Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Cherish Every Moment? No. My Advice For Brand New Parents

I was asked last week what advice, if any, I would give to brand new parents. I couldn’t help but think back to myself as a new mum. It made me feel a bit sad.

The New Mum Me was a bundle of self-doubt.
She wasn’t doing anything right. She wasn’t cut out for it. Her baby deserved better. She was failing. The New Mum Me once stood in the shower with her fingers in her ears, crying, trying to drown out the sound of the nursery rhyme CD which in turn was drowning out the sound of the screaming baby she could not settle. When her husband returned home she could only recall the 5 minute neglectful shower (she was sure this had emotionally scarred their baby for life) and not the 9.5 other hours she had attentively fed him ‘on demand,’ cuddled him and whispered to him that he was the most perfect thing she had ever seen. 
Very first pic as a mum. Terrible quality I'm afraid, I wasn't blogging then ;-)
So, with the magical wisdom of hindsight now bestowed upon me, I think I would tell brand new parents the following:

You are not obligated to cherish every moment.
It’s true that you will ‘never get this time again.’ It’s true that it will all ‘be over in a flash.’ It’s true that one day you will wake up and wonder where the time has gone, why you wished the days away, how it is possible that your baby will soon be heading out into the Big Wide World (reception). At 2am, however, when you’re not sure if the wet patch in the bed is leaked breast milk or leaked baby excrement, it is also true that you will quite justifiably wonder what the actual fuck has happened to your life.

Nobody cherishes every moment. Some moments are magic. Others are shit. On a sleep-deprived/‘cluster feeding’/nothing-stops-the-crying type day it is quite possible that the moment ratio will end up at 80:20 in favour of shit. Social media will never reflect this shitstorm because social media is not real life.

There is no shame in asking for help.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Quite the contrary, it is a sign of strength. To be struggling and to admit that you are struggling demonstrates a kick-ass determination and fierceness in your ability to look after your baby. 

There is also no shame in putting your own needs above the needs of domestic chores. Of course we all know that the liberally-offered ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ nugget of wisdom is a bit of a joke (are you going to hoover when the baby hoovers, too?) but sometimes sleep is the most productive thing you can do with thirty minutes. Do not feel guilty about sleeping. If and when you have subsequent children you will kick yourself for not maximising naptimes the first time around (as you find yourself at the beck and call of a toddler who wants you to watch his Ninja Turtle kick for the gazillionth time).

Have faith when people tell you that one day it will all be worth it.
You might want to smack them in the face. But they are right. The New Mum Me who broke down in the shower couldn't see it. She was yet to feel her heart jump at the sound of her baby's giggle. She was yet to feel the overwhelming pride of watching him have a go at writing his name before looking up at her as if to say, 'I did it, Mummy!' 

If you're reading this as a brand new parent, I want you to know that there are magical moments to come. And some shit ones, too, which you are absolutely not required to cherish.

That's what I wish I had known.

The Unmumsy Mum





85 comments:

  1. Love this. Motherhood first time around for me was so tough. But today that once very grumpy baby, dressed himself. Can't believe how proud it makes me, soppy mum moment!

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  2. I'm reading this feeding my beautiful 10 week old son and it couldn't have come at a better time! Because although I think he's the most beautiful perfect thing I've ever seen the monotony of it does get to me! Coupled with the exhaustion, it's bloody hard!And nobody tells you it will be! So thank you for this!

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    1. Hang in there - as soon as you mention how hard it is to people, their truths will come pouring out. Xxx

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    2. My NCT lot has a WhatsApp group; for the first few months it was all cute pictures and arrangements to meet for coffee. Then one evening i plucked up the courage to ask "am i the only one finding this really hard? ". The out pouring of honest relief was palpable, even over the screen. No matter how fiercely we love our kids, or how rose-tinted the hindsight, at some point we've all been the same hot mess - most of us still are!
      Xxx

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    3. I tell new parents just to get through it those first weeks are not magical for lots of people they are shit and it does make you feel like a failure for even thinking it. You will come out the other side and things will get less shut lol most of the time , then you will even think about doing it all again xx

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    4. Ain't that the truth!we all struggle some are just braver and are able to admit it.

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    5. The whole baby mess will be over when the baby turns 3 unless he/she has the tantrums episodes then that will go till they turn 5. But the one thing I know for sure is that you cry now in the shower so you don't hear them cry, later on you will still cry in the shower so they don't hear you crying

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  3. Great advise as I await the arrival of Number 2 (baby, not a poo), thank you for the honesty. In the hard times, keep focusing on the bigger picture.. I will do my best.

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  4. So true. We are supposed to be grateful we are 'so lucky' we aren't at work, and that we are with them 'all the time'. All. The. Time. It's hard and you go a bit mad. But then they do something wonderful, or you have a whoosh of superoestrolove and it brings you round again. Bloody kids

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  5. "Hoover when the baby Hoovers"!! ������ I did cry when my baby cried more often than I'd like to have done!

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  6. Your blog has made me feel NORMAL! For all those times I cried in the shower, the times I doubted myself as a mum and all those times I wanted a puppy instead!? I now know I am not the only one!? I used to cringe when facebook pics come up of the quotes "having kids was the best day of my life" I used to sit there and cry my eyes out thinking why dont I feel like that!? The next person that said to me it gets better I promise i wanted to kill!? WHEN I found myself screaming in my head WHEN!?! I needed a time and date of this occasion so I knew when I feel that little bit more normal!? Your blog is so beautifully honest with all the ups, downs and inbetweens if only women were a lot more honest with each other and not so quick to judge! The looks I get from people when I say I hated the first 6 weeks of my babies life but I cant keep telling people it was amazing the best thing I had ever done! I wont lie to people like they did me and make anyone think that just because you have had a baby doesnt mean you are a natural mother and over moon exstatic with being at the beck and call of a scream machine!! Saying that the moment you get a smile of recognition is the best feeling ever!? X
    Please keep writing in your hilarious honest manner I dont think you realise how many women you are saving from their own thoughts! Xxx

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    1. I always tell pregnant friends that the first 6 weeks were awful and other people look at me as if to say 'why are you saying that to her?' but nobody told me how hard it was and I thought I was a failure for hating it so much! I wish I had known that it was the same for so many others!

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    2. Wish you'd had a puppy instead! Haha that made me chuckle. I have a 3 and a half month old son but I remember when we first brought him home I was under some kind of illusion that I would be able to 'train' my baby just as I did with my dog!!!

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    3. Very well put comments and all so true. Thank you

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    4. "Should have got a cat..." was a phrase uttered pretty much every day for the first six months of our son's life. Even now he's two and considerably more of a joy (bar the tantrums), the cat still makes a fairly regular appearance.

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  7. I really struggled when we my daughter was born, it felt liked both cried all the time for the first few weeks / months.neith the second baby I found things so much easier, for starters I didn't have SPD and the baby didn't have colic and actually slept! I was the first one of my friends to have babies and I'm honest with my friends when they have their babies, that you just don't know what you are going to get. And some days are so lonely and shit..,,, however my little baby has grown into my beautiful big girl, although she is also turning into a tween! Some days as parents we need to think yay that's another day I survived and didn't break the kids xx

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    1. This is my mantra every evening...yay I survived another day!

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  8. Right on the money. I'm awaiting baby 2 any day now and actually told my husband today that we need to just forget all the new baby crap that is inevitably coming our way and think ahead to when this baby will be as amazing and loving as her now 2 year old sister. Can't wait. Bring it! xxx

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  9. I'm mum to an almost 5 yr old (sob) but I still loved this, very relatable and perfect advice for new parents

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  10. Thank you! Love my little froglet so much but really appreciate the honesty of this blog!

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  11. I would add: get proper breast feeding advice and don't believe the nonsense that every women can. Lots can't. And most important of all: be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. And just accept that you, your baby and your partner are all that matter. And If you have a crying baby get in touch. Some babies cry all say and all night. And some don't. And if you luck out first time with an all day all night baby them these are the rules. It's not you: it's the baby. Get up and get dressed what partner is there. Get out of the house early. LHi gor a walk somewhere green. Get a treat in whilst you're out - an ice cream/ coffee / hot choc. Anything!! Try and do something fun with your bub for a few mins every day - bath / singing / rhyming. Get a network of mum mates - rhyme time /NCT whatever. But you will see everyone else is going through the same shit. Be a sleep monster - go to bed at 8pm. Hoovering can wait. Turn down the lights - it's harder to see the dust. Xx

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  12. Thank you, reading this as I literally have my fingers crossed my 3 month old daughter can settle herself this time....with my son I took all that 'cherish every moment' to heart too much and ended up tying myself in knots with what we were meant to be doing. Sometimes life has to happen first. Thank you x

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  13. Sitting here feeding my 3 week old wondering if it's meant to be this hard and why am I not enjoying her in these precious moments so this is perfect. Thank you, feel like I can do this mum thing now. X

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  14. I'm reading this while holding a grumpy baby who doesn't want to lie down! I'm a new mum and this is exactly what it's like. Thanks for being honest!

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    1. Not really any of my business but is it just today or does baba get grumpy lying down full stop? I only ask because this was my daughter fussing crying screaming and hard to settle when she was lying flat and turns out she had silent reflux, not as common as ordinary reflux and harder to spot as they aren't sick.

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    2. Hi I would just second that comment re the silent reflux as we all suffered in silence for months with our little girl with silent reflux and a dairy allergy and I used to say to other parents does your baby cry all the time even when they are asleep and no one really listened to me or understood what I was saying. Second time around I realised how much we struggled the first time . If in doubt keep asking until you are convinced you have gotten enough answers .

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    3. Yes, the same happened with my second baby, but by sheer luck and desperation I took him to a cranial osteopath (and raised the head end of his bed with books) and what an amazing difference that made - we finally all got some sleep. The best money I have ever spent!!

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  15. I totally agree and thanks for writing. Also, you don't HAVE to feel sad that every phase is ending, it's OK to embrace the new phase of their childhood and the cool (and not so cool) things that phase brings.

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    1. So glad you have said this, I thought I was the only one who thought like this! I really don't wish mine were babies again cos it was bloody hard! I look forward to each new milestone, know that each age beings it's own challenge, but pleased screeching baby, terrible twos, threenager etc is now in the past!!

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  16. After a week of clingy, whingy, screechy moments, I'm happy to be reminded that it's ok to only 'cherish' the 2 minutes out of the other 483 that we cuddled quietly and cutely, and to know that in another phase the balance will shift. Roll on that phase! But now, sweet demon child, know that I still love you so, so much... in afterthoughts :)

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  17. I would like to add, don't feel guilty, when I was just starting out, I remember I was 4 months in to breast feeding my twins and I was still so tired, it was like I had just given birth. I went sobbing to my midwife as I just couldn't do it any more. Another mum I knew at the time couldn't get over the fact that she hadn't given birth naturally. My advice would be just so what you think is right for your baby, so what if you had a c section, so what if you choose bottle feeding. Are you going to love your child less? NO. X

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  18. I would like to add, don't feel guilty, when I was just starting out, I remember I was 4 months in to breast feeding my twins and I was still so tired, it was like I had just given birth. I went sobbing to my midwife as I just couldn't do it any more. Another mum I knew at the time couldn't get over the fact that she hadn't given birth naturally. My advice would be just so what you think is right for your baby, so what if you had a c section, so what if you choose bottle feeding. Are you going to love your child less? NO. X

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  19. Yes, couldn't agree more. And also that second time round you are definitely more self-forgiving/ lackadaisical ;)

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  20. Thank you unmumsy mum for everything you say. You say it how it is and now how we want it to be. My lg is almost 2 and I have struggled with pnd for most of that, not helped by the ideology of perfect mammy perfect baby. Topped off with the guilt of going on to a full time nursing degree. Thank you for sharing that shit is normal and doesn't make you the worst mammy in the world. As I lie here 545 am with a poorly girl snuggled in since 4am I wonder how I haven't found you sooner. I might be tired but I love the snuggles!

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  21. I think that sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in what books, TV programmes, friends and family, and Facebook and Instagram tell us should be happening. We forget that these only show us one version of life, and a carefully curated version at that. No parent's experience is perfect or conforms to what Gina bloody Ford says it should. Far better to set a low (but realistic) bar for ourselves than allow others to set an unrealistically high one.

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  22. I think that sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in what books, TV programmes, friends and family, and Facebook and Instagram tell us should be happening. We forget that these only show us one version of life, and a carefully curated version at that. No parent's experience is perfect or conforms to what Gina bloody Ford says it should. Far better to set a low (but realistic) bar for ourselves than allow others to set an unrealistically high one.

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  23. I have 8 week old twins and the 6 till 10pm colic screaming has me shattered, it's 6am and I'm already dreading it.I already feel guilty about sharing my attention between them and not being able to pick one up when crying as bf the other breaks my heart.glad to read that this gets better.

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    1. My son was born with a cleft and had really bad colic. My told me to go to the health shop and get camomilla drops and give 5 drops before feeding. It worked!

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  24. How refreshing. I can identify with this and wish you were around when my baby was small. Thank you

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  25. Absolutely love this blog!! I wish someone told me this when my 3 were born!! I would of felt less guilty and your right it does go in a flash (and to be honest in a way I'm glad) and my 3 as babies were hard work but at 9 4 and 2 we enjoy so much more now .... your blog and book have been my saviour

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  26. I wish someone had told me this 5 years ago... One other thing: you don't have to be part of the-best-mum-who-does-everything-right-for-their-baby competition. It's exhausting, pointkess pressure, and it's fake!
    All the best to new mums. You will sleep again and it will all work out.

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  27. And she hits the nail on the head again...! Definitely ups and downs and sleeping when they sleep, why did I never do this? No wonder I had my meltdown when he got to 10wks....I reached for the Gina Ford book and switched to bottle feeding, suddenly my world was a better place. Key thing is you have to do what's best for BOTH of you.

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  28. Yep....I seriously wonder if I have the ability to do it again. I love my little boy fiercely but those early months were so very hard. Nearly thunder punched people saying "you just need to sleep when he sleeps". Riiiiiiiight. Now we have the epic and unreasonable toddler tantrums. But then he does something hilarious, like a naked dash for bath time turning into a sofa tea bagging session. He makes my heart sing but sometimes it's a death rock power ballad. It's all balance ladies! Xxxx

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  29. So true. I love the nap advice, totally unrealistic with mine for months 2-5 but wise nonetheless.

    Help is an interesting one; we're stuck with parents with no interest in the hard stuff so have been completely abandoned to parenting through post natal depression and grandparents don't want to know about that either.

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    1. I got the same. So many offers of help with my oldest when my youngest was born. But where was that help? Nowhere. Grandparents who said they would be on hand to help didn't mention it would be on their terms for half am hour and they weren't helping with the baby.

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  30. I ran out of the house and shut myself in the car to try and get away from the crying. Baby 2 was full on attachment patented, which had it's own issues but she screamed less (although when it's 2am and you've been trying to feed down since 7pm and she just won't stop nursing, sometimes you wish you'd not started and she would take a damn bottle.)

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    1. I felt this so many times and I yelled at my brother in law for waking him. He had fed 1-6, had just gone to sleep then fed again from 8-midnight. My MIL still hasn't forgiven me for shouting at her precious youngest boy.

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  31. From the moment that precious bundle of screaming joy is placed on your chest life changes beyond belief. I feel I've mostly been lucky with mine but I have had times when I've sat and silently screamed on the bathroom floor after exclusively breastfeeding through growth spurts / teething / illness and thinking the end will never come... almost 10 months in and I cannot believe how much she has changed and how quickly we forget the sore nipples, hallucinations from being so tired and only eating biscuits / cake and other crap to get you through!! I love being a mummy, it has made me.

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  32. We were greedy and had twins. Sleep when the baby sleeps went out of the window as they steadfastly refused to sleep at the same time.

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  33. Oh Sarah I met you last week and I reiterate: new mums are so lucky to have your blog.

    The best thing anyone said to me when I was a mum was my friend who asked how I was getting on. "Oh you know..." I replied, non committingly... she then told me that the first 7 weeks of her baby's life were the worst ones of hers - it truly was the best thing I heard because it made me feel like I wasn't failing!!

    I am ruling the nest by myself this week as the Mr is away. Toddler usually sleeps through but last night woke several times for a faux "wee wee" between the newborn feeding!! Currently making tea in a zombie fashion whilst The Furchester Hotel is blaring out of the tv. Cherish every moment? I cant wait for the night feeds to end so I can have a chance at enjoying the days more. As for the toddler - 12 hours til bedtime and counting!!!

    Tilly xx

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  34. I'm 2 days off my due date with my first child and this blog has already helped in easing the 'oh shit, I can't do this' anxiety. Thank you!

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  35. I can't really recall much of my oldests first four months of his life. He was colicky and I struggled so much but wouldn't let anyone help as was getting attitude of I should know what I'm doing so didn't make myself feel worse. I recall more of my second child first months as he actually slept.
    The best bit of advice I was given when my youngest was tiny came from a woman in her sixties. She told me that if it meant you got sleep go for it. I was Co sleeping as that was the only reason we were getting any sleep and her advice made me feel so much better.
    Now that child is approaching two years old and drives me round the twist but makes me laugh so much with his antics at the same time.
    I love my boys but I defintly am not one of those women who say they are broody quickly. I haven't forgotten how hard the first couple of months are and I'm in no hurry to repeat it yet.

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  36. Thanks this is genuinely what I needed - my son is 5 weeks old and I'm a first time mum. He's been spitting up and crying mid feed and I'm not ashamed to say it's been wearing me down. When his dad does the feed he's fine, I don't do anything differently but for me he seems to puke half his feed and scream the entire time. Yesterday I snapped, I fed a crying baby while crying myself apologising to my little boy for "being a crap mum". Maybe I'm not so bad after all, maybe I need to remember that after the feed, nappy change, clothes change, clean up, my son lay in my arms flat out asleep as peaceful as anything as though all was right with the world because he was having a cuddle with his mum!

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  37. My best two pieces of advice to anyone contemplating becoming a parent are these....

    Don't do it without a support network around you. I don't mean a huge 20 strong family but at least a couple of people
    To help you out in an emergency or to give you advice or just listen to your moans and whinges! I had nobody and 3 years in and I'm still struggling an awful lot.

    Also, be prepared for what to expect from your body. Everyone and his dog wants you about stretch marks, fat ankles, shedding hair like a Labrador in June or weeping slightly every time you cough! NOBODY warns you about the all consuming, overwhelming and unrelentles fear and guilt that takes over your entire life!!!

    Apart from that enjoy them. They're ace really. Just know what to expect and try not to do it on your own like I have. There's no medals out there and parenting is sometimes a thankless task!

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  38. My little boy is 2 in September and I still find myself ripping my hair out and having a bit of a cry when he goes down for a nap. It sounds funny but it's only us two so that cry I get to have when he has a nap makes me feel great. I have been told how it'll get better and how he is so worth it but it doesn't stop me feeling crappy, it doesn't stop the struggle of a single, stay at home Mam with no family to support me or anything. This post is so true, it's so well written and it has made me feel like the normal parent I'm so desperate to be.

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  39. Maybe I was just one of the lucky ones that found those first few months okay but then our little daughter has never really been a cryer and is generally calm and chilled! Although I think I set my expectations of how hard it would be pretty high so the reality was actually a lot easier! Now our little girl is one I look back on the newborn fase with good memories, and glad that I did cherish all those little moments with her (even the 2am feeds!) It's true it goes too quick and you never get them back!

    I think women get to obsessed with reading all the silly books and second guessing themselves .The advice i've given new mums is just to do not think, your maternal instinct will know what's right for your baby and if it feels natural for you it's right :) xx

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    1. I feel the same! I actually adored the newborn period and think of it fondly and really do wish I could go back to treasure those moments more.. I just think everyone has a different experience and it can be mostly wonderful or mostly terrible and that's the advice I'd give to new mums. You don't know what your baby will be like so expect the worst and you may be pleasantly surprised. I also expected a really difficult baby because people had said it would/could be hard, but mine was pretty happy and chilled from the get go. I do remember having some extremely sleep deprived weeks, but it was only a small part of the experience.

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  40. I am currently 12 days over awaiting my 1st.... the doubt really has been kicking in and this has not only made me giggle ... Hoover when the baby Hoover's lol! But reassured some of the daunting thoughts I get at 3am if I CAn actually do this.

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  41. Third time (and last) round I have learnt to appreciate those moments and take pics (you wont recall anything sleep deprived). Also look after yourself, I expressed enough milk to go on a spa day....a bloody magical day of being able to lie on a heated bed and sleep. Made me less shouty for a good few days afterwards too x

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  42. One of my best moments was when my son was about 4 weeks old and I managed to have a shower and get dressed with no one else in the house watching him. Before then every moment was taken up, with what I don't know. I also know I didn't manage to have a warm cup of tea until he was at least 2 (baby 2 had arrived by that point). It was one of the best times of my life, because it was without doubt the hardest and I survived and they survived. Now I've just got to get through primary school, teenagers and their adult choices. Kind of makes me nostalgic for the days when getting dressed was a victory, because the 10% of magic in the 90% of shit was magical!!! Go into parenthood knowing that it's the hardest thing you'll ever do and you'll flourish (eventually) xxx good luck xxx

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  43. Best advice I had wasn't given to me until I had my 2nd. Midwife told me 'babies cry, it's just what they do and it doesn't mean you have to feed them straight away'. Sounds simple but I'd always felt so STRESSED with my 1st, worrying at everything and that piece of advice just made me relax a bit...finally! Definitely agree that you shouldn't hold back telling new mums or mums to be what it might be like as otherwise it just makes you feel you must be doing it wrong when your baby and/or you are not perfectly happy all the time.

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  44. The best advice I got wasn't given to me until I had my 2nd baby. A midwife told me to stop worrying about feeding him whenever he wanted because babies cry, that's just what they do and it doesn't mean he needs it. Sounds simple but I'd always felt so STRESSED with my 1st and that I had to stop her crying no matter how I felt or what I was doing. As long as they're in no danger it's OK to make them wait a minute for your attention...anyway it just made me relax a bit and I wish someone had told me when I had my 1st! Definitely agree that you shouldn't hold back telling new mums or mums to be what it can be like (i.e. knackering, worrying, amazing, just plain crap) as otherwise you can feel like you must be a terrible parent if your baby and/or you aren't perfectly happy all the time.

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  45. Nail.head.bam. Xx

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  46. Cherish the good times learn from the bad times sleepless nights are inevitable you will have shit times and survive and your child will survive you are the best mum your child is going to get don't beat yourself up you are going to spend the rest of your life being proud then regretting the day you even thought about having a baby but it is very very worth it as a mum of 28 and 22 year old boys oops men. No way boys I am here to tell you. You will get through it the bad times won't seem as bad in hindsight and the good times and milestones will be with you forever (bring on the grand kids that's the next chapter) take time for yourself when you can offload when you can take all the help you can get have a good moan when someone will listen you are the most important one here without you baby don't eat drink get clean etc...and you never loose this job it just evolves good luck!

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  47. Twenty nine years on I remember the awful cycle i got into with my first, she cried so I fed her, she threw up because she needed comfort not food, she cried because throwing up had distressed her, I feed her because she was crying etc etc etc. The solution....I held a dummy in her mouth for what felt like hours (was probably only 20-30 mins)until she grasped the idea of sucking that instead of me, she would then feed when hungry and had the dummy when I knew it was a comforting suckle she needed. She was happy and I wasn't stressed.
    Parenthood is b****y hard, nothing or nobody can prepare you for the. sometimes, overwhelming feelings of uselessness. But if you are struggling be brave, speak out and, as others have said, feel the relief from others around you that it is ok to think you are not coping. we are not super humans, you can read as many books as you like but your baby hasn"t read them. Use books for ideas but know that what works for one won't work for another. It is trial and error, but eventually you will come out the otherside and the good/happy times outweigh the hard ones.
    Now years later I can look back and smile as I reach out and get cuddles from my beautiful granddaughters... and that is another story :)

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  48. Never a truer word spoken. I so wish your blogs were around when I was a new mum xx

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  49. Best advise I'd give is to only have one child! If you don't really love what comes with a littlelin its is a drop in the ocean compared to two. Just tick the milestones off and enjoy them. I'm only just starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel with my two fuck me 3 and 7 yrs old. I love them dearly and it's definitely easier now but never again!!! Love your blog 😊

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  50. Thanks for being real! Just yesterday I tried to convince my hubby that a gazillion is a real number... he eventually caved and agreed ;)

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  51. This is so true. I have 2 little girls under 2 and it is very hard work and tiring. There are times when I feel like running out of the door however when my big girl cuddles me or my little girl smiles at me I know it is all worth it

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  52. My six babies are grown up nearly youngest is 14 I wish I could do it all again xxx. Hang in there time goes by all to soon xxx

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  53. Even as I write this, there are tears rolling down my cheeks. This rings so true with me right now....Feeling like a failure, unworthy and guilty for not loving every moment. BUT today I've asked for help. So thank you! X

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  54. Thank you, just thank you. I am writing this having just rocked my 3 week old son to sleep in my arms whilst feeling guilty that I am doing just that because I might be 'spoiling' my son. I have spent the last 3 weeks full of guilt, for all sorts of things. Love and happiness and wonder too, but not yet that overwhelming love that everyone says you feel. but my main feeling has been of guilt. Guilt that I'm not enjoying every moment, guilt that I haven't learnt his cues yet, guilt that I can't always stop him crying. It's an emotional roller coaster that you really aren't warned about.
    One thing I have learned already...DO NOT read too much. I read as much as I could beforehand to prepare. All it has done has made me worry more because of all the conflicting opinions. Now I spend my days wondering if he is feeding/sleeping/weeing/crying/pooing enough/too much, am I spoiling him, can you spoil a newborn? Should I let him cry a little, should I feed on demand, if I don't know what's wrong, is it bad to offer him my breast even if he only fed half an hour ago. I don't have the answers yet, but your blog has reminded me (as my friends regularly do, but I still need telling eveyr half an hour) that I am normal, he is normal and everything that we are going through is normal. Again, thank you.

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    1. Cuddle him, feed him and cut yourself some slack. He's three weeks old, (you have kept an entire human being alive for three weeks!) and you are doing an amazing job. Trust yourself x

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  55. Thank you, just thank you. My friends regularly tell me this but I need to hear it over and over again. My son is 3 weeks old and those three weeks have been a roller coaster of guilt, worry, self-doubt, fear and a smattering of wonderful moments. Love has been there throughout, but these are the main emotions I have had. And then I have to add another dollop of guilt for feeling that way. Just thank you for reminding me that I, we and our situation is normal.

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  56. When does it get better? I'm 7.5 months in and there are no signs things are improving...I really question why we did this with one of us working 13?hour days and the most unhelpful friends and family imaginable

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  57. So true - in the early days I spent more time comfort eating shortbread rounds than cherishing. But it DOES get better, I know this now to be true. x

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  58. I am a new mum, of three weeks. So far I have cried every single day, had feelings of utter bleakness and urges to punch everyone who keeps telling me "awww isn't it such an exciting time!?" this blog post has just made me feel so much less alone and less of a terrible horrible human being. Thank you xxx

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  59. Love and perfect baby. Thanks for share.

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  60. thank you for sharing your experience.My baby is now 3.5 months old

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