10 things I wish someone had told me before having kids
Before my son was born, I read as many parenting books as I could and attended three parenting seminars, as well as a first aid course for babies and children. Somehow this made me feel better equipped as a new parent. After all, I had never changed a nappy or fed a baby.
At the parenting seminars the midwives showed us a few videos in which mothers placed their beautiful sleeping babies in the cot. Then, these mothers, beacons of perfection, would sit, hot tea in hand, to read a magazine. The midwives told us that mums have to “sleep when baby sleeps”, and “take it easy” between feeding sessions.
And I believed them.
So when my son and I came back home and I couldn’t place him in his cot because he thought my breasts where a dummy; or when I couldn’t sleep when he was sleeping because I needed to make sure he was breathing. I felt… well… like a failure.
The truth is that no book or midwife truly prepared me or told me what motherhood was going to be like—and I wish someone had warned me about these things:
1.You won’t shower every single day.
And dry shampoo will become your new best friend. When you finally manage to squeeze a 2-minute shower in your routine you’ll feel human again.
2.Hot tea or coffee will feel like a privilege
Babies come equipped with a very fine sensor that lets them know when a hot beverage has been made—they will wake up from their nap every time you are about to take a sip from your long-desired coffee.
3.You’ll finally understand what exhaustion really means
Staying up all night to study or finish a work presentation don’t drain your energy the way a baby does. See, when you have kids, you’re not only up all day tending to their needs, you are constantly scanning every environment and situation to make sure they are safe.
4.For a few months you’ll be a horrible friend
You’ll forget birthdays and wedding anniversaries; you won’t stop talking about your baby; you’ll always be fashionably late, and chances are you’ll stand someone up. Don’t worry, the first year of motherhood is a period of adaptation. Your true friends and relatives will understand.
5.You’ll cry at least once a week
Because you will be so in love with your child that you’ll cry when they smile, crawl or walk. Sometimes, when they are sleeping, you’ll cry too because you can’t believe they exist.
6. Forget about traditional romantic dates
It’ll be hard to spend time with your significant other. In fact, you might need a few months to be ready to leave bub with someone else. Roll with it, it’s temporary. And you and your partner will laugh about it when you are older. Your first post-baby date will be unforgettable.
7. You’ll finally learn how to say ‘No’
Hard as it may sound, you will need to say ‘no’ to your child often. Mean it. You are doing them a favour.
8. You’ll question everything you do
And that’s okay because it means that you are trying your best every day. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.
9. Feeling guilty is the new normal
They wanted chicken, you gave them beef. You planned to take them to the park and they fell asleep on the way there. You let them cry for five minutes—although you felt they cried for 24 hours—because you needed to get a glass of water. Don’t feel bad, try to enjoy the serendipity of everyday life as a mum.
10.You’ll learn to ask for help
We need a village to raise our children. Give yourself permission and ask for help. Sometimes you just need one hour to have a long shower. Sometimes you just need a hand to fold the clothes. And we are here to help.
The Mum Source will be launching the end of November – www.themumsource.com.au
Welcome to The Mum Source –
Im Beck a country girl, stuck in the big smoke, with my wonderful husband and 2 children aged 8 & 10.
When growing up in a small country town – if you needed a cup of sugar, a child looked after, a helping hand, there would always be a friend or neighbour available to help. Its not like that anymore 🙁 and especially in the big smoke. Melbourne for me has been an experience – great now, lonely to start with, moving to Melbourne and 7 months pregnant – its hard to go out and start new friendships and get help.
I have created The Mum source for you, The mum, the mum that doesn’t have her tribe close by, when things get tough or when the kids have just destroyed the house or when your just needing someone else to do the house work for you!
The Mum Source is made up of wonderful providers that are willing and able to help get those chores done for you. The website will work by entering your address or suburb and locating providers near by. You can even book them with 24hrs notice.
We will be officially launching the website by the end of November/early December– but in the mean time we will be popping up great blogs and posts through the website and facebook to keep you informed and updated.