By Siobhan Miller
Today we are picking the brains of The Double Mama, Siobhan Miller: Mama to two boys – an 8 year old pre-teen and a new(ish) baby, hypno-birthing advocate. She is avoiding returning to work by helping-out other working Mums in the form of a breakfast club for children. How great is that?
And she’s just started a blog The Double Mama . Give the breastfeeding post a read – its a goodie.
Here are her top tips:
STAY AWAY FROM AMAZON 1-CLICK ORDERING.
There is a lot of stuff out there for babies – and New Mamas and Mamas-to-be. In reality, you need hardly anything. My advice is: Recognise that you’re in a vulnerable position and an easy sell. Wait until baby arrives and then decide if you actually need that over-priced gadget, wonder-cream or monstrous-looking play thing.
CLOTHES HAVE TO BE SACRIFICED.
There’s absolutely no point wasting your hard-earned cash on tons of expensive newborn outfits 1) because they grow so damn fast in those initial few weeks, you’ll be lucky if any item’s number-of-wears hits double figures! And 2) when they do wear something nice, they just shit all over it anyway. Explosive bright yellow shit, that no amount ofVanish will ever shift.
BIRTH CAN BE THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
You get to be aGODDESS after having been an irritable whale for months (or was that just me?!). It’s beautiful, amazing (in the fullest sense of the word) and totally empowering. I was lucky enough to have a homebirth with my second and it was nothing short of magical.
YOU MIGHT GO LOOPY.
When you first get home with your new bundle and the enormity of it all sets in, you might have some bat shit crazy thoughts/emotions and it can be quite frightening/overwhelming. Having spoken to others about this, I know I wasn’t the only mental mother. So if you’re pregnant right now, consider this a heads-up.
BREASTFEEDING IS A SKILL.
In mostly all other situations in life women recognise and accept that you don’t just master a new skill straight away. It takes practice. (Unless you get super lucky or massively wing it). So absolutely DO give breastfeeding a go (if you want to), and it can be wonderful (if it works out) – just manage your expectations. It will take a bit of perseverance and a lot of practice before you both get the hang of it.
EVERYONE IS JUST WINGING IT.
I was so young when I had my first (21) and I thought everybody else had got their shit together and so I put myself under this immense pressure to be doing the ‘right’ thing, ALL OF THE TIME. It was no fun. I didn’t know (but wish I had) that all the other new Mamas were just the same as me, scared shitless that they were going to make some catastrophic irreversible mistake with extreme consequences.
SAVOUR EVERY MOMENT.
It goes fast, like waaaaay too fast. With my first I was all about the milestones and couldn’t wait for him to roll over, to sit up, to walk, to talk or whatever else. Second time around, I just completely hibernated and spent every minute I could breathing in this gorgeous, fragile,magical little newborn, because I knew that this precious time, this babybubble of love, wouldn’t last.
OMG THE LACK OF SLEEP. THE EXHAUSTION.
For all the moaning you will do about the broken nights, all the ‘what I would give for some sleep’ conversations, all the obsessing (and it will dominate your life – the subject of sleep), don’t wish away the night feeds. They really won’t last forever.Thinking of those middle-of-the-night snuggles as special and precious as opposed to something that has to stop, makes them a lot easier to handle.
MILESTONES MEAN NOTHING.
It will, at first, feel like everything is a competition. Firstly there’s feeding, then sleeping, followed by weight gain,weaning, rolling, sitting, crawling, teething, walking, talking etc. It’s exhausting. Just know that those milestones, which seem so hugely important at the time, become so insignificant. Ask a second-time parent afew years further down the line and chances are they won’t even remember when their kid did any of these things. I sure don’t.
LOVE IS BLIND.
Just know this: With my first, I tried so hard to be objective – and I still believed he was by far the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. 8 years on I look at photos and he was super fat (no neck to speak of whatsoever), totally bald and pulled some really ugly-ass faces. Being blinded by love is a cliché for sure but that don’t mean it’s not true. Your baby looks beautiful to you. There are no guarantees that he/she actually does. And people will lie to you. So just bear that in mind when you feel like gushing about his/her superior beauty all over your social media accounts.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Just when you think you’ve lost touch with all your old non-parent mates, you’ll meet a whole new bunch of awesome kick-ass women who will support and inspire you. Be this online (Hello Instagram!) or in real-life (Hello Mothers Meetings!) however it happens you’ll connect with a community of Mamas to share this crazy journey that is Motherhood.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
You are EXACTLY what your baby needs. You have all the tools, the intuition and the strength. The guilt is going to come, and it’s relentless, but you’ll come to realise that you have never been loved and adored so fiercely as you are by your child. They will worship you. So when the guilt and the anxiety and the worry sets in, have a little faith in yourself and your mothering abilities and remember this: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
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