Mum-to-be? 5 things you need to know

Posted on 16/11/2017 by Antenatal Online | Leave a Comment

I have been a mum for almost 10 years which is scary because it feels like approximately 10 minutes. Far scarier however is the fact that I still have no clue what I am on with. When you have a baby you have a firm belief that it is the hardest thing in the world. Why wonít she sleep? Is she eating enough? For the love of God, how do I know I am doing this right? When you have a 9 year old you realise that unfortunately that was the easy bit and it is over. Contemplating a teenage version actually brings me out in hives.


The wiser among you probably have already worked out that there is no `rightí and are happy bumbling along and doing your best. You can stop reading and go and pointlessly shuffle some toys from one room to another in the name of tidying. For those who are a bit slower on the uptake, I give you some tips on the five things you should probably avoid lest you are driven insane:


  • Do not Google ANYTHING: For every expert who instructs you to lock your child in their bedroom as soon as the clock strikes 6.30pm and to not return even if they scream until they vomit, there will be another who says you should co-sleep until they are 10. Last night my youngest suggested he had a pain in his leg Ė 3 hours later I had diagnosed him with leukaemia. Everyone has an opinion and they are all conflicting. Save yourself a world of pain and step away from the search engine.
  • Keep your lies simple: In the early seventies I am absolutely convinced that Santa was responsible for all items delivered so why should 2009 be any different? That was an error. Raised eyebrows from child free disgruntled relatives who donít get a thank you because the kids firmly believe that Santa got them that overpriced scooter anyone? And how do we return the roller skates that the silly man sent 4 sizes too small? I urge you to keep it simple. He brings the stockings. That is all. And similarly with the tooth fairy. How cute I thought it was to craft a little note from said fairy. But bloody Amberís mother didnít write her a note. Damn her. Cue endless questions about why the tooth fairy doesnít like Amber.
  • Breastfeeding? Quick, give them a bottle: I loved breastfeeding but it is quite a responsibility being the one in charge of keeping them alive. Now truth be told, I am not big on going out - pyjamas and Doc Martin on Catch Up are more my scene but I did have tickets to see Tiffany off the telly in My Fair Lady. I was quite looking forward to it. I had expressed and given Evie a bottle early on but then, to be honest, I just didnít bother. I was pretty sure she had mastered that whole bottle thing and expressing made me feel like an unattractive cow. Imagine my horror when she turned her tiny nose up at the bottle I proffered and screamed her lungs out. Alas, I had missed `the windowí. I missed Tiff and then there was no escape. The bottle was permanently rejected. If you donít want to be in sole charge, donít make my mistake. Regularly offer your milk in a bottle.
  • Lower your sleep expectations: At the first meet up of our antenatal group post baby, we were alarmed by one of our number going round the table demanding, wild eyed, to know whether our babies were sleeping through the night. Sleep deprived she most certainly was but it was clear that she was feeling that either her or the baby were failing. Babies are supposed to sleep through the night right? Wrong. They are not. My eldest did at twelve weeks but my youngest didnít manage it until he was nearly five. No one would say that it isnít hard but you have not failed and your baby is not playing you up. He just needs you. It may feel like an age when you are a sleep deprived zombie but trust me, it will pass. 
  • Buy five identical soft toys: You havenít known heartbreak until your child has lost the mangled filthy piece of cloth formally recognisable as a monkey. Monkey had several lucky escapes. We once found him perched in the broccoli at Morrisons. Another time a member of staff took pity on us and posted him back from the Sea Life Centre. Alas like the proverbial cat he ran out of lives and is no more. Save yourself. Buy five monkeys.
I trust the 5 things I have learnt in ten years will be of use to you. Go with your gut, know there is no such thing as perfect and try and enjoy every precious minute. Ten years will go by in the blink of an eye.



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