I Wish I’d Known Before I Became a Parent…
…That having a baby is like joining a secret club, no matter how much you prepare and purchase the latest gadgets you’re never going to be ready for the impact the arrival of your baby will have on your life. I always knew I wanted children and so had a thirst for information when it came to me being pregnant. What was the best pram? breast or bottle feeding? Would I connect immediately with my baby? How would I change a nappy? Would my baby be cute? Questions I asked myself and the people around me would range from the practical to the downright odd.
Once my baby had arrived I realised that I still didn’t have all the answers even after 9 months of research. There’s only so much your friends and family can and will tell you, it’s as if they don’t want to give you too much of a heads up. I quickly realised that I was going to have to learn on the job. It was steep learning curve but a lot of my questions were answered as soon as I saw him in my arms, he was cute! The rest I’d figure out as time went on.
The internet became my best friend, day and night it was there to support me whenever I had a moment of uncertainty, like, why won’t my baby stop hiccupping? You can’t ring your childless best friend at 4am and ask questions like that without her thinking you’ve turned into a neurotic new mum on the edge of a meltdown.
Baby and Parent groups were the highlight of our day where I could speak to equally neurotic parents who wouldn’t necessarily know the answers to my bizarre questions but who were negotiating the same unfamiliar territory.
I once took my baby to a massage class and it was told by the instructor that my baby should be in his birthday suit when I was practising the massage techniques. Why did no one tell me that there was a 99.9% chance he was going to wee on me!? Stuff like that was conveniently left out of my antenatal classes.
I discovered that becoming a parent introduced you to a world of judgement from everyone you met, how are you feeding him? Oh, does he not sleep though yet? What pram have you got? Not waiting for my reply they’d be happy to tell me, I’ve got the all singing all dancing baby chariot which makes a coffee for you as you jog with it! No matter what I answered it was met with a dubious umm or ahh. I learnt that it didn’t matter what anyone else was doing because I knew my baby and what was best for him and us as a family.
With this in mind here are some things which I like to share with you that I wish I’d known before I got pregnant and had my baby:
- Your body won’t be the same again, it’ll be better because you’ll have gone though the most rewarding experience of your life.
- You won’t be able to use the toilet in peace for at least 12 months (this timescale is not accurate!)
- You’ll be able to survive off 2 hours sleep a night and still get all the cleaning and washing done, along with walking the dog and attending every baby group going that day.
- You’ll become an expert on every brand of nappy and nappy rash cream because you will try have tried them all just to find the perfect one.
- Your animal instinct with kick in if anyone looks at your baby the wrong way.
- No matter how good your first pram is you’ll end up buying another, and then another.
- If your baby’s pram blanket is within an inch of their nose they won’t die.
- It’s natural to be more interested in watching the baby video monitor than the latest episode of Coronation Street.
- You’ll learn to love drinking your tea and coffee at a luke warm temperature at best.
- You’ll turn into one of those mums that talk about nothing but their baby (this is unavoidable)
- You’ll become skilled at eating, cooking and washing up with one hand – in fact you’ll wonder why you ever needed two hands.
- You’ll realise that your baby really didn’t need 25 cuddly teddies.
- You might lose touch with some pre baby friends during the madness but you’ll also gain some life long friends who will navigate the journey with you.
- You will naturally compare your baby to other to try and calm your own anxiety about their development, just remember each baby is unique.
I’ll like to point out this list is not exhaustive, I could go on but you’ll also realise that having a baby isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s tough and that’s because it’s worth every second.