My first year as a Mum – What I would tell my friends

It’s nearly my little man’s first birthday and what a year it has been. Out of all my friends I was the first to have a baby.

I was never one of those people who was ‘excited’ to have a baby. I had never changed a nappy, never cared for a newborn and the thought of going to visit other people with a newborn made me so nervous because I dreaded the time when they would say “Would you like to have a hold?” and I never wanted to for fear of snapping this precious, fragile little bundle in half. But I would obediently say yes and then end up looking completely awkward, with my arm sitting at too much of a right-angle. I’d count the minutes in my head and then say “Ok, someone else’s turn now. Who would like a hold?”

Now I’ve had a year’s experiences and I can change a nappy like no other, I LOVE holding newborns and I can’t wait to hold my new nephew when he enters the world in January and the thought of having another baby (eventually) brings a warmth in my heart.

I know one day, my friends will have babies too. And I want to give them the best words possible. I couldn’t seek those words from my friends but luckily I had my two sister-in-laws to call upon and they were more than happy to lend an ear. There is so much unwanted advice you get too, and it doesn’t have to be spoken – Because you receive it through way too much Googling  internet forums and social media.

I’m not an expert. But sometimes I think motherhood is still some ‘best kept secret’ and if I was ever going to impart some ‘wisdom’ I want it to be the best I can give and I want my friends to be happy and live a world of Baby Bliss! Here’s what I have to tell them:

Your world will be better because of this baby. Whenever someone tells you ‘it’s hard work having a baby’ dismiss it. It’s not work. It’s hard at times. But it’s not a job. And if it were one, it would be one you will do with more passion, love and determination than any other job in the world.

Don’t Google too much! I spent so much time on Google and forums that I thought my son had developed terrible ‘sleep habits’ and it was all my fault. I spent so much time trying to do things like ‘put him down sleepy but awake’ or the classic ‘pick up, put down’ rubbish for his naps that I started to feel like a failure, time and time again.

DO what comes natural – and don’t listen to anyone that tells you otherwise! Want to cuddle your baby while he/she sleeps? Do it! Want to breastfeed them to sleep? Do it! Want to hold your baby until they fall asleep? Do it! It will NOT give them bad habits! They are babies. They don’t want you, they need you. I’ve never seen an animal in the wild walk away from their baby lest they form a ‘bad habit’ of sucking at a nipple while sleeping or being cuddled to sleep. Human babies need the same kind of nurture from their mothers. And if you want to try some sleep techniques – then do so. But at no point should you compromise your stress/emotional levels or that of your baby’s. If it doesn’t work, don’t push it.

Giving birth is amazing – Yes, it hurts and everyone’s experiences are so varied. But no matter what – when you have a baby at the end of the experience, whatever may happen will melt away and it will all be worth it. You will be in awe of just what your body can create.

Don’t do things to please people – If you’re too tired to go out, or you don’t want visitors. Tell them so. Put yourself first and don’t get sucked into the ‘obligations’. You have one thing in the world to focus on at the moment and it’s your family and your body. Do what you need to do to get rest.

Let your husband/partner in – You might need to ask them to do specific things. It’s not because they don’t want to help. It’s just because they’re not sure what they can do. Watching your partner bond with your baby is equally as beautiful as bonding with them yourself.

Doctors won’t always have the answers – We’ve seen doctors, paediatricians and naturopaths. Finally our solution to our baby’s sleep was an osteopath. If your heart tells you something isn’t right, keep seeking the answer. Eventually it will come.

Emotions will run high – I cried everyday for nearly the first two months of my little man’s life. Sometimes it was because I was tired, happy or helpless. And sometimes I had no idea why I was crying. Your hormones go a little crazy. Just go with it, and do what makes you feel better. Eat chocolate, have a sleep, watch trashy TV. You just gave birth. You deserve it.

You will become a new person and you will have a family. You do not need to fear having a little body relying on you for everything, because before you know it, you will be relying on them too. You will come to rely on them being there everyday to give you beautiful smiles, cuddles, kisses and love. And nothing in the world can compare.

I can’t wait until my closest friends have babies for me to kiss, cuddle and love to bits! What would you tell your friends?

10 thoughts on “My first year as a Mum – What I would tell my friends

  • Okay, yes, had me in tears again. SO many things I agree with you here. From going with your intuition and doing what feels right, to my favourite, watching my husband bond with our babies. (I still absolutely love to watch them together). Ang, wait until (eventually, lol) you have a second and get to watch the sibling relationship grow; this is another lovely parenting treasure. Thanks very much for sharing inside your head again, I have shared this on my page.

    • Aw, I’m sorry I had you in tears again but pleased my writing evokes such emotions! I’m looking forward to seeing Mr.T bond with a sibling…when the time is right 😉 Thanks so much for sharing and the beautiful comment. I appreciate it so much! x

  • Great post. All of the points you made are very wise. I think its important not to over analyse and do what feels right. I also think its important for new Mums (and Dads) to have some kind of social outlet. Joining a mothers group was one of the best things I did when my eldest daughter was a newborn.

    • Thank you. Ah that’s true. I didn’t mention the mother’s group because unfortunately I live in a small country town and we don’t have one. I survived without one but I think it would of benefit me a lot too. I did feel very isolated to begin with.

  • You have spoken really well. I think I would add that as a mum – new or not – you’re going to make mistakes. But if the motivation is love ♡ it really doesn’t matter as love is more important than perfection.
    A hard but worthwhile lesson.

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