Kennith.  Trying to balance life and my hobby is challenging, and I have barely got started.

I am not a super-good photographer or even super-average, so I find the shoots quite stressful because I want to ensure that the “client” gets some good shots and I do not fek it all up.  I really get to be a totally stressed cabbage on the day.

Once the shoot is over, I am always excited to see the images – and more often than not I am more excited than depressed – probably because I expect so little ….. so that’s a good thing, low expectations and all, very hard to be disappointed if you start really low …… right?

I have been doing shoots outside which is much more difficult and requires more technical aptitude than shooting in a studio. 

There is shifting light, and usually a giant sun in the sky which is either creeping in to the shot, or creates such heavy lights and darks that it becomes almost impossible to get a good shot.  And  I am trying to take photographs of a child (and keep them unposed) so said child is running around like they are on E or something and that just adds to the chaos – I am thinking about taking along a little tranquiliser … not sure if it is for me or the children …. or the parents.

But that being said, I am really enjoying it and learning more each week. 

Could I do this for a living?  I am not sure, and I think there are too many people trying to carve a living out of it – so for now it is a hobby that I really enjoy, and let’s see how it goes moving forward.

On Saturday one my the friends, whom I hold most dear, Judith, agreed to let me do some maternity/pregnancy shots with her and her husband, Alistair.

Her baby Benjamin was due on the 25 March, and last week her GYNE said that the baby’s head had engaged and that he couldn’t even measure the head, which meant that it appeared that birth was imminent.

I was excited for her and disappointed that Benjamin might arrive and make the maternity part of the shoot a thing of the past.  (yes I realise how self-absorbed I am…)

But he hung in there and Judith and Alistair and I frolicked around in 39 degree heat to take some photographs.  It was so hot it was unbelievable.

I loved photographing her.

Sure I took a long time and took nearly a thousand photos, but there were so many nuances of her that I could see through the lens that I wanted to capture, that I ended up taking much too many.

Part of it was also that we were chatting and laughing in so many of the photos, that the results involved open mouths and silly faces, and some of my feet because I was laughing instead of focussing.

It was great.

Judith had her Benjamin this morning – and she said that she started going in to labour on Sunday midday.

She got through labour and by the time she asked for the epidural, they said “er, it is a bit late for that!” and then she panicked.

I put it down to her good manners.  She did not want to be rude by asking and thought she might just wait until they offered.  There is a lesson there regarding drugs and pain relief.

So my hero and deliciously gorgeous friend Judith got through labour on her ace, without so much as a headache tablet – how cool is she?  Very cool, much cooler than me.

I went to visit her earlier today and got to see Benjamin who was all of 7 hours old.  It is funny how new born babies make me cry.  They just do.

But I was so happy and overwhelmed for Judith, that she  had survived her day, and had pushed this guy out of her nether regions.

Of course I got to lie on her hospital bed as we were screaming with laughter as she was recanting the tales of the “labour ward” – I love the fact that motherhood has not changed her …. much……yet.

While there, the nurse came in to ask if she wanted to be part of the “bath demonstration” today or tomorrow.  Jude thought about it and opted for tomorrow. 

For those who are not familiar, basically the “bath demonstration” is when all the moms who have just had babies go and sit around – usually with very pained expressions on their faces – in the nursery area of the Maternity Ward and watch how the Matron bathes a baby with absolute skill and does it in about 7 minutes.

You then get to repeat the procedure.  Problem is that your muscles are exhausted, you are highly emotional and you have a tiny wriggly person who you are afraid of breaking.

So you go through this process and it is awful.  You pretty much spend 45 – 60 minutes trying to bath and dress this baby.  By the time you are finished, you are so traumatised and exhausted and feel like such a pathetic mother that you need an ante-depressant and someone to pat you on your hand.

The problem is that you compare yourself to the Matron, who does this with about the same feeling as you do to change a toilet roll.

Anyway I made that mistake when I had Connor. 

Unfortunately I also did it on day 4 or what ever and I was seriously in a case of “baby blues” or affectionately called the “warm up to full blown depression” and I tried to bath this little wrinkled child and dry him, and get the nappy on and the special outfit I had chosen.

By the time Kennith arrived to collect me, he might as well have put me into the wheel chair and pushed me from Maternity straight to the Psychiatric wing.

By Georgia I learnt my lesson, and asked them if they could just bath her – for all three days I was there.  I figured I would learn when I got home.

With Isabelle, well clearly they stopped asking at that point!  But they did ask to use her as the “demonstration baby”  – even better.

So my wisdom that I imparted to Judes today was to ring for the nurse a bit later and say “please can you bath my baby, I had him this morning and he has not had a wash…” and then proceed to ask them to do it each day.  I said that if they looked at her like “well honey you need to learn” she should just tell them that her mom is a widwife and staying with them, and she will have plenty of time to learn at home.

Judith, welcome, welcome to this little band of demented people who call themselves mothers – here we are – some of us more sane than others.

If you thought life was a bit strange before, wait until you can sit and discuss the colour of your child’s faeces over dinner, and think nothing of it!  There are even forums that chat about this.

It’s a brave new world chick, it’s a brave new world and welcome to it.

You have already set the bar high by going through what must be one of the hardest test of endurance without drugs (albeit not by your own choice) – and chick you survived.

But I did like the way you said…”next time straight c-section!”

 

Maybe not everyone is the cookie cutter mommy …..

I have mentioned that I chat on Moomie – it is basically a forum geared towards  moms or moms to be, or moms trying to be moms or freaks who like to listen to moms talk about nappies and cracked nipples.

I didn’t switch on to chatting on forums until about 15 months ago, and it is this place where people chat about just about everything.

I really wish I had done it earlier, it is so much cheaper than therapy. 

You get to emotionally vomit about stuff that you want to speak about.  The bizarre (or not so bizarre depending on your vantage point) thing is that what you say – what you have aching say/reveal – will resonate with someone and they will go “yes, me too, me too!”

And then you get to sigh and go, thank g&wd I am not totally out of my tree.

Forums are great for that – they give me that “space” I need to often discuss something that has been bubbling inside for ages, and sometimes just saying it out loud to a group who understands is so affirming – which might explain why Alcoholics Anonymous works so well.

For me I do not really have someone to sit and chat to about how I struggle with motherhood or children as my friends do not have kids.  Of course my friends can pat me on the shoulder, pour me a glass of wine and nod sagely while I go off and spittle forms on my chin – and I am so blessed that they do that for me (and often supply the wine as part of the arrangement).

Even with the best intentions, they cannot REALLY understand my rants and at the same time, they cannot rant back with me about the same subject – which is really what you need to remind you that you are not going certifiably crazy.

I do wish I had cottoned on to forums sooner.  It really would have saved my medical aid bills a ton.  And I might have spent a lot less time screaming at Kennith for something that probably was not his fault in the first place.

Recently someone brought up the subject of mother and baby magazines and what we buy and read.  My problem with mother and baby magazines is generally – and I say this with the utmost respect for publishers, editors and journalists – that they are actually sh*t.

Everything about them is so “saccharine sweet” and politically correct.  The moms all look like they have spent two hours with a hairdryer and a makeup artist, and have that Mona Lisa blissful smile as they stare into the lens – with their left hand on their lap – so you can see their wedding ring.

They are all so darn happy and rosy cheeked that unfortunately it does not nothing for me, and makes me feel even more awkward.  I want real moms saying what they really feel – and that is why forums are so great (and blogs actually!)

The mommy and baby articles are lackluster at the best of days, and it just feels like the same sad information being rehashed.  There is nothing that I feel I can sink my teeth in to or go “wow never looked at it like that”. 

The highlight, for me, tends to be the back pages where the advertiser are.  That is pretty much the extent of my interest in these magazines.

Any the who.  Someone on the forum wanted to know what would encourage us to buy a magazine. 

I realized this was a rather pointless activity as articles that would interest me would alienate half the population, and unfortunately only attract advertisers who were promoting wine, strippers, cheap dinners out and photography gear.

However that being said, these are the kind of articles I would like to see written by distinguished investigative journalists without the aid of stock photography, and copy and paste from google (I had originally posted a similiar list on Moomie):

Article 1

I want his sperm, but then I would prefer it if he did not come near me again for the next 3 – 12 months.

Article 2
Why reasoning with a pregnant woman is a total waste of time.  And other tips for survival aimed at partners/husbands.

Article 3
Why advertisers guilt moms into buying sh*t they do not need. Tips on how to see that crap is still crap, even if it is painted pink or blue.

Article 4
How much sh*t should I put up with from my mother in law until I tell her to shove off? 52 tips like this, one for each week.

Article 5

Why are so many sh*tty creches allowed to trade? We discover the real truth behind these hell holes and speak to parents who have no option to leave their kids there.

Article 6

Crap Pay = Crap Nannies.  Why you get what you pay for – Eve vs Madam.

Article 7

Why exactly has the employer not been forced to pay maternity benefits – and how do woman actually cope with 4 months of unemployment when they need the money the most and they do not have a financially contributing partner? We do an in-depth investigation of this issue, and how it affects women today.

Article 8

Research into Men being able to carry babies put on hold – until the question on maternity benefits paid by UIF has been resolved.  Stunning expose!

Article 9

10 reasons why it is okay to hate your husband as he sleeps and expects you to wake up 6 times during the night. Free couple counseling voucher included with this issue.

Article 10

I love my husband, but why is he acting like a special needs person and seems to have no clue how to do ANYTHING correctly. Tests husbands can take to see if they are acting like a total moron, pencil is included so they do not have to ask you where the pencils are kept.

Article 11

Tips on how to deal with the pushy nurse in the maternity section of your hospital. Written by 2nd or 3rd time moms who have this concept waxed.

Article 12

Signs that you are losing your mind – and it is okay because other moms are also crying in the bathroom at 2am – they just don’t tell you.  Secret photos included.

Article 13

Lies moms tell!  Why they continue the stereotype that all moms are happy fulfilled creatures, and why there is a small group who disagree, and are not afraid to speak out.

Article 14

How to prepare a fun snack of Flings, Oros and day old toast for your toddler. Recipes included.

Article 15

25 tips on how to tell people to p*ss off when they stop you to give you advise, when you have not asked for it.

Article 16
How to choose the birthing method that works for you.  And how to tell people who keep trying to “correct” you to f*ck right off.

Article 17

Medical Aidsthe love-hate relationship with Moms. Exposed!!

Article 18

The Secret of how to actually sleep when your baby sleeps – the myth uncovered. Next month we look at the Loch Ness Monster, another phenomenon people talk about but no one has ever seen.

Article 19

Moms who give up on losing weight, and decide instead to embrace their bodies, drink wine and embrace a bag of Chuckles at the same time as flicking the bird at the moms who are slightly obsessive. Diet not included!

Article 20

How to leave your child in the care of a carer/babysitter/husband without any guilt …. and more tips to surviving the first three months.

Article 21

How not to roll your eyes at a new mom when you hear them gushing during their pregnancy.  When this is all they talk about – while you actually want to slap some sense into them, but instead smile sweetly and say “how lovely!”

Article 22

How to get your partner to realise that you will kill him if he dares to approach you sexually within the first 6 – 12 weeks. You will make the first move when you are ready. Win a taser (with a special LCD light – so you can find it if you drop it in the bedroom) to use on your partner if he comes near you.

Article 23

How not to stress when your baby is not eating/drinking like other babiesit is okay, babies do not read the charts, they do what they want and everyone gets there eventually.

Article 24

Why Mother and Baby Groups are for the insane …. and how to get yourself out of themPart 1 of the Cult Group Series.

Article 25

Believe it or not, you make a wonderful pregnancy person but we do not want to see every f*kn moment on Facebook or Twitter …. really!! How to interact with people and survive 45 minutes without discussing your children or your pregnancy … Part 1 of a series of 5 of how to break this frustrating habit.

Article 26

How not to feel guilty because you might not bond with your baby immediately.  Moms show you how to “fake it ‘til you make it” in the first 6 weeks, when you feel absolutely no connection at all.

Article 27

Breast feeding is wonderful – but it is not actually the Alpha and the Omega.  Lists of Mensa members who were not breastfed as babies and are okay today.  Bill Gates and Robert Murdoch reveal all.

Article 28

The newer the mom, the bigger the pram …. and other interesting observations made by our roving reporter.

Article 30

Stay at Home Moms and Working Moms finally agree on a Truce.  Thabo Mbeki very happy with outcome of peace talks.

Article 31

Resident Psychologist answers: Why it is okay to love your baby, but not like them all the time.  This question answered, and others posed by readers.

Okay I am going to stop now, as you can see, I could/would just go on forever at this rate!

Mommy Tip for Sanity # 1

Lying in the bath earlier today my mind started wandering around and I thought about all the stuff that made my life easier when I was pregnant and when I had my children.  I am not trying to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I thought it might be useful – to jot down some of the tips that helped me survive pregnancy and babies.

Read it, don’t read it, agree, disagree, suggest others, what ever rocks your world.

My first and most prized tip for sanity is:-

Try not to take advise from idiots.

Unfortunately the two things you will realize when pregnant is that one, suddenly strangers are stopping you to give you advise.

The entire world will have advise for special you, regarding child bearing, child birth or child raising that they need to impart to you.  Often in the elevator, while you are in the public toilet queue, while you are checking the firmness of mangos, or while you are buying a bra – the more obscure the location the more urgent the advise.

There may be a crazy lady at Woolworths (or Edgars in my case), or a person at your office (the elevator as I traversed nine floors with this same person nearly every day), it really does not matter where.  They will sneak up and pounce on you, some times touching you while they start giving you advise.

The unwanted advise may even come from family members.  Usually your mother or your mother in law, and do not leave out your gran or your gran-in-law who will perk up at the mention of a great grandchild in the making.  They will start digging into archives for some gems of advise to dish out.

The second thing you will realize at about this point, is that the vast majority of the population – sometimes/often even your mother and your mother in law – are actually idiots when it comes to anything to do with child bearing, child birth or child raising.

The advise will astound and more often than not, deeply distress and worry you.

The reason you will be worried is often because you will not know any better – and what ever they are telling you, your brain starts absorbing as f.a.c.t.

These pearls of wisdom are presented to you when you are at your most vulnerable and in your most hormonal state.

I usually start to smell a problem when someone predicts the sex of my baby depending on the way I am carrying.

Or better yet, as I quaff down another liter of Gaviscon, they say “your baby is going to have a headful of hair, that is why you have heartburn.”

Usually at this point my heartburn turns to nausea as I smile and then try to get away from the person as quickly as possible.  I really cannot abide idiots.  But more so when I am hormonal and there is a hairy baby lodged in my uterus.

The advise is unrelenting.

It will come at you with so much good intentions that it will unfortunately be next to impossible so say “Just fuck off already.”   You may be thinking it most of the time, but your Emily Post good manners will stop it rolling off your tongue.

You may need to learn a new trick – to smile sweetly and say “Thank you, that is great advise. ”  Then make a quick exit – faking an overriding need to go to the toilet is usually appropriate and very convincing, and needs little in the way of an explanation.

A hand on your abdomen and saying something like “That does not feel right…” in a slightly distressed voice, is also a fantastic way to exit a conversation/uncomfortable moment.  But you can’t use it too often.

It is a “Get out of Jail” free card, and can only be used in extreme situations.

I was going to offer consolation, but there isn’t much in the face of the amount of advise you will need to face during pregnancy.

The only shred of consolation I can muster, is that you almost need to appreciate it.  Because it is sadly going to get much worse, this is just a taster for what awaits you.

On the expulsion of your child from your uterus – the advise will be stepped up to a whole new level.  It is going to make you long for the days ofpregnancy advise.

My only suggestion (not advise) to survive this period is to purchase a great book.

I personally was a fan of What to Expect when you are Expecting.  I also found a person who was bright, clever, knowledgeable, articulate and had two children born in the last five years.

Between my already-parent friend and my “What to Expect” book I was able to totally ignore any advise thrown at me.  Suddenly all the crap advise rolled off me and I also found that my opinion of most people’s IQ also went on a bit of a downward spiral.

I did not lie in bed worrying because some old/young fart told me something that was creepy and disturbing and I was living in fear that it was true.  Life definitely became easier for me.

Use it, or don’t, which ever works for you.