So happy! I’ve wrote an article and it’s published on Emmas Diary!
This article is going to talk about tips and hints on handling parenthood, as well as sharing personal experiences.
Becoming a parent is a life changing experience and for many of us an overwhelming time. To go from only looking after yourself, to then this miniature human relying on you to solely just exist is like buying a ‘build your own’ swing set only for it to come without instructions.
What do you do with it? Where does it go? Then there’s always someone that comes along saying “this is how it’s done” and “you’re doing it wrong” – trust me, if you’re a first timer especially, you will get people telling you how they do it.
My first piece of advice is to listen to them, learn from their experiences and understand where they are coming from, but mainly listen to your instincts and what you feel is best for you and baby. What you want to do will be different to what someone else does as we are all different.
All that matters from pregnancy and labour, to taking that little human (or more if you had twins or even triplets – wow!) home, is that baby and how you want to raise them.
Parenthood isn’t just about your typical 2.4 family where the woman marries the man, takes his last name, then has a boy and a girl together with a house and a dog called Spot.
Parenthood is real life where the ‘perfect image’ that was depicted in social media is false news. Let’s be honest if we go back fifty years, to even centuries, families are all intertwined with their secrets, mysteries and flaws.
To anyone reading this, the reason why I’m not specifying ‘new mother’ or ‘motherhood’ is because from my experience parenthood comes from all walks of life!
If you’re reading this and you’re a single dad, a surrogate, transgender parent, in a relationship or adopting, had a baby through normal sex or gone through rounds of IVF – you are all equal. You are all welcome in joining together and all your stories are valid.
I’ve included below a Top 15 list of my personal advice for surviving the arduous yet rewarding task that is parenthood.
15 TIPS I’VE LEARNT SINCE BECOMING A MUM
1. SELF CARE
Number one piece of advice is look after yourself, and yes, trust me, I know it sounds hard to do. Whether you’ve just had a baby, adopted or have older children, if you aren’t maintaining your mental health or feeding your body healthy foods for energy, you will become depleted.
How can you look after children if you aren’t looking after you?
2. ASK FOR HELP
Never, ever, ever feel ashamed to say: “I need help.” Even if you want help holding the baby to shower, help with babysitting unruly children so you can have a meal out the house.
Maybe even asking for help for a chat. You need to be able to say: “I need someone” as you need support too.
3. TRY GETTING INTO A ROUTINE
Routine is hard to get into sometimes with whatever size family you have. As a single mother of three, I feel that my children need to have that routine to rely on.
4. ENJOY YOUR BABY AS IT GOES SO QUICKLY
This may sound cliché but it’s true. Blink and you’ll miss it.
5. IF PREGNANT, DON’T COMPARE YOUR PREGNANCY TO EVERYONE ELSE
We’re all different and some pregnancies suck more than others. Some mothers glow and if you’re like me you’ll look dull and sweaty from day sickness.
6. DON’T BELIEVE IN MORNING SICKNESS
It can last all day.
7. MAKE A BIRTH PLAN, JUST DON’T PLAN ON IT GOING TO PLAN
I love the idea of thinking in your head what you want but please remember, labour isn’t always plain sailing. Don’t be disappointed that you couldn’t do it how you wanted.
I would’ve loved a water birth, but not allowed as my first became ill due to pro-longed rupture of membranes, leading to Strep B. So when my other two children’s waters eventually broke I had to be induced.
8. DON’T GOOGLE EVERYTHING
We all should know this, Google shows you the worst!
9. IF PREGNANT DON’T EAT FOR TWO
Your body becomes more efficient during pregnancy and is able to absorb more of the nutrients you eat. So, consuming twice as much doesn’t double your chances of having a healthy baby – instead, it’s likely to mean excessive weight gain for you, which can put you at risk for pregnancy complications.
Check with your midwife based on your weight about what calories you should be consuming.
10. SPEAK TO YOUR MIDWIFE/HEALTH VISITOR/GP IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS
If pregnant and worried about reduced foetal movements, get it checked. If post birth you’re worried about your vagina/c-section scar go get checked.
If breastfeeding and you have warm, painful breasts go get checked (I developed Mastitis.)
11. IF PREGNANT DON’T RUSH TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT
Your body. Take your time.
12. POST BIRTH – BAN VISITORS IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS
Every family needs this ‘bubble’ time so you can have time with your new baby alone.
13. POST BIRTH – DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE HOUSEWORK AFTER THE BIRTH
Leave it all!
14. FILL THE FREEZER WITH HOMEMADE MEALS
This works for any parent, whether new or a well weathered parent like myself. I love home cooking meals, so on days I need to feed the family a healthy meal – it’s already there!
15. DON’T FEEL GUILTY
If you’re a mother who wants to breastfeed – do it. If you’re a mother who had a C-section – you are a total boss. If you’re a mother who delivered naturally with or without pain killers – you, my friend, are a Queen!
For more of my ‘mama’ blog posts see:
- Winifred Phoenix-Koda – TIPS on how to handle single pregnancy, labour, motherhood.
- Personal rant on Mental Health and people / 15 Positive Quotes
- The bit on baby wearing!
- Time to Talk
- Poem for my second born baby.
- Reviewing an amazing SEVEN epic MAM items!
- Parenting Hack
- Why you should embrace, connect & support all lifestyles
- Games to play with babies up to 12 months – TRIED AND TESTED.
- The one lesson I’d tell my younger self.
- TOP 10 TIPS for childrens bedtime
- I hate being a mum.
- Rules to teach your daughter
- 10 things you never knew about Meconium – babies first poo!
- WAVE OF LIGHT
- The Visual Baby Poo diaries: TEN Bits Of Information.
- Jessie Bakes Lactation Mix/products for nursing mamas!
- To my third child for her 1st Birthday.
- I’ve been there – a poem to the new mum
- Going to baby group and being in a nightclub is the same thing, here’s 10 reasons why
- Hang in there, my friend – a poem to the single parent
- Things they don’t tell you in the baby books – a poem.