Don’t be scared to leave the house with the baby. It will really help you to shift the energy of being cooped up in the house for long periods of time. Even if you just go for a walk outside and take the pram, it’s a good start.
Know that just when you think you’ve got the hang of something, the goal post will inevitably shift and you’ll go back to feeling like you have no idea again. That’s normal.
You will hear constantly that every baby is different. This is true. Don’t compare your baby to others. Each baby will hit different milestones at different times. You will constantly be asked if your baby has yet slept through the night. It’s okay that your baby hasn’t just yet. Understand that people have seem to have some sort of preoccupation with the sleeping habits of babies.
When someone asks you a question about your baby, try not to feel as though you are being judged or criticised. Remember back to when you have asked these types of questions of new mothers and know that the question is being asked out curiosity or support. They don’t know that every other person you’ve seen this week has asked about the exact same series of questions.
Accept that you will most likely sing songs about poop. Laugh if you will, but it’s going to happen. You might even surprise yourself with your song writing and rapping skills. In fact, you will think and talk about poop often. Even though you swore you were never going to be one of ‘those’ mothers, you will be. Roll with it lady.
The dynamic between you and Aaron is going to change. There will be times where the hormones and exhaustion will drown out the common sense and things will feel worse than they really are. It’s definitely going to be hard work when he’s frequently away for work. You will at times wish that you could switch places with him so that you can go to work and he can stay home. You’ll even tell him on a few occasions what an easy deal he has. You will definitely be jealous that when he goes away for work trips he gets to sleep in a hotel room where he has a bed to himself, silence, room service and a full night of sleep. That will ease off eventually.
There will be a few occasions where you aren’t able to settle the baby, even though you have been trying to for what seems like hours. Aaron will walk in and settle him almost immediately. Don’t feel like a failure or be frustrated, just be happy that the baby is now calm.
It’s important to take care of yourself. As basic as it sounds, remember to eat and go to the toilet. I know it sounds weird that I’ve mentioned this, but there will be times when you can’t remember when you last did either.
While we are talking basic self care, taking care of your mental health is incredibly important. Don’t wait months and months to talk to the doctor about how you are feeling, jump in sooner rather than later. You will be thankful that you did. When you go for a chat, you will feel validated and relieved. You can’t be a good mother to your baby if you aren’t looking after yourself.
All of these things aside, do you know what the best part is? Love. It will surprise you every single day how much you can possibly love this tiny person that you have brought into the world. Even though things will at times be difficult, you will look at your baby and your heart will swell. There really is nothing like the love you feel for your baby and that’s what makes all the challenging times worth it.