Ten Things I Would Tell a New Parent
As big as my tummy is, it’s kind of hard to believe that I am going to have a new baby in my arms once again in just a few days. I know from experience of having had two babies previously that the first few weeks can, in particular be the hardest. When you feel like you’ve lost yourself a bit to motherhood, exhaustion and a fierce feeding schedule. So I’m writing this post as much for myself as I am for other new parents, to remind myself on the harder days that it will be ok. That isn’t to say they’re aren’t plenty of wonderful days and blissful newborn cuddles, there totally is, but it is something that you can never truly prepare for.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take that cooked meal, let someone run a hoover around for you, or just make you a cup of tea. You have a pregnancy and birth to recover from as well as new baby that needs all of your attention.
- Stop putting so much pressure on yourself, you have a new person to care for, the house doesn’t have to be perfect, you’re going to make mistakes and there will be days you don’t get dressed before midday. But it will get easier.
- 9 months on, 9 months off. Don’t fall into the celebrity nonsense of being able to get back into your skinny jeans two weeks after your baby is born. Eat sensibly, take your baby out for walks. But your success as a mother isn’t determined by how quickly you get back into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
- Routines help. They will need to flexed and they’re not set in stone you’ll have a day when it all goes to pot. But as soon as I got my babies into a routine it helped me to feel calmer and like I could actually do this parenting thing!
- If you can afford it, get a cleaner. A weekly cleaner costs less than a takeaway each week and can honestly help to save your sanity.
- Listen to your gut. I knew with my daughter Aria that something just wasn’t right, that a child should not cry as much as she did, I pushed for a GP appointment and referral where she was diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy. The diagnosis, diet change and medication transformed my baby into a much happier little girl.
- Listen to the advice that resonates with you, ditch the rest. Lots of lovely well meaning people will have so much advice for you. You don’t have to listen to all of it, some of it won’t suit you’re parenting style at all, but there will also be some real gems in there too.
- Power nap all the way. Sleep when they sleep only works for your first child, when you have children already having another baby can be exhausting. I used to power nap whenever I could and my husband used to always cover me for naps over the weekend so I could try and catch up. If you can’t manage a nap try going to bed earlier. I think sleep makes such a difference to your sanity.
- Get out of the house. I always used to say on the days I found the hardest, the best thing I could do was get the children and I out of the house. Fresh air, change of scenery, even better meet up with some other Mums so you can have some adult conversation. It changes the children’s perspective as well as your own. Even if it’s just to the park just up the road.
- You don’t have to bathe your children everyday. I used to find the bath and bedtime routine quite tough with a newborn and a toddler. When I worked out that they really didn’t need bathing everyday it really helped me out and took the pressure off. Unless they were dirty I only bathed them every 2/3 days and it made evenings so much easier.
Have you got any tips you would add?