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.
- It’s scary being responsible for a little person. Build your confidence and attend a first aid course for babies and toddlers.
- 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: