Dear Pre-Baby Self,
Naive little pre-baby me, you’re going to learn so much over the next few months.
First up, you’re going to learn the biggest lesson of all – patience. This baby is going to test it in every way possible, starting with it’s arrival. Due dates should be renamed guess dates because that’s what they are, a load of guess work. Your little man is going to keep you waiting a full 2 weeks extra. Mute your phone and ignore all the “is it here yet” calls that only make you more impatient.
When you’re pregnant and you’re giving out about how uncomfortable you are & how you’re so over being pregnant, catch those thoughts and pause a minute. It might not seem it but right now you have it easy. You can put your feet up and rest any time you want. Not only that but believe it or not you’re going to miss this time. You’re going to miss feeling him move and kick and hiccup from the inside. Soon enough he’s going to be out in the world for everyone to have a shot of and you’re going to miss this time that it’s just you and him.
The labour that you’re worrying so much about is not as bad as you think. The epidural will help (you can get the idea’s of a drug-free birth out of your head right now!) and once they place your baby in your arms the 14 hours of work you put in just fades away from memory (okay not quite completely but nearly ;)). Don’t spend so much time stressing so much about your labour bag. You’ll be discharged the next day having only used a quarter of what you packed. Your going in to have a baby remember, not going on a fortnights holiday; there’s not all that much you really need. Oh except those gorgeous green maternity pads – make sure to pack extra of those….
Enjoy your time with your husband before the little man comes along. No-one warns you how hard the first year of having a baby can be on a relationship. You’re both adjusting to your new roles in life so don’t forget that while things are tough on you; they’re equally as tough on him. Cut him some slack, he’s tired and learning on his feet too. Just remember how lucky you are because even on the hardest days, he’s right there by your side. He’s a fantastic dad and an amazing husband. Talking of which, you think you love him now but you’re going to love him on a whole other level when you see how good a father he is.
And don’t just enjoy your time with your husband; cherish the time you have with family. Life is cruel and not everyone will be around to see the little man grow up. Make as many memories as you can and no matter how fed up people get with a camera being shoved in their faces, take as many photo’s as possible – they’ll come a time where you’ll treasure every one of them and only wish you got the chance to take more.
I know you won’t believe it when people tell you at the time but the housework, the routines, all of it can wait. Enjoy those first few months of snuggles with your newborn. You’re not going to get that time back and believe it or not the house won’t fall apart if you don’t manage to get the dishes done or pull the hoover out. You think you’ll never get into the swing of it but you’ll get there eventually and find your own rhythm.
The first 12 weeks will be hard. It might seem like you’re never going to be able to put your baby down without him crying, that he’ll never go to sleep unless he’s in your arms, that you’ve “ruined” him by cuddling him too much. Just go with it. Invest in that sling you’ve been eyeing up and read up on the “fourth trimester”. It doesn’t last forever and he will get the hang of going down for his naps eventually. A friend will mutter the words “this too shall pass” and it will become your motto for the hard times.
I know the endless streams of visitors in the first few weeks can be exhausting but make the most of people wanting to fuss over you and accept any help they offer. Once the excitement of a newborn calms down the visitors disappear so enjoy it and take the help while it’s being offered.
You’ve got a lot of opinions on what kind of parent you’re going to be but that doesn’t mean you can sit on your high horse judging other parents because you’re in for a bit of a shock. Stop saying “my baby will never” because your baby will. Your baby will have a dummy, your baby will be bottle-fed, your baby will end up in sleeping in your bed more times than you care to admit to. Nothing goes to plan. The perfect parent you strive to be – it doesn’t exist. You’re going to feel like a failure on plenty of occasions and you’re going to question yourself on a daily basis but just remember you’re a great mum. You might not be perfect but you give it your all. Everything you do, you do it for your little boy and that’s what’s important.
Everyone is going to give you advice – family, friends, neighbours, even people without kids will have words of wisdom to pass on to you. It’ll make you question what you’re doing but you’ll soon learn to just smile and nod. It’ll annoy the hell out of you at times but try to remember that it’s generally well-intended. Don’t let it make you question yourself too much – you got this, you just have a little more faith in yourself.
Reading this might make it all sound a little overwhelming, and some days it is. Your life is going to change, there’s no question of that, but it’s worth every minute. This tiny person is going to come and turn your world upside down, but you’re going to love every minute of it more than you can imagine. He’ll bring you more happiness than I can even describe and he’s going to steal your heart from the moment you meet him.
Enjoy the journey!
Love from your 6 month Post-Baby Self ❤