There are just some things that are good to know, you know, for your sanity! Becoming a mum is probably the biggest thing you’ll ever do in your life, it also just happens to be the most challenging thing you’ll ever do too, and on top of that, is likely to be the thing you want to do perfectly. These are the things that I think you should know before you do it – the real shit that actually matters!!
1. Babies cry. Ok, ok, captain obvious over here!! But seriously, they cry – A LOT! And sometimes, they cry for NO DAMN REASON. And when they do that, and you can’t settle them, and you end up crying with them you really need to know that your baby is not the only baby to do this. You don’t have the grumpiest baby in the world, they’re not really unhappy, it’s not because you’re a terrible mom… it’s just because they are a baby and that’s what they do 🤷🏻♀️
2. You’re probably going to need help… and that is TOTALLY ok!!! Soooooo I spent the first few weeks muddling through motherhood being stubborn as fuck about the fact that I can do this by myself, and politely declining any offers of help, because you know, I’m a badass mama who don’t need anyone to help me. That lasted a few weeks until I’d had 2 nights of no sleep and my mum phoned me while my little one was screaming her head off and I was crying with her and I hadn’t got the energy to pretend everything was perfect in that moment. Long story short my mum came over, took baby off me and let me have a nap and then all was right with the world again. Social services didn’t confiscate her, no one turned up to tell me I’d failed as a mother, literally the only thing that happened was I was better equipped to deal with my daughter without crying myself! So now we stay at my mums every Sunday and I’ll happily let her cook us dinner and take over a few feeds so I can get some rest!
3. Social media is a load of crap! I mean, obviously, I’m totally addicted to it with the rest of the world BUT you do have to remember that people only share the bits they want you to see! So when you’re seeing pictures of everyone else’s smiling babies and wondering why yours is crying, just try and remember that the picture captures literally a second of a day! Chances are their day went much the same as yours and they also had screaming fits and got covered in poo/wee/sick, they just didn’t upload it for the world to see! Please see pic attached, one DID make my social media, the other didn’t, I’ll let you decide which is which 😂
4. It’s not personal. Seriously, none of it is personal, and yet oh myyyyy it feels it! When you’ve been trying to wind your baby for an hour and have got nothing and you hand them over to your hubby/partner/mum/friend and they bring the wind up instantly, or worse when you just can’t get them to stop crying and they settle immediately for someone else… that is the WORST! But you just need to be thankful it’s better and move on! At some point they will want their mummy and only their mummy and by then you’ll probably be desperate for someone else to be able to help! Enjoy the fact that someone else can settle them while it lasts!
5. Everyone has an opinion. Gawwwwwd it’s annoying!! Especially those from the older generations of the family. My grandad tried to tell me I was breastfeeding my daughter wrong, because, you know, an 84 year old man, who had very little to do with feeding his children, is clearly the expert in this!! My mother-in-law, after speaking to me about my daughter’s injections, went to get the opinion of her (Male) TAXI DRIVER to see if what I’d said sounded right (seriously… FFS!) Pretty much everyone older than you will tell you not to cuddle your baby so much as you’re “spoiling them” just remember, everyone may have an opinion, and whilst they are (supposedly) entitled to that, the only one that really matters is yours! Just smile and nod politely, it’ll all be fine!
6. White noise is a godsend! As are dummies. I’m sure there are good arguments for not using them, and if that’s what you decide to do then I respect that. But if you’re looking for ways to soothe your baby without losing your sanity I’d highly recommend both of these. If you can do it without then kudos to you – you are superhuman!
7. There’s no such thing as a text book baby. Frustratingly they are all so different! There’s no set amount they should be drinking, sleeping, weeing, pooing… no set age they should smile, roll over, sleep through the night… just go with the flow. If you think there’s something seriously wrong go see a doctor, but whatever you do don’t compare yourself and your baby to everyone else, it’ll just drive you crazy!
8. There are no experts! Well, there are, but not in general baby stuff! As I say they’re all different, so trust your mama instincts! You know your little one better than anyone else, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t! My Drs, midwives and health visitor all gave me completely different advice on how to help my baby when she was struggling to go to the toilet… just because someone has a title doesn’t mean they know more/better than you (unless it’s something serious of course!!), stick to your guns and don’t be scared of looking stupid by sharing your opinion
9. Being a mum can be lonely as f*ck!!! Not something I was expecting to be honest. I’ve said to my hubby at times I feel like I’ve gained a daughter and lost a husband (sure at times I would willingly make this trade haha!) I adore my daughter, and I genuinely cherish every moment I get to spend with her (maybe not the ones when she’s screaming her little head off) BUT… I’m also a teensy bit jealous that my husband gets to sleep in a separate room when he’s working and get a full nights sleep (I regret making this offer every. damn. night) and that he gets to go to work and have adult conversations!
10. Don’t neglect the baby boards/groups!!! Whether you need someone to talk baby with, some straight talking, some advice, or just to be comforted that other people are going through the same as you, it’s all there!
Remember, we’re all just winging it!!! Even the people who look like they have their shit together… they’re figuring it out as they go just like you! You’ve totally got this mama 💪🏼 Any other golden nuggets of info you wish someone had shared with you? I’ll take all the advice I can get!!! Much love to you all x