Nothing can really prepare you for becoming a parent, books don’t give you the low down on what really goes on. You get a whole new identity, a new name, a new body (yeah, thanks for that) and you just have to deal with it. Everything changes, your emotions suddenly have a mind of their own, you will often find yourself trying to hold back tears, for no particular reason, maybe just a scabby cat in the street who looks a tad lonely.
However, the below 16 pointers *may* give you a helping hand to navigate through those hazy, random, first few months. Good luck!
1. You’ve never reheated a cup of tea in the microwave. Soon this will be a daily occurrence. Yes, initially, you’ll worry about poisoning yourself but you’ll be surprised how quickly you don’t give a sh*t.
2. It doesn’t matter how many bibs you buy, you’ll never find one when you need one. Make peace with the fact you’ll use random socks lying around or the corner of your favourite T-shirt to mop up dribble.
3. You will be late. All the time. As you’re rushing to leave the house, boom… your little treasure will deposit a heroic amount of poop, which will seep out all over their clothes. (Don’t worry, friends will just be happy to see you dressed and off the couch).
4. Buy Ewen The Sheep. It’s like having a personal, live-in baby whisperer. Before you know it you’ll be longing for that musical sheep in your bedroom too.
5. Don’t listen to anyone who carelessly says things like, ‘you’ll never shower/ sleep again’ or ‘wave goodbye to your social life’. It’s rubbish, if you want a shower everyday, you can (go wild, have a bath!). If you want to go out, you can. Life changes, it doesn’t stop.
6. Occasionally your baby will ping wide awake at 4am and I mean WIDE awake, blowing raspberries, thinking it’s playtime and pulling your hair. Embrace it, before you know it they’ll sleep right through and you’ll mourn those barmy twilight hours. Seriously, you will.
7. Receiving hand-me-downs feels like winning the lottery. Sad but true.
8. Accept help from parents/ friends, without hesitation. I know us new mums have an urge to do it all with a permanent fixed (fake) smile but you’re not superwoman. And anyway, even superwoman has allies.
9. The wetness indicator strip on Pampers nappies is like a magical key to a new world. Why don’t other mums tell you about this?! I feel cheated not knowing for THREE MONTHS!!
10. It sounds stupid but babies can out-grow an outfit which fit them perfectly 24 hours earlier. Don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind. Sometimes they even wake up looking confusingly different than when they went to sleep.
11. Go to NCT. Good God it’s like a parenting cult… you’ll never feel so rewarded for blowing £250.
12. Find and series link In The Night Garden, it’s like baby crack. A guaranteed 30 minutes of joyfulness. Everyone wins.
13. Your boobs will go back to normal. You may not believe me right now, but seriously, they really will. Don’t even worry about it.
14. Try not to find all the answers on Google, you’ll convince yourself your child has Trench Foot when really bright red, wrinkled soles are perfectly normal.
15. You will cry. Lots. Not hysterically on ‘Day 3’ like horror stories you hear but nice crying, lots of amazing, happy tears. You’ll sob at TV adverts, newspaper articles, songs etc.
16. You’re now part of the motherhood, so expect random acts of kindness everywhere you go. New mum friends, shop assistants, strangers, checkout ladies, your neighbours, your mother-in-law’s neighbours… you get the picture. People are so generous and lovely. Nothing unites folk like a baby.