All you pregnant-for-the-first-time mums-to-be, here's some heart-to-heart advice from one rookie mum to a rookie-mum-to-be. Don't take these for granted, EVER, because once you're a mum, you will long for…
This is THE number one thing a new mum craves for – night and day – for the first six (or more) months after giving birth. Middle-of-the-night feeds, multiple night wakings, short/ inconsistent naps, baby who refuses to sleep anywhere except on your shoulder – it all adds up! So, take our (experienced parents') advice and sleep, sleep, sleep as much as your heavily pregnant tummy allows you to. Enjoy late weekend lie-ins (our weekends begin at 6.30 am now) and uninterrupted sleep.
2. Privacy in the loo
Ok, for the first few months, you can still manage unaccompanied trips to the loo but once your little becomes mobile, it's all flushed down the toilet! He/she will follow you to the loo EVERY TIME, look up at you, look down the loo, ask to sit on your lap, demand to be entertained, will pull the toilet roll all the way to the bedroom, will flush while you are still sitting on the loo, will make you sing 'Wheels on the Bus' or will make your semi-naked body into a race-track for his cars. You will literally have to Skip to the Loo, so as weird as it may sound, respect this private time you will never have again for years to come.
3. Shopping (including grocery shopping)
However uninteresting your weekly grocery shop might seem to you now, believe me, you will long to go to your supermarket either a) to get a break from being a 24/7 spit/ puke/poo/food cleaner or b) to be able to shop without your toddler erupting into a volcanic tantrum in the middle of the cereal isle or bringing down an entire row of baked bean cans or darting off into the ice-cream isle while you chase him with your full trolley and half-empty dignity.
Forget window-shopping. You need jeans? Dart into the store, pick up your size (shade of colour be damned), attempt to try it if you're really brave, leave store.
Or just switch to online shopping – for everything from tomatoes to tees!
So shop till you drop, mums-to-be, and I'm not talking baby bibs and moses baskets!
4. TV Time
Once your toddler is introduced to the TV and the wonderful world of Peppa Pig/ Paw Patrol/ Fireman Sam etc, you can FORGET watching anything else unless they are napping/ sleeping. During which time you have a zillion other things to finish or you want to sleep yourself (didn't you read point one?). Catch up on all your favourite TV shows or just see the news, but see your share of TV NOW!!!
5. Alone Time
After sleep, this is what you will cherish the most. I'm not saying it's not wonderful having your newborn baby sleeping peacefully on you, or your toddler sat in your lap telling you about his day. But when you are constantly saddled with a baby on your shoulder or breast or arm or a toddler who demands every milli-second of your time and every milli-whatever of your attention, it can get a bit much. A lot much. You love them touching you and kissing you, but no, you do not like them being a shadow when you're going to the loo or them clinging on to your leg while you're making dinner.
You will long for nap-time and oh how you will long for bedtime, just to get some peace and quiet. No questions, no Peppa screaming about how awesome it is to jump in muddy puddles, no 'Mummyyyyyy', no tantrums – just you and your thoughts. Or lack thereof. Which is why I am a self-confessed Mombie!
6. Perineal massage
Having had a third-degree tear when giving birth to Little Man, I cannot stress the importance of perineal massages enough. It might not be the most comfortable thing, or even the most sexy, but it could save you from a vaginal tear or even prevent you getting an episiotomy. In short, perineal massages help prepare the vagina to stretch during childbirth and could also help in avoiding assisted deliveries with forceps or ventouse. So get doing them ladies, you will be so thankful later!!!
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