Friday, 22 July 2011

The advice I wish I'd been given as a first time parent

I have five pieces of advice for first time parents, all thing that I wish someone had told me before my bub came along.

The first piece of advice is to buy some travel mugs. When bub first arrived I found it impossible to drink hot drinks whilst holding him so I was constantly drinking cold tea. After about five weeks I finally thought of putting my drink in a travel mug and now I can enjoy my hot drinks whilst holding bub. 
If I go out for coffee I get my drink in a take-away cup too because bub is sure to want to get out of the pram, or else he'll need a feed before I've finished my drink.

The second piece of advice is to ignore all the advice you get. When bub first arrives (and often before bub arrives) I was constantly bombarded with advice from everywhere. It happens at the time when you are most vulnerable and least able to deal with it. Everyone has an opinion, from friends and family to the guys at hubby's work to the mailman. Ignore them all and do what feels right for you. You are the only one who knows what will work for you and your baby, so trust that.
Hubby and I chose a few people who we would rely on for advice (our obstetrician, GP and two midwives) and ignored everyone else. 
Adjusting to life with a baby is difficult enough without everyone constantly bombarding you with advice.  

Having said that, the third piece of advice is do not be afraid to tell people that they can't visit or kick them out if they have visited for too long. Having visitors is exhausting (especially if they are bombarding you with advice!) and sometimes it just gets too much, so don't hesitate to ban visitors if you need to. You have enough to do just looking after yourself and bub, the last thing you need is to have visitors who you have to try to be hospitable too. If they are the type of visitors who are helpful and will look after themselves and make you a drink, or hold bub whilst you have a shower, get them to visit every day! :)

The fourth piece of advice is don't be afraid to ask for help and if help is offered, accept it. Looking after a newborn is difficult and it's a huge life adjustment. If people offer to help out say yes. There are many ways that people can help that are easy for them to do and they make a huge difference to you. For example, some things that people did for me that were really helpful: made a meal for me (or bought over take-away), did the laundry, did the dishes, came food shopping with me, held bub whilst I had lunch and watched bub whilst I had a shower. They are all little things that made my day so much easier. People enjoy helping out, it makes them feel useful, so really, by accepting help you are making someone feel good :) 

The last piece of advice is to stop and enjoy the moment and remember that the sleep deprivation is a temporary thing. Whenever I'm feeling frustrated/tired/like I can't do it anymore, I stop, take a deep breath then look at bub and remember what a miracle he is and how blessed I am to have a healthy, happy baby. 

1 comment :

  1. I had twins ten years ago. When I was pregnant my mother-in-law told me that she gladly would help us out when the babies would arrive. I never saw any help coming. One day she promised to take care of the babies while I had a nap since I was really tired after having no sleep for weeks. I had just fallen asleep when she walked in the room woke me up and told me that one of the babies needed a new diaper.... need I say more?


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