10 things nobody told me about being a mum (but I wish they did)
Some people take this whole motherhood lark like a duck to water and some take to it like a tiny baby deer slipping ungracefully on a pool of ice.
Personally, I was in the latter category - slip-sliding through the mass of responsibility, decisions, nappy sizes, stale milk smells from the sofa and emotions that came with the Package of Parenthood.
I am about to be five years in 'the job' and with each passing year, I am becoming more and more confident ad comfortable with myself in the role of 'Somebody's Mother'.
These are the 10 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Signed That Contract With The Universe:
1. That 'New Mum' Is A Term You Should Hang Onto
As soon as you have your gorgeous little baby in your arms and everyone has been around to visit, the fact that you just had this monumental life-changing moment happen to you is somewhat forgotten about fairly quickly. It is up to you to hang onto that 'new mum' title and feeling until your baby is at least a year old - why be in such a hurry to get back to 'normal'?
2. 'Normal' Is A Word That You Can Never Use Again Without Laughing
Being a parent IS now the new 'normal'. You might go through a week of teething and say 'Sure we'll get back to normal now when he's better'. And then you get two hours of relative quiet before he contracts a stomach bug and throw up on your nice new rug. Get ready to slot into their schedule..
3. Your Black Bin Is About To Get The Workout Of It's Life
Unless you are a total legend who has gotten on board with cloth nappies and inserts (unfortunately, I never had the time, patience nor commitment levels required), then you are in for a verrrrry nice surprise when it comes to dealing with nappies. Consider yourself a waste management professional from now on and get busy bagging them, hanging them on handles outside the back door until you can get to the bin and dragging the heaviest black bin you have ever handled out to the path on collection day. The joys.
4. You Will Laugh A LOT
Even on days that are kind of stressy or problematic for any reason, there is always a reason to laugh and smile during the day that will be caused by your kid. Once you realise how cute and funny they are, you will start to look for the character traits that give you so much joy and begin to nurture them. The best thing about it is that your smiles and giggles will be SO genuine and heartfelt that they will do you the world of good.
5. You Will Cry A LOT
At the beginning, I used to cry because my hormones were a mess. Then I started crying over areas of parenting that I thought I was failing at. Then I cried because I was so, so tired. These days, I cry because I am so in love with my kids that it completely overwhelms me to the point that I have to hug them, kiss their faces and just let it all out.
6. You're The Boss
A Mother's intuition cannot ever be underestimated. If you are concerned about the health or wellbeing of your child and you are looking for answers, keep asking until you find them. If you know your baby is tired and needs a nap, go somewhere quiet and let them have it. If you sense that they really need you to just sit and play or cuddle with them, drop everything and just do it. Don't ever ignore what you know in your heart.
7. Your Health Is Paramount
We get so caught up in looking after the baby and the baby's needs that we forget to look after ourselves sometimes. The truth of it is that you are no good to your kids if you are feeling under par. So pull in every resource you have to get that nap, go for that walk or meet that physio appointment. Not only do you deserve it but your kids deserve it too.
8. There Will Be Days...
There will most definitely be days and moments when you wonder what the heck is going on with your life - if you made the right decisions or if you should figure out a way to turn back time. Everyone has been there at some point or another and so rest assured that you are completely normal to feel that way and it will pass! Try to get back on track as soon as you can for the sake of your sanity.
9. Everyone Is The Same.. And Everyone Is Different
Most parents just want what everyone wants: a happy and healthy life for them and their kids and are happy to achieve that through love and nurture. Remember that basic truth and then you won't be too bothered over why some people have different parenting styles to yours. They're not better, they're just doing it in a different way. So long as you feel as though you are doing your very best, then you should believe in yourself!
10. There Is No Greater Love
I have had big loves in my life - I love my family and I've had awesome romantic loves along the way. But I can't compare the love I have for my kids with anything else. I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of happiness that they would bring me and I wouldn't change it for the world.
This article is sponsored by Bepanthen.
Click here to see what mums have to say about Bepanthen.