loopyloulaura

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How do you cope?!

This was what the lollipop lady said to me yesterday. Her daughter has just had her first baby and is struggling a little bit. I remember those days well, the first baby is a shock to the system! My partner Chris thought that having Matthew and Anya would prepare him for fatherhood but I think the baby stage is a shocker.

I have written previously about the daft things I used to believe before I had kids and have done a vlog of advice for new mums. But today I thought I would look at how to cope with the new completely unreasonable person that catapults into your life…

  • The first days are awful. Yes, you have all the love and hormones. But you also have intense exhaustion. Childbirth, even when straightforward, is a major event in terms of your mental and physical health, you need to recover. Take it slowly, give yourself time, let others help.

  • The lack of sleep is like torture. I remember the first week after Zach was born when he wouldn’t sleep if I put him down. I was desperate for sleep but terrified of falling asleep while holding him. I cried and begged him to sleep but being only days old he ignored me!
    It passes. The world is a new and scary place for your child and you are the only comfort. Imagine you have been bombarded with lights and sounds, smells, people, animals, milk. It would be overwhelming and I think this is how a newborn feels.

       

  • Don’t let yourself be bullied and don’t feel like you have to justify yourself. I have written previously about my breastfeeding journey. I have weaned all three slightly early. I have used the crying down method of sleep training.
    Decisions aren’t easy, you have to do what is best for your baby but also for you and your family.
  • Lower your expectations. Let everything else take a backseat. Focus on the essentials. Easier said than done I know!
    Write lists so you don’t forget something in your exhausted state. Learn to do things one handed for when you are feeding: make a cuppa, wipe bums, etc!

  • Subsequent children are easier. You have the others to look after but siblings are amazing entertainment! You have the routine sorted that the newborn has to slot into. You have the confidence that you have already coped before!
I am not supermum. I am not the best mum. But I am Mum, the only one they’ll get, the one who’ll love them for eternity, the one who will always be there for them.

How do I cope? It isn’t a conscious effort. I just get on, trying to do the best I can for my family everyday

45 comments

  1. Great tips – I currently have a 4 week old baby and a toddler, so am in those ‘early days’. It’s hard, but I think by lowering your expectations really helps. I set myself one simple task a day otherwise I’d never achieve anything.

  2. Fab advice, especially about accepting help and lowering standards. You just can’t do it all and need plenty of support and time. Second babies definitely seem easier too! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  3. The baby stage is so difficult, but I absolutely loved it and am already getting broody. I couldn’t cope with three so close together though, so will be waiting a while. I think it is important to feel that asking for help is okay, but I don’t really have that option. Saying that though, I think by doing it without a lot of help has made my bond with the boys really strong.

  4. This is the hardest job in the world and was a massive shock to the system. I was a teacher before and that was tough but give me 30 children any day! lol
    I just do what I can and the rest has to wait!

  5. I love the gurning photo. It really made me smile. The main thing about parenting is we are all different. There’s no right or wrong and we are all learning and winging it as we go along.

  6. Oh goodness me. As someone who hasn’t had children I think I’ve been lucky that I have an older sister who has and therefore already have very very low expectations and am not in a hurry to have kids haha. Having that support system around you (family or local groups) should really help x

  7. Emma

    So true! You just do cope. I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job. I’m still struggling with sleep deprivation 9 months on with my youngest but I know there will be an end in sight one day! x

  8. We had ours 18 months apart so those first few weeks and months with a newborn and a toddler went by in a flash but was exhausting!
    We had them at both at home (planned) and if I’d have done anything differently, it would have been to say no when we really didn’t feel up to visitors and try and sleep more!

  9. These are great tips – the most important thing is to just be kind to yourself and not expect yourself to do too much at first, both physically and mentally. I agree the lack of sleep feels like torture, but it does pass even though that’s little consolation at the time. #stayclassymama

  10. This is a great post. I feel like I missed so much of the first year because I was so exhausted. Looking back now it was just a tiny part of the parenting journey which throws up different challenges along the way!!

    #MMBC

  11. You’ve just reminded me about all those early days that I’ve got to look forward to all over again. Excited!! I’d say a sling and getting out for walks was my way of coping, how I’ll cope with 2 will be interesting! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  12. MMT

    I’m already looking back on the baby stage with rose tinted glasses but oh boy was it hard at the time! I’ve almost forgotten enough to consider another…I said ALMOST 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing this post with #coolmumclub

  13. You know you are totally right, the first few days, heck the first few years are thought. But as mum, dad too, you find away. It is all a learning curve for you and your baby, but you never give up.

  14. Good advice, definitely let everything else take a backseat. Those first few weeks are unimaginable and inexplainable unless you have been through it. You are a hormonal and emotional wreck and then sleep deprived. I don’t think I could have been prepared for those first few weeks, but like you say it passes and it gets easier…then you have toddlers! But that’s a whole new post. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  15. You’re right, putting yourself in your baby’s shoes is probably the best way to try and understand what’s going on. I think it’s harder with the first baby because you’re just fighting to get your life back and some kind of routine. It’s only when you give up and go with the flow that things start to feel easier to manage.

  16. We are our own worst critics and place unnecessary pressures and guilt on ourselves. I do find that the newborn stage is the easiest and I look back now to when we had 1 baby and oh how life was simple!

  17. Each family works differently don’t they? You find your own rhythm! – I’m grateful my step daughter is old enough to be able to keep my youngest entertained and play with him nicely; come September I’ll be relying on this a lot with a newborn! Great post 🙂 Mums always find a way! #blogstravaganza

  18. It gets easier as time pass, I remember the newborn stage like it was yesterday even though my son is almost 2. It was exhausting, emotional and shocking at times. No book or class can prepare you for it. We all go through it and do our best to cope. #KCACOLS

  19. Really good advice. For me I had to accept that perfection was the goal, I just had to take it slowly and let myself adjust to the massive changes. Took a while but I’m getting there!
    #blogstravaganza

  20. With 6 under 6 and a business to run I had to be realistic about what I could achieve, I think I came to the same conclusions as you, I just did my best and hoped it was enough, after all there was no one else going to do it! #KCACOLS

  21. Aww! I love that final statement about not being perfect but being the one that will love them for eternity. I agree. Subsequent children are definitely easier than the first. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

  22. I agree! I cope because I have to, not because I’m good haha! I do think it’s a bit better when you’ve done it before and my little one adores his big sister. Siblings are fab helping hands when it comes to getting someone to fetch wipes etc too 😉

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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