I must admit, this blog has taken a HUGE back burner over the past few months. It has genuinely been the best time of my life, but it’s bloody mental how such a small person can consume so much of your time!
As a first time mum there are so many things you need to know, and like any other mother, I’m learning on the job. However, there are some things I’d have liked to be warned about prior to giving birth! With this, I’ve created a list of things (big and small) I’ve learnt about in the first four months of becoming a mother.
- Fancy a spontaneous day out? Think again!
Remember the days when you and your partner would decide in the morning that you’d like to go for a day out and within the next hour you’d be out the door? Those were the days. PSA: this is impossible with a baby, and if you’re able to do this, please give me tips! Our days out now involve packing Meilir’s changing bag the night before, making sure we have more than enough nappies, muslins and spare clothes just in case he decides to have a dreaded poo explosion! Not to mention two extra dummies because, GOD FORBID we leave the house without a dummy (been there, done that. The most stressful hour and a half of my life!!).
If you formula feed your baby like I do, it’s essential to ensure that you have enough bottles for the baby and warm water to fill the bottles. It’s important to mention that thermal flasks aren’t the be all and end all due to cafes and restaurants providing hot water of course, but it’s always handy to have water in the bag ESPECIALLY if you have children like Meilir that turns hangry out of nowhere!
The day of, what have you got to do? Wake up, breakfast, shower and make yourself look nice all ready for a lovely day. Add a baby to the mix? You need to clothe the baby which is very likely you’ll have to change their nappy three times before leaving the bloody house, pack the pram in the car (remembering to pack the rain cover and the sun shade, because, well.. Welsh weather), ensure you have enough toys for the little one, and triple check the changing bag. What time is it? 10AM. Oh shit. Feeding time. Half an hour later (and probably a quick change because 99% of the time he’s thrown up all over himself) we’re FINALLY out of the door. Hallelujah!
- You can never have too many muslin cloths!
I remember thinking “eight muslin cloths will be more than enough.” Oh how wrong I was. I’m lucky if eight muslins will last me two days with how much Meilir throws up! I knew that babies threw up, but bloody hell they’re spewing machines! Almost every room in our house now includes a muslin just in case Mei decides to have a projectile! So, my tip for you is: however many muslins you think are enough – buy double!
- Eau de Spew!
As we’re on the topic of throwing up (lovely), it’s important to note that your perfume will change from being Gucci or Chanel to a new scent called vomit. You’ll be finding yourself picking vomit-stinking clothes out of the drawer and deciding to wear them as you know that your little one will be sick all over you once again. I’m finding myself wearing the same two tops each day because it doesn’t matter what I do, Meilir will find a way to spew all over his mama. I’ve passed the point of caring about any mark on my shirts and I’ve now succumbed to walking around shops with white vomit stains running down and smelling of sour milk. I guess it is in the title – The Not so Glam Mam!
- THE EXHAUSTION
Before having Meilir, I remember complaining to the girls at work about how tired I felt and seeing an envious look in the mums’ eyes. I’d just like to formally apologise to each mother who had to hear a childless woman complain that she was tired because she hadn’t got her usual nine hours of slumber that night. The exhaustion after having a child is a COMPLETELY new level of tiredness. Before having a baby there was always an ability to press the snooze button on the alarm each morning before getting up for work. Well I’m now nearly five months into motherhood and I still can’t find the bloody snooze button on my son! Regardless of how sweet it is being woken up by Meilir jabbering to himself in the cot, there’s still a piece of me that cries inside hearing his voice first thing in the morning!!
Wake up, feed the King, a STRONG cup of coffee for mam and we’re ready for the day… until it gets to 4pm and I hit a wall. Is it bedtime yet?
It’s not just the lack of sleep that tires you, it’s also having to be your child’s CONSTANT entertainment. Meilir has a million and one toys and what’s the thing that keeps him quiet for the longest time? Mam singing nursery rhymes. Bloody typical!
And as being parents takes over 90% of your day, it’s important to spend time as a couple. Myself and my partner’s quality time starts at around 7:30pm after putting Mei down for the night. Although our bed’s shouting our names, we try to sit down with each other and go to bed a few hours later. Obviously, this decision bites me in the ass each morning when Meilir is ready to start the day at silly o’clock!
Oh! And, to all the people saying “make sure you sleep enough before the baby arrives” or “make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps” – in the nicest way possible, piss off. Remember to sleep when the baby sleeps? I’d love to Karen, but unfortunately, I have a house to look after. Cleaning to do, wash and sterilise the bottles ready for the next feeds, laundry, not to mention feeding myself! The list is truly endless.
- You pray for a full night’s sleep until it happens
I remember for the first eight weeks of Meilir’s life, I used to dream of the first uninterrupted full night’s sleep. But that night was not fun whatsoever. From waking up two to three times a night, Meilir slept straight through when he was nine weeks old. I remember waking up at around 4AM sick to my stomach having not heard my son for hours. I’m not making a fuss when I say that my heart fell to my ass and in an utter panic, I leapt out of the bed and did the first thing that popped into my head which was shake his leg to see if he was ok! Clearly Meilir was just enjoying his sleep but I’m warning any mother who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep yet – it is not a nice experience! Meilir is now 20 weeks old, and I still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night to make sure he’s alright. Can any mother please tell me when we stop worrying excessively about our children? Because it’s only been four and a half months and he’s already knocked about 10 years of my life with the stress!
- Being a mother is hard
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the first months of Meilir’s life, it’s that being a mother is HARD WORK. There aren’t enough books or classes in the world to prepare you for motherhood. You’ll find yourself questioning every little thing. Is he warm enough? Is he too hot? Has he had enough food today? Is he content? Do I need to do more with him? Is he developing as he should be? Am I pushing him too much for his age? The list goes on. The mum guilt kicks in daily on so many different things. I’ve currently got mum guilt whilst I’m writing this post as he’s playing with his toys and I feel I should be playing with him!
Whenever I find myself questioning my decisions, I always try to repeat to myself “I’m his mother, nobody knows my son as well as I do.” TRUST YOURSELF. A mother’s instinct is such a unique thing and you’re correct 99% of the time.
- Phantom screams
Why didn’t anybody warn me about these?! I can’t even take a five-minute shower without hearing excruciating cries, having to rush whilst washing, jump out of the shower to make sure that Mei is ok, just to find him happily playing with his toys or sleeping soundly without making a peep. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the scream you hear is such a clear and realistic noise! Because of this, my hair washes are now reduced to weekends only when Danny’s home! Thank god for dry shampoo!
- Time really does fly by
It feels just like yesterday we were bringing Meilir home for the first time, putting him in his moses basket so carefully by worrying about the first night at home with a newborn. It’s as if I’ve blinked and he’s nearing five months old. I’m grateful for every single second I have with my little boy, despite the screaming crying, the dirty nappies and the hair pulling! It’s as if each milestone is being ticked off daily, like the first smile, sitting up for the first time and the first little giggle. Although I pray for easy days at times, there’s nothing as special as seeing your child develop into their own little person and seeing their personality shine brighter each day.
- The love is indescribable
From the first second you see your baby, you feel a love so impossible to explain. A parent’s love towards their child is something so unique. You look at your child and think “how is it possible to love something as much as I love you?” It’s almost impossible, but the love for your child grows every single day. You feel prouder with every milestone and your heart hurts with overwhelming love! I constantly ask myself how I ended up lucky enough to have such a perfect son. I must have done something right.
- Nap time feeling like it flew by?
It probably hasn’t, it’s just that you haven’t done anything productive apart from stare at your child on the monitor. Well, this is what I do anyway! Nap time is usually the time to sort your chores, but instead of doing these, I stare at my darling son snoring away on the monitor, or I’m looking through his pictures and missing him although he’s only been sleeping for 15 minutes! Pathetic, aren’t I?
Being a mother is hands down the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life, but hand on my heart, there is no job that is half as rewarding than it. It’s the best job and I can’t wait to see how the next months and years are going to be. If no one has told you today, you’re doing an amazing job!