Becoming a Mum can be overwhelming, scary, traumatic and so much more. I wanted to shed some light into best ways of getting into the Mum groove that I found to be either really helpful at the time for me, or thinking back would have been great advice I would have happily taken. Because let’s face it, we can’t get everything right the first time can we…
Don’t worry about keeping the house tidy.
I think women put too much pressure on themselves to keep the house clean, just because they are off work with a newborn. The newborn stage goes far quicker than you will ever imagine and you will never get the time back, so make the most of it. That washing load can wait until tomorrow, as long as you have enough vests and sleepsuits to tide you over until then! Haven’t made the bed yet? Don’t worry about it, in fact, jump back in and have a snuggle with your baby! If of course you are super tidy anyway and cannot standing being around mess, this probably won’t apply to you. But ultimately cleaning can wait, this time is for you and your baby to spend together, just enjoy it.
Try and make a Mum friend.
I know some people find it really difficult getting out there and making friends. Before having O, I never made an effort to be social apart from with friends and work colleagues. But having O made me a friendlier more outgoing person. I heard about Peanut and MUSH, the apps to connect with other Mum’s in your local area and although some first conversations were a little weird and did not go anywhere, I met friends who I now call my best friends and I couldn’t live without them! There really is nothing better than having people around you who are going through exactly the same as you. You can share in each other’s worry, confusion, sleep deprivation, joy and happiness. Something you cannot get from a Husband, Mother or Sibling.
Don’t compare your baby to another.
You may have met Mums through antenatal classes before giving birth, or at play groups or baby classes. It is so easy, in fact you sometimes don’t even notice you are doing it, but comparing your child to another is very easily done and can make you feel really shit about yourself and question the way you parent. If you find yourself worrying that your baby hasn’t quite got the hang of something that another baby can do perfectly, it really doesn’t matter and the sooner you realise that the better. Babies develop at different speeds and will do things in their own time. It seemed like sometimes the more I tried to make O do stuff other babies could do, the more he would resist doing it, like he was teaching me a lesson! It’s not a competition or a race, so take each moment as it comes.
No phase is permanent.
This is the most important one for me and it still stands now with an almost 3 year old. From birth, there are so many different phases in a child’s life. Some of them are easy to cope with and are over shortly after beginning. Others hit you like a ton of bricks, turning your world upside down for what seems like forever. BUT they do end, I promise! We used The Wonder Weeks app, which logs your babies leaps and gives you a heads up of what is to come and it was spot on every time for us. It also uses weather icons (see below) to show you what you’re in for on a day by day basis! I highly recommend using it with a newborn.
Leave the house and go for lots of walks.
When my husband went back to work, I told myself that every day I would go somewhere, even if it was round the block, or to the local shop. I was so nervous about leaving the house on my own with O, I was terrified of not being able to get the buggy on and off the bus by myself and I worried about forgetting something really important. But I figured the best way to get over all of those feelings was to just face them and the more I did it, the more confident I grew in myself as a new Mum. I was proud of myself and I absolutely loved getting fresh air every day and just enjoying the early days of being free. Now I think about it, it was the easiest time and I should have made the most of going shopping and eating out more, even if it was by self, because once they start walking that’s the end of that! Your time isn’t free for long, so make the most of it.
Looking back, what do you think helped you to get into the Mum groove most when first becoming a parent?
Love Sophie, MMC x