Tag Archives: advice

Keeping Schmum

A few friends are having babies at the moment, and I am finding that I am increasingly having to keep my mouth shut when they speak. I am trying to keep schmum.

You know, I am sure loads of people were dying to roll their eyes at me when I was pregnant. But it’s so hard not to start chuckling and to start pissing on your friends pregnant parade. I’m smug – I know how it goes, what happens, the reality. Of course some aspects such as birth are individual but there are always relatable aspects. It’s not fair I don’t think to keep chipping in and telling people how it happened for you. Sure, if they ask for advice, then by all means give it. But it’s pretty hard not to feel smug that you know how it feels, and they don’t, but they soon will, the poor buggers.

I’ve found myself saying ‘get some sleep!’ Or ‘you won’t know what hit you!’ And I cringe inside. It’s so annoying when someone says that stuff. But I can’t help it. There’s other stuff I could say, so it’s probably better I say that, than the other stuff flying around my head.

Here’s just some of the thoughts I’m just dying to tell people, but I know I shouldn’t. Probably because they’d think I was insane.

Keeping Schmum:

– my initial thoughts on motherhood was that it was the worst thing I’d ever done. No unicorns farting rainbows here.

– Breastfeeding was not easy. And you just start walking around naked because it’s easier.

– yeah you’ll be awake for probably the first 168 hours after birth. Nothing can prepare you for that, even a week or two lying in till 11am watching loose women

– take full advantage of the only time you can ever justify takeaway 7 days a week

-You’ll smell sick and/or poo wherever you go. You WILL smell of poo. And sick. And it’ll be in your hair. And you won’t even care coz you’re too tired.

– Poo. In a few weeks all you’ll actually care about is poo.

– In 18 months time, no one will give a hoot how you fed them, trust.

-Meconium only comes off with sandpaper. (Well, it seems that way, or use at least a bag of cotton wool per poo)

-Try not using you’re arms for a few weeks before the due date. Get nifty opening doors and packets of crisps with your feet.

-you will never be alone, ever again. Even in the toilet.

– Yeah, sure you’ll take turns. It’s just you’ll have way more turns than he does.

-I guarantee you’ll argue about washing up within 2 months of the birth.

– but it’s all great and lovely and almost 2 years later, I can look back without flinching.

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About Being on A Diet

Being on a diet, or healthy living plan, or whatever you want to call it, sort of takes over your life. You change before your very eyes. Suddenly, you’re talking about what cheese is the lightest and how many haribos you can eat for 1 point. Here’s 10 observations I have made about being on a diet – let me know yours as well!

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1. Healthy Things Cost Money

Trying to stick to your healthy eating plan? Want a life? You go out, you choose your salad. you’re congratulating yourself on your wise choice, then you realize your salad costs more than the non-healthy option. you lose weight, but are poor, or you are fat, and can afford to eat salad – its one of life’s conundrums.

2. You become addicted to fat TV

Fat: a year to save my life, Super Size vs. Super skinny, biggest loser…there are loads of these shows. And sometimes you may feel a bit smug and/or better as you don’t weigh as much as they do. Even though you’re probably eating a biscuit when you’re watching.

3. Everything becomes Mini

You become obsessed with anything  miniture. Teeny tiny morsels of niceness that you can savour, for about a minute.  Mini Babybels, mini twisters, mini flapjacks are just a few.

4. Sauces

You make sauces out of random household items such as Fanta and a mysterious item called Quark that you have never seen before in your life.

5. Crazy-Ass Recipes

You start following mad recipes such as ‘mushy pea curry’ and start to put baked beans in everything. You make chocolates out of shredded wheat and Nutella out of desperation, and try and make some sort of cake out of pasta.

6. Weigh yourself

When you weigh in the first time, you wear whatever it is you’re wearing. No probs. A few weeks later, you are going to the toilet 3 times, turning around 6 times and touching your nose once whilst wearing a negligee before you stand on the scales.

7. You try and convince yourself initially that walking to the canteen to buy a diet coke is excersize. The next week, you’re breaking your ankle undertaking Insanity with 30 day shred on as background music.

8. It’s all you can talk about

It becomes a total obsession. you want to tell everyone about your points, what you’ve eaten, and how hard it was/how easy it was to eat that Penguin. Instagram is your friend. You may, Er, blog about it too.

9. Wine doesn’t count

Wine doesn’t count. Especially on Fridays. Or Saturdays. It’s like water, or something.

10. Cheat Days Rule

You can’t go on a diet without having weigh-in day as a cheat day. When after you weigh in, you pop next door to the chippy and queue up behind everyone else from the class.

A Few Bits of Baby Advice for Kate

Now seeing as Royal Baby Fever is imminently upon us, I thought it only right that I pass on some pearls of baby advice to Kate, seeing as I had a baby 4 and a bit months ago, and it’s all very fresh in my mind. I am of course sure she will see this, and if you are reading Kate, a little comment at the bottom of this would be nice, eh? 😉

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A Few Bits of Advice

1. Going Topless

You were worried about those topless photos? Dear me, you may be in for a shock. I don’t think I wore a top for about a week, as I tried to master the skill that is breastfeeding. They were out for all to see. There wasn’t a midwife or a Maternity assistant in the building who hadn’t seen my baps. So sorry about that.

2. Buy loungewear

I would tell you to invest in some track suit bottoms, and t-shirts. You will live in these for about the first 5 weeks. You might not even change out of them. All those pretty dresses and coats, and high heels, yeah they’re great, but not when you’re up for 48 hours, and baby sick and bright yellow poo probably is quite difficult to get out of a Hobbs dress.

3. Pack Your Bag Carefully

My Hospital Bag was so full, I could barely put in the essentials. In fact, I had one bag for baby, and one for me. By the time I got to delivery suite, I had so much crap with me, I had to put all my bags on the wheelchair and walk down to the room! Only pack the essentials, people, maybe one of your security team can bring in anything else.  Forget make-up,you will be barely able to brush your teeth.

4. Get used to using one hand

I guess you may have had practice from all that waving, and holding handbags at the same time. But substitute the handbag for a baby, and the waving for trying to grasp a cup of tea, and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Don’t worry about your weight

It’s all very fashionable to lose all the baby weight in about 3 days, but really, you’ve got more important things to do, surely? I know the press are obsessed with your weight, and they seem to be incredulous that you put on weight in pregnancy, but don’t be pressured to lose weight. Eat cake. Eat chocolate. You will need the energy. Let Pippa worry about the size of her bum, about forget about yours, for a bit anyway.

6. If you’re Induced

If you are unfortunate to be overdue, then I am sorry. Everyone, EVERYONE, will offer their words of advice about how to kick-start this labour. I was induced and it is pretty long-winded, so my advice is to stock up on magazines, chocolate, and box sets, and wait. And tell the next person to offer you a Vindaloo where to shove it.

7. Paternity Peeve

Your partner will drive you mad when they are with you on Paternity Leave. Yes, it’s great that they are there, and there to ‘help’, but I tell you when that call comes for Wills to fly off in his helicopter, you will be relieved. Men get in the way, and you can’t actually get anything done, that doesn’t involve an Xbox, whilst they are there. DOn’t bother trying to get into any sort of routine until they’re gone.

8. Family and Friends visiting

Argh. You’re trying to get over the birth, and sleep deprivation, and you think you can relax for a moment as the baby is starting to doze off, when DING DONG, the doorbell goes and 50 people come in and wake up the baby and keep you talking, and tell you that you look tired, and use all your cups and plates, then leave you with a pile of washing-up, and a screaming baby. Now you’re going to have to psyche yourself up for this, as you’re married into quite a large family. People you have never met will barge in on you breastfeeding, believe me.  My advice is just pretend you’re not in, although that may be pretty difficult for you without setting off a massive security alert.

9. Names

Everyone has their opinion on names. For goodness sake Kate, don’t tell ANYONE the name you want, as it will only result in people saying that they either hate it, it reminds them of an old Count someone who disgraced their family, or that you can’t call your baby that as they were a traitor to the crown, or something. Personally I think whatever name you like, just tell them all when it’s born. They can’t say anything then! I don’t know whether you’ll go down the line of naming the baby after ancient family members, but it does seem to run in the Royal Family. For what its worth my bet is of Margaret for a girl, and James for a boy. (I literally just picked those names out of thin air, and a vague understanding of who’s been in the royal family.)

10. Socialise!

You need to enjoy yourself. Having a wing of a hospital to yourself will be lovely but you also do need to socialise with other people who have had babies. Go to some baby groups, talk about baby poo, and moan about your family in law. It has to be done. I personally can recommend Baby Massage and PEEPS, if you ever fancy coming down to Bristol. But beware, not all Mums are friendly. I was scared to talk to anyone at first, and I have been embarrassed a few times, but try to find people on your wavelength.

What advice would you give to Kate in the run-up to her due date? Let me know in the comments below!

By The Way, I have also written some other posts about advice in the first few weeks of being a parent, here and here – go take a look!

 

Should you scare the life out of your pregnant friends about childbirth and parenting?

SCARED

 

I went to see a friend yesterday who is halfway through her pregnancy. I hadn’t seen her since I have had Bubs and so this was the first chance I had got to introduce her to Bubs and to chat about things to her. I also have a few other friends who are pregnant and with whom I am meeting up with in the coming weeks. These are all first time Mums. My friend asked me a question, it was: How bad is it?

Now. What do you reply to that? Do you tell them the stark, harsh, black and white truth? Or do you sugar coat it a bit, not wanting to upset them?

Now personally, I am a very straight talking person. I can tell white lies and I can sugar coat things but I feel a bit of a fraud doing it. Can I say that it wasn’t bad? Can I say it was easy? Can I make my terrified friend feel a bit better? A hundred thoughts rushed through my mind. And I do think it depends when you are asked this question. At the start, everything seemed so awful and terrifying, and yet so lovely all at the same time. Now, 3 months later, things are calmer, more relaxed, and I can enjoy things a lot more.

It got me thinking that when people ask you that question, it is so subjective. The old stereotype of women talking about their horror births, well, to each of us, I bet there was one part of the whole baby making and giving birth process that was a bit horrific. For me, being Induced was awful, as was the first few weeks when I struggled to breastfeed. How can I tell someone else what it is like, when the issues I was concerned about were so unique to my situation?

When I was pregnant, all I thought about was the birth. I never thought beyond that because it just blew my mind a bit at the time. I was terrified of going into labour, and the pain. Not knowing what this pain which I was told was awful, felt like, was anxiety inducing.

In the end I told my friend that birth isn’t that bad, but that the first few weeks are tough, and just get through them day by day. Because for me, actually giving birth was OK, the process to which I got to the point of being able to give birth, was not OK. But that was just my experience. I told her it will really annoy her as everyone will tell her it gets easier, which will really really piss you off, but then one day, you look around and realise that it is easier. Because it does get easier. And really that’s probably the only one consistent piece of information anyone can give any new parent.  I also suggested a few books I wish I’d read before the baby was born, which would probably be more informative and unbiased than myself.

If she has any issues once the baby is born, I can perhaps signpost her onto some of the support I had, or tell her how to avoid things going so badly the way they did for me. When you’re six months pregnant, do you really need to hear the ins and outs of it?

When my non-pregnant friend asked me this same question, I admit I think I let my mouth talk before my brain went into gear. I told her not to do it, and that she should enjoy her life and be at least 40 before she even thinks about it, because it is exhausting, tiring, you don’t sleep and your whole life is upside down and all you think about is this little person. It was only about 8 weeks after having Bubs and I was still a little raw from it all. I think she’ll probably need counselling if she gets pregnant after my little rant. I think because she wasn’t imminently going to do it, I felt more able to explain to her how I felt at the time, and to start going down the ‘horror story’ route.

I think really I just need to shut up, smile and nod, and just order another cappuccino next time.

What do you tell your first time preggers friends, or your friends who are yet to have babies, when they ask you what birth and parenthood is like? Do you tell the truth?

 

10 Things I have learnt in 10 Weeks

Since having the Bubs 10 weeks ago, I thought I would share some of the things I feel I have learnt over this period of time:

1. What did I do without Muslin Cloths? and where do they go? the same place as odd socks?

2. That getting up at 6am is a good thing, as it’s better than 2, 3 or 4am

3. You may be tired, and half alive, but hey! 3am is the perfect time for smiles, giggles and playtime.

Me and Bubs after a particualrly good 3am party

Me and Bubs after a particualrly good 3am party

4. Don’t bother wearing a nursing bra for at least 6 weeks, as you’ll be feeding so much you may as well not wear it. In fact why bother wearing any top at all! (im talking around the house, not popping down the shops mind)

5. That you will sing any nursery rhymes you can remember, and even then the ones you do you make up half the words, and then sing over and over again, until that’s all you can think in your brain

6. That however quiet you are trying to be, you will always end up making the most noise

7. That as soon as you think the baby is asleep, and you put them down, they are actually in fact wide awake and just playing a joke on you

8. That after a while you start to think baby sick, poo, and dried milk all over your clothes doesn’t smell that bad, not really.

9. That trying to leave the house for any specific time means getting up at least 3 hours before allotted leaving time as baby will always want to feed and then will absolutley want to do the biggest, most horrendous poo the second you want to leave

10. I never knew you could put someone before everything else, that you wouldn’t mind feeling like death, and not brushing your teeth, eating rice crackers as that’s all you can grab, crying at kittens on TV, singing nursery rhymes until your ears bleed, because this little person is all that matters. Until it happens you don’t believe it.