To The First Time Mum,
It is such an exciting time isn’t it? Not long to go now and that little bundle will be here and as much as the last few weeks of pregnancy will really drag, it will all be worth it in the end I promise. So while you are sitting around waiting for the big day to arrive (how many times have you Googled signs of labour already?) I wanted to share some things I have learned over the last five years, having been through it all three times now.
Those early days are so tough, you won’t have known tiredness like it in your life. I used to wish those days away but if you don’t take anything else away from me please remember this… those days are gone in the blink of an eye.
You will sit there in the middle of the night, feed after feed after feed, wishing that your baby would just go back to sleep. Those nights are long and they can be so lonely but try and soak in those moments, however tiring, as believe me they don’t last forever. It might sound strange but you will wish those days back again as you pack them off to school on their first day.
Life as a mum is exhausting, suddenly you are in charge of someone other than yourself and it can be overwhelming a lot of the time. Something I wish I had done from the very beginning is to put myself first. If you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t be in any position to look after anyone else. Start as you mean to go on and make sure you lay down ground rules for visitors once baby arrives – don’t let people outstay their welcome as trust me, you’ll need your rest.
There will be bad days and that is ok. You don’t have to be ok all of the time – just make sure you have a good support network around you. Ask for help and talk about how you are feeling. You don’t get bonus points for soldiering through so give yourself a break when you need it. The house doesn’t have to be tidy every minute of the day, the world won’t end if the clothes aren’t ironed (if you still iron, stop, just stop) – as long as the kids are happy and healthy then that is all that matters.
Talking of health – trust your instincts. Nobody else knows your baby better than you. If you think something is wrong then you need to do everything in your power to get your voice heard. People told me I was imagining things but I knew I was dealing with allergic reactions with all three of mine – I didn’t give up and my voice was heard eventually. Mother always knows best.
Everyone will want to share their wisdom too – nod and smile and then do what you want anyway. People will have opinions on everything, swaddling, dummies, bottles, it doesn’t matter, someone will have something to say. The best advice I can give? Do what works for you. If you are happy and baby is happy then that is what matters.
What you do need to do is do your own research. Research the best things to buy for baby as quite honestly half the stuff is pointless! I remember getting in a right muddle over baby bedding – there are so many sheets to choose from aren’t there?! In the end we co-slept and I half the sheets stayed in the wrappers! So do your research but don’t stress, as long as baby has a safe place to sleep and a full tummy then they will be fine.
So for now, try and rest as much as you can. The more you can relax the better and hopefully baby won’t keep you waiting too long!
I am working with Tesco at the moment, they’ve teamed up with Dr Carol Cooper to help raise awareness of some new research which looks into how long parents spend worrying about their children. It shows that although preparing for a family is key, experience will always win. Hopefully my letter will help you to focus on the important things and worry less about the little things.
The Baby Club website is also packed with fab tips, a great resource for new parents so sign up to that for updates! They also have their Baby Club Event on until the 1st February 2017 so get down to see what essentials you can lay your hands on. Here is a little vlog, sharing a few bits you’ll find in store right now…