If I had a champagne for every time that I used that phrase over the last 9 weeks I would be living an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. No amount of books or experience can prepare you for having your own baby. No amount of google searches can reassure you when your emotional attachment to this tiny human is so big. You find yourself up at 3am typing in ‘normal baby poo colour’ like it’s the biggest thing you could ever be worried about.
When I was younger I nannied for twin newborns and loved every minute of it. I dreamt about the day I became a mum and with experience under my belt I knew exactly how I wanted to look after my baby. I knew what products I wanted to use and not use and the routine I wanted to follow. Like most new mums you have 9 months (that feels like 17 frigging years) of receiving advice and researching what you will and won’t do when baby comes. But reality is that when they lift that tiny wet alien onto your chest nothing can prepare you for the journey that you are about to embark on. Your life and most probably your nipples will never be the same.
“Such a good look. Went out to get sparkling water, beer and nappies. Forgot the nappies - terrible parent alert! Also realised that my breast pad had bunched up in a ball. I’m hoping I have better luck tomorrow!”
You make it through the haze that is the first few weeks, a life chapter that is lacking sleep yet filled with love and endless koala cuddles, I love my baby more than anything else. BUT don't let this image for a minute give you the impression that it is all rainbows and fairy floss........
When the dust settles you get used to the little life that is attached to you (literally attached…release the nipple child!). It is then that you want your baby to sleep or want them to go longer between feeds and the list goes on. You start researching and trialling everything that you can possibly think of. After all this parenting gig is all just trial and error. One minute the baby has colic, the next it is mixing up day and night. I have tried it all, colic relief, extra burping, keeping baby upright for an hour after each feed, dream feed then dropping the dream feed then starting the dream feed back up again. In her cot with a blanket on, in her cot with two blankets on, white noise apps, flying in Monks from Nepal to chant her to sleep (it was my next option if white noise didn’t work). Bed at 7, bed at 7.15, bed at 7.30 – cause they will all give a different outcome of course….
The one night that I really knew I was taking the whole trial and error approach too far (apart from the time last week that I gave up chocolate – really just too extreme) I was standing in front of the mirror after my shower (if you can count 30 seconds under water and only washing the important bits, a shower?) I started to wonder if wearing deodorant was having an effect on her sleeping patterns. What a knob. I stood there for at least 5 mins (an eternity of alone time with a newborn) and debated whether or not I had worn deo last night and if it was the reason she slept so well, or maybe I didn’t wear it and that is why she slept so well – insert panicked blank stare. I then slapped myself and realised that I could possibly be losing the plot. But that is what motherhood can do to you. You get given so much advice and everyone does things differently and that’s why it comes down to trial and error. Trialling things that work for you and trusting your instincts.
The reason I wanted to write for My Tiny Wardrobe is because mums like Amy and I have to stick together and support each other and take comfort in the fact that what works for some may not work for others. That you are not alone and rocking back and forth in a corner occasionally is normal. We will always have our own ideas and opinions on how we want to parent our child and figuring it all out is part of the job description. I am still figuring it out.
"OK, so this is why I never blow dry and have my hair out. Little grasping hands whilst feeding! What a shame, because I always have the time and energy to make the effort...."
Every baby, every mum is different but we are all doing our best. There is no right or wrong (unless you are Britney circa 2006 driving with your baby on your lap – that’s probably pushing it) to how you approach motherhood. Some days you will be like Martha Stewart and folding undies like a boss and other days you won’t be sure who is crying more out of you and the baby.
"When cooking dinner becomes unhygienic...... unsettled due to wind I called it".
Being a mum is the most rewarding and amazing job in the world and I am so blessed and grateful to have a beautiful daughter. You just have to take the good with the bad, and when it’s really bad there is always wine.