My first year being a parent - what I have learnt(5 Posts)
This is my first post here but since having dd1 a year ago have found these forums invaluable for advice and even just to know I'm not the only one going through something. So I thought I would share a few of the things I have learnt in case they are of any use to anyone else:
1 - you can survive on far less sleep than you ever thought possible.
2 - excepting your life has changed forever is far less stressful and exhausting than trying to do everything you did before
3 - celebrity mothers clearly have lots of help to get back in shape
4 - having a baby will change you and your partner's lives - it won't necessarily make any difference to anyone else. So if your mother has always been self centred and lazy, then she probably still will be
5 - they do let you take your baby home from hospital even though you are clearly incompetent at looking after a small child
6 - it does get easier, or you learn to cope better with not really knowing what to do
7 - it's one of the hardest things you will ever do, but you can't really explain it to anyone without children
8 - most parents whose kids are older than about 5 only seem to remember the good bits about having a baby, not the exhaustion, frustration and the need to just cry sometimes
9 - if your baby has reflux there is very little research done into it, you just have to keep going back to your doctor until you find something that works
10 - co-sleeping is not the work of the devil, your child can learn to sleep on their own even when they just slept on you for the first 3 months
11 - this is not something you can really tell people in real life but your own baby is the most beautiful, interesting and clever little person in the whole world
That's about it, I think. Feel free to add to the list.
I thought this was going to be a post full of your advice about how to get babies to sleep, eat etc based on what worked for your baby - but it isn't
12 - babies are all different and plenty of the advice you are given won't apply to yours
13 - you can drive yourself nuts trying to work out why your baby won't conform to the textbook, it's easier to accept the textbook might be wrong (or wrong for your baby)
14 - lots of mothers don't enjoy the baby stage (but few of them will admit this in RL)
Totally agree minipie, it didn't even occur to me that my baby wouldn't want to sleep in the lovely moses basket I bought for her. So after a few days of getting other peoples 'advice', we just did what worked for us and co-slept. There are a few I forgot to add:
- Give yourself time to recover from labour, you wouldn't run a marathon and expect to be doing housework the next day. So if you need it, take any opportunity to rest.
- Breast might be best but formula is second best. BF doesn't always work out for some people and mix feeding or exclusively FF when it wasn't your intention does not make you a bad mother.
- Any hostile thoughts you have towards your sleeping DH at 3am when you're trying to get your crying baby to latch correctly can be ignored. Sleep deprivation is used as torture for a reason ;-)
As for sleep advice, I've tried lots of things but will let you know when I find the magic cure. I suspect there isn't one but the promise of more sleep has made a lot of money for some people. I also think I may be slightly more cynical now.
Great thread. DS is one on Saturday and I can't believe it's been a whole
exhausting, funny, joyful, terrifying, busy, incredible year!
Ooh, sleep deprivation is NOT a competition. The sooner I stopped counting hours 'owed' and glaring angrily at DP every time he yawned we turned a corner and felt much more able to deal with our new lives!
You WILL drop/not get there in time/bump a head and you WILL feel like the worst mummy alive but it is a right of passage.
You will do something so 'mumish' one day ( mine was spitting on my thumb to wipe a sticky smear of DS' forehead) and you will be struck with the enormity that you are a mum and you are there shaping the life of a bonafide human being who will have hopes and dreams.
You will meet some really annoying new mums who then make friends with all your friends, and although it's clear you can't stand each other, you will bump into each other all the time... and remember what it was like to be at secondary school and wish you could forget...
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