Becoming a new Mum – the things I wish I had known.

Hi new mummy! It probably feels weird even hearing yourself referred to as a mummy! I’m no expert on this mummy stuff in fact I get it wrong all the time, but there are a few things that I wish someone had said to me when I was starting out and so i’m going to say them to you.
1. It doesn’t matter how your baby came out. Vaginal birth or caesarean, drugs    or no drugs, home birth or hospital birth or birth in a field surrounded by            singing unicorns – you still end up with the same baby. Please don’t waste        your time and energy feeling like you have failed somehow if your birth            didn’t go the way you had hoped.

2. Being pregnant and giving birth and becoming a mother are a whole crazy       world of emotion that nobody will understand until it happens to them and     even then they will forget what it was really like (that’s why people have           more kids!). There is nothing wrong with feeling confused, overwhelmed,         anxious, absolutely bloody knackered and generally not the ecstatic joy you     thought you might feel.

Here i am on a really bad day, i’d been up all night with Evelyn and we finally both cried ourselves to sleep on the sofa.

3. You don’t have to pretend everything is ok. Speak to your mum, or your             friend or your neighbour or your sister or the lady you met at baby group           and they will tell you that they felt the same too. It’s totally normal that             when living on two hours sleep a night, never having time to even get               dressed, having had your whole world turned upside down overnight you         probably feel at least a little strange. Speak to someone it will make you feel     better I promise.

4. Breastfeeding is not easy it’s really hard, you’d think the baby would know       how to do it but they don’t and nor do you and how would you? It’s not like       this is something you can practise! This is a skill you need to learn together     and the best thing I ever did was to go to a breast feeding support group. If         breast feeding isn’t working out it’s natural to feel really crap about it,                 please don’t! Your baby wants to be fed, it really doesn’t care how. Just feed       your baby the best way for you and trust me that your baby will thrive.

Here i am on a good day when i actually got dressed! Absolutely knackered and never letting that Infacol out of my sight!

5. Babies cry, and they don’t sleep this is a fact. It just makes sense for us to         admit this fact and accept it, let it go. If your baby is up all night it’s got               nothing to do with your parenting skills. Babies need love and milk and that     is all. Yes you might be exhausted from night feeds, yes you might be                 hallucinating from tiredness because your baby never naps. You are not a         crap mum, you are amazing and you are that little babies whole                           world! Do your best but don’t be afraid to say ‘this is really hard and I need         some help’.

6. It’s ok to daydream about running away on a yacht with Alexander                     Skarsgård, it’s ok to mourn the carefree life you have left behind – it doesn’t     mean you love your baby any less it just means you are a real person who         had a career and a social life and you are finding your new mum life hard.         You will get back to being you I promise, but don’t rush yourself.

7. Finally – you don’t need to snap back into shape, you are not an elastic               band! You are the most amazing human who has created and grown a life.       Your body is miraculous and should be given the respect it deserves, it has       given you the most precious gift possible. Learn to love your new body.               Don’t follow ridiculous airbrushed celebrities on Instagram who post                   pictures of themselves flat stomached two days after giving birth. Find             yourself fellow mums who support and inspire you and make you realise         that everything you feel is totally normal.

Inspiring mums who are keeping it real to follow on Instagram –

L-R @thisismothership, @whiledollysleeps, @loveofalittleone, @mother_pukka, @mrsmhayward, @pandering_to_boys, @jenliujones, @motherhustleruk, @thefrugality
If you are struggling and you need to speak to someone the NCT have a Postnatal Helpline 03003300773 or a Shared Experiences Helpline 03303300774 where you will be put in touch with someone who has gone through a similar experience to you. There is also a Breastfeeding Line 03003300771.
Thanks for reading
Sam
x

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