Here are the top 10 things I discovered being a first-time mum.
You wonder how you’ll cope. Then, once the baby’s out, a switch flicks inside you and suddenly all you care about is this tiny human. You need to pee? It can wait. You need to eat? You do it whilst you feed them. You need to sleep? Hah! Don’t be ridiculous. But, by the grace of the Almighty, you make it work. You’re a mum and whether it’s the rush of hormones or not you will keep this baby alive.
2. Baby blues are real
Yes, maybe you are superwoman now, but it doesn’t hide the fact that this new life is overwhelming! I hadn’t even changed a nappy until I had my baby and I was completely winging each and every step. It’s also easy to fall behind on yourself – don’t forget about you and don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.
3. Baby groups and children’s centres are actual saviours
Being off work meant I had little contact with the outside world and I had no friends in the area. By going to these groups I found people I could talk to and people I could share experiences with. It also got me out of the house. I literally only went to appointments for the first 4 weeks. I was a total hermit. By going to these baby friendly places, I became braver and started to slowly venture out a bit more.
4. Your social life (if you can call it that) is now super difficult to organise
I thought It was hard to find a place to go and eat before the baby but now it’s next to impossible! Now I have to think about naps and feeds and if I’m going to find a place where I can change his nappy. Forget it – takeaway it is!
5. Eating a square meal at home at a normal pace without being disturbed is also a rarity
I’m pretty sure that from birth my son knew when I was about to eat and decided to scream at the top of his lungs at that point. Meal prep is a must, if you can, to avoid eating utter rubbish.
6. You google everything
Everything. Especially in times of desperate need e.g. when I can’t get him to sleep I google “how to put a baby to sleep” or recently it’s “how to stop a baby crying at the back of a car”. None of it is useful and it’s always a waste of time.
7. You will do exactly what you said you wouldn’t do as a mum
I co-sleep. There I said it. I said I’d religiously use a crib but when you’re breastfeeding at 2am in the morning, the last thing you want to do is spend time swaddling a baby and putting them back to sleep in a cot. Also, his favourite show is Hey Duggee. Yes, I let him watch TV.
8. Missing Work
This one is probably not for everyone but sometimes I really miss work. I for one know that my job is easier than being a mum and that might be because I’m not as maternal as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and I would easily give up my job for him if I had to, but part of me misses the old me. And that’s ok.
9. Putting a baby to sleep is harder than it looks
The worst thing is that you have to do it several times a day and sometimes multiple times during one nap. Sometimes it takes me half an hour to put him to sleep and then he only sleeps for half an hour – I just want to dig myself a hole on those days. Yes, I know there’s about two thousand methods on how to put a child to sleep and a whole bunch of sleep consultants out there ready to pounce with “try this method” but when you are sleep deprived and desperate sometimes you just feed them to sleep. Why don’t they include stuff like this in the antenatal classes?!
10. How much you will love your baby
Sometimes I stare at him and just cry because I love him so much. He must think I’m a total weirdo but with one smile I forget the fact that I haven’t had a proper meal in over 24 hours, slept more than 3 hours and haven’t washed my hair in almost a week.
Maternity leave is an eye opener for sure.
Was: Specialist Paediatric Clinical Trials Pharmacist
Now: happy first time mum to a 9 month old baby boy
This takes me back to being a first time mum (actually, second and third and fourth!)
You raise a very important point about baby blues. I remember not understanding what this was and not being able to forgive myself for not feeling absolutely ecstatic and joyful all the time. And feeling like a failure for struggling in the first few months. It truly is important to seek and accept help, we are often too hard on ourselves.