Before there were any children in my house, no sleepy toddler calling ‘Mummy’ in the night & no newborn sleeping all day & keeping us up all night. I was blissfully unaware of how my life was going to change, I probably would have read the title of this post – rolled my eyes & scoffed – baffled why anyone would need to write such a guide – probably listing 100’s of ways in my head in which I was going to enjoy my newborn!
Then you leave the hospital bubble, you may have been in a few hours or a few days – the staff are on hand to help you, you can buzz them whenever you need their reassurance, guidance, support – they are there solely to help you & this tiny little human that you are now supposed to begin parenting.
Your meals are provided for you, there is no house to clean, no dishes to wash & no visitors to make endless cups of tea for… You are then dismissed, your stay is over & you are checked out of your easy, helpful surroundings with waiting staff, chefs & cleaners… Out into the big bad world! Reality. You entered the hospital as a two-some & leave as a family… You’re now a parent. Forever someone’s Mummy!
It’s hard, it isn’t all baby cuddles & loving stares… Babies don’t come with a manual & it takes time to get to know them & their needs all whilst adjusting to your new role & getting to know yourself as a mummy!
Here are my top ways to help you enjoy your newborn in the crazy haze of the first 3 months.
1. take it easy. Don’t rush around seeing visitors & letting them invade your house. Let them come, let them see but don’t feel the need to make cups of tea & stand around watching them gush over your newborn for hours on end. This is your time & it’s time that will be over far quicker than you could ever imagine. Rope in help from parents/close friends, the people that won’t hesitate in loading your dishwasher when they pop over to visit, the ones that make their own tea & come with ready meals – accept their offers of doing the ironing, sterilising bottles & loading the washing machine.
2. ditch routines. 3 years ago when I was learning how to be a Mummy to my first newborn I was anal about routines, reading about routines, writing down routines, trying to figure out what our routine was going to be & how I was going to implement it. It didn’t work then but I drove myself batty trying. This time I was so relaxed about everything. I enjoyed every night of the first 3 months having Florence fall asleep on me whilst watching TV, we had late nights, early nights, good nights & bad nights… but I embraced them all & don’t regret a second of it.
3. don’t panic. Newborns cry.. a lot. They also get rashes, spots, dry skin, watery eyes, gunky eyes… they have sleepless nights & don’t drink their milk exactly as the book says they should – they aren’t broken & you don’t need to call 999. It is easier said than done but try not to panic… there isn’t a one size fits all for babies & there isn’t a rhyme or reason as to why they cry/don’t sleep/don’t feed/get various skin problems… they just do & you’ve just got to roll with it, in your sleep-deprived, hazy state of mind everything seems worse & more severe than reality. You will send yourself crazy worrying over your newborns behavioural/body changes unless you take a step back and just breath.
4. relax. Who cares if it’s 4pm & you are still in your PJ’s… your visitors will just have to deal with it, your a new mum enjoying your baby… relish every moment of your significant others maternity leave, have lazy mornings & embrace the top knot.. this is your recovery & readjustment time!
5. take pictures. snap away, record videos & write down all the important details… you think you’ll always remember the day your baby smiles & never forget the tiny-ness of their cute little toes but memories fade & there’s nothing better than looking back at old pictures & videos & reminiscing!