Hindsight is a wonderful thing. My life would have been a while lot more pleasant if I’d known…
1. Labour can be hellish, unpredictable, and affect you more than you think. Luckily, it’s all a flash and a blur afterwards, even if it went in for days.
2. It’s ok to want to go on and on about it afterwards, especially if you feel disappointed by it.
3. If you don’t love your baby right away, it’s ok. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
4. It’s perfectly acceptable to look fat and mumsy for at least three months after birth. Accept you will never look quite the same way again. Making a whole new person can take the edge off your vitality, at least for a while.
5. Babies don’t need much stuff. Toys will be redundant for about 3 months at least.
6. Don’t allow people to treat your house as a baby-viewing café. It is perfectly acceptable to say no visitors for two weeks. If people come, don’t feel bad about asking them not to come at the last minute, asking them to leave… etc. Yes, even grandparents. It doesn’t matter how much they spent on a gift.
7. Mummy friends are essential.
8. Non-mummy are essential. Don’t alienate them.
9. Try to breast feed. Even if you only manage a week, it’s a great start. Formula is magic stuff and I am so happy it exists.
10. You know your baby best. If you think something’s wrong, it probably is. If your mum is saying something’s wrong, but you think everything is good, you’re right.
11. Ignore all advice from people who had babies more than 5 years ago. Take the advice from people with under fives if you want to. If you don’t, smile and nod, and change the subject.
12. There are thousands of ways to bring up a baby. Only very few are wrong. Do it the way you want.
13. Don’t count down to your due date. If possible, don’t tell anyone your due date. 5% of babies arrive on time. If you go overdue, the 5000 “Have you had that baby yet?!” texts make you want to firebomb the senders’ houses.
14. All children walk, talk, sleep though the night, read, write blah blah blah at their own pace. No one likes a smug mum. Tell me once, I’ll be happy for you. Tell me five times, I might have to spill my coffee all over your cream carpet.
15. My baby is the most beautiful thing I’ve every seen, and the best thing I’ve ever done! But sometimes, I want to get away from her because she does my box in. See item ‘8’.
I’ve probably missed like 100 things out!