Finding out that you're having a baby can be very overwhelming and the only thing you really want and need is for someone to say it like it is! On the other hand, even if you have a kid, it is so reassuring when someone understands what a day in real-life parenting is like! How amazing would it be if we had a magical book with all the answers?
I can't create a magical book for you, but here are a few things that might be worth knowing or feeling reassured about!
Flexibility is key.
The best advice I can give is to go with the flow! The truth is that anything can change at any point. Your delivery date might change, you might have an unexpected nappy explosion or even a kid who's just not in the mood! Be open to adapting and modifying your plans - by having a flexible approach to the day. You'll take the pressure off of yourself, your partner and your little one. No matter what you think or have read, taking a flexible approach does not make you a failure, and it sure as hell doesn't make you an unorganised parent! Want to know my Mantra? "One step at a time".
A perfect parent is a myth.
Sometimes parenting can look fit for a superhero who basically has everything under control and manages to save the day all the time! We're practically fed that image by the media, old wife tales and the mum-guilt. Surely you've heard people say, "your instinct will kick in!". The reality is that it doesn't always - we're all just winging it, and that's allowed! Modern-day parenting is so hard! juggling a family, child, job, society and the list goes on. So rest assured that there is no perfect parent; we're all just doing what we can to raise decent human beings. The next time you judge yourself or your parenting based on a snippet from someone's life, remember that their child probably has full-blown tantrums at Asda too.
You'll need to fall in love with the new you.
As soon as you find out that you're becoming a parent, your body starts to get to work. It adapts, changes and works in ways that sometimes (ok, most of the time) aren't within our control! The fact is that your postpartum body will definitely change in one way or another, and trust me when I say that I know it's not easy letting go of those perfect pre-baby boobs or accepting that you've jumped a few dress sizes up. Some parts of you will get back to normal over time, but some things will stay as a reminder of your bravery and motherhood. So, Let's celebrate them instead of putting ourselves down! Change up for style, educate yourself on what suits you, try subscribing to a clothing rental if you can't afford the trial and error method. Go for regular walks to be at one with yourself and fall in love with the new you! And if 'body positivity feels overwhelming, try practising neutrality instead. We bet you can list 20 things that matter more about you and your life than your body!
It's the most selfless thing you'll do.
I honestly think that becoming a mother was the most selfless thing I could have ever done! You have to put your little hooligan first every time! The old me had a clear cut plan of where I'd want to be at 25 - Have a big job, living my best life in the city, travelling the world whenever and wherever I wanted...you get the picture! Obviously, these things aren't impossible for me to do. Still, I have now come to terms with the fact that firstly, it'll be more challenging than I imagined and secondly, that life is longer than we make out, and it's a journey, so I'm just going to go with the flow and do the things I want in my own time whether that's in my 30's 40s or later. Someone once told me, "You might not be where you want right now, and that's okay! You'll just take a little more time to get there."
You'll know the real meaning of unconditional love.
When you have a child, it's a weird kind of love! The kind that can't hold grudges even if they've said some mean things, the kind that won't let you stop kissing their forehead and cheeks every five minutes, a kind that actually hurts your heart if they get hurt and the sort of love that you can't imagine a life without - even if you're having the crappiest of days. Okay, you might for a split second! It's truly unconditional.
I would love to hear what you think! What did you wish you knew before becoming a parent?
Lots Of Love,
Himanshi @ Mamamade