What a whirlwind of year Nick and I have had! I can’t believe we are already in September, are you kidding me? Although the year has seemed to go quite slow, somehow, in the blink of an eye it has got us here, and Felix is almost 9 months old already. The things he has learnt to do now are quite exciting/slightly alarming; he crawls quicker than lightning at EVERY potential hazard as soon as he comes out of his play pen, and pulls himself up on absolutely everything and anything he can get his chubby little mits on. Since the very beginning of this journey to now, I have learnt so much, and grown immensely as a person. I am really proud of how far Nick and I have come. Today I thought it would be fun to share with you eight things I have learnt as a first time mum. I would love to hear if any of you fellow mumma’s out there can relate!
I just would also like to quickly state before I jump in, that all these opinions are my own, what I have personally learnt throughout my motherhood journey so far, and are 100% not intended what so ever to insult/offend anybody.
You are not going to get much, sorry in advance. When people tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, I highly recommend doing this. I thought at the start I could catch up on Netflix, blog posts, and enjoy the things I used to before Felix arrived. Sadly for me, this was a rare occurrence. In reality, as soon as we got Felix to sleep, you bet I had passed out myself. I do admit that as your baby gets older, their sleeping will become better, so that is something to definitely look forward to. However, even though Felix has about two little naps during the day, and sleeps all night consistently (unless he is teething), it doesn’t matter how much sleep I get. I’m always tired no matter what. Oh the joys of looking after a high energy, clingy and demanding little boy. No amount of coffee can make me feel like I’m on top of the world again, so I’m pretty much used to living like I’m in a dream most days.
Unfortunately not all friendships last forever even without the new arrival of a baby. So, be prepared to expect some sudden changes/lack of interest or absence with some people. If your friends are still just as amazing and supportive as they always have been, hold onto them tight as this doesn’t happen very often. I expected different reactions with people during and after my pregnancy, as did Nick. There were people who cared a lot at the beginning and then all of a sudden just disappeared. Some people would send me a message and attempt to organise a catch up, and then just didn’t bother following through. Some vanished because I couldn’t go out drinking anymore, and then some still ask me to go out drinking on weekends even to this day, when I’ve explained why I can’t/don’t want too. Sure, I’ve had a couple of (thoroughly planned) cute wine brunch dates since I stopped breastfeeding, but they certainly are not the same as going out and getting wasted, which some people seem to think is a good activity to invite a first time mum along too. Then Nick has had some friends in his life who were once really close to him, that didn’t care what so ever about the pregnancy or Felix, and still haven’t even congratulated him.
Of course I still have a few amazing friends who have stayed in touch with me, and constantly ask about how we are going which is lovely and I am forever thankful for that. Being a new mum is tough, and even though not all of your friends will be able to relate, it’s nice that some of them still put the effort in understanding how you have been coping, and choose to stick by you no matter what. Those friends are the real gems. It sure is accurate when they say “if you want to know who your true friends are, have a baby” because you learn very quickly.
You quickly realise what is more important, and what you used to take for granted a lot beforehand. It’s only natural for your baby to come first, and wanting them to have the best life possible. In order for that to happen you need to make different life choices, make sacrifices and give up on things you used to do, or at least put them on hold. Obviously I had to keep myself healthy whilst pregnant and keep my mental health at a manageable level. Now, I’m forever running around the house getting everything Felix needs whether it be a bottle or a clean nappy, washing bottles, doing daily laundry, and constantly entertaining and cuddling him until he finally naps. By the time Felix is happy, half the time I rarely have time for myself, so my Youtube channel has to take a back seat because this mumma needs extra coffee and nap when I get free time! I’m lucky if I get to watch a bit of of Youtube each day, let alone able to watch an entire girly movie on my own. I’ve also forgotten what sleeping in feels like. to me, waking up at 7 is a sleep in! However, even though it is such a massive life change, having a baby is one of the most amazing things you can do, and definitely something to be proud of. I love my little boy to the moon and back, I would do anything for him, and I can’t ever imagine life without him. It’s so weird to think of my life before he was even in it!
‘You time’ is important
As mums, we make a lot of sacrifices to make sure our children are bought into the world as healthy and safe as possible, and continue to do everything we can to protect them as they grow. Even though I was more than ready to meet Felix and begin my journey of motherhood, I had no idea how big of a job it really is. Sure, I knew I would be tired, but I didn’t realise how much! Some days of course are easier than others, but other times I just feel so spaced out and want to crawl back into bed as soon as Felix shows any sign of taking a nap! This gets me down as I would love to spend more time doing things I enjoy when the opportunity arises. So Nick and I now have this arrangement where every Wednesday, we alternate between who gets the whole day to themselves, whilst the other watches Felix. Since this was put into place I have been able to meet up more with friends, read, listen to podcasts, catch up on blog and video planning. (I also do blogging at night given I haven’t had too much of a crazy day!) At the beginning of our arrangement, I felt guilty, like I was being a bad mum. But then I told myself I needed to chill out, and just enjoy myself because at the end of the day we are all human, and everybody needs some ‘me time’ once in a while! There was no point worrying when Felix was happy and safe with Dad! Also on the plus side, if I go out for the day I can get excited about coming home to his cheeky little face. If we didn’t get time to ourselves occasionally, we would all become bitter and miserable beings, or even go a bit mad. Nobody wants that! I am not a bad mum, I’m a damn good one, and if this mumma occasionally wants a prosecco in the sun, she damn well deserves one!
Now if you are in a relationship when you bring a baby into the world, be prepared for it to become greatly tested. To be completely honest, I believe you must have a pretty strong relationship, and have been with your partner for a decent amount of time for it to work, as your lives are about to change completely. I’m not going to lie and say things with Nick have been perfect, because of course they haven’t. We have fought many times over the smallest of things, mostly due to the fact we are both always so overtired. Things get to me a lot more, such as Nick’s unhealthy obsession with his online gaming, which he said he was going to cut back on once Felix arrived, yet he still plays just as much. Then of course if he isn’t working, he will often sleep in, leaving me feeling frustrated. I love my son unconditionally, don’t get me wrong! I would just sometimes appreciate more help from Nick considering we both chose to do this together. Other than that, Nick is an amazing father, and he supports me throughout everything. He always looks after us even though he doesn’t have the greatest job, and it melts my heart watching him play with Felix, making him smile and laugh. Nick and I could have broken up many times over the duration of our relationship, yet we stay together because despite the few arguments here and there, we love each other, we are best friends and now we are a family. We know how to make this work, and we are determined too. After all, nobody is perfect, no ones relationship is perfect, and everybody has flaws. So we don’t let anything negative outweigh the positive things about our relationship and our life together, and choose to focus on what’s more important instead. It’s been this optimistic mindset and determination which has kept us strong. Our communication sometimes could be better I have to admit, but we can only work on that.
You begin to notice that you have learnt almost every single word to all of the children’s TV shows your child watches, and are low key proud of it. You quite often find yourself dancing around like a complete idiot just to entertain them, even if it means doing the ‘Propeller’ when the Wiggles comes on. In fact, you have already purchased tickets to the Wiggles and your child isn’t even 1 year old yet. The mum voice is so real, you cringe every time you playback a video you have filmed of your child, and make sure to give people warning before showing them. Your phone is full of photos of them, many just complete replicas of them doing the exact same thing, just in a different outfit on a different day. You have already been desensitised to their poo and vomit, and can often guess the colour of their poo just by the smell before you even take their nappy off. You have also tasted all of their baby food including their formula, and didn’t gag like you would have done years ago. Your house plants are slowly dying, you can never find your keys or wallet, and you have often forgotten to drink cups of tea before they go cold. However, none of that matters as you have recently discovered you can make a pretty darn good Count von Count impression which your child thinks is hilarious.
I’ve always had a bit of an unhealthy obsession with buying makeup, and too much of it. As a beauty Youtuber and Blogger, the demand for reviews of products is always high, everybody always wants to get their hands on the newest and most popular eyeshadow palette or highlighter before it sells out or becomes irrelevant. Yes, I still buy myself a couple of cheeky goodies from time to time, but since having Felix I now spend most of my money on things for him. At the start it was mainly clothes etc (which I continue to buy regularly considering babies grow SO fast, another thing I wasn’t prepared for!) but now it’s also presents for Christmas, as well as his birthday (which is three days after Christmas!) I am sure most mums can relate, and even when we think we really shouldn’t/can’t afford that amazing little jumper with the embroidered hedgehog on the front, we over indulge in Afterpay and Zippay and don’t even have any regrets. All whilst we are still currently rocking our old clothes we wore before we were pregnant because it isn’t every day we leave the house anyway.
Unwelcome/annoying advice and opinions.
I just knew this would happen the moment I fell pregnant. People these days just can’t help themselves. I’m talking about those annoying people who try to shove ‘parenting advice’ down your throat before you even get to experience a morsel of new mummy life yourself. It is even worse when it comes from people without children. There is always so many parenting opinions out there, from breastfeeding to how you should be spending your money. I got really irritated at the start when I was being told what prams and car seats I should buy, hearing the ones I like are not good or not within my budget etc. Some people got offended that I didn’t want their child’s old hand-me-downs, and then thinking I was nothing but a stuck up, spoilt brat for it. Well I’m sorry Carol, I don’t want your child’s dirty old rocker thank you… by the way how do I even know you… having a barista as a partner, many of his regulars who knew of Felix would try to offload their children’s old crap to him, and I didn’t even know who they were!
I believe that because this experience was a first for me, and it was mine, that I had every right to choose my own things I wanted, so that’s exactly what I did! Sure, if I have a second child I can imagine I’ll be far more easy going, but I believe it’s so important to let a first time mum be just that, a first time mum! Let her get excited for things like choosing a cot, let her do her own research and dream of the day she can choose their child’s first bike, don’t be that person who goes out and buys one, especially without asking! It’s not cool to take that moment away from new parents. However, of course it’s still okay to offer some friendly advice, or ask if they would like some help, but don’t drown the mum to be, you know what I mean. All that is going to do is stress them out. I ended up leaving Facebook pages dedicated to parents in my area because there was just too much nagging and drama for me to put up with anymore. If you know me, I absolutely hate to be spoken to like I’m uneducated, it really sets me off. It was as if some people didn’t even consider that I would have researched as much as I could myself before and during my pregnancy in preparation for Felix. After all, he was 100% planned! We tried for him for months!
On the flip side however, I did meet some amazing mumma’s around my age through social media who I still talk to now that have been absolutely incredible, kind and supportive. Then there are a few girls I already knew prior to our pregnancies who I already thought highly of. I love being able to talk to these mums because we all are on the same journey, and have so much we can relate with each other. There is no judgement, just constant support, friendly advice, jokes and funny stories about our little ones. Not to mention opinions on which nappy lasts the longest over night! It is worth remembering that not all advice out there has to be unwelcoming, but make sure to stand up for yourself if you feel like somebody is just trying to make you feel stupid or belittle you. Even if they have a heap of parenting experience, that is still no excuse to make a new parent feel like crap just to satisfy their ego.
So that’s all for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed it, mummy or not! Hope you have a lovely day, and thank you so much for reading!