Being a mummy has taught me so many things about myself, my child, my family, it really is impossible (or at least time consuming) to list all the ways and all the wonders being a parent brings. But I’m probably not the only person who feels they’ve learnt a few, shall we say, odd things about parenting and being a parent. It’s definitely one heck of a rollercoaster ride; never ending and not really slowing down. It feels like yesterday I was having my waters broken, unbeknownst to me I would be meeting my little baby almost 5 hours later and yet, here we are at 5 months old, chatting away and blowing raspberries at people and me having learnt to eat one handed food that’s gone cold (and probably dropping it all over Logan’s head ’cause “Sorry baby but mama needs to eat even if you are too”).
I have to admit though, a lot of people told me a lot of things about babies & parenting before baby bear arrived, warning me of the inevitable and describing the horrors that could be (yeah I was told a few poo related stories, sick related stories, when baby starts to move related stories; the list is endless). But some things, nothing could have prepared me for, or at least I wanted to see for myself but could pleasantly have proven everyone right ha! So here are 10 things I learned as a new parent;
- Babies shit, a lot. I was warned of this but nothing could have actually prepared me I guess. We’ve had leaks, poonamis, 5 dirty nappies before dinnertime and even an experience involving him having to get his jabs naked then running to tesco to buy a baby grow as the explosion was so big and I had no spare clothes with me 😂 that’ll teach me to always have spares ha!
- Babies cry a lot at first. I say at first, Logan doesn’t really cry anymore unless his teeth are hurting, is hungry or is tired pretty much. But my God, in the first few weeks, my partner and I were constantly wondering “what had we done?” “Where did we go wrong?” Turns out it was just a bit of colic bothering him but still, I was definitely already stressed and feeling like I’d failed as a parent.
- You really do need to treasure the moments because they really do grow up too quickly. It’s hard to think that just a month ago, Logan wasn’t half as chatty or sociable or trying to attempt everything at once. I still get the loveliest cuddles but they’re nothing like newborn-baby-snuggling-on-mummy type cuddles. They’re more or less when he’s having a nap to be honest and I’m scared to put him down as I won’t even get a minute to have a drink or watch something on the TV.
- Babies don’t need that much stuff. Right, I say this but if you saw the state of my house right now because of all the stuff that Logan’s got, you would honestly go mental. But honestly, he’s only started taking an interest in toys a month or so ago and everything he plays with he wants in his mouth. It also doesn’t matter where we are sitting or what we are doing, but he will turn his head and look for us to make sure we’re there. He can’t yet roll over fully but he can bum shuffle like a caterpillar around the room so “no mum I don’t want a fancy play mat and things, I can move around now see. Also forget about going for a wee without securing me in my bouncer or sit me up, but I might just shout a lot ’til you take me back out.”
- Developmental leaps seem to be very often and long lasting and can be some of the most exhausting, “oh my God stop clinging to me” times during parenthood. Or you could be my baby. Yes my baby has apparently got it all down to a T and has not been phased by it all one bit. I saw a lot of fellow mummies & mummies to be discussing the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. It sounded awful. I genuinely had to try and prepare myself in advance with easy to prepare meals and easy to grab drinks, and also telling people who wanted to meet up that you might be so tired that day that you and your baby will be having naps throughout the day and if anyone dares call round without warning, that they might just witness a whole load of exhausted motherhood & “I haven’t cleaned the house yet today as I’m so damn tired”. But no, my baby hasn’t regressed at all, in fact, he sleeps longer. He has now been waking up anywhere between 8am and 9.30am and honestly I feel like a new woman 😂
- Prepare to be tired and possibly sleep deprived. People would tell me “I hope you’re ready for the sleepless nights” etc. But then seeing other mummies on some of the groups on Facebook saying how their baby sleeps all the way through, made me wonder “is it true?” Let me tell you, it is true about the sleepless nights. Logan has never fully slept through the night, waking every couple of hours or so for a feed or just a cuddle. I don’t mind to be honest but if you haven’t gotten much sleep in the first place, it can all become rather exhausting.
- Don’t expect to eat a hot meal all the time or at least, in peace. I suppose if you’re a parent who is not feeding on demand, you could probably master this very quickly. But as 6pm onwards tends to be cluster feeding time, I could have started cooking and Alex have to finish it or have finished it but then Logan wants feeding straight away or even having to eat with one hand (it takes ages to eat though). But I can guarantee, as soon as I sit down to eat or am nearly finished cooking, Logan will kick off..it’s like he knows.
- Babies don’t hit all milestone at the same time and definitely will not be all singing and dancing when they’re almost half a year old. Again, going back to the mummy groups, a lot of them will post things like “ahh my 10 week old just rolled over” or “what time are babies supposed to be sitting unaided by? Mine isnt”. But what we need to realise as parents is, there is no set age or stage a baby will reach and all babies can’t be compared to others. Obviously at first I was a bit like “whys my baby not doing that too then?” But the health visitors have never told me there is anything to worry about. While he could be sitting unaided or rolling like other babies right now, he’s rather busy trying to do many things at once like he tries to roll, tries to sit himself up from being reclined, he even tries to move himself when on his tummy. But I know he’s happy and healthy and he’s busy learning new skills so I realised, you just gotta let them go with the flow.
- Baby shopping is an addiction and your purse/wallet will always be empty. As we didn’t find out the gender of Logan, we were having a little surprise, I was constantly looking out for cute unisex items before he was born. Myself and my mum must have spent a hell of a lot on blankets, coats, baby grows, clothes etc. Once he was born and everyone knew he was a boy, more stuff arrived and I found myself constantly looking at things online during feeds, through the night etc. I’m always skint and I know I need to be more careful with money as I’m on maternity pay but honestly I will walk into a shop for one thing and emerge with a whole lot more. I’m just constantly on the lookout for toys and clothes, he currently has a wardrobe with many different size clothes in so that he has stuff ready for when he needs it. And that’s before any baby classes or us having gone out and gotten drinks as he wanted feeding or to pay for going to the play areas etc.
- We’re all doing a fantastic job! Yeah yeah, a soppy one. But honestly mummies and daddies, you’re all doing amazingly! People dont tell you enough so I am 🙂 So what you shut yourself in the bathroom after handing an unsettled, whingy baby to your other half? I’m sure if we haven’t all done it, we’ve at least wanted to, or ran into the garden and screamed. And all the debates and information thrown into new parents faces making them super confused and panicking about every little detail (Alex and I have always been so full of worry about the risk of SIDS and making sure we take every step as described to help prevent it from happening because it was so drilled into us and panicked us so much) it’s all just a bit much sometimes and every parent needs to hear the words “you’re doing really well” every once in a while, just as a little encouragement, but to give them that boost too so they know everything they are doing is just A okay.
What were some of the major things you learned as a new parent? Have any other points to add, funny or honest and serious feel free to share 🙂