Harri Bench

It’s ok…

I feel like I am surrounded by babies at the moment, many friends are pregnant or have recently given birth. There are lots of my favourite bloggers expecting or writing and taking pictures of their new arrivals. A new baby is so exciting but definitely overwhelming. When I first had Meme I was blown away – it was hard work, harder than I ever really expected because, let’s face it, before children, many of us have no idea – it is life changing!  Now, I’m no expert, but after being a Mummy for almost 6 years here are a few little things that I have learnt.

It’s ok … to need some time. It may take a while to feel better physically – now this will not be the case for everyone but it definitely was for me. With Meme I had forceps and I definitely struggled with the aftermath – I knew pregnancy was going to be tough as was labour but I actually never thought about how my body would feel afterwards. It was hard and took a lot longer than I thought. With Harri I had a fast natural birth, it was a much better labour than Meme, I felt a million times better.  However, in reality, whilst it was easier, my body had still just had a baby and after over doing it (because I felt fine) I was poorly and I realised I still needed time to recover. It took time but my body finally healed.

It’s ok …. to put a bit of weight on. You may not be able to get back in your pre-pregnancy clothes straight away (if ever!). I never bought many pregnancy clothes with Meme, I thought it was a waste. I heard all these stories of people leaving the hospital back in their size 8 skinny jeans and I naively thought that would be me… it wasn’t. I always remember flicking through magazines and seeing pictures of celebrities looking amazing straight after having a baby and it used to depress me until one day it finally dawned on me – this is not real life – this is expensive personal trainers, nannies to do the night feeds, expensive flattering designer clothes and, of course, Photoshop!

It’s ok …to cry. I cried a lot. It is such a whirlwind of emotions mixed with your body healing and lack of sleep. With Meme I honestly thought I was going crazy, I was a crying mess. Some nights I found myself feeding her in the middle of the night crying with exhaustion. Please know this wont last forever, it will pass (and obviously speaking to your Dr or Health Visitor can always help) … which leads me nicely onto the next point.

It’s ok…. to admit your tired. If your experience is anything like mine you will be exhausted – you can read every parenting book, you can talk to every Mum and Dad you know about their experience but nothing, and I mean nothing, will prepare you for the sleepless nights. It may range from broken sleep to less sleep than normal to no sleep at all. It is tough, it is scary and, with your first, you may think that your life as you know it is over – it certainly felt that way for me.  Things get better though – by saying this I don’t mean you will be back to your 8 hours before you know it – for some, those days are over – what I mean is, you adapt.

It’s ok…. to change. We all say parenthood wont change us – we will go out, we will still see friends, we will still get drunk of a weekend but, hand on heart, parenthood does change a person. I am completely different as a Mum, I very rarely go out drinking, I dress differently because my 4 inch heels just don’t cut it on my daily trip to the park, I make sandwiches for trips out and my handbag tends to be a Frozen backpack. It took a while for me to accept this and I definitely questioned my identity at times but I’m ok with it now. I don’t want to spend my weekends hungover not being able to pay my girls attention.  I don’t want to miss out on playing hide and seek because I can’t run in my heels, I don’t want my girls to be grumpy because we are hungry and I want to be able to fit treats and toys in my bag to keep them happy. Do I feel like a bore sometimes – yes, do I feel a mess at times – yes, do I wish I could jump on a plane with my friends for a chilled out week in the sun… most definitely but, as a Mum, my priorities have changed. It’s sometimes boring, most of the time messy and I have no clue what it feels like to be chilled out but, it’s my choice and I wouldn’t change it for the world. So I’m not saying once you have a child you have to hang up your heels but I am saying, if you want to, then that’s fine.

It’s ok… to make up your own rules. Every single person will have an opinion and I struggled with this at first, thinking everyone around me knew better than me. My Mum, for example, always said you must warm a babies milk. Meme was a terrible eater and I was up the wall frantically warming bottles and cooling bottles all because I thought I had to. One day she was hysterically crying and, exhausted, I just gave her a bottle at room temperature. She drank it, she enjoyed it, she didn’t catch a cold, she wasn’t sick and I didn’t receive a visit from social services – it was fine. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Instead of getting stressed out over silly things that don’t necessarily matter in the grand scheme of things, make your life as easy as possible and cut yourself some slack. It could mean bottle instead of breast, jar food instead of homemade food, a working Mummy instead of a SAHM – everyone will have an opinion but ultimately it’s only yours that matters.

Do you have any tips for new Mummys?

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49 thoughts on “It’s ok…

  1. I love this post. Especially when you mention change in all it’s forms. Drinking less etc and looking different. I wouldn’t trade it. It’s hard of course and I’m about to be really cliché but parenting is the best and most rewarding job. #bloggerclubuk

  2. I love this post. It’s so positive and lets new parents see they aren’t alone in the things that they may feel they weren’t expecting.
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

  3. Really wise words! I wish I had been a blogger or even just aware of blogs when I had my eldest because I was a mess too and I really did cry every single day for at least the first four months. I can hand on heart say that that was the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life. But as you say, it does change and get better and you do adapt and for all the newbies out there this is good to hear! Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout again X

  4. Really great tips and advice for new mums! It is such a big change and it’s funny how we loved going out and now our perfect night is hanging out in our tracksuit pants on the couch and watching a movie with the kids. That is perfect! Would have loved some of these tips when I embarked on my new mum journey. 🙂

  5. I love this and agree with everything you wrote. I think that would be my advice to any new mum, simply, it’s okay…! Motherhood changes you indefinitely and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, even the most wonderful mothers have struggles too! I really struggled as a new mum, just twenty four, the first of all my friends to have a baby and infact, Lewis wasn’t just my first baby, he was THE first baby I had ever so much as held!! #coolmumclub

  6. I love this post. I think it is all too easy to get caught up in comparing and our expectations as new mums. As soon as I made peace with myself as a mother, I became a whole lot happier but it takes a little time and experience and when you get there, it’s a whole better place…a rite of passage for every mum in the end. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

  7. I first started reading blogs for exactly the reasons you mention. Basically I wanted reassurance that what I was feeling and experiencing was ok & obviously it was but having a baby is such a huge life changing event of course there are times when you doubt yourself.
    #MarvMondays

  8. I love this and so true! I think so many of us spend our time thinking about actually giving birth we forget to consider the aftermath. I was so exhausted after A I couldn’t even walk for days and this second time round I’m glad I know more of what to expect. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  9. Brilliant post, I agree with all of your tips. I think it’s really important to just remember that you’re not alone, and that not many mums tell the truth about how hard they find it! For a while I thought I was the only one struggling but then just realised that hardly any one else wanted to admit that they found being a mummy tough. #MarvMondays

  10. You’ve covered all the tips I’d think of. It definitely is going to be ok. Being parents is the best thing in the world! #SharingtheBlogLove

  11. You’re right, it’s ok! If only someone could tell you that then – and you’d believe it! 🙂 xx
    #Sharingthebloglove

  12. I love this post Natalie! I was just saying in a comment on another blog yesterday, I think it’s so important that as mums we are honest with each other about how difficult things are. I think it would allow us all to give ourselves a bit of a break instead of beating ourselves up about not being perfect! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. All births are different, my first was quite stressful, my second was the most amazing experience like nothing I could have imagined it was honestly amazing. My third ended up being an emergency c-section at 35 weeks! The recovery was hardest after the c-section and I had to come to terms with my emotions over what happened too. Being a mum is the most exhausting and best thing ever!!! Go with the flow, be prepared to be surprised, to cry to laugh and to love more than you though possible! Amazing post! #sharethebloglove #Thelist

  14. Fab post! I couldn’t agree more about giving yourself a break, life is tough as a mum and we are all just doing our best. I think if everyone was more honest, life would be easier as a parent. I discovered that Alice liked her milk cold, from her crying and just giving it to her from the fridge one day. She drank it so much better!! Thank you for joining us for #SharingtheBlogLove Laura X

  15. I love this post! Yes everyone does have an opinion and I hate it! It’s the most infuriating thing hearing how what you’re doing, no matter what way, or even if you change it, doesn’t matter – it’s wrong. Argh!!! I’m currently very tired! Little man is stealing all my sleep at the moment, but it’s not forever. Thank you for your comforting words! #SharingtheBlogLove

  16. Love this! I honestly thought I would never stop crying the first week I brought my son home! And some friends and family don’t understand why my life completely revolves around him. Why do I need to leave to get home in time for his nap? Because it makes all our lives easier that’s why, just suck it up! 🙂 x

  17. lovely honest post 🙂 it is ok and it will be ok, even when it feels like it wont! being a mum has changed me too. ive learnt to be patient. ive learnt to take a breath and not stress the small stuff. thanks for joining #fortheloveofblog hope you can come back next week!

  18. Fabulous advice already given so I can only reiterate. I think with each of my three pregnancies/births/babies, I became incredibly caught up in routine to the extent that it can take over your life if you let it. Try to stay relaxed, it’s ok to go out and do something fun and if this means baby has to nap in their buggy rather than their bed then so be it. As it happens, my youngest (13 months) will only nap in her buggy so this suits us!
    Also, don’t compare. All babies are different and do things at different times so chill and let them be babies. If they can’t eat with a spoon by 12 months then who cares?! You don’t see any adults eating with their hands (unless the food calls for this!) so just take each stage as they come 🙂
    Alice from http://www.livingwithajude.co.uk xx

  19. You are so right!! Nothing could have prepared me for the me after giving birth and how I have changed! Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok xx #sundaybest

  20. I’m currently pregnant with my second baby so this was a good reminder for me to not sweat the small stuff. After having my daughter I really beat myself about my appearance and how so much seemed to have changed for me but not for my husband as much. I’ll definitely take it easier on myself this time #SundayBest

  21. I am at home now with an 8 year old, a 6 year old and a 15 day old, and I couldn’t agree more with every single point in this post. The sleepless nights are just beginning to catch up with me and I was surprised at how crappy they are. You do forget all the rubbish bits of having kids quite quickly don’t you! Nothing like a quiet night feed to bond with a new baby though 🙂 #maternitymondays

  22. wouldnt you just love to go around visiting new mums and hugging them? OK maybe that would be a bit weird. but its such an overwhelming time – physically and emotionally. my tailbone hurt for months after my first – i had no idea this might happen. i became anxious – i had no idea this might happen! #stayclassymama

  23. I completely understand and agree with everything you have said. I wish I had read this before my son was born, I really struggled accepting that I was changing and admiting that I needed more time to heal, emotionally as well as physically. I wanted to jump right back to where I was before I was pregnant but it just doesn’t happen like that. This is such an amazing post because of how honest and right you are. Thank you for sharing your advice with #StayClassyMama!

  24. Very wise. Everything seems to be a competition these days. You either have to be back to normal immediately or the most exhausted person in the world. You can’t just be in the middle and really tired and just getting through as best you can. Having been through those early days once, I wish I’d realised that there was nothing wrong with just sitting… #FamilyFun

  25. My only advice would be to not compare and just do what is right for you and your children. So many parents repeatedly ask what age your child did this or that but it doesn’t matter as long as everyone is happy 🙂 Lovely post btw xx #familyfun

  26. It is okay to just exist! Oh I cried at first and the tiredness is just out of this world. We get through it eventually and out the other side. Those first few weeks are definately hazy and when you don’t know what your doing its difficult. This is a lovely post x Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  27. Ah this is brilliant. I’m with you I was so utterly exhausted with my first, I was often reduced to tears. You know it will end but the end is just not in sight sometimes. No matter how people tell you you will not sleep nothing prepares you for it. Having a baby is a game changer, no two ways about it. I think it’s also ok not be OK. It’s emotional, your hormonal, sleep deprived and like you say overwhelmed sometimes gets the better of you and you just don’t feel ok. But like everything it passes and it is of course all worth it. Thanks so much for sharing at #familyfun xx

  28. I know exactly how you felt on pretty much every point. I have had deliveries where I couldn’t sit comfortably for 2 months and ones where I felt amazing 6 hours later. Each one is different but even the great ones require patience and recovery. One thing I’ve found though, is that you do not need to give up fashion for motherhood. There are so many beautiful things that help you transition into your new way of life. It took me four tries to realize it and I’m still learning every day. Parenting is certainly an adventure but it’s one I’m glad I’m going on!

  29. I totally agree with everything you said. And, each delivery is different- I’ve had ones that I couldn’t sit right for 2 months and ones where I felt fine 6 hours later but it doesn’t change that your body still needs time to heal. One thing I’ve finally learned with number 4 is that you don’t have to totally give up fashion to adapt to your new way of life. They make so many adorable baby bags and don’t even get me started on how babies are the best accessory ever. Motherhood is certainly an adventure but it’s one I’m so excited to continue on.

  30. Such a lovely post and so spot on. It’s one of those things that takes mums a while to come to terms with but we all get there in our own time. I chuckled about the handbag becoming a Frozen one. I’ve been using my daughter’s rucksack for so long now I forgot it wasn’t bought for me! It’s just so convenient to put all of her bits into on the weekends or trips to the pool after work!

  31. These are great tips and definitely being okay to cry and just be. We all adjust so differently and I think there is so much pressure to be a certain way we need to know it is okay to do it the way we are comfortable to do it. These are great points for anyone having a baby for the first time. Thanks for joining #humpdayhype xx

  32. I really love this post. I especially relate (and needed to hear) “it’s okay to change”. I think people really underestimate how much it changes you becoming a parent – especially those friends and family who might not have children. I have found that in my own way I need to grieve the loss of certain friendships (or “types” of friendships) and just accept that as part of being a parent. I think I often feel bad that I can’t hang out with people as much anymore, or I’m not responding to messages straight away, but that’s just a part of life when you become a parent.
    THANK YOU!
    #humpdayhype

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