1. You can never have too many bibs. For real. Doesn’t matter how many of them you have at some point you’ll need one, find they’re all dirty and wish you had more! And it’s not cos I don’t wash them… no, no, no… the washing machine is on constantly, in fact opening my own laundrette is starting to look like an appealing business venture…
2. Baby clothes, on the other hand, you definitely can have too many of! I’m not talking vests and babygrows – both of which I don’t have enough of – I’m talking all those cute little outfits! Isla’s wardrobe is literally bursting at the seams 🤦🏻♀️ and yet, I just can’t stop myself from buying more. Buying baby clothes is more addictive than crack. I’m sure of it. This is worse than my previous addiction to peeing on a stick when we were trying to conceive (and that was baaaaad 🤣) They need to do some scientific studies on this so I can show my husband it’s not my fault 🤷🏻♀️
3. I know I’ve said this before, but I think it’s so important that I’m saying it again – you need other mummy friends! So important for your sanity!! A few of your existing friendships will carry on as usual, but the majority of them will be affected by the addition of a baby. It’s no-one’s fault, it’s just one of those things! So sign up to some classes and swap numbers!! A group WhatsApp set up from our Rhythm Time class has saved my sanity! A whole group of people, all in the same position as me, all going through the same thing – means you have experience share advice on tap with zero judgement! You get so many great hints and tips and chances are you’ll meet people who you’ll go on to have long lasting friendships with ♥️
4. You’ll never “crack” motherhood. They change so fast, and there are so many stages to go through, as soon as you think you’ve mastered something then something new comes along and you’re back to square one. And that’s okay!!! Just don’t be so hard on yourself to get things “right” every baby is different, every mummy is different, there is no right and wrong!
5. When people tell you it goes so fast, they’re not lying. According to my calendar, Isla is 7months old on Sunday… I genuinely don’t know how that’s happened, I swear I only went in to the hospital to be induced last week. So do TRY and treasure every moment. I know sometimes that’s hard, when they won’t stop screaming, or don’t want to be put down, or will only sleep on you… just try and keep in mind that none of these things will last forever. Isla stopped napping on me and I missed it so much – now she’s teething she’ll ONLY nap on me! And as much as it’s an inconvenience to be glued to the sofa for an hour at a time when there’s a million things I need to do, I truly do cherish those moments because she’ll grow out of it again soon I’m sure of it (what?! I would have done the dishes/hoovered/put the washer on again/cooked some healthy meals/done my exercises if I wasn’t on the sofa – honest 😂)
6. You’re not the same after a baby. I’m not just talking physically (although lord knows that is an understatement for me!), but your whole outlook changes. I see things in a completely different light now, and I really hope I can hold on to that. I think becoming a mummy makes you realise what’s important and what’s not. It definitely redefines what a hard day looks like. All those hours I’ve spent stressing about work – such a waste of energy!!! Physically… well… you might be lucky enough to spring back in to shape, 7 months on and I still have a long way to go, but do you know what? When I look back at my pregnancy pictures, my bump was HUGE!! Of course it’s going to take time! Could I be doing more to speed it along! Absolutely! Is losing weight as high on my priorities as comforting my baby when she’s crying? Absolutely not! I do what I can, when I can. Some weeks I manage to exercise every day, there can be weeks at a time when I don’t get to do any 🤷🏻♀️ I’ll figure it out at some point!
7. Teething SUCKS!!! So bad!! Not sure if I was being naive, but it also affects your little one in so many more ways than I realised. Teething poos anyone??? Jesus, these are another level!!! My sweet baby girl is currently a poo volcano!!! She’s gone from pooing once a day after her morning milk to pooing up to 8 times a day!!! And they are poo EXPLOSIONS!!! Seriously, that shit gets everywhere (no pun intended!) Aside from the poo, there’s the crying because they’re in pain… teething powders, bonjela and calpol all help but don’t fix it! I’ve heard anbesol is very good but not tried it myself yet (it’s had a bit of bad press with the anaesthetic in it). Everything is being chewed, including my chin (apparently it makes a good teether 🤷🏻♀️) we have a Matchstick Monkey which Isla likes, and we’re waiting to see if Yummikeys have any Black Friday deals on to get some of those! Really great tip I had from my mummy group was to pierce a dummy, fill it with water and freeze it! Or if you have any of the silicone feeders you can just pop a bit of ice in them for something nice and cold on their little gums
8. We have had lots, and lots, and LOTS of teething tantrums, and there have been so many times that I’ve been tempted to cancel plans because Isla has been grumpy. If you can, push through!! Isla is soooooo much better when we’re out and about! I know it’s difficult (and I also know this won’t be the case for all babies!) but I’d definitely recommend giving it a go! If you saw Isla in any of her classes/groups you would never believe that she is capable of screaming as much as she sometimes does at home 😂
9. There are a few things that are just tough to do. I can’t give advice on them because I’m rubbish and haven’t done most of them, but what I can say is I wish I’d done them earlier on as I might not be struggling with some of the others so much now!! I’m talking switching from breast milk to formula, spending time away from your baby (managed a trip to the hairdressers so far and that’s it!), moving baby in to their own room (tried once, didn’t go to plan, has been back with us ever since 🤦🏻♀️) Separation anxiety isn’t just for babies!!! This mummy has a serious case of it and I know I need to work on getting better at it soon before it’s time to go back to work! So yeah – I think the sooner you can do some of these things the better!!
10. People love giving parenting advice, unfortunately the people who seem to have the opinion that they know better than you are those who haven’t done it for years… which makes it especially annoying! It’s incredibly frustrating when someone is trying to tell you how to look after your baby. The best advice would probably be to smile and nod politely – I’m actually incapable of doing this. The only things you need to know are YOU know your baby better than anyone else. Some advice is helpful, but feel free to discard any that doesn’t work for you. You don’t have to justify your parenting decisions to anyone. And don’t let it wind you up too much, it’s really not worth it (easier said than done, trust me, I know!)
11. Being a mum… it’s hard as f*ck. Like, without a shadow of a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done. It’s intense. It’s 24/7. You don’t get to take a break or have a day off. You can tell that we still live in a male dominated world by Maternity Pay!!! Why any government or any company think it’s the right decision to take money OFF people when they’re on maternity leave is beyond me! It’s harder than any employed job you could ever do!
There will be times when you’re tired, when you’re ill, when you’re hormonal – it doesn’t allow for those! There will be times when you lose your patience, when you get things wrong, when you take the easy option (there are some great videos on YouTube that will keep your little one entertained so you can have a shower/cuppa/lunch in peace – Sparkabilities for learning, SuperSimple for nursery rhymes (I’ve literally had 5 little ducks on repeat while she’s been in the fifth leap 😂), and HeyBear do great sensory videos (the dancing fruits are Isla’s fave!), when you feel like you’re giving your all at it’s still not enough. There will be times when you just want to sit and cry. AND THAT IS TOTALLY OK! We’ve all been there. Luckily, I think most babies understand mummies have a limit, and so they do throw in a splattering of super cute moments in to even the worst days, just to keep you sweet… if it wasn’t for that I think we’d all go mad! It’s all just a phase!!! You got this 💪🏼
12. Mom guilt is a real thing – the times I’ve found myself having a little cry generally haven’t been because I can’t take it anymore, it’s usually because I’ve lost my patience, I might have sighed when she’s started crying, muttered ffs under my breath cos she’s pooped all over me… again, told her to stay still a little too sharply when she keeps rolling over when I’m trying to change her nappy, etc, etc. And then it breaks me that I’ve lost my cool, that I’ve not been the best mummy. I think you just have to have it in your head that you are doing the best you can in that moment. No one wakes up and thinks “I’m going to be a shit mum today” or “I’m not going to put any effort in today” we’re all doing our best, some days are just harder than others. Just because no ones posting on social media that they’ve lost their shit today doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened! No one is perfect.
13. Despite all of that, it really is the best thing ever. There is nothing I have enjoyed more than being a mummy. Isla literally completes me. I absolutely adore her. I find myself looking at her thinking “I can’t believe I made something so perfect” and then I see how she inhales her food… and I’m like, yup, she’s definitely mine 😂😂😂 For every challenge that motherhood brings, it brings 10x more of amazing moments! Every first is magical and will have you beaming with pride. Every smile will turn your insides to mush. And I can’t even begin to describe what a giggle does to you ♥️♥️♥️ Every single day I can’t believe just how lucky to have Isla in my life. Even the days when it’s really hard, I know I am blessed. I love watching her develop from a baby in to a little person (although it does make me sad that she’s not teeny tiny anymore 😭) she’s a proper little character now, and it’s so amazing to watch that unfold! Someone said to me that you don’t really understand love until you have a baby, and I get that. It’s a different kind of love, so completely all encompassing, completely unconditional, it really is something so very special ♥️