Congratulations on the arrival of your precious bundle.
How are you? Sore? In awe of the tiny human you have created? That never goes away. the awe, not the sore. Eight years in and it still takes my breath away that I created that walking, talking, flossing, person.
I know that your world has been turned upside down right now and you’re not really sure what time it is, or let’s face it, what the hell you are doing. But don’t worry. We all felt like that. Somedays we still do!
I know that advice is coming at you from all angles right now. Co-sleep. Don’t co-sleep. Cuddle. Don’t cuddle. It’s a minefield. But I just wanted to tell you that there is no wrong way to do this.
You are doing great.
Most days you will find yourself with a choice. Eat or shower. And that’s why most days you will get to the afternoon and still be in your PJ’s. Unwashed. It’s ok. It’s ok that you don’t really know when you last washed your hair. Dry shampoo is for every new Mum. It will get easier to get things done. One day you will be able to have a shower without having to make the choice between shaving a leg, or shampooing your hair.
That weird sense of achievement you feel for making it out of the house with the baby? You are winning! I know it seems crazy to feel like you have accomplished something by just leaving the house, but we all get it, we really do.
How are things with your partner? It’s a bit of a roller-coaster isn’t it! Sleep deprivation and an overdose of hormones are not the greatest cocktail. Your heart could burst when you see him cradling your baby, and you find yourself welling up because you love him so much. But then he mentions something about being a bit hungry and you could rip his head off, shove it in the oven, and eat it for your tea.
Things will get smoother as you adapt to your new normal.
Whether you are using disposable nappies or cloth ones, whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, Whether your baby has a dummy or not, whether they are in neutral colours, head to toe in pink, wearing designer gear or hand me downs. It’s ok .
You might be a Mum who willingly hands over your baby so you can get some sleep. You might be a mum who can’t let your baby out of your sight. Whichever one you are,
Because that’s the trouble with most of the advice you are being given. It’s kind of a one size fits all situation. In my experience one size never fits all. No matter how much I want it too! Hell one size might fit me one place and then in another I can barely squeeze my thighs in.
We are all different. Some of us find the baby days easy, but find the toddler years pretty stressful. Others can’t wait to get past the bottles and bums stage and really enjoy having a toddler. Some of us still look great after only 2 hours sleep. The rest of us invest in really good concealer. Some of us accept whatever help we can get. Some of us struggle to admit we need it.
And these precious bundles we produced don’t really seem to do what the baby books said they would. Some of us have babies who will happily sleep, but only in our arms. Others have babies that cry for hours on end, for no particular reason. Some of us have babies that had a shaky start to life. Some of us have babies that can’t seem to latch on no matter how hard we try. You are learning to get to know each other. It takes time.
Some days you feel like you’ve got this. Other days you feel like you’re doing it all wrong.
No one warned you about the poonamis, and you can’t remember the last time you had a hot drink. It’s so much harder than you thought it was going to be, yet at the same time your heart is fuller than it has ever been. This tiny person who has wreaked havoc on your life and your vagina, and has a habit of keeping up up all night, is the best thing you have ever done. You love them so much it hurts.
I think we all loose our self to motherhood. Our sense of self changes. Friendships change. Our identity changes. And one day you love this new you, and another day you will want to rebel against it. Its ok. You will start feeling like your ‘old’ self again soon. A slightly different version with a few more worry lines.
Parenting is an amazing adventure but they don’t half throw you in at the deep end. Keep swimming. Front crawl, back stoke, doggy paddle. It doesn’t matter.
Do what you think is right and ignore the rest.
Just always remember, you’re not alone.
Enjoy those precious cuddles. And just you wait until you get that first giggle. Oh my!
The best piece of advice I can ever give you, the one thing I wish someone told me about, yet it took me eight years to discover, is this… invest in a thermal mug. Seriously. It will become one of your most treasured possessions. Never drink a cold cup of tea again.
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