Last week my squishy faced little guy turned 6 months old, a whole 20 weeks has whizzed by. The little bundle of brand new baby is now a giggling, wriggling two toothed boy full of personality and mischief.
The past 6 months has honestly been the quickest of my life, mainly on autopilot fueled by Starbucks coffee and take away pizzas, but also the most enjoyable and full of love. It is only just now that I am starting to feel ‘normal’ and like I know what I am doing and confident in that.
Here are my top 10 tips to surviving this tough time fraught with hormones, emotions and new experiences:
1- Surround yourself with supportive people:
Whether it is your husband/partner, Mum, Best Friend or other new Mums you are going to need someone to lean on. Parenting is hard. That is a fact and anyone that tells you differently is a total fibber!
I have a great Mums & Baby group where we can talk all things baby from the color of poop to sleep patterns and the post parturm body. Talking to people who are going through exactly the same thing and having the same concerns is so reassuring for me.
2- Trial and Error:
You will know your baby better than anyone, you know what works for them and what doesn’t. You only find this out through trial and error. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way through tears and screaming but you learn from each other how to work together as a team.
3- Accept help:
I’m not great at this one and I don’t like to accept help in fear or burdening others but there really is no shame in it.
Even just someone to hold the baby for a while whilst you get a shower or to make you a cuppa so you can have 5 minutes alone is a great start.
4- Have some alone time:
Get your nails and/or hair done, put on some make up, take a long bubble bath and feel like a gorgeous woman again instead of a dairy farm or a human spit shield.
Your body has just created something amazing but the chances are you just aren’t feeling very attractive or quite like the old ‘you’. A little bit of rest and pampering goes a long way to feeling like that kick-ass yummy mummy you know you can be.
5- Celebrate your ‘Firsts’:
There will be a lot of firsts since having a baby. Celebrate them, remember them and feel accomplished!
The first time I took Spencer out in public on my own was a big one for me. We walked to our nearest Costa and sat in a glow of achievement that I had made it there at all. The walk there is less than 10 minutes and it probably took me hours to get ready between showering, expressing enough milk, clean clothes for us both, pack a nappy bag, baby in pram and get there crossing a road and not killing us both. But we did it! Once I got that ‘first’ hurdle out of the way our trips out the house got a lot easier.
6- Don’t sweat the small stuff:
It’s ok if dinner isn’t made, that’s what take out is for.
It’s ok if the baby hasn’t had a bath for two nights, they don’t really need it anyway.
It’s also ok if your house looks like a war zone, it can be tidied later. Or even tomorrow. Or in my case – the day after that!
7- Ignore unwanted advice:
I wanted to punch people in the face. Hard. Everyone seemed to have an opinion and they are very quick to tell you exactly what they think.
So what if my baby is in his bouncer parked onfront of the TV whilst I grab a quick shower? They preach with their “oh we don’t have a TV, It will ruin babies imagination” Bahh!
A few other subjects that people will be VERY quick to lecture you on – breast feeding, baby wearing and cloth diapers. Do your thing girlfriend, ignore the haters.
8- “Sleep while your baby sleeps”:
So annoying but soooo true. Sleep is precious and babies sleep patterns are unpredictable.
Although…As I type away my own baby is sound asleep and I really should be too. Hmm. Maybe I should make a new post called ‘Listen to your own advice and stop blogging’?
9- Crying is normal:
We’ve all been there. Some more than others but it’s totally normal, you have just birthed an actual human for Gods sake. That in itself is pretty crazy. Sometimes you will cry due to your hormones and other times you will be tired, frustrated and over whelmed but just cry it out and vent.
So when did I cry?
First vaccinations Check!
Because the baby wouldn’t sleep? Check!
Cried because they were crying? Check!
Cried because I was sick of crying? Double check!
10- Take each day as it comes:
Every day will be different, some will be good and some will honestly be pretty crap but the next day is different and then you see that gummy smile and it makes it all worth while again.
Do you have any advice on how you survived the first few months? I would love to hear from you!