What every new Mum should know.
I entered motherhood completely unskilled and with no experience, ‘on the job’ training was never closer to the truth, after all you can’t really take out an apprenticeship in ‘parenting’. I had never changed a nappy before and never come close to holding a baby let alone feeding, caring and loving a small human before. My cat had always been my pet baby, and although the tedious task of changing the cat litter tray once tested my patience, once you’ve dealt with every volume of wet nappy imaginable you’ll never think of looking after a cat a job at all.
I never dreamed I would be a Mum, not really. It was a faraway fantasy that I had never unravelled in my heart. I knew it was there, but I kept shuffling the idea around and wondering whether I was ready. The truth is, what I learnt when one of my best friends became pregnant is that no one is ever ready. And, when it was my turn the same principal remained, quite frankly being ready for a baby is an impossible.
Here’s what I believe we all should know…
SUPPORT – I underestimated just how much someone simply being there or having a helping hand (especially in those first few weeks), is crucial not only for your well being, but also sanity. As soon as Dad goes back to work, the reality of being one to one with baby is such a daunting aspect. I remember the first day it was just us two. I don’t think I moved from the living room settee (aside from what felt like one hundred nappy changes), and I did not get tea cooked or anything done that day.
Welcome family, friends and neighbours, because believe it or not they all want to help.
SELF CARE – Something no one told me, was the pain physically afterwards. There’s bleeding (lots of bleeding), and aching. I ached for a good few weeks after giving birth. The pain does of course ease, and as all women do, you bounce back. I remember feeling tired physically and emotionally, but I always made sure I was a) clean b) fed and c) took care of. If you make time to eat, even if it’s stolen time, and stone cold, it is still important to feed yourself as well as your baby. Bananas were my no.1 snack proof energy food.
TIME – Time is the one I am still struggling with some nineteen weeks in. I have NO time. No time to cook, no time to clean the house, no time to exercise, no time to do all those things I REALLY fancy doing now I am not majorly pregnant with a huge belly. (ahem kayaking, hiking, yoga.) But, this is the truth: LET IT go. Because, some days I do get to write a blog post, prepare a dinner in advance, glance at my emails and that is a small victory.