We see you coming a mile away with your squeaky clean buggy, matching change bag and smug smile. We smile in response but know your smile is gonna be wiped off your face and replaced with tears in just a few more weeks of torture – oh sorry I meant to write: sleep deprivation.
We know you’ve read in multiple glossy Mummy Magazines with some angelic new born nuzzling into his mother’s bosom on the cover, that it is vital to make time for YOU. We laugh because you talk about it, as though “Me Time” is actually a REAL thing. We sit screaming at our offspring at the Mums & Tots group, fresh from the all over baby wipe we had this morning and dream about a WHOLE 30 minutes to do whatever we want on our own. We know going to the supermarket alone is gonna feel like a holiday. So we allow you to hold onto this ridiculous notion for a few days longer. Because like in The Never-ending Story as long as someone believes it, the dream will be kept alive for other unsuspecting mums-to-be. Frankly, we all know the belief in “Me Time” is the ONLY thing that keeps most of us going after the fifth night of teething and the sparkle of new motherhood has tarnished.
We watch with interest has you breast feed your new born with pride and offer up the merits of breast feeding. We all know “Breast IS best” but some of us didn’t start, gave up or kept going and sometimes going for various reasons, but like all things in life, we will do what is right for us personally and will always support each other in our decisions to breast feed or not. We all know that for a seemingly natural activity it doesn’t always come naturally. We suspect you assume (like we did) your child will be immune from lots of scary sounding illnesses because of that magical elixir.
Which is true to some extent but NOT all of the particularly annoying ones such as the common cold, and various other infections. We’ll advise you rub Vapour Rub on the soles of your chesty child’s feet when they cough all night. We know there is absolutely no real science behind it and you may as well paint your entire body green and dance naked in the moonlight chanting the lyrics of All About That Bass whilst shaking your arse at the neighbour’s cat. But G.P’s still offer up cough mixture. So you KNOW the vapour rub does more, because it’s the WAY you rub it in and pop their little socks on and give them that loving smile that makes ALL the difference. And if nothing else, it makes us Mothers feel better about being able to actually DO something to help.
Grandmothers would say “It was a lot different in my day”. Yeah, but they also took Valium washed down with Martinis and rubbed gin on the gums of teething babies. They’d say their children slept through the night. ONLY because they were either too wasted to hear them cry or the babies were too drunk to bother!
We have a wealth of knowledge based on the reality of motherhood, but know only too well how infuriating it is to have every Tania, Diane and Mary offering up sage advice from weaning to learning to walk. You’ll make up your own mind about stuff and blaze your own trail, making mistakes along the way, but hey that’s how we learn. We’ll even humour your belief in a purely Fruitarianism lifestyle, your love of Co-Sleeping or any talk of Homeopathy results being better than placebo in a scientifically sound study. BUT start talking about your “Pseudo-Medical” reasons why you are opting out of immunising little Star-Burst and I would hope we’d ALL say you are putting all of our children’s lives at risk and to stop being a DICK.
So “Newbie” here is some advice from an “Old Hand” take or leave it, I know you will.
Don’t buy a parasol attachment for your buggy – it may look pretty, but that piece of useless crap will end up limp and twisted in the nearest bin, the first day you take your precious baby out on a sunny day.
If you chose to breast fed – Nipple Cream, Nipple Cream, Nipple Cream- Nuff said.
When the G.P asks you what you plan to use as a contraceptive. Just take it from me that baby of yours will be all the “Protection” you will need. You’ll be so tired you won’t have the energy to listen to your other half let alone do anything remotely romantic. Plus with the horror of childbirth still fresh in your mind you won’t be in a hurry to do it all again in another nine months time.
DON’T buy ANY kind of footwear for your baby from 0-6 months. You will spend so long trying to get the shoes on you’ll both end up crying and sweaty. If you do manage to put BOTH shoes on successfully. Eventually, whilst out you WILL lose one shoe and have to retrace your steps in the pouring rain, to hunt it down only to realise it must of come off on the bus and it has been used as a Hackie Sack for the last two hours by secondary school kids on the way home.
Cooking from scratch using only organic ingredients and steering clear of those ‘horrid baby jars’ is all well and good. But your wholesome cooking ethos will wear thin by the third baby – they’ll be slung a drive-through happy meal on your way from school to Ballet and then onto Swimming. In fact, make the most of all those baby classes you have signed up for a year in advance with your first – subsequent babies will be carted about like extra baggage. Any attempt of a routine will be in tatters and God forbid anyone encourages your child to crawl or walk. We all know how that ends up. Our babies will make all those vital landmark developments in their own time but to hurry them is just creating MORE work for the overworked.