I was chatting to a friend of mine last night who has a 7 week old baby and it amazed me how quickly you forget that time period. It goes by in a blurry haze of nappies, naps (or not), feeds, crying (you mostly), guilt and worry. So here are some of the things I said to my friend and my friends said to me;
Dear first time mum,
No you are not a bad mum, you are a new mum, you are still getting to know your baby and it takes time.
Yes it is completely normal to be crying and hormonal weeks after giving birth, if you’re worried about it talk to your GP but in general it’s all normal.
Worry and guilt come as part of the mum package with your newborn, again all normal.
Trust your gut, if you feel there is something wrong with your baby, if you feel they have reflux or colic or something just doesn’t feel right you’re probably right.
If you’re worried about changing formula, breastfeeding, their fontanelle or the colour of your baby’s poo – welcome to motherhood – we all worried about those things too.
Not dressing your baby, changing their vest or even some days their babygro is all fine – no one else will know except you.
Inspecting their nappy and wondering should they be pooing more or less is normal.
Yes babies do get sick but if you think it’s too much or it’s clear and causing discomfort you’re right that’s not normal.
Yes babies cry and get unsettled in the evening time, most of them do that, if it’s going on for unending hours every evening that’s probably not quite normal and you’re right to be concerned, talk to your GP.
Panicking about your baby being too hot or too cold when you take them out again all normal.
Taking 4 hours to pack your bag, dress your baby and get out of the house for a 30 minute coffee – you guessed it that’s normal too.
Feeling exhausted, overwrought, emotional and generally a mess? Welcome to motherhood.
The good news is that this all will pass in the next few weeks, your friends who have been there will completely understand that you’ve not been in touch and your friends that don’t understand are not worth your time.
Go with it, spend hours cuddling your baby on the couch or snoozing while watching daytime TV with their little head cradled under your neck as they snuggle into your smell. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get everything right. Talk to other mums, seek advice if you need it and for God sake if someone offers to cook your dinner or iron your clothes or help in anyway LET THEM, it doesn’t make you any less of a person or mother.
Try and bear in mind that in a few months this little person will be growing up and wanting independence and won’t want to snuggle on the couch. You’ll be back to work and these moments are fleeting.
With best wishes from
Another first time mum.x