I co-organised a baby shower last weekend for a family member (i love a baby shower!) and I must admit feeling a little envious of that pre-baby innocence. When you’re excited, nervous and you have no idea what lies ahead! It led me to wonder what I could tell myself about Motherhood if I could go back to that wonderful stage. Would I run for the hills?! Or would I tell myself to slow down and savour every single second – or a bit of both?! I always feel an overwhelming urge to share snippets of information (do you know THIS really happens?!) when I chat to a first time pregnant lady, whilst knowing that every Mom To Be has to learn their own way and make their own mistakes.
We have an ongoing joke in our house. When Finley does something crazy we whisper to each other ‘they never told us about this bit in NCT!’
However, if I could go back in time, here’s 6 things I would say to my pregnant self –
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
I did NCT and a short course at the hospital that covered breastfeeding and I still had absolutely no idea what I was doing when Finley arrived. I had no idea about the golden hour after birth, no clue on cluster feeding or latch (I honestly thought feeds would last 20 minutes and would be every few hours!) and I remember freaking out slightly when after I had had him, someone tried to explain pumping and storing milk to me. In my post birth – shattered haze it just seemed like such hard work. And it really really hurts. Really really hurts. Agony. This apparently is normal when you first start!
I think if someone would have been honest with me about all of these things, I think I may have been more successful!
But the moto fed is best is so true! You just do what is best at the time for you both! Finley was formula fed and he is perfect, happy and healthy!
It’s ok to be human
You will make mistakes. You will make tonnes of mistakes. I dropped a shampoo bottle on a newborn Finley’s head a few days after he came home. He cried. He survived.
Some days you will adore your child and want to soak up every inch of them. Some days you will just want to be by yourself curled up on the sofa with a boxset.
Even though some days you will feel like superwoman, some days you won’t.
It’s ok to feel like this. You are human!
You won’t be the Mother you thought you would be
I thought I’d be pretty firm, conventional, perfect (whatever that is!) but when Finley arrived, I was a bit more ‘hippy’ than I had envisaged! We started bed sharing, I really got into attachment parenting and it’s principles and I think if I did have another I would probably go ‘a bit more hippy!’ and do things like babywearing and give breastfeeding another shot. Having said that, you do things that, before Motherhood, you would probably judge ever so slightly. At the moment I’m in bribe mode. ‘Finley if you get dressed we can get a nice snack afterwards!’ ‘If you keep your pants dry this week we will see if we can get a nice treat at the weekend!’ You groan internally at yourself, but when you are trying to get out the door to get to nursery and work, believe me, you’ll try anything!
You don’t care anymore
Becoming a Mommy changes you. Everything in your life now becomes secondary to this tiny human you have created. Any anxiety you have about yourself, your abilities, your looks, fade in to the background. All your anxieties however, are now transferred on to your child! Are they sick? Are they safe? Are they normal? Are you doing your best for them? The list goes on….!
Your marriage becomes unrecognisable
The days of lazing in bed at the weekends, of impromtu cinema and pub trips are gone. Instead you watch your husband making up silly songs, have debates about best practice parenting styles and play tag team for night feeds and early get up’s. Date nights are filled with conversation about what your child did that day.
But it’s just simply amazing. If you think marriage is fun pre baby, wait until you’re parents! The bond is just indescribable. Lying in bed, swapping stories about your crazy toddler is the best feeling in the world. Seeing your Husband or Partner being a Daddy makes you melt.
You will look at your baby and feel such love for them you feel like your heart might swell right out of your chest. You would literally lay down your life for them a million times over.
What would you tell yourself if you could go back to your pregnant self?