Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria shares the things she wish she knew before bringing her baby home for the first time
Bringing Baby home is exciting and frightening in equal measure.
Things I wish someone had told me:
1) There’s no place like home.
Going home is a mixed bag of emotions. You long for your own bed, but the fear of leaving the “safety” of the nurses and midwives can be strong also. If I had been able to pay the midwives to come home with me and stay for the first month, I would have!
I remember walking (just about!) into the house with The Him and the Car seat and being soooooo frightened. There was no buzzer. There were no nurses down the hall. It was just us. But we were fine you know.
(Oh! And if you can, make sure someone has made up your bed with fresh sheets before you come home. Heaven is your own shower and your own bed.)
2) Say No to Visitors:
Decide in advance if you want to have people visit immediately, or if think you’d prefer some some family time for the first day, or 3, make it clear.
Usually you’ll find that it’s only your nearest and dearest who’ll pop in at the beginning anyway, but don’t be afraid to have your partner, or whoever is with you, answer the phone/door with a polite “She’s not really up to visitors today. Perhaps tomorrow?”
3) Give yourself a break.
Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure to behave, or feel, or look a certain way. If you want to cry, cry.
You don’t have to put on a performance for anyone. You don’t have to make tea. You don’t have to have a perfectly tidy house. You don’t have to give a damn if you’re still in your PJs at 3pm. You’ve just had a baby. If you don’t feel like cooking, don’t. If you need the floors mopped, ask someone to mop them.
Too often, we Mammies feel like we have to seem to have it all together, all the time, right from the start. We don’t.
In fact, finally accepting that it’s OK to cry at the Pampers advert or to get upset at the dishwasher beeping is a moment of euphoria. So is saying Yes to your neighbour when they ask if they can peel spuds or hoover the floor.
Stop pretending you’re in Desperate Housewives. Those dolls had maids. And they don’t exist anywhere other than on Wisteria Lane. Keep it real Mamma Bear.
4) Lasagne can make you cry:
The gifts and parcels and flowers will come and be hugely appreciated. But the most welcomed and remembered offering to the home of the newborn…is food!
And the best kind of food is something that can be portioned, reheated, frozen or even eaten cold from the casserole dish. Think curry. Think chilli. Think lasagne. You never realised how good lasagne tastes. It’ll make you so happy that may cry tears of joy.
5) You suddenly won’t care who washes your knickers:
Before I had Mini-Me, I could never have even entertained the thought of my Mum or Mother-in-Law washing them. And then I got over that VERY quickly. Because the first time I realised that the washing machine was going without me having started it, my initial panic was so overwhelmed by total gratitude that I even surprised myself.
Now, I still don’t like the idea of someone washing my knickers, but for the first few weeks after birth, you really shouldn’t give a damn.
And the most important thing?
Enjoy it all. Every single second.
Oh and you’re a Goddess. xxx