So Nora has been in my life for almost three months now and this is my list of 23 things that I really wished I knew before Nora was born
1. You will never be on time ever again. The only timetable you work to now is your babies! I often advise friends of a 30 minute window that I think we might arrive in. Baby breakdown permitting of course.
I used to be a stickler for time and would regularly break a sweat trying to make sure I was on time for everything. Since Nora’s arrival I’ve learned to accept that we are very rarely ever going to be on time as every journey that would take me 20 minutes now realistically takes about 20 minutes longer. Thank you super slow lifts at every tube station!
2. Absolutely everyone will think it is completely ok to give you advice on your baby. Because you know that’s what every new mother needs… Or not
This really gets on my nerves. I know lots of people giving me advice have had children of their own, but the simple fact is, they haven’t had my child. It might surprise you but I do indeed know what’s best for my child, because you know I spend all the time with her I know what upsets her etc etc…Now leave us alone!!
3. Everyone wants to hold your baby, it’s like a human pass the parcel. Until they cry or start to smell, then their all yours.
This is really quite self explanatory, everyone loves a baby. Even your friends and family who swear they don’t want babies, everyone will go gaa gaa for your new born.
4. Babies bowels are a mystery – how can something so cute produce something so truly disgusting. AND SO MUCH?!
I don’t even want to discuss this…
5. Breast feeding hurts! Don’t listen to the NCT lady when she says it painless, she is lying!
When I went to my NCT class the teacher told me it would only hurt if I was doing it wrong, on our first night in hospital, I was in absolute agony and all I could think about was that I was doing it wrong and I was a terrible mother and I wasn’t even 24 hours in. Don’t worry ladies it’s completely normal!!
6. Childbirth is hard, looking after a new born is harder!
There is no way to sugar coat this, having a new baby is bloody difficult. Why are you crying little human? Are you hungry? Tired? Have you pooed yourself? All three?? Just tell me please?!
7. It’s ok not to fall in love instantly – you’ve just been through some serious physical trauma. It’s a’ok and completely normal if all you can think about is sleep.
When Nora was born I had been in labour for 24 hours and I was shattered. But three months down the line I don’t think you can question my bond with Nora.
8. Your life will never be the same again – however much people try and convince you it can stay the same, your life really is about to do a 180 flip.
There is no more just popping out, everything is a military operation. Nappies, check. Milk, check. Wipes, check. Clean clothes, check. You get the gist!
9. It’s ok to lose touch with people. True friends stick it out with you and don’t judge when you open the door in a sick stained top (well maybe they do a little).
People come and go, it’s only natural especially when you have someone so important in your life, don’t worry about those that aren’t worried about you.
10. If anyone tries to tell you they’re tired, you will want to throttle them. You never really know true tiredness until you’ve had a baby.
You will learn to live on such a minimal amount of sleep it is quite miraculous. 7.30am is now considered a lie in, welcome to the new world.
11. It is totally ok to feel like you’ve not ‘achieved’ anything in your day. You’ve kept another human being alive and that is pretty darn amazing!
So what you spent the day chilling on the sofa together, your both still here and doing amazing, give yourself a pat on the back!
12. Babies grow at a truly alarming rate. What fits one week, won’t fit a leg next Thursday. So as cute as those white company new born onesies may be, step away!
I have lost count of the amount of times I have tried to get Nora dressed in my favourite outfits only to find they are way to sob! Wah, why won’t you fit in the small baby clothes anymore you giant!
It an endless cycle…*excuse the pun*.
14. No two babies are the same (this might sound obvious but it’s worth remembering), what routine works for one baby probably won’t work for another. Don’t stress that you’re doing it wrong!
Nora doesn’t nap and sometimes I get really worried that this is somehow incredibly bad for her and I am a terrible mother when I watch other babies sleeping all day. But then we get to 6.30pm and she’s out like a light and she only wakes up once or twice a night. She also sticks to a feeding routine like she’s in the military, but I know babies that love to graze. So while that works for some babies Nora is her own woman and that’s the way we like it.
15. Finding people in the same boat as you are life savers. Being able to swap horror stories of babies pooing in yours hands, sleepless nights and leaky boobs are priceless.
Before I met my NCT class, I literally only new 2 people that had babies or are about to pop! But since finding my group I have people I can turn to and discuss baby issues or new mum angst. I honestly think I would be even nuttier without these women.
16. Simultaneously childless friends are a necessity. You don’t want to be discussing breast feeding all the time. You need these friends to bring you prosecco and keep you in you with the real world. They also buy the most fun but not practical presents, who knew Adidas did trainers for babies?!
Give me girl time and pass me the vodka!
17. Showering and personal cleanliness are no longer a necessity but more of a treat.
Dry shampoo is a necessity in my household and unless we’re going out somewhere super special I find it perfectly acceptable not to shower for a few days!
18. Bulk buy suitable baby clothing for you! If you’re going to breast feed stock up on easy access and comfortable shirts and stock up on those basic tees. Make space in your wardrobe by vac packing!
Basic tees and leggings are a god send, you can be dressed in about 30 seconds flat ideal when you’re little one just doesn’t want to be put down!
19. It’s ok to cry. No you’re not being weak and no one will think less of you. Your hormones are up the wall and you’ve got this extra life to care for. Crying is a’ok!
I thought I was the only one that cried the first time when I let my baby self soothe, but ya’know what it’s pretty much universal. Let the water works flow girl, your life has completely changed, tears are allowed.
20. You will suddenly become the worlds greatest multi tasker. Bursting bladder, crying baby and something may or may not be burning in the oven. It’s ok you have SO got this.
It is truly amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. You will find the most ingenious ways of getting things done. Soothing a baby and going to the toilet, not a problem!
21. You will forget what your life pre-baby was like and how you ever managed to fill 24 hours.
Yes you will probably be in bed my 9.30pm, but hell you achieve so much in a day you deserve to be in bed at that time!
22. You will forever question if you’re doing a good job and lots of the early days you’ll feel like your baby hates you. But take a look at that little smile, you’re doing a great job super star!
People will try and give you advice and there will be days that your baby will cry for hours on end. But you know what, you’re doing flipping fantastic go and drink all the wine!
23. Your life isn’t over! In fact it’s just beginning. This hard new chapter will be the best thing you ever do.