30 August 2018, by Flora Isabelle
Has it been a year already?! The past 12 months were no doubt the toughest yet most rewarding period of my life EVER and if I were to sum up my entire rookie year of motherhood up, here are 12 things that I have learned (the hard way) that can work, won’t work and could be improved.
1) Postnatal blues is real
The emotional aspects of dealing with this is tougher than any of the physical pain and exhaustion to be honest – I actually wrote a more detailed post about my personal experience here – but thankfully, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
2) You are what you eat
Especially if you are breastfeeding. Cause whatever you eat is literally whatever bubs eats. And even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you need to eat well to be able to physically endure all the long nights and constant carrying. Don’t even get me started on the backbreaking bit when you need to bend down all day when they start walking.
3) Let Dad handle it
I don’t mean to sound sexist but sometimes we tend to think that it’s almost entirely a mother’s job when it comes to caring for baby or that we do it better. But you are a human being yourself and as much as you want to look after your lil one 24-7, you have to trust Dad (or anyone else actually) to handle baby sometimes, just so you can breathe. Or use the toilet.
4) Self care
Go for your facial appointments, get your hair done and indulge in your long showers. You can’t give your baby the best if you aren’t the best yourself.
5) Babies fall sick
It hurts to see them ill but they need to get the not-so-occasional flu bug and cold to get their immune system all geared up and running.
6) Stop comparing
It’s not easy, I know. From wondering when will they sleep through the night “like your friend’s baby”, to looking at them still crawling while their peers are already walking but tell yourself that life is a marathon, not a sprint and they will eventually get there, somehow, someday – so what’s the hurry?
7) Find your tribe
They say it takes a village to raise a child but nothing provides more emotional support than fellow mothers in a WhatsApp group who will cry over spilt milk with you, tell you it is OKAY you accidentally dropped your phone on your baby and indulge in online retail therapy with you on the ridiculous baby stuff you never thought could ever exist.
8) “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is nonsense
You will never know what is it like to really sleep again but it’s ok, you’ll live.
9) There is no “good” or “bad”
Every child is different and there are no “good” or “bad” babies. Neither is there a right way to be a “good parent”. You do what you want, however you like.
10) Trust your instincts
You will know when something isn’t right. Does the eye look swollen to you even though everybody else says it looks fine? Then just go to the doctor. Over time, you will find yourself knowing your child more than you know yourself.
11) Make plans, then extend them
Want to meet your friends for lunch? First, you need to make plans 3 months in advance (farewell impromptu Sunday brunches) then be prepared that lunch will actually happen around 4pm. In between the struggling to get baby dressed, changing diapers, then changing them AGAIN and prepping his food to bring out, it now takes twice – sometimes thrice – as long to get anywhere with a baby.
12) Let it go
Don’t sweat the small stuff and you’ll survive.