Having a baby is possibly the most daunting time of anyone’s life. It is the hardest job in the world. Mostly due to lack of holiday days and lack of pay. But saying that, it is the most rewarding. On levels you did not even know exsisted until it happens.
At the moment I have four friends who are due around christmas, two with their third child and two with their first. The two with their third will already know how to change a nappy in the dark without waking them. Ninjas of motherhood. The other two, their journey is about to begin. And boy, what a journey it will be!
Offering a mum to be advice is like trying to fly a kite with no wind. You can see they have no idea what you on about, that it goes in one ear and out the other. They can get offended or just do that awkward laugh and shrug it off but we are just trying to help. We have been there before, we are only trying to help so I have composed my own list of advice goodness that I wish someone had told me about when I had my first!
- Buy the best possible concealer/foundation you can. You might not look yourself. No one glows after birth, your exhausted and sore. Your house will be full of visitors in the first few days so perk yourself up a bit knowing those black bags are hidden
- From day one, Teach your baby what day and night is. Light and loud in the day, dark and quite at night. You’d be suprised how easily they get confused
- Get at least ten of everything. That includes bedding. You’d be suprised how those little bundles of joy make a mess!
- As early as possible, teach them to fall asleep on their own. We made that fatal mistake and rocked our first one. It makes it easier in the long run.
- Routine, routine, routine! That one is a must.
- Stairgates. Buy the ones you even struggle to open. And put them on asap to get used to closing them. It does take a while to adjust. Buy the time your baby’s there you’ll be a pro, doing it subconsciously. Again makes it easier in the long run. Especially when they move at the speed of light and are up the stairs before you know it.
- Do not at any point think you are a bad parent when they are screaming and crying and you’ve tried everything. You need to take the time to get to know them. They are their own little person. Like meeting anyone new, in time, you will figure out who they are. That’s when it becomes second nature. You will know them better than they know themselves.
- And yes, they cry. A lot. Hungry (milk) cold, hot, thirsty (water), tired, dirty nappy. Once you’ve tried all of those, sometimes you just have to let them get on with it. It’s not a bad thing to let your baby cry for a few minutes before you pounce on them.
- Be prepared for the vomit. How can someone so small produce so much. Stock up on the dettol/carpet cleaner.
- Adjusting. You will become a pro at the one thing you struggled with to start and by the time you’ve figure it out, they will move onto the next step in their development.
- The internet. A wonderful place full of other parents in the same boat as you. Forums, advice pages, pictures. Many a night we have sat up till 3am googling what we could be doing wrong. It’s a good thing to know you are not the only person going through the same thing as you.
- It is a lonely job. Once your other half returns to work your left to fend for yourself. Even if you have friends with baby’s or children, they won’t want to meet everyday. There’s some weeks I’ve gone all 7 days without speaking to a sole other than the kids and my husband. Be prepared.
- Coffee. If you don’t like it, learn to. It is a lifeline
- If someone says your doing it wrong or ‘oh no, don’t do it like that’ ignore them. Its your child. Not there’s. Don’t be afraid to say no or offend them. To be honest, you already lost your dignity during birth so what else Is there to lose!?
- Before you know it, in the blink of an eye your celebrating your child’s birthday. That past year has been a sleep deprived blur. You look at the photos and think ‘ I don’t even remember that’. That is why you need to enjoy every single minute. However stressful or exhausting it is. For some of us you won’t ever have another child. The first child is how you found out what kind of person you were. Someone so strong you didn’t even know you had in you.
Enjoy it but don’t be afraid to ask for help. We won’t think any less of you! Promise!