Learnings from the first year
HOW THE F ARE MY BABIES NEARLY ONE!!!!!!!!
Its only when the first birthday approaches I find myself full of reflection, the year plays back like a carefully created iPhone Memories For You video complete with heart string pulling playlist. A year of the highest highs and tear stained lows. The truest saying of all saying when it comes to motherhood ‘the days are long but the weeks are short’ well before you can finish the bloody quote you are through the woods and out into the shiny bright sunshine, you have made it! Surely if I can keep them alive this long its all down hill from here?.. maybe. But everything does start to get that little bit easier when you hit the first birthday, the baby bag gets less heavy, the pressure for pure organic pureed veg gives in to plates of greasy chips and sausages and you realise they do bounce. It only feels like yesterday I was sucking on that gas and air and making completely involuntary noises on the birthday of my babies! eek!
So for those that are about to embark on motherhood or for those that are too rounding up a year, I thought I'd take a look back at my first year of being a mum again and look at the learnings. Because despite the advice, the books, alll the information and past experiences you really go in to it blindly.
(NB: These are all OUR learnings, not based on one glove fits all because NO GLOVE FITS ALL)
1. BEDTIME ROUTINE WILL SET YOU FREE, BUT FIRST IT WILL PISS YOU OFF.
GROUND.HOG.DAY. Everyday. If you are new to this you'll miss the spontaneity of life but once that babe gets into a bedtime routine you'll thank yourself for having the patience. A year of routine for a lifetime of set bedtimes and nights alone with hubs, WORTH IT!
2. IF THEY DON'T SLEEP IN THE DAY, RELAX THEY WILL BE OK.
You'll think everyone has cracked the whole day time napping when in fact most of your mum mates are driving around in their 4X4's because BABY WON'T NAP! If your babe refuses to nap do NOT spend your entire day trying to get them to sleep. Get them up, play, etc, do what you need to do and eventually they will conk out, even if that means a tough afternoon and an earlier bedtime. It is not worth stressing you out over.
3. BABY TV & TOAST WILL SAVE YOU IN ALMOST EVERY SITUATION.
4. IT WILL TAKE AT LEAST A YEAR, IF NOT MORE TO FEEL 'NORMAL' AGAIN.
No I don't mean fitting into your size 10's, you'll do that quite quickly from all the walking. I mean really feel like you've got your shit together again.
5. CHILDLESS FRIENDS ARE THE BIGGEST JUDGERS.
Shrug it off, you were there once planning your non life changing plans post baby. They don't know. No baby, no opinion. Everyones a great parent until they are one, right?
6. RELY ON DAD WHEN YOU CAN
Give him few instructions, when to feed, what to feed, and some timings and then let him get on with it the way he wants to. He will have his own style, which might send your OCD controlling brain WILD but they will both be fine and eventually you'll be able to leave them and completely switch off whilst you get some me time. Plus they'll eventually really enjoy the bonding time.
On your notes on deliveroo tell them not to ring the doorbell but to call you on arrival. No waking baby and a fed mum. HACK
8. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A SHOWER
Whether its a screaming newborn, or a non napping toddler pop them in their cot with something to stare at for 5 minutes and jump into the shower, drench yourself in hot hot soapy water, shake off whatever happened the night before, and push the restart button. Do this every morning. You'll feel great for it.
9. NO HOUSEWORK NEEDS TO HAPPEN RIGHT NOW.
10. GET FRESH AIR EVERYDAY, EVEN IF IT IS RAINING.
Wrap up warm (but not too warm for you you'll drench in sweat if you're walking) and get out. Even if its hell, you'll have left the house and have felt good for it. Even if its just to pop to the local coop for some supplies to stay in all afternoon.
11. NEVER BE WITHOUT CALPOL, NESPRESSO CAPSULES, WINE OR CHOCOLATE.
12. BABY WIPES WILL WIPE AWAY MOST THINGS
13. DO NOT BUY TOYS. BUY YOURSELF GIFTS AND LET THEM PLAY WITH THE PACKAGING
14. DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
15. INVEST IN COOK.
For the days when you're not feeling very Martha Stewart, load the freezer with Cook meals. They even do ones for babies. You'll end the day with everyone fed and watered, you can even pass them off as your own to hubby if you feel the need.
16. YOU WILL FORGET THE PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
Yes, even if it nearly killed you.. you will forget.
17. YOU WILL GAIN A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE
The trivial things you worry about day to day vanish, traffic, a bad tempered manager at work, a broken coffee machine, a missed bus, your chubby thighs (well they don't vanish but...). You start to look at the world in a much bigger picture, and the things that worry you turn into things can could impact them and their future. Not what size pants you can squeeze into. Don't get me wrong they also make you realise you need to priotirites yourself from time to time too, which again is a great learning.
18. PAY FOR THE HELP THAT YOU NEED.
Cleaner, baby sitter, ironer, hairdresser, cook....you name it if you can afford it then get the help. You cannot do it all.
19. MONTH 10 IS BY FAR THE BEST MILESTONE.
20. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW LOVE LIKE IT.
Never have I ever loved or been loved in return like it. (Except for my own mother.) Daily my heart bursts with complete and utter unexplainable, unconditional love. Every single tear they cry, every hour they keep you awake, every teething tantrum, every single ache and pain pregnancy bought on- one look into those huge, blue eyes and I turned to mush.
21. THE INTERNET WILL SAVE YOU.
Whether its netflix at 3am, WhatsApp at 4am or instagram at 5am. The internet will help you more than you could imagine this year.
22. YOU'LL LOVE THE FIRST YEAR ALOT MORE LOOKING BACK AT IT IN SOFT FOCUS.