Child: Aedan, 1yr
Expectations of Motherhood: A lot of close family members, plus friends, have had children so I was under no illusion about what to expect in terms of motherhood – lack of sleep, problems that may arise with breastfeeding, the unpredictability of a routine, the endless love for your child etc. As Aedan has been a long time coming, a lot of these wise words have been taken and stored for quite some time now. I was doing a lot of reading up as well so that I could be prepared for the unexpected.
Reality of Motherhood: All of the above and more! The lack of sleep is a killer and the first few months really do pass in a blur. On the upside, I lost a lot of the baby weight really quickly in the madness of it all! In the first month of having Aedan, we were really lucky to have so many of our friends and family help out that we only had to make our own lunch and dinner a handful of times – an absolute god send when your life has literally been turned upside down! Breastfeeding was a problem but again I didn’t stress myself out about it and after a couple of days trying and realising it wasn’t going to work out, I headed straight for the Aptamil. As I like to think I’m quite organised, the lack of routine was hard to fathom but in a positive way, this was a good thing as it just meant that I had to go with the flow.
Taking your child/children home for the first time: Predictably, we had no idea how to put Aedan into his car seat, but luckily there were lots of nurses on hand to help out. He was the most precious cargo we have ever had in the car – I remember getting road rage when someone tried to cut us up on the motorway. Neil had left his car at the pub the night before (wetting the baby’s head!) so we had to pick it up en route home and I had to drive the rest of the way home. With practically no sleep through the previous night, I was a real driving Miss Daisy for the duration of the journey. Obviously, Aedan was none the wiser!
As we’d arrived home quite late, we literally fed and settled Aedan, and once he was asleep, me and Neil tucked into spaghetti Bolognese (in bed!) before passing out asleep.
The best/worst advice:
Best advice – Don’t expect to know it all – every day is a learning curve. Don’t ever wake the baby up for a feed – they will always let you know when they’re hungry. Don’t buy expensive baby furniture – it’s not worth it (unless you can afford it!). Don’t bother with expensive fancy highchairs – Ikea’s highchair is the best bargain ever. Buy a couple of cartons of baby milk – just in case you aren’t able to breastfeed. Use Aptimil Comfort and Dr Brown bottles for when your baby has colic.
Worst advice – when weaning, sieve the fruit/vegetables. Tried it once for about 5 minutes, gave up and went out and bought a hand blender.
The hardest parts of being a mother:
Colic – a horrendous couple of months.
Lack of sleep – you never get used to it.
Not being able to leave the house without a mental checklist of everything you need/might need ‘just in case’!
And dealing with them when they’re poorly – even if it’s just a cold or a cough, you’d do just about anything to make them feel better.
The best parts of being a mother:
Perhaps obviously, the unmeasurable love you have for your child – nothing prepares you for it. Aedan is the love of my life (Neil would say the same!)
The first cuddle in the morning.
The big smile he gives you when you get home from work.
Seeing him walk for the first time.
Seeing him enjoy the company of family and friends.
All the usual and much, much more.
Hopes for your family: To always be healthy, happy and loving – Aedan turned one in January and I’m now 4 months pregnant!! It was a shock at first but we’re obviously delighted. It’s going to be a very interesting time – two under two!
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums: Accept all offers of help. If they ask, let friends and family cook/clean/do jobs for you. You need the rest and every little bit helps. Any other info that will support/add to your profile