9 things I’ve learnt in my first 9 months as a Mum
I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about myself and life in general in the last nine months, motherhood is an amazing experience and a complete mindset change to anything I’ve done before! Life has changed a lot and I feel like I have too. I thought I’d put together a few things I’ve learnt because I feel like I should celebrate what has happened so far.
- “Sleep when baby sleeps”. It is the best advice I was given. Whilst it is possible to function when you only get to sleep in 1.5-2 hour spurts (if that!) you wont feel great and getting as much rest as possible really is important. A messy house really doesn’t matter, being able to appreciate the time you have with your baby really does! I didn’t necessarily always sleep when Monkey did but I would at least do nothing (eg. watch something on netflix, catch up on social media, read) and even now if I’m tired as long as I’m not hungry as well as food often comes first, I will choose sleep over anything else!
- Mum knows best. If you don’t feel confident it’s ok to ask but don’t rely on “Dr Google” as whatever helpful information you find you’ll find a hell of a lot of unhelpful information too! I have always been quite instinctive about myself and with the research I’d done before Monkey arrived I was quite happy to either work things out for myself or call my Mum for back up if I felt like I needed a bit of reassurance. Do trust your instincts, you know your baby better than anyone!
- Breastmilk is a-M-azing! I don’t want to get into a “breast is best” conversation, however, I read a lot about breastfeeding before I had Monkey and was aware of where I could go for help if I needed it (and I did!) However, the main thing I learnt is that breastmilk is reactive, the antibodies in your baby’s saliva sends messages to your body and in turn your body produces what your baby needs. That alone was enough to keep me going through the cracked nipples, mastitis, bad latch, cluster feeding and general discomfort that is the reality of the first few weeks or more of breastfeeding!
- Babies don’t follow a graph. We are all different, we have been since before we were born so to expect us to follow a line of averages is kinda silly. In honesty I found this out before I had Monkey as it was an issue when I was pregnant. At around 33 weeks my bump didn’t measure right and although the midwife could find a heartbeat she couldn’t find baby’s position as she was laid funny. Immediately this triggered my being offered a scan to check for growth, however we were about to go on holiday for nearly three weeks so wouldn’t have a scan before that anyway. We chose to refuse the scan and wait until next measurement and as it was everything was back to “average” or as near as it could be. This left me worrying throughout my holiday when really it could have been explained by the fact that she was just in a slightly different position on that particular day. In fact, a few days later I felt her turn and I’m pretty certain her head was down from that point on! Her feet were definitely in my ribs for the rest of the pregnancy!
- Time really does fly by. I’ve posted a picture and a little bit of text about our day every day since two weeks before Monkey was born, however I still have to double check that all the time that seems to have passed actually has! I guess it also links to “time flies when you’re having fun” as I am having fun, seeing the world through the eyes of someone who’s seeing it for the first time is amazing!
- Being a mum can be lonely. I’m a sociable person, most of my jobs have involved being around people all day, so being at home 24/7 with a little being who although adorable doesn’t actually speak has been very different. I have however loved it and it’s been an opportunity for me to really slow the pace down. I am also incredibly grateful for the internet and being able to speak to other people that way even if they are sometimes complete strangers….and Mum groups, well thats another story!
- The human body is amazing. So this is an obvious one, but the experience of actually giving birth was phenomenal, my body took over and it really did make me appreciate just what our bodies are capable of. Add to that the fact that I’d grown a tiny human who when she was born knew how to feed, and that my milk has helped her grow to more than double her birth weight!
- I am actually quite good at staying calm. I always say I deal well under pressure and that I’m good at problem solving, however if I think about it that is usually if there is a solution or end point I can work towards which has a logical way of working. Babies don’t work logically, Monkey suffered from colic in the first few weeks (which if I look back now might have been caused by my eating dairy) and we spent many an evening walking around with her in “tiger in the tree” hold to help ease the wind/pain for her. When she was really bad Anthony would rock her until she calmed down then I would take over and lie with her and feed until she eventually fell asleep. I surprised myself as I expected to cry when she cried (I don’t know if Anthony will mind me saying but he did cry!) however I knew that wouldn’t help and I stayed calm and just held her and spoke to her quietly until she settled. I hope I can continue this as she gets older.
- I can cope with mess and cleaning it up. When Anthony and I first got together his daughter Katie was around 18 months old and still in nappies, I point blank refused to change nappies and if I’m completely honest I really struggled with the mess on the floor after eating etc. However, there hasn’t been one time I’ve even had a second thought about it with Monkey, I spent the first three months smelling of stale milk, she projectile vomited over me after pretty much every car trip in the first two months, I had to get back in the shower on more occasions than I can count because she fed and then puked. However, even now we’re weaning and food is EVERYWHERE I cope with it and I was never sure I would. I just hope the carpet comes clean when we move out of our rental property!
So, there are just a few things I’ve learnt, probably a million more I could talk about but that will do for now! I LOVE being a Mum, even on the difficult days there’s always a ray of light at some point and I wouldn’t change a thing! Please share what you’ve learnt – I love hearing others viewpoints and experiences!