Becoming a first time parent shifts your life. Completely. It’s beautiful but it also comes with so many dimensions that you can often feel alone in this journey but trust me, you’re not! Here’s a list of three things I’ve learned (the first of many such lists I’ll write) that I think every First Time Mum (FTM) should know, written as an FTM who is experiencing it all as it comes:
1. You don’t really know what you are doing as a new parent, but we’re all just doing our best!
Yo, for real! When baby Huru was first placed in my arms, after that deeply emotional moment of meeting him for the first time, I was like, ‘now what 😳’. While my husband and I had some pretty great support from the nurses at the hospital and from our own parents, it was still so daunting to walk through the doors of our home with this precious little angel and not know where to begin. But we’ve done 5 months so far and he’s healthy and happy, so I think we’re good! My motto? Follow your gut, ask for help where you’re not sure and take it a minute at a time!
2. You will continue to get unsolicited advice about everything.
Ugh. UGH! I know people mean well but who made you a member of the Parent Police Squad? ‘How can you not breastfeed your child exclusively for 6 months?’ ‘No, you’re not soothing him right and that’s why he’s not sleeping well at night…’ the list of instructions goes on. People may mean well, but many come across as condescending (half the time they haven’t asked you what you’ve tried doing, so they assume you’re just being ignorant). Nod and smile and then do whatever you want to do. Keep calm, never be afraid to ask for advice from your support group, but YOU are the parent now. That is all!
3. You’ll be scared to handle your Little One (LO)
I couldn’t bathe Huru the first two weeks. I literally couldn’t bring myself to, so my husband took it on. I really felt like I was going to mishandle him and it was just torture. We’d dip him in the water and the hysterics would begin right away, and then I’d also start getting emotional. 5 moths in I’m a pro at it but still…little things like keeping his nails short! I may not want to cut baby’s nails because I’m afraid of making him bleed. However, if I don’t cut his nails, he will probably scratch himself (it’s happened pretty often) and, then he’ll bleed. So, why postpone the inevitable? For this one I ask the Nanny for a little assistance. Yes, I can now bathe him but I can’t cut his damn nails. How did we go on about nails for so long again? Anyway, you get my drift!