Here’s somethings I wish I had been told.
You will sleep
I will never understand why people need to ram down your throat that sleep will never happen again. You’re pregnant, you have enough anxiety and hormones changes to be dealing with without that flung into the mix every time you step outside your front door. You will sleep. As I said in a previous post, you absolutely will sleep, don’t let the horror stories scare you. The people who tell you these are mean, or lying, or both. It won’t be the long lazy lie in’s of your teenage years, more like an hour or two max at a time. You’ll learn to catch a quick cat nap and survive on less sleep than ever imaginable. And it will be worth it. Most of the time! For the other times there’s chocolate.
This is a tricky one, as I personally found this very difficult. My mama bear instinct wanted to protect my bear cub, well that and the fact that I can be incredibly headstrong, which meant it took me a long time to accept help. Choose what level of help you feel comfortable accepting, it could be asking someone to get some food in, or washing the dishes.
Bulk buy Kleenex
There will be tears. Lots of them. And that’s ok. Your life has changed dramatically, your body has been through a lot regardless of what kind of birth you had. Some things will never go back, but that’s ok too. I look at myself on bad days and have to remind myself of what my body did, what it’s capable of AND more importantly I will never look like 20 year old me, whether I had a baby or not, because I’m not 20 anymore. And that’s ok, it’s better than ok. Your body and you are brilliant.
Do not tolerate bullies
Bullies appear in all stages of life, it’s not nice but unfortunately it seems to have become a fact of life. So many of us are particularly vulnerable at this time, making us prime targets for bullies. They can take any form, the outdated health care professional telling you you are holding your baby too much(true story), to the relation who always says the wrong things. They may not mean what they are saying, or they might. Either way, let it roll off you, to your little one, you’re the best mummy ever and that is all that matters.
Nothing lasts for ever
The good and bad days. They go by in a haze. When in the midst of a bad day, there will more than likely be tears, not because it’s that bad, or it could be, or maybe just because you miss the good days. Either way never forget that you can do this, speak to your friends or healthcare professional, accept help if you need it.
A happy mum equals a happy baby. In the age of social media and ‘well meaning’ relatives/friends/strangers mummy guilt can happen. Am I holding him too much, is it not enough, he doesn’t have a jump a roo, will he lag developmentally? I started ‘Baby talk’ and then forgot, will he ever speak?! Don’t let guilt creep in. Accept your feelings of anxiety and remind yourself, you are more than good enough and you are doing a great job. If possible take at least 5/10 minutes a day, by yourself to decompress from the day. Self care is the most important care, you are teaching your baby this from the beginning.
Keep a dressing gown downstairs/by the hall door
I’m not proud of this, ok, maybe I am. It took me quite a while to get to grips being a new mum, recovering from surgery, trying to establish feeding and trying to snatch some sleep, or even just drink some water. While I enjoy entertaining in my home, and having lots of people around, it’s on my terms. I’m not a fan of unannounced callers, well unless it’s my mum. Yeph I like to contradict myself.
Both himself and myself come from ‘blended families’ IE our parents divorced and remarried, meaning there are four sets of grandparents. Four sets to fawn over the FIRST grandchild. I wrongly thought planning where they would sit at our wedding was the most difficult task I’d have to face. Yeph my middle name is naive. They all wanted in on the action, to have their own piece of this special time. While in the main, I was happy to share this special moment with them, but sometimes, I just wanted to be alone with my new family, in our home. So on more than one occasion, when the doorbell ringing was followed by persistent knocking I threw on the dressing gown, opened the door a jar and lied as I closed it about how I was taking a nap. In my defence the first time it happened, Little A who had just gone down for a nap and I was managing to nip to loo, the knocking would.not.stop. They were lucky I was wearing a dressing gown at all! It worked, in fact I still have one downstairs!
Leave the cups in the sink
Use your dishwasher as an extra cupboard. Forget the cleaning, even when guests come around. The dust will accumulate, but no one will notice because they’ll all be so besotted with your little bundle of joy!