My best friend recently joined the wolf pack. She became a new Mum.
And I’m learning a lot from her.
With a threenager on my hands and few years of parenting under my belt, you’d think it should really be the other way around, wouldn’t you?
But as I am due to have her baby brother in a matter of weeks, it’s me who is back to Google to work out how things work again.
Passing on what I’ve learned
I hope that I’ve helped her a little bit with stuff not to worry about or waste time on. As we all know though, these babies are all so different that it’s a case of learning on the job.
Just because I did it a few years earlier than her certainly doesn’t mean that I have it down.
Becoming a parent is a very steep learning curve and whilst others can impart generic advice, nobody knows their baby more than the person who is caring for it day in day out.
Plus, other people’s opinions can be so bloody annoying. It’s a fine line not to overstep, just because you’ve done it before.
Passing on her insights
She’s pretty much in the bleary eyed, survival period of keeping both her and the baby alive (critical). Without even realising it though, she’s actually helping me to prepare for my new arrival.
Through our chats about her experiences of early motherhood so far, I’ve not only remembered so much that I’d forgotten, but also stuff that just makes more sense with the benefit of hindsight on my side.
Not only that, but the fact that her baby is now here has made me buck my ideas up and get a bit sorted.
Things I’ve remembered about having a baby
- The baby “essentials” landscape changes a lot in a short space of time. I say essentials because that’s how the baby companies market them. Safety standards might change, new models are released, and a lot of what you had before won’t be compatible. In other words, you need to give them more of your money.
- It’s ok to keep exercising if you feel up to it. Screw onlookers at the gym or swimming pool and their beady little eyes. If you really want a laugh, walk near them and pretend to have a contraction, or wind.
- People love to have an opinion on your bump, the gender of the baby, when it will come. Try not to punch them in the face. Apparently, it’s OK for them to comment on you, but it’s not acceptable to tell them to ‘f**k right off’.
- As long as you have the essentials, you’ll be fine. You don’t need to worry and plan for every eventuality (chances are you’ll be wrong anyway). After all, that’s what Amazon Prime is for.
- However your baby is delivered, it really really hurts. One way is not the ‘easier option’ and everything comes with uncertainty and risk.
- You need A LOT of spare clothes. And a good washing machine / tumble-drier.
- Babies are lovely. They also don’t do much and are hard work. It’s ok to say so, and that you haven’t actually seen its eyes open much.
- No two pregnancies, bumps, births, or babies are the same. Even if they are your own.
- When you have a new baby, you have no bed time. If you have a toddler, you have no get up time.
- When you have a toddler and a giant bump, you’d give anything for a bed time and a get up time.
- Compared to a toddler and their 542,497,897 questions or needs each hour, a baby seems like a walk in the park, until you have a new one.
- Baby and toddler groups really can be shit. Just don’t bother until you really feel up to it.
- NCT friends are great, but just because you had your babies at the same time, they’ll never replace the ‘real friends’ you had BC (before child). Plus you’ll probably like your real friends’ kids a lot more.
- People love to tell you how much you’ll neglect your second child. So basically, you’re already a terrible parent.
- Newborn nappies are REALLY small. You get so many in just one pack, but will go through them all in about 30 seconds.
I’m sure there will be plenty of other things that crop up as we enter that phase again. But for now, I thank my friend for helping me with my revision.