Looking back at the first time we brought Gabriel home, I can’t help but giggle at my former self. Both my husband and I really had no idea of what was ahead of us. We would panic at the mere sight of…well anything. We studied the way he breathed, how much he ate and what noises he made. God forbade that anyone use anything other than water and pure cotton on his bum for the next 20 years. And we were obsessed with the temperature in his room. Though these were all part of the new parent experience, I would like to give my former first time parent the heads up with some much needed advice.
PLAN PLAN AND PLAN
Did I mention plan? As obvious as it sounds it really isn’t. I thought I was quite organised but I never anticipated the amount of time simple things took. Like how impossible it felt to actually be able to leave the house on time. How feeding and nappy changes seemed to never end. Or how difficult it was to actually eat, let alone prepare dinner.
I had made and prepared meals in advance but those meals went by faster than i could blink. I released that I didn’t have anything quick and easy to snack on. And not to mention I went through my entire wardrobe in a matter of a few days! Don’t underestimate how many times this little one will spill his bodily fluids on you. So my tips?
- Buy loads of cheap comfortable clothes for you to wear. This was the first time I bought from Primark and I was so grateful.
- Make heaps and I mean heaps of meals in advance. It is a pain now but it will be a life saver in the long run. And don’t forget to stock up on snacks!!
- Start getting ready 2 hours before you are scheduled to be anywhere. With babies that feed every 1-2 hours, by the time you have started packing all of the baby stuff and are finally ready to head off. The baby will be hungry again and will possibly need another nappy change.
This is a hard one for me as I feel I was really dealt the short end of the stick. Be prepared to lose your dignity as soon as you become a mum, heck as soon as that bun starts cooking. I was sick for the first 6 months of my pregnant and I tell you it was not a pretty sight. Vomiting and crying down the high street is not how I envisioned pregnancy. However do not fear as it does not end after the baby is born. Never in my life could I have imagined the trauma that would happen to me down below. And by down below, I mean all of down belowwww.
It was bad enough that my vagina was unrecognisable and that I winced every time I sat down. It was even worse that i had to figure out the hard way that Kegels are not just the muscles for your vagina but for everything!!!!! Imagine my horror as I head to the bathroom to find that I had semi shat myself without even knowing it! To top it off it was not easy explaining to my husband why I had just thrown my panties in the bin. So advice?? Work them damn Kegels!!!!
INTIMACY LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER HAD BEFORE
It is true, you will change and will do just about anything for your baby but some of the things I have had to do are things I never ever thought I would do in my life. Be prepared for the first time your little one catches a cold. Because not only is it worrying and a pain in the butt for sleeping. You also need to help your little one to…erm…unblock his nose. It is fairly simple if you are fully equipped with Vicks Baby Rub and Warm Mist.
However if like me you were not and the only way to help your little one was to suck it out of his nose, then chances are you are just as traumatised by that experience as I am. So avoid the trauma and make a little baby first aid kit with lots of Baby Paracetamol and a tonne of Vicks Baby Rub!
ENJOY THE MOMENT
Having said all of this, the biggest and most important advice I would give to myself is to enjoy the moment. Enjoy him as a newborn, a baby and a toddler. Don’t be in haste for him to learn and carry on to the next step. There were times we were so excited for him to progress that we forgot to cherish the step he was in. He would roll, we would say crawl. He would crawl, we would say walk. Until we realised that our little baby had grown up way too fast and we were not prepared for it. It is not a cliché. Cherish them. Hold them. Soak it all in