If you are preparing to welcome your first baby into the world, first of all, congratulations! This is undoubtedly an exciting time in any expectant parent’s life. You have a fun, incredible, and surprising journey ahead of you. No matter how much preparation and reading you have done, nothing quite readies you for life as a parent. There are always hurdles along the way. Read on to discover some of the things that most people wish they knew before they had their first baby.
- Get ready for the clichés – If you thought you heard all of the clichés in the world when you were pregnant, you have heard nothing yet. You will lose count of how many times people tell you that it goes by ridiculously fast and that you should enjoy every moment. Speaking about enjoying every moment, you probably won’t if the next point is anything to go by…
- Changing nappies isn’t the only yucky part – We’ve all heard expectant new parents joke about who is going to change their baby’s nappy. However, this merely scratches the surface of the yucky stuff that comes with having a baby. Expect to be a human toilet or napkin most of the time! Oh, and that’s without even mentioning when your baby decides to throw food everywhere or smear it across their face and the walls! Oh, and what about when they throw up on you? Lovely! And then there are the belongings too! There’s actually a good read on how to clean and disinfect your diaper bag, which is something you will need to do often. The good news is you probably won’t even care about all this sort of stuff. It becomes the norm!
- The faster you can meet other moms, the better – You will really start to enjoy your new role as a parent once you meet other moms that are in the same position as you. This is not to say that you should ditch your current friends. However, it can get really lonely being at home just with your baby, so it helps to meet people in the same situation.
- You’re never going to get it right – Well, in the eyes of someone anyway! No matter what you choose for your baby, be it going back to work or staying at home, breastfeeding, or using a bottle, there is always going to be someone that is saying you are doing it wrong. Don’t be shocked when your close relatives become your biggest critics. But the best bit of advice is to simply ignore them! There’s no right or wrong way; it’s all about doing things YOUR way.
- Your relationship with your partner will change – Having a baby is a big deal! Becoming parents is the biggest change you will both go through in your life, and so it would be crazy if your relationship weren’t to change as a result. It’s important to be aware of this and to really work on your relationship. Try not to neglect one other and ensure lines of communication are always kept open.
- Trust yourself – This is probably the most important part of them all. You need to trust your own intuition. There is nothing wrong with asking for help sometimes, but it’s your baby and this is your journey, trust in yourself! Every new mother wings it a bit; it’s part of the process. You’re not meant to know what to do all of the time.
- Your emotions are going to be all over the place – A lot of people assume that they are going to give birth and have a constant smile on their faces because they are going to be filled with so much love. The reality can be very different, and there is nothing wrong with this. A lot of people experience the baby blues, i.e. they feel sad once they have given birth. This happens because your hormone levels drop. Of course, if this feeling persists, you should see your doctor. And again, there is nothing wrong with that either!
- Be kind to yourself – Being kind to yourself means being kind to your baby too. You’re not helping anyone by running yourself into the ground. Make sure you take a little bit of time to yourself, whether this means going to the spa, reading a book, or simply going for a walk.
- Don’t compare your child – Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your child to others. If your friend’s baby started walking at eight months, and your child is now ten months old and hasn’t taken his or her first steps yet, so be it! It happens!