It’s a funny old thing this parenting malarkey. It is the single most important job you will ever undertake and yet no training or experience is given or required. The job description would, I think, read something like this:
Objective: keep small human alive and raise to make valuable contribution to society
- Physically strong (read: endless nappy changing, bouncing, holding)
- Resilient and motivated (read: sleep deprivation)
- Skilled negotiator (read: tantrum diffuser)
- Medical knowledge (read: colds, rashes, temperatures)
- Culinary excellence (read: personal chef)
- Organised (read: chief clothes washer and picker-uper)
- Creative (read: entertainer)
- Collaborative (read: you will never pee alone again)
Experience required: Zilch!
In an extraordinary twist of irony, to be able to sit on my backside at work and drink copious amounts of tea while I die a slow and tedious Excel death I have to complete various VDU assessments, undergo manual handling training and ensure I have my eye site tested every two years. And yet for parenting – nothing!
As a new parent I was completely overwhelmed by all the everyday decisions I had to make. Baby coughed – is it croup? Is it just a cold? Should I be worried? Is it nothing? There is a plethora of info floating around the internet but what can be trusted and what is utter tosh? Then add to the mix, well intentioned but potentially ill informed and outdated advice from family and friends and how do you know where to turn?
I am unashamedly pro vaccine even paying for my first sproglet to have the MenB jab as he was too old when it became part of the mainstream vaccination program. Millions of pounds and years of research go into every vaccine before the NHS offer them so I do struggle when I hear comments questioning how safe they are. This year Seb hit the criteria to receive the nasal flu spray, did he have it? Of course he did!
I have always tried to make sure any reading and advice I take is from informed and accurate sources so when it comes to vaccinations and family health I’ll speak to the GP or visit NHS Choices website. I been asked “but won’t it give him flu?” Or “is it safe?” And again I would direct anyone to the NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign – check it out here.
Flu is not like a cold, it doesn’t add to their immune system and young children are potentially at risk of nasty complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Having the flu vaccine also helps to prevent the spreading of nasties to your nearest and dearest so given Seb has a 7 month old sister and spends a lot of time with his 84 year old Great Grandad this is doubly important to me. And one of the best things? It’s not even a jab. Just a quick squirt up each nostril, quite frankly, I’m not sure he did that much to deserve the sticker he received! So, if you haven’t popped along to your GP or pharmacist yet with your 2 or 3 year old I would definitely urge you to do so. #staywellthiswinter