Dear Pre-Baby Self,
I know you have this image in your head of what being a mum is going to be like, what you are going to be like as a mum. You have images in your head of a happy and content baby, you still looking super glam and you are completing perfect little activities that you saw on Pinterest. I am taking this opportunity to tell you all that I know now 8 months into motherhood. It may change in a years time but, here is what I have learned so far.
Do not take a good night’s sleep for granted!
I can actually feel you rolling your eyes at me. I know, I know – every parent says this! It is so important, though. You will be happy to know that we have been very lucky with our baby, he is a very good sleeper but all it takes is a cold, a temperature or a tooth coming through for that to go out of the window! Enjoy sleep and a lie in while you can.
Bathroom time, enjoy it.
You fully take for granted the fact that you can go to the toilet whenever you want. You also fully take for granted the fact that you can shower or bathe whenever you want. Enjoy this pleasure because if that little person needs you, your toilet needs go out of the window. You will rejoice when that baby takes a nap so you can have 10 minutes to brush your teeth, hair and wash your face. Enjoy the bathroom freedom while you can!
Goodbye, makeup and hair routine; hello sunglasses, bare face, and mum-bun.
Haha. You know how you take about 2 hours to get ready? You still will but, this time is spent prepping bottles, packing nappies and trying to wrestle a baby who hates getting dressed into a coat. Your staple will be a bare face (which you will definitely hide with sunglasses!) and the messy mum-bun (which you cannot pull off, sorry).
Leaving the house.
Following on from that last one; enjoy leaving the house in 15 minutes. Enjoy saying the sentence “shall we just go …. ” on a whim because that does not happen anymore. Even going for a walk takes an action plan and at least an hour.
Your body will change.
Oh my days, stop worrying about your body so much. It is fine. Once you have a baby everything changes, and that’s ok. You will have a mum-pouch, you will have wider hips, and you will have stretch marks. Those things brought your little man into the world so don’t be so bloody hard on yourself!
The way you think will change.
You will stop worrying about the little things. You have got much bigger fish to fry e.g. keeping a tiny human alive. You will stop stressing about drama and bitchiness. You will realize that some people do not need to be in your life. You will just grow up in general.
Your relationship will change.
For the first couple of weeks will be complete bliss. You will be in your own little bubble, just the three of you. Then, your partner goes back to work, things go back to normal. I promise that you will still love and adore your partner with every part of you but you will need to take time out – just the two of you. This is so important. Even if it is just a meal together in the evening after the baby has gone to bed!
Your home will be messy.
Let’s not say messy, let’s say lived in. I saw a picture the other day which said: “you either have a child who is entertaining themselves or a tidy house; you cannot have both” – this is a true statement. Some days the baby will be so fussy and just want all of your attention that you do not get the chance to do anything else; that is ok! Do not stress that there is a load of whites that need doing or that there are dishes that need doing. He needs you more.
Thoughts on your own Mum.
Your relationship with your mum is going to change, positively. You will finally understand why she was so strict or why she handled certain things that you did. I fully believe that when you become a mum yourself, you need your own mum there beside you. You will need guidance and she will help you. You will finally fully appreciate her and all she has done for you.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
No, you are not going to be the perfect mum but who is? Sometimes you are going to feel as though you have failed. Sometimes you are just going to need a good cry. Do not worry about it – have your cry and move on. You’re very dramatic so it probably does not matter anyway, haha.
I see you over there googling. Stop bloody googling everything! In the early days, everything that you see your baby do or that happens involving your baby that has never happened before – you are going to take to google. I PROMISE YOU, everything is fine. You are fine. The baby is fine. Everything is fine. Just calm down!
DO NOT LISTEN TO EVERYONE ELSE.
Boy, do I wish someone had told me this. Every single Tom, Dick, and bloody Harry are going to try and give you parenting advice (whether or not the are parents themselves is apparently irrelevant here). Everyone will give you their tips and opinions on how you should handle situations or on how you should even bloody choose to partent. You need to just disregard this. Don’t get me wrong if it is a health professional – listen. If it is John from down the road – take everything with a pinch of salt, ok?
Trust Your Instincts.
If you feel like there is something wrong; call your health visitor (re-visit “stop panicking” just in case). If you feel like you want to make a certain parenting choice and that works best for you – do it that way. You know your child best and your mum instincts will tell you if something is right or wrong.
You Will Never Know Another Love Like it.
Again, I can feel you rolling your eyes. You will not get it until that little baby is here but, it is indescribable. The way that you can love something so much with every bit of your heart and soul – it is madness. I read somewhere that “being a mum is scary because it is allowing a piece of your heart to live outside of you” and never have truer words been spoken. We are so lucky to have our beautiful little man and he is so lucky to have us.
Your Post-Baby Self.