16 Survival tips for becoming a new mum

Becoming a mother is one of the most amazing experiences.

Sooner or later you only have to look at your baby and your heart melts. So why is that first few months so hard?

I think it is especially hard with your first baby. The transition period is full of confusing emotions that play havoc with your mind. With subsequent children, much of this transition has already happened. Being a mum for the second or third time is usually easier but brings its own set of issues.

  • Although its lovely to show off your new baby as early as possible (after all you will be so proud of this little bundle) allow yourself a day or two at least with no visitors when you get home. You need this space for your head to accept that this baby is actually yours and its actually not going anywhere!
  • Start to acquire a taste for cold tea/coffee.
  • Accepting that life will never be the same, is hard. You are not the centre of the universe anymore. Your baby is. That may sound harsh but its true. It took me a couple of years to get my head around this one. It’s called transition into parenthood. Transition meaning it doesn’t happen in an instant. Some people adjust quicker than others. Some grieve for their former lives and this is ok. Its a major change.
  • Your baby may be the centre of the universe, but at some point you need to make time for yourself. Simple things like going to the hairdresser alone or gong for a swim alone.
  • Get used to doing things with one hand, seriously this is a skill you need!
  • If people offer you help, accept it. It’s ok not to do everything yourself.
  • Go to some postnatal groups. They are hit and miss. Some groups are full of know it alls, whose company can dampen your confidence. If this is the case, move on to another one. You may find lifelong friends. Never underestimate the importance of having friends going through the same experiences at the same time. It helps you feel ‘normal‘.
  • Get used to having an audience whilst you pee and poo, theres no room for stage fright in a house with young children!
  • Autumn/winter wardrobe, you might not see them on the runway but snot trails and vomit patches are always in.
  • Accept that a simple trip to the shops is a military operation and you will pack as if you are going away for a weekend (and never need half it).
  • The hairstyle of the season is ‘the needs to be washed look’, with product of the year – dry shampoo.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes, parenthood is a steep learning curve. Babies unfortunately don’t come with handbooks. They are all different and parenting is via trial and error.
  • Eau de parfum in vomit and milk scents are what mothers regularly wear.
  • Be assured that all your baby really needs, one thing above all else is LOVE. Whether this is there from the start or gradually builds over time. You will do a good job because you care.
  • On a serious note, as a new parent you need to be aware of postnatal depression. It’s thought around 10-15% of new mums will suffer. That’s just the cases that are reported. Symptoms may include, loss of appetite, loss of enthusiasm, struggles with loving your baby, avoiding family and friends, weepiness and crying that goes beyond the hormonal baby blues, feeling hopeless or worthless, feeling irritable, struggling to sleep when you do get a chance, thoughts of suicide. It is so important that you talk to your health visitor or GP if you are worried. Help is available. Please don’t suffer alone, you really don’t have to.

More information on PND is available here:

MIND

NHS

Association for Postnatal Mental Illness (APNI)

 

A Mum Track Mind
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17 COMMENTS

  1. These made me laugh! I completely agree with the first one tho; although I think that can be difficult to understand until you’ve been there. And the one handed skill – it’s amazing how many things you can do at once with just one hand! #fortheloveofBLOG

  2. Of all the great points on here, number one is the one that I think is so important. Of course it’s completely up to you when you allow visitors, but I do think new parents need to be aware that it’s their choice. I’d said no visitors in the hospital as I don’t like hospitals and just didn’t want my family to see me in that state. By the time we came out of hospital it was late evening and I’d had 4 days with no sleep – my husband rang my Dad on the way home to say we were being discharged, and 10 minutes after we walked through the door the doorbell rang, with my mum and dad, sister, her husband, and my grandad all there for a visit. As a sleep deprived zombie, this was the last thing I wanted – my sister was very apologetic about it all, but my parents seemed completely oblivious. And of course then we had to do it all over again the next day with my in laws! Although at least I’d had some sleep by that point. Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Thank you Katy for the comment and for the linky.

      It’s such an overwhelming time, coming home for first time. A time of huge adjustment and it just helps to have that day or two at least to come home and let realisation sink in. Also to be a family, the new family you’ve just become. #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Oh yes, the mum bun. I used to love wearing my hair down but these days the mum bun is used frequently! Thanks for reading and commenting Sunita.

  3. Some great advice. It can be so overwhelming when you become a parent and there is so much to do and to take in. If you can take control then you should, because it will definitely help you through those early weeks. Only do what you feel you want to or are able to do. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. There is some seriously great advise here! I wish I had given myself a couple more days at the beginning first time around. I also wish I had felt able to accept or ask for more help, plus I was put off by post natal groups really quickly and even nowI avoid toddler groups. I wish that was different…. I keep trying to pluck up the courage to go to our local church one but keep putting it off, silly concidering my youngest is nearly 2! I should be over it by now.
    #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Hi Kirsty, thank you for reading. Most toddler groups are great. The first time I went to a group alone I just kept telling myself that if we don’t like it we don’t need to go again. Also, you can leave at any point. They’re great because quite often you get a cup of tea! (that is a prerequisite in my book!), you child has a load of new toys to play with, they get to interact with other kids and you will eventually get to talk to other mums – a little adult conversation to break up the day. It’s not silly that you haven’t been, they can be daunting. Don’t worry if that particular group isn’t for you, try a different one.

      I hope you give it a go, I’d love to know how you got on if you do.

  5. I didn’t mind having visitors straight away, I was so eager to get out once I’d had my son, I was in Sainsbury’s the day after I got home from hospital! I never went to any postnatal groups, I started baby yoga when my son was 7 months and that was the first group I went to, I’ve met some lovely mummy friends now and I’m glad I waited because I don’t think I would have met them unless I had! #SharingTheBlogLove

    • It almost like everything happens for a reason isn’t it. I always think if I didn’t pluck up the courage to go to the yummy mummy group I went to, I never would have met the lovely friends I did. Thanks for reading.

  6. Great tips! It seems like only yesterday since I brought my bundle home and even though it’s almost four years I still think we continue to learn! But these are brilliant tips for a first time Mum. #sharingthebloglove

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