Category: Motherhood

The worst parenting advice for new mums

Have you recently had a baby? Congratulations! I’ve just had a baby too, well 5 months ago now and I can finally say I have started to get the hang…

Have you recently had a baby? Congratulations! I’ve just had a baby too, well 5 months ago now and I can finally say I have started to get the hang of motherhood now and I honestly never thought I would ever be able to say that. Especially in the first 3 months. That was the hardest for me.

I attended one of my friends baby shower the other day and she had an “Advice Book” for guests to leave a piece of advice in their about motherhood. Considering I have just been in the baby bubble recently my mind went blank. It reminded me, really clearly, about the new mum wilderness and the wasteland of parenting advice I received.

As soon as you announce you are pregnant advice comes at you from all angles. Well it did at me. I got opinions left right and centre. I was judged on every decision I made.  Advice came from anyone. An old lady in the doctors waiting room, a cashier at the supermarket, the midwife, my family and of course I became obsessed with anything baby/new mum related on the Internet, magazines  and apps. (I literally think I had every pregnancy app going.)

And the thing is, most of it is terrible. But when you are a first time mum it’s difficult to tell. You just want to be a sponge and absorb everything you are told so you can try to do a perfect job. What is the worst advice you could give to new mums?

Here’s mine 😀

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

How many people have been told this? I still get told this 5 months on :O . It’s like its everybody’s favourite piece of advice to give you. They put their hand on your arm and tilt their head whist saying it in a calm yet patronising tone. Well these people must not have had a baby in a very long time because it is not that easy. I tried. In reality when your baby naps that is the only time you get to do anything such as have a shower, eat, clean, you know, basic human needs. By the time you fall asleep for your own nap your baby will wake up again anyway. Literally no point.

The cleaning can wait

Erm no. No the cleaning can not wait. I refuse to live in a pig sty. It’s bad enough being horrendously tired with a million and one visitors to see the baby and your house being a tip. For me, a messy house made it look like a sign I was not coping. In my house if I didn’t do the cleaning then no one else was exactly going to do it so what are you suppose to do? leave the dirty pots to pile up in the sink and not wash any clothes that are covered in baby sick and you know what else?

Disclaimer: If you do have someone to do the cleaning for you then totally take up the offer and yes the cleaning can wait 🙂 Put your feet up and enjoy every moment.

Rod for your own back

I was told so many “don’ts” . I was told not to Co-sleep, not to give the baby a dummy, not to put Mole in her baby rocking chair…the list goes on. After a few weeks I ignored it all knowing the full consequences and I still do not regret any decision I have made. When it is 4am and you have been up a dozen times through the night and the only thing that will settle your baby is to sleep together I will do it. And who is anyone else to judge? No I am not making a rod for my own back by raising my baby exactly how I want thank you 🙂

Health Visitors advice

Well 99% of the advice I have received from Health Visitors has been a waste of time. I’m sure there are lovely health visitors out there but personally I am yet to come across one. Stupid questions like “Are you sleeping okay?” “Erm well no obviously I have just had a newborn baby”. “You must get some sleep” brilliant, great advice thank you. Or speaking to them about reflux and needing Mole to be sat upright was like waving a red flag at a bull. “Oh no you can’t keep a newborn upright, they have to be lay flat.”  You can’t have this or that etc you get  my point.

Google

I use Google for everything. I would Google every single symptom Mole had, I’d Google “Why is my baby not sleeping?” or “What is this mark on her?” I would stay on Google for hours scanning every single page looking for the answer. If you are doing this at 3am and you are on page 17 of Google search results I think you should stop.

Cry it out

After trying this piece fo advice I do not know who was left more traumatised me or Mole. This advice has been great for other parents I believe but not so great for me. Mole cries if she needs something or she is genuinely upset about something and leaving her to cry made matters worse. I don’t want to see my baby upset or hear her cry. I’d rather just see to her problem and then get on with making her feel better.

So there you have it. My bad parenting advice! Comment below what bad parenting advice you received!

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10 things i’d do differently next time I have a baby

No I am definitely not broody…well don’t ask me that question if I am around cute, little newborns or Mole is having a good day. But… I was thinking about what…

No I am definitely not broody…well don’t ask me that question if I am around cute, little newborns or Mole is having a good day. But… I was thinking about what I would do differently next time I have a baby. I wonder if you also would do the same or have experienced the same feelings as me?

This post will also be helpful for a new mum-to-be, getting some advice from a mum that had no clue at first and has learnt a lot from her mistakes!

1. Have my mum present during labour

Now I know I am only at number 1 and already doing this wrong as I did have my mum present during labour with Mole, but, I’d 100% make sure she was again. There is just something calming about having your mother there. Maybe it is because she has been through it before and can give you advice or maybe its helpful because everyone needs their mummy sometimes. Comment below if you had any parents present?

2. I will not put pressure on myself to breastfeed

Sure I will give it a go, just like I did with Mole and if it doesn’t work out I promise myself not to lose sleep over it. Mole has coped just fine on formula and it has been very easy with bottle feeding and working out a routine.

3. Get sleep before visitors!

This is a huge one for me. As soon as you have a new baby you are in a whirlwind and surviving off adrenaline and coffee. I am so grateful for all visitors, taking time out of their lives to see my baby and making sure we are all well, but, it completely floored me. I think next time I will wait a week before allowing visitors so I can get settled…or I will make them make their own drinks so I don’t have to keep getting up and going through the pain of my burning stitches sitting back down. Sorry not sorry.

4. Be more open with Baby Blues

I am so guilty of always painting a smile on my face and pretending i’m all good and next time I will not allow myself to do this. Its far too draining. I will be honest and ask for help when I need it and not try to cope on my own.

5. I will not listen to every single piece of advice

Some advice is definitely helpful however, I tried to take on board everyone’s advice and it didn’t work for me. I will learn as I go and make my own mistakes to learn from. Next time I will be more confident to trust my own instinct. This includes getting into my own routine and not follow someone else’s.

6.Take more photos!

I have no photographs of Mole right after I gave birth to her. I have some from a while later but I would love to see more from right when she came into the world. I think it would be incredible to see.

7. Not rush into decorating the nursery

When I was pregnant I had the whole room finished as I felt an urge to rush it all. When in reality the baby doesn’t even sleep in there for 6 months. I wish I took the time to plan out the nursery and not jump straight into the first style I had in mind.

8. Use a dummy straight away

I was told not to use a dummy because it can confuse the baby when they come to breastfeed. Mole loves her dummy as a comforter and it has saved us in so many situations where she has got herself worked up and the dummy has helped to calm her down. I wish I would have gave it to her sooner and saved some public meltdowns.

9. Save up

Next time around I’m going to try and put more money behind me so I can have longer off work and really cherish the moment of being able to spend it with raising my baby. I hate the fact that money controls how much time I will have off with Mole. I’d love to have longer as it is going by far too quickly now.

10. Not stress about getting my pre baby body back

I went to the gym just 2 weeks after giving birth. I was so disgusted with how I looked and I would slog myself at the gym to try and feel like the old me again. Although I have controlled what I eat to an extent and I have been active, your body does just go back over time. I will not go crazy trying to fit into my old jeans until I am truly ready and after more sleep.

I’m sure there are probably 100’s of things I will do differently next time around but these stuck out for me. What about you? Do any of these sound similar to you or would you change other things? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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My Feelings After Birth | Baby Blues

I was super chilled through out my pregnancy. I never freaked out or stressed out, I took every single day as it came and I couldn’t have been happier. But…

I was super chilled through out my pregnancy. I never freaked out or stressed out, I took every single day as it came and I couldn’t have been happier. But all that changed right after I gave birth.

My pregnancy involved me moving to a new town to live with my boyfriend as I currently lived with my parents and at the time, even though I was a few hours away from everything I knew, it didn’t seem to bother me.

My first words holding her were “oh my word what do I do??!!”

The moment Mole was placed on my chest I got scared. My first words holding her were “oh my word what do I do???” screaming out to the midwife. I had no experience with babies and I don’t even think I had held a baby before. It hit me, the huge amount of responsibility I had caring for her and I wanted to be perfect.

Struggling to breastfeed

After a few hours in hospital, the midwife came in and questioned me “have you not fed her yet?” in a stern tone. It was the “yet” in her question that stuck with me. I felt sick, I looked at Mole sleeping away in the little crib they have and thought, “why have I not fed you yet 🙁 ?” and then I thought “how do I even feed her?” I really did not have a clue what I was doing. It took me 10 minutes to struggle changing a nappy and one of the most important responsibilities as a mother is feeding your baby and I had no clue how to even do it! The feelings of excitement and happiness started fading away.

The feelings of excitement and happiness started fading away

Struggling to breastfeed at the start gave me so much anxiety. From not knowing when and how often she should be feeding to not knowing if I was doing it properly and Mole was having enough.

This feeling still lasted when I took Mole home from the hospital. As soon as I walked through the doors with her she cried and cried and cried. I was trying to feed her every 40 minutes but she was constantly hungry. I was up all night for about a week. I saw every hour of the clock. It wasn’t till I spoke to my mum on the phone at how much I was struggling caring for her when she asked “are you winding her?” I didn’t even know what this meant! Again I felt like I was doing everything wrong and as a mother I should know all of this stuff.

Flashbacks

I’m not sure if anyone else has gone through this, I kept on getting flashbacks of the birth. But the painful bit. It was like I had PTSD from birth trauma! My birth story went really well actually, I don’t even know what I’m complaining about as so many women have it bad, yet, it was the most traumatic event that had ever happened to me. I had never had that pain before for hours on end. Every movement I did afterwards that hurt triggered a memory of screaming to push Mole out. I could even feel the pain again in my mind.

The Nappy Train

Sadly, I could’t get to grips with how often I had to change Mole’s nappy. She would get so upset if she even just did a little wee in her nappy. For some reason I got this awful feeling of reflection. Spending most of my life in education to finally hold down a good job and now being off work to change countless nappies everyday. I don’t know why but it made me feel like a failure in my job.  It was hard to convince people around me as well that just because i’m off work doesn’t mean that I do nothing but watch TV all day, I am constantly changing nappies and feeding. I am raising a life. It was very hard to accept that being a mum is a full time job. Its the hardest full time job. And I am so grateful now that I can see it is the most rewarding full time job.

Mourning my old life

Writing this now, remembering the thoughts I had about missing my old life has got me in disbelief. I’ve had Mole for 5 months now and I wouldn’t want my life any other way. I am so grateful to have her and the happiness she gives me every single day. Nothing in the world can make me as happy as she can.

But, during the first few weeks I found myself mourning my previous life. My selfish life. Being able to shower when I wanted, sleep all night, go to the gym for two hours and not feel guilty. I would constantly question myself “What the hell have I done?” I’d gone from having it very cushy living with my parents and seeing my friends every weekend to being in a whole new town, not having anyone to help to caring for a newborn baby.

I would constantly question myself “What the hell have I done?”

Tears

I can’t tell you how many tears I shed during the first few weeks. Anything could set me off. The worst was when the midwife at my check up appointments would ask how my mood was and I’d get a horrible lump in my throat and then i’d spend the rest of the session not listening to her properly because I’d be trying my hardest not to cry, then as soon as the session was over I’d just burst into tears. I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t coping because so many people have babies and they all seem to handle it pretty well. I wanted to be like them. A strong mum.

I remember placing Mole on her play mat in front of the shower so I could multi-task watching her and getting to wash my hair. I’d step into the shower and cry. Looking at her whilst crying made me cry even harder because I felt guilty for crying when I was so lucky to have her. I’d get out of the shower and paint a smile on my face so know one could tell tears were streaming down my cheeks 5 minutes ago.

Symptoms of Baby Blues

I started to wonder if I had Post Natal Depression. But I didn’t have all of the main symptoms and some days were good days for me. I came across Baby Blues whilst researching my own symptoms and I fitted into this perfectly.

  • Crying for no reason
  • Irratbility
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Sadness
  • Restlessness
  • Impatience
  • Mood changes

It was strange really because after 2/3 weeks I felt normal. Like all of my previous feelings and struggles were just a dream. I started getting out of the house to baby classes and making new mum friends pouring my heart out to them, going on walks breathing in fresh air and began the process of loving my new life.

I wake up every single day now so content and in love. Even through the bad nights of no sleep I look at Mole and smile. I almost hate myself for ever feeling the way I did the first few weeks of her life but sometimes you can’t control what is going to happen. Hormones have a huge role to play too and i’ve accepted that I can’t blame everything on myself.

I LOVE being a mummy.

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