Fashion, fitness and food – my three favourite pastimes pre baby. Napping, play-dates and cuddling – my three favourite pastimes since the arrival of my daughter Lyla. I’m Emma, a hairstylist, blogging, mother of one from Dublin. I spend my free time tidying up and writing about style, interiors and motherhood at Lylaandco.blogspot.ie, and now occasionally writing here at for 9 Months & Forever. Hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them!

With your first child you never really know what to expect, sure, you’ve read all the books, listened to the stories and have watched family and friends go about it but nothing can prepare you for how tough (but rewarding) it can be.

I’m a year and a half into it now and have learnt a few things along the way.

1. Sleep whenever you can.

I know how irritating the ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ line can be, when the house looks like a bomb hit it, you have 47 emails to reply to and no one has had a proper dinner in weeks, it can be hard to just go to bed at one in the afternoon. I’m a terrible sleeper so always stayed up, but looking back I should have at least had a lie down. I had many a sleep deprived melt down that a 20 minute disco nap could have saved me from.

2. Forget about the mess.

I’m not an overly tidy person anyway, so this is easy for me. As long as you have a child, your house is never going to be spotless so don’t waste your energy on constantly picking up after your mini tornado. I let Lyla make her mess and at the end of the day do one big clean up. The house is never dirty, just untidy. I don’t live in a perfect instagramable world and that’s fine, no one’s looking anyway.

3. Don’t be stressing.

Easier said than done, I think what mothers do best is stress…or feel guilt…or both. Either way, an hour of watching TV or having cereal for dinner (again) isn’t the end of the world. Let it go, their brains won’t turn to mush, and they won’t become malnourished.

4. Distraction.

I’m just learning this now. Lyla has hit the terrible twos half a year early. She has a temper and is not afraid to show it. The easiest and quickest way to get through it is to distract her. Thank god the entire neighbourhood cats love hanging out in our garden because nothing works at distraction than watching the cats.

5. Trust yourself.

Again, easier said than done, but you know your child and family better than anyone else, so go with what feels right. Just because something worked for one family doesn’t mean its right for you. It’s not called a mother’s intuition for nothing.