I’ve been trying to think of a starting blog for some time now, as I thought it best to do something introductory rather than launch into what is actually going on in my brain and scare people away. So given that Reuben is just over a year now, I thought I’d begin with what I’ve learned, usually the hard way, over the past year and a bit.
- Let’s start with labour. Labour really hurts as my community midwife said, rather motivationally “it’s why they call it labour”. We all have or will have a unique labour story, there’s always an horrific bit that you will learn to laugh about eventually (shout out to Iron Fingers the midwife). In my opinion there’s a lot of focus on this bit than the after bit (not that after bit) it’s not the greatest experience, but you’ll feel hard as nails after. YEAHHHHH.
- Newborn baby poo is way better to deal with than toddler poo. Trust me.
- Sleep. I miss it so much. Nothing will prepare you for the lack of sleep, and just when you think you’re getting into a ‘routine’ (ha ha ha ha) you lose sleep again, and this isn’t exclusive to the first year, oh no my friends. In my opinion having a bad night’s sleep having got used to sleeping more hours, is worse than the initial newborn feeding every two hours in the night phase.
- Trust your instincts. Everyone said this to me before I had Reubs, I admit I scoffed a bit, thinking that I would never be instinctive enough to know what to do having not bred before, but it’s true. Instinct kicks in and you know when to go to the doctor, stop feeding, put them to sleep, ask dad to change the nappy…. And on that note Dads can have instincts too, more so sensing when to remove the child to allow mum five mins peace in this house….
- Every child is different. It’s so easy to compare them, we all do it, and we all think our child is advanced in some way or another. The reality is, like adults, they tend to learn things at different stages individually. Much like I have learnt to check the house for dirty cups when doing the dishes and yet at the age of 31 my husband is only able to wash what is directly in front of him. However he can remove spiders, so it’s swings and roundabouts. Try not to get swept away with competitive mums, we’ve all got enough on our plates.
- The first year goes fast. It really does. For me the first six months dragged (hey, thanks colic!), but after that I found my feet more and the time seemed to fly by. There was the odd week where it felt like time had stopped still but suddenly you’ve got a toddler and not a baby anymore (hey, there’s that toddler poo!). And although the toddler phase brings its own rewards (a walking, fully mobile child) it also brings its own challenges (a walking, fully mobile child), and every so often I do miss those newborn cuddles. Not enough to breed again just yet though ta.
- And now I will end this, annoyed at not reaching ten like I wanted to (irrational hatred of odd numbers), but this actually makes this point all the more relevant. I have learned that my brain power has reduced “slightly”. I’m no longer able to retain as much information as before (unless it’s really important like an ASOS discount code), but I have acquired some new skills. I can basically do anything one-handed, I know all the Thomas the Tank engine characters, and I can find myself round creaky floorboards like a member of the SAS. So it’s not all bad.