So we made it to 6 months and we are both still alive. Yes I have more grey hair. Yes I have more wrinkles (but that’s what Botox is for ) and yes I’ve learned how to sleep with my eyes open.
Being a mum is the BEST thing to ever happen to me and I love it soooo much but I am genuinely amazed at just how natural It’s come to me and that I’m actually good at this parenting thing.
So here are some of my top tips to help get you through in one piece:
1. Get used to being covered in sick/pee/shit/milk/food
When my son was first born he wasn’t very sicky or too messy, but as he grows, by fuck has that flipped on its head! Not a day goes by where he doesn’t puke on me, and unless it’s a particularly minging one I don’t even bother getting changed. Baby wipe it and go. Since starting on solids and BLW a few weeks back we have varying consistency and colour of poo. Recently It’s been a lottery when I’m changing him because I’m never sure he’s quite finished his business and when I lift them wee legs I’ve been blasted a couple of times with a shart from hell. My brothers would be proud of him. Sneezing while eating is another favourite. Covered in it. Keeping on top of washing is a must for me. It’s a constant cycle of muslins and bibs being changed.
2. If someone offers to help you, bite their hand off
I have no idea what it’s like to parent with a partner so I don’t know how much help they offer and I’m sure It’s still tough, but doing it solo is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. 98% of the time I love it and wouldn’t change things but that 2% of the time when I’m tired, nothing is going right and Joss is kicking off like a rock star, I sometimes just sit and stare at the floor praying for Kim Jong-Un to flick the switch and blow us all up. I used to feel guilty when I struggled and hated not being able to say “fuck this shit I’m away to the pub” like I always did before, but now I’ve realised It’s ok to feel like that and It’s perfectly normal to miss your old life from time to time. In my experience tomorrow will be better and you won’t even remember how shit yesterday was.
3. There’s no more being embarrassed
I’ve never been shy about anything, but since becoming a mum there is no room for shyness. I think I’ve also adopted the attitude of “if it did nae kill me who gives a fuck”. Whether it be having to abandon a shopping trolley of food in the supermarket because my son has decided to scream like a banshee, or like the day he grabbed my bikini top as I put him down to get in the pool exposing by tit to the world. Who gives a fuck. 1 – you can buy food anytime so just abandon a shop if you need to 2 – if they pull down your bikini top who really cares? It’s only a tit. When you’ve lay on a bed with 2 midwives holding your ankles to your ears peering into your vagina with the very present danger of taking a dump on a hospital bed you soon realise there’s no point in being embarrassed by ANYTHING.
4. Get out the house
This has been the best thing that I’ve done. I know we’re all different and situations can dictate what happens but getting out to baby classes, mum and baby groups, swimming or just walking on my own with the pram has kept me sane at times. Even when It’s cold getting wrapped up and out into the fresh air can turn a really horrendous day into a manageable day. If you need to cry walk, then do it and clear your head. Never suffer in silence. If you feel it then someone else has either been there or IS there, so reach out to female friends or family members.
5. Just do it
At first I used to get so hung up on what my health visitors were telling me but after seeing so many of them, I quickly realised they are pretty useless. Not one gave me the same answer twice. It’s a cliche, but only you know your baby well enough to determine what they need. I found a book that’s been like a bible and it has helped me more than any of the health professionals have for the trivial things. I find that trusting my instincts is usually the best for my son.
6. Be kind to yourself
This is something I wish I’d figured out sooner. I was beating myself up about so many silly things at the start but when I realised just how much of a tit I was being I felt instantly better. My son doesn’t care that I had to cancel his newborn shoot because I couldn’t walk and he doesn’t care I had to have an epidural after 15 hours of labour. All he wants is cuddles, a clean bum and milk. Simple as that and he is loved more than he’ll ever know . Take your time to heal and listen to your body. Those first few weeks are very emotional and vulnerable and it’s all about getting to know each other.
I’ve recently learned that sleep regression is an almighty boot to the face I have been sooooooo spoiled on the sleep front with my son sleeping right through from 7.30 – 8.00 am every night since he was 6 weeks, so these last couple of weeks have pushed me beyond my limits. I now see why so many mums become dependant on prescription drugs to get through a day. It’s absolutely horrific being up 3 times a night and starting a day at 4am. It’s the middle of the fucking night. Thankfully we are almost through it
Its also taken me to this point to feel like myself again and not feel like a stranger in my own body. For months I just felt like a big bloated bleeding baby making machine that would never recover from that hellish birth. But hurrah I have recovered and have never felt better since losing almost 3 stone and finding a fitness regime that works and fits around being a mummy I’m certain 2017 will be the year of love for me. It’s pretty terrifying right enough to even think about s*x see I can’t even type it out. A human has entered the world via your vagina surely that has to affect the situation right? I can confirm though that everything goes back and although you may feel like you’ve had a smear test from Edward Scissor Hands for quite a while, it doesn’t last forever thank god eh? It’s something I’ve always wondered about and I’ve heard some horror stories over the years.
I think this first 6 months has taught me more about myself than the previous 33 years of my life did. Having thought I’d never be a mum it really has changed my life. It’s ok to admit defeat and sit on the toilet for 5 minutes with my earphones in when I need a break. Some days it’s best just to stay in our jammies and shut the world out. Sometimes I stink of sick and sometimes I don’t wash my hair for 5 days because that extra 5 minutes in the shower is just too much. Who cares? Not me. I put my hand in a shitty nappy the other day instead of baby wipes, normally I’d be heaving at the thought but just went “oh look I’m covered in shit AGAIN”
I can’t wait for the next 6 months ahead and seeing my son crawl,get teeth,walk and talk. It’s so fucking exciting being his teammate. I’ll probably start planning his 1st birthday soon. I think I’m gonna go in big for it. You’re only 1 once after all.
Overall being a parent is really fucking hard but there isn’t a job or feeling that comes close to it. Waking up everyday to the smiles and cuddles could melt the coldest of hearts. They bring so much love and fun to life and a quote I saw today says it perfectly “THE DAYS ARE LONG BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT” so very true. Treasure every second of the journey.
Stay strong mummy’s and keep doing what you do!