As you may know, I set myself the challenge of writing 31 new blog posts. I had a great vision to write a new blog post every day, but it took me a whole week to publish this one!
So perhaps the biggest lesson is that you can’t do much with babies and small children!
I hope to write a new post every day, but also to be kind to myself during these crazy times (if you’re reading this in the future, I’ve just entered week 5 of the Covid-19 quarantine).
Sam still works Monday through Friday. This is amazing and we are so glad he worked for us for a few weeks. But that means I spend most of my time at home alone with three kids, and that’s not easy. I always took them to the zoo, beaches, parks, picnics, petting farms, castles, etc. Anywhere you can get out of the house for a few hours and burn off some energy! Obviously we can’t do any of those things and most of my energy goes into keeping them busy.
And at night, I become kinder to myself. I go for long walks for peace, fresh air, and exercise. I try to take my mind off the news by reading a lot and watching a lot of Netflix.
Now, back to today’s article.
I was asked to write an article about what it’s like to be a mother for the first time. And I wrote this on my notepad, and George played hide and seek with my notepad, and it seems like it’s gone forever.
So instead of rewriting that entire post (because the notepad would reappear and you’re unlikely to be able to share that post!), I thought I’d share a few things I wish I’d known before becoming a mom. I did my first baby
No one is judging you
It took me a while to realize that no one else cared about what I was doing as a new mom.
I hear many new moms talk about how they are criticized for the decisions they are making, and I was the same way. But when I look back, I see that people weren’t actually criticizing or criticizing, they were just voicing their opinions. But it was an opinion on a subject that I was so uncertain and nervous about, so I quickly retracted my stance and thought they were judging me.
When someone asks, “How do you feed your baby?” they’re not asking to judge your choice of breastfeeding or formula feeding, they’re just curious. They will likely want to talk about their own breastfeeding experiences and offer advice and reassurance.
When someone asks, “Is she walking yet?” it’s not because they can say, “Oh, she really should be walking by now!” They are just curious and want to have a conversation!
“How does he sleep?” they say, and they rub their noses about the perfect sleeper who sleeps all night from the third day of life and rarely wakes up before 8 a.m. It’s not about being able to do it!
Other sensitive subjects include:
- If you go back to work or stay home
- When the baby goes about his daily life
- If you plan to have more babies
- If you are using disposable or reusable diapers
- If you leave your dog at a nursery school and keep it at home
If someone asks you a question about these topics, 95% of the time you’ll judge them because you didn’t ask!
It is true that there may be parents in this world who are judgmental. Many parents may be hiding behind avatars on the internet. Ignore the internet trolls and remember that every social media channel has a “block” button for a reason. And if you come across a mother who is judgmental, she probably doesn’t really have confidence in her own parenting abilities, and that’s why she’s projecting that fear onto you. Now that I have three children of her own and have gotten to know a lot of moms, I can honestly say that out of all the parents I’m friends with, there are others who do something different. No one will ever criticize your parents, but they will always help and support you in any way they can. Even if it’s just a friendly comment or a smile, saying ‘Yes, we’ve all been there, don’t worry, that stage won’t last long!’
Because we’ve all been through it and it’s difficult and no one wants to see other parents struggle.
The early days can be lonely
I never thought I would feel lonely when my baby was born. You have a little friend who is always by your side and keeps you company, right?
Yes, but it was a little friend who didn’t speak and didn’t even really communicate for the first few weeks.
Between frequent feedings, diaper changes, and packing all your belongings, it can become difficult to leave the house, and you may end up not leaving the house much at all. He was 30 minutes late for the 45-minute baby group, so we decided to quit that group. Your baby hasn’t taken a nap all day and she falls asleep just as you’re about to go out to meet her friend for coffee.. so you call her and cancel did. Since I started shopping online, I don’t go out to shop anymore, or I stop collaborating with friends because I’m tired.
It’s very easy and don’t worry, it won’t last long. Keep reading to find out how to stop feeling lonely…
Baby groups will save your sanity
We would like to express our deepest sympathies to all the new mothers who are unable to attend baby groups due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19.
When George was born, I almost never went to baby groups. I tried a few, but I didn’t feel they were right for me. I loved being a mom, but I didn’t want to sit down and talk about baby poop and weaning tips.
But now we know that this “new mom chat” is just the beginning of new mom friendships. For a few weeks, we just talk about the baby because we don’t have anything else in common. And as we get to know each other, we realize we have a lot in common, and the conversation begins with baby poop!
You have to stick to it. You won’t be able to make friends right away in 45-minute groups, especially if you spend half that time singing songs and playing with baby toys, so it’s best to stay in these groups for at least 5-6 weeks before quitting the group. Please join us.
One of the best things about meeting other moms is realizing that everyone does things differently and there’s no “right” or “wrong” thing. Not everyone follows a suggested baby routine and all babies do things on their own time.
If you’re looking for like-minded moms, look for a group you’ll genuinely enjoy joining. I’m a pretty active and outdoorsy mom, so I’ve found that baby fitness classes, especially those in parks, are a great place to make friends.
You will have ‘mum instincts’
I remember asking questions like, “How do I know when my baby is tired?” or ‘How do I know when he’s hungry’.
And people always gave a negative answer: “Oh, don’t worry, you know.” Trust your instincts.’
This would infuriate me because I wanted a solid answer. However, I also started to worry about what would happen if I didn’t have “motherly instincts.” I was sure I wouldn’t have them!
But for sure, there are some things only you know. You spend all your time with your baby and know him better than anyone else. You instinctively know what they want, learn to listen to their cries, and find out what they want.
You will long for your pre-baby life
Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could go back to the childless life I had five years ago. When there was no one to worry about but myself. When I was able to accept a job that came my way without having to worry about childcare or being away from my baby. When you no longer have to worry about “pumping and defecating” procedures or whether you have enough breast milk in the freezer even when you’re drunk. When you can sleep through the night and wake up each morning feeling refreshed. What if you could book a holiday of your dreams!
It is possible to miss your old life and love your new life at the same time.
YouTube mums are the best
I resisted “mummy bloggers” for a long time. I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy such bright, happy mummy content. No, it wasn’t for me.
But when I was pregnant with Alba, I started doing YouTube videos about what to make for your hospital bag. I don’t even know why I searched for this since I’ve already been to her twice before. However, I was completely drawn into the world of mummy YouTubers and realized that I loved them. They gave me a lot of advice and ideas. It also gave me peace of mind that my baby was just like any other baby in the world.
Here are some of my favorites:
Emily Norris – For Moms Organization
Michalax – To prove you can stay cool after giving birth
Tara Henderson – for routines (loved her nightly new baby video)
Jordan Page – She has around 8,000 kids and has some great tips and ideas
You won’t ‘enjoy every moment’
If I had a pound for every time someone said, “Enjoy every moment while you’re young…”… If I were…well, I’d probably have enough money to pay the mortgage for a month.
And even though you know every moment is precious and you’re lucky and your baby is adorable and blah blah blah, you can’t enjoy every moment. Not every moment is idyllic. There are several moments where you have a serious discussion about whether you can afford a nanny. Full-time live-in nanny.
You’ll wish you took more photos
No matter how many photos or videos you take of your baby, you’ll probably wish you had taken more. You can never have too many photos of your child!
But sometimes you just need to put down your phone and enjoy playing with your baby without taking pictures, so it’s a balancing act.
Organisation hacks are THE BEST
After my third child was born, I became much more organized. It’s simply because it has to be done. If I’m not organized, I’ll never be able to leave the house in the morning (I can’t do that right now!)
I’ve been watching a lot of mom organization hacks on YouTube and they really changed my life. I’m not a naturally organized person and I don’t come from an organized family, so I really had to learn all of this.
These days, I do most of the meal prep and always have snacks and lunches in the fridge for the kids. Everything in our house has a place (it’s not always there, but it’s always there!) and we have a rough routine that we pretty much stick to.
If you’re a bit of a dirty, unorganized person, I highly recommend watching some organization hacks on YouTube!
Just because they do it now, doesn’t mean they’ll do it when they’re older
Some people warn you not to hug your baby too much because you’ll end up with a “stick on your back,” but in my experience, this is completely wrong. Just because your baby likes to be held doesn’t mean he’ll be held on his 18th birthday.
Some babies like to be held. If doing so makes life easier, give them a hug. However, some babies don’t like being held, and that’s okay. George didn’t always like to be held, so he was one of those babies who always slept in his own bed, never came to our bed, and was happy to sit and play by himself. Aruba is the opposite and is almost always held! But just because we’re holding her now doesn’t mean she’ll still want to be held when she’s 5!
The reverse also works. George always slept well and had no problems. He soothed himself, kept to a routine, and was basically a perfect sleeper. Then when he was about 4 years old, he stopped sleeping very well. He’s a really light sleeper, wakes up really early, and stays up late watching cartoons and playing with Legos. We’ve tried everything and I think this is who he is. Therefore, even if he develops perfect sleep habits in his baby, it does not mean that he will teach him to sleep well for life.
Some days are boring
And finally, we’re sure you hate to admit it, but life with a newborn can be a little boring. It’s nice to have a boring day. Because that means nothing is going wrong, but the routine of eating, getting dressed, napping, and playing can get a little boring!
And here are some things I wish I had known before having my first child.
If you have anything else you’d like to add to the list, please share!