5 Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Mum
It's been over a year since Archie was born and I've had time to reflect on my experiences of motherhood thus far, some good, some bad,
some lots downright gross. I now have friends who are set to become first-time Mummy's so I wanted to share a few of the huge lessons I've learned, things that I really had no clue about before little A arrived!
Looking after a newborn is hard.
Is this an obvious one? Maybe, but it's realllllly hard. It goes without saying that giving birth will be the most incredible experience of your life, and so will the joy you feel taking home your tiny newborn, but that doesn't mean it's simple (they could've made it a bit easier on us after, you know, the trauma of pushing a watermelon out of our bits). The first night, you'll be awake all night long staring at/listening to your newborn's breathing and your eyes will widen in terror when they start coughing up the crap that they sucked in when making their way out of your hoo-ha.
Of course, it does get easier eventually. Today, Archie took a nap at the same time he does every day. Right now, he's been asleep for almost two hours. I've done the washing, swept and mopped, had a shower, put my face on, had a well-earned bowl of Coco Pops and he's still sound asleep.
Rewind to this time one year ago; I was wearing the same pyjamas I'd been wearing for 3 days straight, the world's most disgusting nursing bra, and in between the hundreds of trips up and down the stairs (another muslin, really?), my cracked & bleeding nipples were being
used abused for the 20th time already that hour. I hadn't showered or brushed my teeth in days and I looked like a zombie, and I most definitely had not eaten, oh, maybe a day-old raisin that I discovered in the crack of the sofa.
Then they'll decide they want milk, but no, actually they don't want milk, yes they do, but they want it out of a bottle, no, not that bottle. You get the gist. Be prepared for the lows as well as the highs and don't worry, the good will outweigh the bad and when your baby starts smiling & laughing, you'll forget all about the bad stuff (mostly).
Babies get sick. All the time.
My god, babies are always ill! Since I can remember, A has had some sort of illness and when he's not infected, he has a cough and then he gets sick and then the cough gets worse, then the cough gets better, then he gets a temperature, then he has a runny nose for a few weeks, then it gets better but he gets a rash, then comes the dribbling, I think he's teething, is he teething? Then he's chesty, is it due to the teeth or should we take him to a doctor? You get the idea. I've probably visited our GP at least 30 times this year and every time, A makes a miraculous recovery in the waiting room..
You will Google. Alot.
Google is the devil, but it will also become your best friend.
You will probably read every single Mumsnet thread that has ever existed in that first year. Dr. Google will diagnose your child with everything from herpes to slapped cheek disease (a real thing) and you will call the doctor hundreds of times and there'll undoubtedly be a number of A&E visits. Don't worry, it's completely normal to worry sick over your child's health and the one thing I've learned is to trust your Mummy instinct. Archie saw 3 doctors before a paediatrician diagnosed him with tonsillitis at 9 months old.
Sleep will take over your life.
I've pretty much written a whole post dedicated to sleep (3 Things I Did to Get my Baby to Sleep), and as much as you think you'll easily be able to cope with the lack of shut-eye (all pregnant women ever hear is 'Catch up on your sleep while you can [insert maniacal laughter]', it can become incredibly frustrating and upsetting very quickly, sleep deprivation is even harder when you're faced with a full day alone with the baby. There are a multitude of factors and reasons that your newborn won't sleep in the first year, try not to get too hung up on miracle cures, I found Archie just needed (alot) of time to adjust and get into his own routine.
You will live in fear.
As amazing as babies are, it is also terrifying that you now have a little human that's completely dependent on you and it's your job to keep them alive! I remember attempting to give A some water when he was a few months old and he started coughing (understandably, water obviously flows out of a bottle faster than formula) and I was hysterical. "Oh my god, he's choking, call an ambulance, what do we do!?" You may not think so, but trust me, the voice of reason will disappear right out of the window when you most need it. A recently had his first nosebleed, and I almost had a panic attack, luckily it cleared up in under 2 minutes, or I might have needed a visit to A&E..
What advice would you give to new Mums-to-be? Do you think it's better to let them in on all the gory details or is ignorance bliss?
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