Recently I have been thinking about all the advice people gave me when I was pregnant with my first child.
I am a mother of two girls now, and I was so naïve when I was pregnant the first time round that I would happily nod along to all of the ‘wonderful’ advice people would give me about cherishing every moment or enlighten me on how to feed them.
Looking back now, makes me a little more than annoyed at myself that I listened to some of it. A little bit frustrated that I didn’t nod politely or say thank you, I am sure that worked for you. I little peeved off that I let some of the judgemental comments get to me. But that’s life, you cannot do anything about the past. Well you can. You can accept it for what it is and let it go.
However, I have yet to meet anyone who has completely mastered that art, so for now I am going to share with you some of the insights that I have and hopefully you will believe in yourself a little more and in them a little less.
Now…. The first one is a biggy. Let me know your thoughts, because this was the only time where I felt my stomach turn.
Make sure you breastfeed
I was told this once, by a rather forthright older woman who insisted that anything else but breast milk was clearly giving your child poison. In my hormonal pregnant state I told her that I will indeed try to do that, but having known close friends and family who have indeed tried not the ‘poison’ their children, have struggled to breastfeed and in turn gave their babies formula (just to clarify this is what she was referring to as poison). She wasn’t in any way taken aback and in fact, proceeded to give me facts about it.
Just so everyone knows (old lady this one is for you) , everyone feeds their child the way that is best. Best for their child. If you think otherwise, then jog on.
Looking back, I wish I would have said, stop being so judgemental you old crow.
Cherish them while they are young
These people who say this are usually past 70 and have selectively forgotten how difficult it is in those early days. It’s lush thinking back and being a parent is nothing short of a miracle but don’t ever feel less of a parent because you don’t cherish everything. It’s pretty tough going at times, and some moments your wish would just whizz past in a blink. It doesn’t make you a bad parent.
It gets harder
No, you just forget how hard it was. I overheard a mother saying to a stroppy teenager (by stroppy I mean SILENT, huffing with his headphones in ) “oh it was easier when you were that little I could just pick you up and you never complained about shopping with me then”.
Yeah alright love, you also forgot to mention that you were covered in baby sick and had eaten a packet of hobnobs for your breakfast. And as for complaining, wow you easily forgot the crying. I know I did.
It gets easier. It does. If you are a first time mum who is barely getting a few hours sleep, no money and have no one around to talk to I want you to know that it does get easier. It honestly does.
What I do acknowledge is that is gets more difficult in other ways, so just be ready for the terrible twos, threenager and fournado. However by this time, you can bribe them with sweets and bedtime. And they will probably **not guaranteed** sleep through. So at least you will feel a bit normal.
Don’t rock them to sleep
Listen, do whatever you need to get that baby to sleep. It’s the most important thing that you all sleep and eat. I rocked Flo to sleep for 9 months, but I don’t with Edith. They are different temperaments and Edith will go to sleep feeding/in the car seat/in the pram/being cuddled.
Flo refused everything.
You know your baby. Do what you think is right, and if you’re struggling then ask for help. It’s easier when it’s out.
They need to have a certain amount of milk
No they don’t. Sorry for anyone who doesn’t agree, but I don’t.
It is useful if you are formula feeding to have the guidelines, but don’t feel that there is something wrong with your baby if it needs more or less. As long as it is thriving then milk away. Don’t get me started on breastfeeding, just give em a boob. If they are still hungry give em the other one.
Now, in no way am I a medical doctor or midwife. I am a mum. I presume if you are reading this, you are too. Just remember that you are trying and that is good enough. And just in case you didn’t know. Talk to your midwife, usually they are pretty down to earth and will tell you rock.
Because you do.
You are amazing.