The Top 10 things I wish I knew before having a baby
1. A birth plan doesn’t always go to plan
I had everything mapped out. As a professional, I was able to back myself up with all the books.
My birth plans were no different. Solid dot points form the best research.
Your baby and your body don’t care about research. They will do what they need to bring your baby into the world. It isn’t always the way you planned.
2. I wouldn’t love my baby from the first day
I expected this wash of love to engulf every fibre of my body and heart. The first time I held her I was meant to be overcome with emotion.
It didn’t happen. It was there, I knew I loved her, I knew I wanted to protect her, but not in the way I thought it would.
That came a month later. I then knew what everyone was talking about.
3. How unhappy I really was and how much I would learn about myself
Having kids is a real eye-opener, a massive reality check. They make you look at yourself and the way you are living. Being a parent makes you assess everything that you do. It forces you to look inwardly and think about your ultimate goals. You must make sure you are up to the job of laying foundations and supporting the values that you want your children to have.
I realized that I was broken and not in the state of mind to be the mum that my girls deserved. I realized that I was dissatisfied with my life, my relationship, the way I treated me, and the way others treated me. I realized that if I didn’t fix myself, I would pass on all the bad qualities that I possessed to my kids.
If I wanted them to have an amazing life, I had to have an amazing life. If I wanted them to feel worthy, I had to show them how to feel worthy.
Becoming a mum made me take an emotional and directional cross check and instigated massive changes.
4. A C-section doesn’t mean that I have failed/make me less of a woman
For years I felt like I had failed. That I wasn’t a proper woman. That I had robbed my partner of the birth experience he deserved. All because my first born was a c-section.
It wasn’t until the natural VBAC of my second born that I healed, and I realized that it didn’t matter. That her delivery was just as perfect. That my body was still amazing, and it was everything that it needed to be.
5. How to take better care of myself
Your kids will learn from you. If you have the self-awareness to recognize when you need self-care, you will pass this onto your kids.
If you can say yes to things you like, your kids will too. If you can say no to things that do not serve you, your kids will too.
If you can put yourself first. Your kids will too.
6. I can’t protect them from everything, and it is not my job to
You want to protect your kids from the world. The thought of them being hurt, bullied or let down physically pains you from the inside out.
The reality is that you won’t, and you can’t. You would only be doing them damage if you did. They must learn to navigate the world and relationships. You can only do so much. You will not always be around so the best you can do is provide the love and support they need when it’s time to pick up the pieces.
7. Your kids don’t belong to you
Sadhguru told us that our kids don’t come from us, they come through us. And he is right. They are their own individual people with their own heart, soul, mind, thoughts, ideas and journey.
We must let them go one day, to live a life separate from us.
Our job isn’t to parent them forever. Our job is to provide them with the best foundation to be able to do this successfully and happily.
8. The first two months are easy
Your baby is kind of a blob for the first two months.
You will be exhausted and learning how to be a parent.
I understood with my second child. Looking back, I realized how easy they were when they were tiny.
Take advantage of how much they sleep. Sleep yourself and chill. Put them in a baby carrier and relax.
9. Babies don’t ‘sleep like a baby’
Babies don’t sleep like a baby. They make noises, they grunt and groan. But then… they sometimes hold their breath and you think that something is wrong. Then you PANIC!
I spent the first six weeks checking on my baby every few minutes. Waking up in a start and checking. Listening for breathing. I even poked her a little bit to make sure she was okay.
10. Don’t follow the crowd – stay away from the secret pram clubs
A pram will become the most useful piece of equipment that you own. It has the potential to make your life difficult or hard.
There are secret pram clubs lurking. Prams carry a secret social status that we are aware of but don’t speak about.
Stay away from the clubs. Don’t follow the crowd. Pick a pram that suits your budget, your lifestyle and your needs.