I’ve been doing this parenting malarkey for nearly 3 years now. 3 years ago I kissed goodbye to my old life, and hello Motherhood. To be honest it hit me like a ton of bricks, I had no idea what to expect. Going from a lifestyle where I worked hard and played hard, to looking after a tiny human, was a massive culture shock. There was so much I missed, and there was also so much I wish I knew before I became a Mama. So for anyone who is on the brink of parenthood, here’s what you need to know.
Appreciate the lie-ins
You will never know tiredness until you have had a baby. Newborns have a tendency to keep you up all night. If you think you can handle it after getting used to being up all night partying, trust me looking after a baby is not the same. They will drain the life out of you, and you will start to hate the nights. So any lie-ins or early nights that you can get now, enjoy it. A lie-in with a baby or child is nothing beyond 7am (if you’re lucky)!
Go out with the girls
Once the little one arrives your opportunity for drinks and dinner out will be severely limited. If you’re breastfeeding and have a baby permanently attached to you for 6 months, sneaking away for an evening out is a big no-no, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a baby who drinks from a bottle. However do not count on that. Go on enjoy yourself. Go out for dinner with the girls, and have fun whilst you can.
Have date nights with your partner
When the baby arrives it will be you and the baby for what will seem like forever. Date nights and trips to the cinema will feel like a distant memory. In fact you might even forget you have a partner or a husband, as you’ll be so absorbed in looking after the little one, you won’t have much time to consider anyone else. So make sure you enjoy a few meals out before the little one arrives, as it might be at least a year until you are both brave enough to leave the baby with someone whilst you both go out at the same time.
Go on holiday
If you can have a baby-moon. This is one last holiday before the baby arrives. Enjoy being able to relax in the sunshine or be pampered whilst you can. Never again will you be able to lie on a sunlounger in peace and read a book, or sit in the sun at all. You can still go on holiday, but they just won’t be what you remember. You’ll spend half the time trying to get the baby to nap, and worrying about if they are too hot. Plus if you’re all sharing a room you’ll have to hide in the bathroom whilst they fall asleep.
Do up you home
Whilst you can and before children arrive, do up your home. It might seem easy to paint a room now. However once children arrive it’ll be virtually impossible to do any DIY unless it’s after work in semi darkness, or with a toddler running around your feet. So if you are planning any DIY or house renovations do it before children arrive, otherwise you’ll end up throwing additional money at it by getting workmen in.
Excel as much as you can in career
Now I hate to have to tell you this ladies, and even though there is so much talk about flexible working once you have children, the juggle of parenthood and having a career is very hard. Yes, you can keep on working, but the reality is, is that some companies may see motherhood as the end of your career. I’m being brutally honest and that’s the reality of it. You may not agree with this, but it is best to get as far up the career ladder as you can before the little ones arrive.
Love your body
If you hate your body now, please don’t! Once you have children your body will never look the same again. Your boobs will sag, and your tummy will not go back to how it was. Plus you may have a weak pelvic floor and core after pregnancy and childbirth. If you can love your body now, before it changes for good.
Enjoy long lazy afternoons in the pub
This was something I loved pre-pregnancy, and it was something that I could still do with a newborn baby. However as your baby gets older, it becomes harder and harder to while away the hours by a cosy log fire with a pint. Enjoy those Sunday afternoons, and also enjoy being able to drink on your own time.
Lastly if you’re worrying now, please stop. When you have children the list of worries is endless……Are they getting enough milk? Are they sleeping for long enough? My baby doesn’t nap? Will they ever stop crying? Are they warm enough? Are they too hot? If you’re worrying pre-children, your list of worries is going to get a lot longer. So stop worrying if you can.
Having a child is a wonderful thing. It’s a rewarding, exhausting, challenging, and overwhelming thing to do. It’s certainly something not to be sniffed at. However before the little bundles of joy arrives, make sure that you appreciate all the things that you can do without children. I’m not saying you can’t do the above with children, it’s just harder.
Was there anything that you wished you knew before you became a Mama?