Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Mother 5



I am in such a reflective mood.  Maxi, my precious first born turns 13 in March. How on earth has that happened? I blinked and have a teenager. In all seriousness though it really seems like only yesterday when I was thrown in at the deep end of the parenting pool without a life raft or even armbands. I came to parenting pretty late and really had no idea what to expect and I had absolutely no idea how hard it would be.

 

WaterWipes asked me to write a letter to new Mums and Dads as part of ‘When a Baby is Born, a Parent is Born” campaign which takes an honest and authentic look at parenting.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Mother

Dear New Parent or Parent to Be,

Even now nearly 13 years later I remember those early days so well. Laying in the hospital bed I wondered what was wrong with me, there was no surge of love and no overwhelming feeling of protectiveness, just a feeling of sheer terror when looking at the long wanted and hard-won baby laid next to me.  I couldn’t understand how they were letting us take this little bundle home without any checks. Gosh, when we got our kittens the RSPCA had done a home visit but the hospital was just letting us take our baby home, the only check they did was that we had a car seat! It didn’t seem real.

I had gone from a career woman to a mum in the blink of an eye. Our NCT course left us wholly unprepared for the actuality of looking after a real baby. The plan was that I was going to be a real earth mother and breath my baby into this world. The reality was wholly different, after a difficult pregnancy I ended up with a crash c-section and I was so adamant that I would breastfeed that we hadn’t bothered with buying bottles or a steriliser which meant popping into John Lewis on the way home buying everything we needed with a screaming 3 days old baby.

Parenting laughed in my face, I was a perfectionist and a control freak and guess what, never the twain shall meet.

If only I had known:

  • That time truly flies and people were not exaggerating when they said: “they grow up so fast”.
  • That not everyone has an immediate “falling in love feeling”.
  • That there is “no one way to be the perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one”.
  • That life really does change when you look at that tiny bundle and suddenly realise you are responsible for another human being.
  • That one so small can create so much poo.
  • That irony is not lost on babies.
  • That boys’ WILL wee on you as soon as you remove their nappy.
  • That there is no such thing as too many cuddles.
  • That no matter what colour you dress your child in, people will always think they are of the opposite sex.
  • That second hand is not second best.
  • That having a c-section doesn’t make you any less of a Mum.
  • That it will take 30 minutes more than you allowed to get out of the house.
  • That babies heads smell amazing.
  • That guilt is the strongest emotion.
  • That sleep is for the weak.
  • That baby nails grow really fast and you can just bite your baby’s nails rather than use a nail cutter.
  • That colic does get better.
  • That cold tea is all I would drink for months and to invest in a thermos cup.
  • That it is OK to get angry.
  • That it is natural to live in constant fear of something bad happening to your child.
  • Daytime naps for Mummy as well as baby are totally acceptable.
  • That the odd jar of baby food will not harm your child.
  • That the cleaning can wait.
  • That it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
  • That comparison if the thief of joy.
  • That confidence comes with experience.
  • That I would be a better parent for having some me time.
  • That being a parent is the hardest, but the most rewarding job in the world.
  •  

    For me, parenting was and still is filled with amazing highs and scary lows. there seems to be no happy medium.  My mantra is this too shall pass or it is just a phase. Find your tribe or your village whether that be online or in real life or perhaps a mixture of both and know that they will be there for you.

    Parenting is the most amazing and rewarding journey that you will ever take.  Children are marvellous, resilient and frustrating (often all at the same time) and you are the best parent for your child.

    Yours Faithfully

    Jen

    The thing is I am not alone in finding parenting a challenge with research from WaterWipes showing that nearly half of new mums admitting that it can be a struggle.

    WaterWipes contain 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract – a gentle skin conditioner. They are suitable from birth, safe for sensitive skin and the baby wipe to be approved by Allergy UK.  In fact, 97% of midwives agree that WaterWipes are suitable for use on the skin of newborn babies. Why not follow them on Facebook or on twitter.  I wish that WaterWipes had been around when boys’ were little, instead, I was THAT mum that carried around pre-boiled water in a Tupperware dish and cottonwool.  What a pallava that was!

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