I hope you’re doing well.
Becoming a mum is terrifying! I’ve worried about all of the following, but the main thing has been my career. Fortunately, the company I work for are so supportive and I can still do my University work so nothing is lost. Although, I really panicked that my career would be out of the window as soon as I had the baby. I was wrong. I’m hoping this post will help other mums not worry too much (and if you do, it’s NORMAL!).
1. Your weight.
You’ve been through the most physically, emotionally and mentally traumatic experience. You pushed out a baby! You’re still getting your head around what you’re exactly supposed to be doing with the little tike. The last thing on your mind should be snapping right back into your pre-pregnancy body, and to be honest, it may not happen! Although, your body will slowly shrink as you’re doing everything not only for yourself, but a demanding baby too. I make sure that I walk more. I don’t drive so the other option are buses, trains and taxis. I do have to get a train every so often, but I live a 30 minute walk from the town centre, so I make sure I do it, and I try to crack a quicker time every walk. It’s a challenge and it’s also exercise.
2. Getting it right.
There is no such thing as perfection. There is always room for improvement in everything, and there is definitely always room to learn. The thing is, you will find out what works best for you and your little one, but it will take time, and many trials. Babies are easier than most people like to think. They are literally just feeding, sleeping, pooping machines. As long as they’re fed, warm and getting enough cuddles and sleep, then they’re happy. Don’t let books or (sometimes) midwives, tell you what you should be doing. The thing is with professionals, is that they go too much by the book, and this causes so much controversy. The best thing to do is to ask your Grandmother, or if you’re unable to, ask your mother or other older mums. They honestly know best, and you will then too! You’re doing an amazing job regardless.
3. The state of the house.
It doesn’t matter. Obviously you shouldn’t let it get unbearably untidy, or unclean, but when you look back on the first few weeks, you won’t remember the huge pile of washing, or the dust on the side. You’ll remember the precious time you spent with your little bundle of joy. I really struggled with cleaning my house, mainly because when Harlow slept at the beginning, I didn’t want to wake her (she’d usually fall asleep in her bouncer), so my house became a little bit untidy. I now have got Harlow into a napping routine, and she’ll nap from 30 minutes – 2 hours at a time. I got myself into a rut of procrastinating instead of cleaning, which just made me feel like poop. Now, I clean and organise whenever I get the chance. Although, I really didn’t care at the beginning.
It’s hard not to research milestones. BUT, it’s a bad habit to fall into. You see that baby’s are supposed to be smiling by 6 weeks. Wrong. Don’t get yourself worked up if it’s the 6th week and your baby is still only raising her mouth at passing wind. Harlow is 9 weeks and still trying to perfect her smile. Every baby is different. Just because your baby isn’t babbling by 8 weeks, doesn’t mean they’re broken. Just let them do things in their own time. Encouragement from a young age is definitely key. Don’t let yourself feeling worried or disheartened. It’s all okay and your little one is fine! All milestones are a guideline; none of them are set in stone! Some crawl, some roll, sine walk at nine months and some don’t walk until 18 months. Don’t panic!
5. Your baby’s weight
I know someone who was worried that their baby was ‘too big’. They literally got themselves into such a panic that when the baby was crying for food, she almost persuaded herself that it wasn’t hunger and it was something else. Weight is a great way to tell that your baby is healthy and doing well. But I wouldn’t panic if your baby is on the small or larger side. I’m sure your baby will be just as lovely and happy. Babies are no different to us adults; we all come in different shapes and sizes!
6. What other people think
It can be so easy to think that everyone is judging you. Try and get yourself to not worry too much about it. It’s almost human instinct to think that everyone is thinking the worst of us. You’re the baby’s parent, and you know best. If you’ve decided that if baby cried when you’re out, you leave them for 5 minutes before comforting them, then so be it. You know best and everyone has their own methods and way of coping and dealing with different scenarios.
7. Unsolicited advice
Baby’s create opinions. Everyone thinks they know best about babies and everyone thinks their helping. To be honest, there is nothing worse than a mum listening to someone’s patronising, inappropriate, outdated and confusing. You know your baby best. Just nod, smile and say “lovely!”, then change the subject. Don’t let what anyone thinks or say change the way in which you care for your little one or make you think you’re doing something wrong.
8. Having piles of cute baby clothes
So many people say “you’ll need as many clothes as you can get”. Yes, it’s nice to have a full wardrobe, but it’s unnecessary. Okay, so you probably know that baby poops, wees or is sick on their outfits. You should only have the amount you need instead of an endless choice of clothes that could possibly stress you out trying to match up every morning.
9. Going back to work
I really struggled with this aspect. I’ve never been out of work for as long as I am on maternity. It took me at least 2 months to realise that it’s actually okay, and I can take as much time off as my maternity allows. I don’t have to stress myself out with thinking that I have to get childcare in as soon as possible and rush back to work. The truth is, you shouldn’t really stress yourself out with thinking of work. Allow yourself time to get to know your baby and learning the ways they work. It’s okay to have time off work until you feel you’re ready to go back! You may even think that you want to be a stay at home mum until your baby is at nursery age, and that’s okay too!
I hope you’re well.