Becoming a parent for the first time is one of the most amazing things ever, it’s also one of the most overwhelming things ever too! The amount of advice, tips and horror stories, whether wanted or not, you get chucked at you, gets ridiculous. Do this, don’t do that, use this, this is the best thing you’ll ever need, yada yada yada…
The truth is, and this one is a real shocker, every, baby, is, different. And so is every parent. Everything from the get go completely differs from one person to the next. Even just within my circle of friends, ten babies have come into this world, not one pregnancy, labour or child has been the same as another and a lot of them are siblings! So, take all these “contributions” with a pinch of salt.
I am, however, going to throw my two pence into the mix, as my very good friend Matthew F Knouff tells me I can never resist an opportunity, and give you some more realistic advice on some of the best things I have come to know and love since spawning my three cherubs.
- Take the help. Friends, family and neighbours will want to visit you, well more so the new arrival, and while they’re there will offer to help with various things. Accept these offerings! We are all Wonderwoman, I know this, but, in reality, you cannot do it all. If someone is offering to run the hoover over, make your dinner, or anything, there is zero shame in accepting this. You do not get a medal for trying to do it all days after giving birth. Especially if there’s other children involved and there are offers of babysitting.
- You don’t have to take the professionals advice as gospel. I know that sort of worries you but, Helen the health visitor does not always know best. I’ve been known to receive conflicting advice all within the same thirty-minute visit. This being said, I am not saying completely ignore their advice, just to maybe ask some other mummy friends or a mummy online group too, just for arguments sake.
- A controversial one, but, a fedbaby, is a happy baby. However you choose to do so. There seems to be so much pressure for mums to breastfeed these days that it can send you into a panic and downward spiral of not feeling good enough if, for whatever reason you can’t, or don’t choose to, breastfeed. There is nothing wrong with formula!
- Do what you need to do, to survive. I’ve used this phrase to quite a few new mums I know, especially when it’s their first baby. You constantly worry whether you’re doing things right, this never goes away by the way. But, ultimately, I say do whatever, within reason, works best for you and your own. Everyone will have an opinion so simply smile and nod. Co-sleep if it works best, use controlled crying if you think you need to or it’s working, breast, bottle, pacifier, no pacifier, baby wear, pushchair.
Your baby, your choice. End of. Now go enjoy your bundle.