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 beforeIhad kids and have done a vlogof 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 mybreastfeedingjourney. 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