Becoming a mum is a life-changing experience. From the moment your mini human arrives in the world (or before!) until they reach adulthood, motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions. While moments of joy and adulation are common, any mum will tell you that being a parent can also be overwhelming at times.
To help all you new mums out there, the Pebble mums have pulled together a list of things they wish they’d known about motherhood. We hope that sharing these tips will help you navigate the challenges and cherish the precious moments.
Self-care is important
Amid the demands of caring for a newborn, it's easy for new parents to put their own needs on the back burner. However, self-care is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. We don’t mean prioritising your mani-pedi, or putting on a full face of make-up before you start the day. The reality is that some days you won’t even manage a shower. But remember that the basics are important: eat well, stay hydrated, rest when you can, and accept help from friends and family.
Embrace the baby talk and silly songs
As a mum to a small baby, you’ll soon find yourself speaking in silly voices and singing nursery rhymes wherever you go. Our top tip is to embrace it. Sing and chatter to your baby wherever you are – on a bus (there’s a nursery rhyme about that!), at the shops (that too!), or just walking down the street. Not only will your baby love you for it, but you might find it raises a smile from other mums too!
Trust your instincts
As a new mum, you'll receive a lot of advice from well-meaning folk who all have an opinion on what’s right for your little one. While it's essential to gather knowledge, remember that you are the expert on your baby. Trust your instincts. You know what works best for your and your family. You'll learn to understand your baby's cues and needs as you spend more time together. However, if something doesn’t feel right, with you OR your baby, go and ask for help.
Free fun can often be just as good as expensive toys
There are loads of wonderful toys out there but, when babies are tiny, the simple things are often just as good. Grab an empty plastic milk carton and fill it with rice. Voila! An instant rattle. Got a teddy? Put it on your head and make a silly face – honestly, who needs toys when mummy is so hilariously entertaining?!
Sleep when you can
Sleep is never easy when there is a newborn around. But, just as having enough sleep is important for your baby’s development, it is vital to your health and wellbeing too. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps, and don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you can nap if you need to. Above all, try not to obsess over it – it is so easy to become anxious about routines, sleep patterns, and getting your baby to sleep through the night. It will happen, it might just take a bit of time.
Seek out other mums
Being a new mum is not easy. That’s why it is SO important that you seek company and ask for help when you need to. One of the best ways to do this, apart from turning to family and friends, is to connect with other new mums in your area – visit local cafes and look out for stay-and-play groups. Sharing experiences, challenges, triumphs and frustrations can be very reassuring and chatting over a cuppa with other adults can help to beat the baby blues. From sensory classes or yoga for babies, through to classes for mum, search our classes directly for something close to home.
Establish routines, but don’t be upset when they go awry!
This is one of those pieces of advice that might make you roll your eyes (or worse!) in frustration, but establishing a routine can be really helpful. This doesn’t have to mean being regimented, but predictable patterns can help bring a bit of stability to life for you and the baby. Regular feeding, sleeping, and playtime schedules can help your little one develop a sense of security and aid in their growth and development, and make it easier to plan your day. One extra bit of advice that you might not hear so often is not to get upset when things don’t go to plan. No matter how well-established your routines are, life with babies in tow is anything but predictable!
Leaving the house can feel like a big deal
Pre-baby, preparing to leave the house might have meant popping your shoes on and grabbing your handbag or keys as you ran out the door. These days, getting your baby fed, changed, dressed, and into the buggy, as well as getting yourself ready, can seem like an impossible task. Especially when they decide it's time to fill their nappy just as you cross the threshold! You’ll also feel like you’ve got to pack and carry everything but the kitchen sink, even for a quick trip to the shops. However, once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’ll start to feel easier. And most importantly, the boost you’ll get from being out and about will make it worthwhile! Getting a really good nappy bag and keeping it organised can be a great way to limit the amount of time it takes to get ready.
Always be ready for a poo-explosion!
Can we say the word poo? Oops, we just did. And, let’s face it, a baby blog without at least one mention of poo just isn’t realistic. For such lovely little-tiny humans, these baby-types really can emit a huge amount of the stuff. Usually at the worst possible moment. Our top tip is always to carry extra clothes and wet wipes and always expect the unexpected when it comes to nappies. Most importantly, don’t expect baby poo to stay put in the nappy – splurges are part of motherhood!
A moment in time
Every moment with your baby is a milestone worth celebrating. From the first smile to the first step. However, while those heartwarming moments should undoubtedly be cherished, there are also some that you’ll no doubt want to forget. In those harder moments, it helps to remember that they are a snapshot in time, a moment that will pass – and when the storm passes and they look at you and smile, those moments won’t seem to matter as much.