I wrote this over a year ago just before my first Mother’s Day. It’s lovely to re-visit old blogs as often they’re like little diary entires. So here I am, sounds so full-of-wisdom, when in actual fact I was still very much winging it!
I thought I’d share my 10 Things Nobody Told Me About Becoming a Mother. There have been a lot of surprises, most of them awesome, some peculiar and others…. I’m really starting to not recognise myself. This however might help a new mama, expectant mama or just make you giggle (or raise an eyebrow). Either way here are some of the things I could have only ever learned on the job (and make no mistake, it is a job!):
1. You need sleep, but you won’t sleep, even when you can sleep! – Do you follow? You’ll be exhausted- sure, there’s the ‘ you’ve just-given-birth’ tired, but feeling emotionally tired is whole new playing field. You’ll say “I’m tired” out loud, just to trick your body into actually sleeping, but alas, you won’t. I mean, how can you? You’ve just given birth to most beautiful little human; who you will watch sleep for hours on end. You’ll actually miss them whilst they sleep! And just as you’re about ready to drift off, BANG, they’re awake again. You may do this for months on end and feel a little insane, but don’t worry, it’s totally normal.
2. When your baby poops – you will celebrate. This is what I meant about not recognising myself. I genuinely dance, sing and even announce that my child has pooped. It may seem strange, but embrace it.
3. Enjoy the newborn stage, it’s actually pretty easy-going in comparison… All babies are different but let’s be honest, it’s only going to get harder as they get older. If you just remind yourself that this moment right here is probably the easiest part of parenting, it might make your day go a little smoother. (But to keep it real – keeping a little human happy, fed, watered and clean is daunting and truly hard work!)
4. Get well accustomed to the mum bun– no other hairstyle will do. Even dress it up with a fancy scrunchie from time to time – they’re making a come back!
5. Don’t worry about your old clothes, there will be new clothes…one day. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. ALSO remember high street store sizes come out smaller than your actual size – you know your true size, they don’t! Numbers lie…
6. Every milestone is worth documenting – I’m a proud Momtog, I try not to overshare on social media but it’s hard. My camera roll is well above the 20,000 mark and I love an Instax too – I snap them and keep them in a little keep-sake box or stick all over my fridge. I love to visit to them whilst rummaging for snack in the kitchen or open the box whilst my child is asleep (as I will miss her whilst she sleeps).
7. Snacking is a survival method – SNACK HARD! A bar of chocolate? Try a box. Or double up on the humous and carrots! Whatever your kryptonite is, EAT IT – as you probably won’t have time to cook anyway.
8. Don’t worry about the mess, you’ll get it later – yeah the house is really messy, and so and so is coming over but, OH WELL! If you didn’t get around to it because you were, you know, looking after a little human, the world will forgive.
9. When Mum Guilt comes knocking, don’t let it in! You may find yourself feeling guilty about literally everything: not getting your little one out of the house for the day, letting them watch TV for hours or even your child catching a cold from the playground – all are unnecessary yet very common things to feel guilty about. Let this feeling come and go very quickly.
10. Don’t apply too much pressure on yourself – you will do this naturally, but try your hardest not to. You want to be the world’s best mum, however to your little human, you already are. You are their world. So even when you don’t feel completely together, they’re probably cheering you on in their own little way because they think you’re incredible.
Being a Mother is amazing. I just wish that there was less pressure on us to do things a certain way. My advice is to always go with your instinct – it’s your super power and it will never let you down. You will adopt your own way of doing things, thinking things through and dealing with them; sometimes all at once!
There’s no rule book that comes with Motherhood, and forums from a google search can be the enemy of progress. Just take one deep breath and remember, you got this Mama!