Dear Newborn Mumma,
Let’s get straight to it – right now you’re probably experiencing new levels of exhaustion that you never thought your body could handle, but at the same time your heart is filled with so much love and adoration for your new arrival that it could burst.
You don’t know what day or time it is, and to be honest, it doesn’t matter – you’re on call 24/7. Your eyes are stinging (and maybe your nipples are too), you’re sore from the birth and your body is recovering from labour. HOW in God’s name are you meant to provide for this tiny, delicate, precious newborn life whilst you’re feeling like you could sleep for the next 23 years? WELCOME TO MOTHERHOOD – right?!
So Mumma, below are 15 golden nuggets of real life actionable advice from fellow Mummas who have been there and got the T-shirt. You’re not alone, we’ve been there and I promise it gets easier. It also gets crazier and more beautiful.
Enjoy the masterpiece that you have created.
- Don’t make pre judgements with things like dummies, TV or bribery. I swore I’d never be one of ‘those mums’ but I’m a damn good mum and have used all of the tactics above!
- Try not to worry about feeding around the clock for the first few weeks. I didn’t realise it was normal for a breast fed baby to want to feed all night. It’s hard in those tired moments but I should have just enjoyed the big time cuddles.
- Don’t rush to have visitors over in the early days. It’s exhausting and you need time to rest and bond with your baby.
- Learn how to take time out for yourself from day one, and don’t feel guilty for it.
- Let people help you, and accept all help that’s offered. Don’t think that you have to be super mum right away and manage running a house as well as a newborn.
- Nobody else is an expert on YOUR baby. Take unsolicited advice with a pinch of salt, trust your instincts, and most of all do what YOU feel is right.
- Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for your decisions but there’s also some great advice out there. It’s all about finding balance. Your baby will show you the way in the end. And don’t buy too much tat off Amazon/eBay, because you’re better off burning money!
- Get a wrap or learn how to do everything one handed!
- Baby led weaning sounds great until you have a 5 year old neanderthal on your hands!
- Be prepared to be flexible. You may start with fluffy dreams of how your birth will be, how you will feed your baby, how the sleeping arrangements will go…but in the end you’ll just do whatever the hell works, and that’s ok!
- Your baby is your baby and they will grow and develop at their own rate. Try not to compare your child to other children and don’t be a slave to the milestone lists. Somethings they’ll master quickly, others will take more time and that’s ok. Just enjoy each moment and celebrate each milestone as and when they do it.
- It’s ok to not be ok. That there is nothing wrong with suffering from PND. If you feel low, agitated, tearful, irritable, or feeling like you are worthless, useless or that you are just unable to cope that you should talk to someone. Seek help from your GP or Health Visitor.
- Enjoy each stage rather than rush to the next one.
- Read the books if you want to, then throw them all away and do what feels right for you. The baby will be happy if you are happy and fussy if you are anxious and worried about everything. Each of the ‘baby experts’ that wrote the books found a parenting system that worked for them, but it may not work for you – so don’t stress it.
- Try not to worry about all the housework etc especially during the early days, it will still be there when the children are older, try to enjoy the time you have with them and if you are struggling please talk to someone about it, motherhood is bloody hard and sometimes it really does take a village but that’s ok!
Next up, the toddler stage! Watch this space for more golden nuggets…
THANK YOU to my lovely mummy friends and fabulous fellow Mummy bloggers who all kindly contributed to this blog post. Check out some of their awesome blogs below.