Wednesday, 22 July 2009

OMG I'm a mum

For those of you who know that Evan is just over 2 years old don't worry I haven't only just realised that I'm a mum.

I've decided to write this now because just lately I've been reading quite a lot of articles and blogs about how difficult it is during those first few weeks when you become a new mum. Yet I often look back and realise just how cushy it is when you have a new born compared to the chaos of looking after a toddler.

It always seems to be around this time of year that I wistfully look back and long for those wonderful days when I could just sit with my feet up watching TV or sleeping as Evan was either breastfeeding or asleep on me (well when I say always this has only been the second time as Evan is only 2). You could say it is because of Evan's birthday that I choose this time to reflect back but I'm sure it's actually to do with 'Big Brother' as it started as she was born and I got to watch the whole series for the first time since series 1. It was a good one too, not that I remember any names. For anyone who has a good knowledge of Big Brother it was the one with the really nice twins. The closest I get to Big Brother these days is to read Davina's comments on Twitter and really wish I had the time or energy to find out what she's talking about.

So why did I find it so easy? Was it because Evan was a model sleeper from the day she was born? Or that she fed at easy to manage intervals during the day? Or because I had Mary Poppins (or some other wonderful helper) looking after her whilst I bathed, brushed my teeth, washed and dried my hair and applied my make up all in my own relaxing time. NO!!!

In fact none of the above. I always joke that Evan had such an easy birth she had no idea that anything much had changed and she certainly made up her mind that nothing would. She slept on me for the first 6 weeks of her life. I used to put a shawl that my mum had knitted around me, across Evan and then tucked in on my other side so I knew she was safe. She would not let me put her down for a second even when she was fast asleep. I would attempt to put her in her moses basket and before I'd even laid her down she would start screaming. One of my friends actually experimented with holding her over the moses basket with outstretched arms, "scream", still holding her with outstretched arms but no longer over the moses basket "asleep", pattern repeated a number of times with the same results. I knew then I was going to have my hands full as she got older . I certainly didn't have Mary Poppins to help me, well only Jim, so I used to have my bath in the evenings when Jim came home (I did manage to brush my teeth and hair in the morning with one hand though). Jim also used to cook dinner every night. Oh and cut it up into bite size pieces for me so that I could eat it whilst Evan was attached to my boob.

So how did I find all that relaxing you ask yourself. Well it all comes down to state of mind - your head really does create your world. The overwhelming thought that used to creep into my head was "I knew she was going to change my world completely, I've looked forward to having her in my life and I'm damn well going to enjoy her". And so I simple let go of caring about anything other than just enjoying being a mum. In fact when you do that you can start seeing how unbelievably lazy you can be. With a little bit of organising I could plonk myself on the sofa watch tv, read a book, sleep and generally relax anytime I wanted to.

And relaxation IS the key. So many women experience the baby blues - they have had such a huge rush of hormones leading up to and having their babies they suddenly crash when their lives change so dramatically. However, a mum who is able to relax into her role works in harmony with those changes and so doesn't experience such extreme highs and lows.

So these are my tips.

1. Put your feet up and don't worry about the house work. Keep your house tidy and ask your husband to support with that (actually quite easy to do if you are just sitting with your feet up cos you don't get to make any mess) and I promise you won't notice the tiny amount of dust that will accumulate. After all it's only a few weeks and you will have done a total spring clean during your nesting period. Actually, I couldn't walk in the last few weeks of my pregnancy because Evan had got herself into a funny position so I had to nest via Jim. Bless him I phoned him at work one day in tears saying there were so many things I wanted to get ready but couldn't He told me to write a list and he would do it all when he got home. And he did! Sorry as usual I've gone off on a tangent where was I - oh yes tip number 1 - put your feet up and don't worry about the housework.

2. Put your feet up and get dad to feed you. Mum feeds the baby, dad feeds the mum. Jim as I said before cooked the dinner every night and washed up too and would also make me lunch and snacks for the day. He did this when he realised that I'd gone all day existing on a couple of biscuits because I couldn't make a sandwich with one hand (or probably couldn't be bothered to try). I never seemed to get extra hungry because I was breastfeeding I'm not sure why.

3. If some days your baby seems to want to be on your boob more than he/she's off it then use it as another excuse to put your feet up (is there a theme to my tips?). Remember it is all part of making sure you have enough milk for them (or if it is hot they may just be a bit more thirsty than usual).

4. If your little one doesn't want to sleep anywhere but on you put your feet up and sleep right along with them. I promise it doesn't last for long. I really thought I'd never get Evan to sleep in her cot but from 6 weeks she was sleeping in it from 11pm to 5am (she lost it at 5 months and started waking every hour but I blame a trip to Wales and Evan's sleeping problem is a story for another day).

5. If you have friends or family over (although keep your guests to an absolute minimum for the first two weeks unless you have an amazing best friend like me who turned up with about a weeks worth of food she'd cooked for us) get them to hold the baby for a while and put your feet up. Extra tip under this section don't run around after them, put your feet up and let them make you a cup of tea.

6. If you don't get to bath one day, wash your hair or brush your teeth or in fact do any of the things you planned for that day. Let it go. Put your feet up and relax.

So what are you going to do for those few weeks that you're getting used to being a mum. That's right 'put your feet up'. And just to make sure that you are doing that properly these are the ingredients needed for the perfect feet up experience:

  • Foot stall
  • Cushions for you and to place baby on whilst feeding
  • TV remote
  • Mobile phone
  • Telephone
  • Drink
  • Snacks
  • Book
  • Magazine
  • Muslin for those wonderful little (little yeah right) spit ups
All neatly placed by your side so once you are relaxed with your feet up the only thing that needs to disturb you is a dirty nappy or a trip to the loo.

Happy Babymoons everyone :-)

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  1. OMG I'm a mum to 2!! Dany I remember our wonderful chats whilst breastfeeding our little ones, getting addicted to Deal on No Deal... did I realise how easy it was back then NO not at all! Now I am a mummy to 2 after having the most wonderful home,hypno water birth.. Madelaine 15 days old and Hannah 2 1/2 - I'm not complaining I am over the moon with joy but just wanted to say as Dany says enjoy your Babymoons- it is so different when you have 2!

  2. Hahahahaha - yes Clare you are right I probably should add that this a post for first time mums. Although I guess if you are a second time mum you are dealing with the chaos of a toddler and no time for feet up anyway :-)