So I’m very late to the party on this one but I wanted to offer up my #whatidgiveanewmum in support of @amyransomwrites ‘ extraordinary campaign for #maternalMHmatters Awareness Week. This picture was taken minutes after Tabitha, my youngest who incidentally walked today, came out of the sun-roof. I don’t have a comparable shot of my eldest Holly’s arrival, as I was out cold having a cat 1 crash c-section at the time. Not to be recommended.
So here’s what I’d give a new mum.
•No mother has the slightest idea what they’re doing so don’t assume you know less than them. I assure you they’re as much in the dark as you are.
•Take well meant ‘advice’ with a pinch of salt. The chances are that you were born with the maternal instincts perfectly attuned to your baby. Don’t be afraid to trust them.
•Gaze at your new bundle- every inch of them- for as long and often as possible.
•Whatever you do, don’t compare your baby to others their age- you’ll only worry unnecessarily. They will get there in the end. •Write down, or better still record, the hilarious things they say or do. You will be so sure you’ll never forget them. But you will. •Record milestones with a picture or journal entry. I have no recollection of anything the first time round.
•Lower your standards. For your home, your appearance, the washing. At least for the first few months. Allow yourself to just wallow around in the funk of hormonal delirium.
•A lot of people will offer their help. Be good to yourself and accept it once in a while. Some rest will make you a better mum. Never underestimate the power of sleep.
•You will take 1000s of photos. Try to print a few every month or so.
•Set up a WhatsApp group with some local mums or your NCT group. It will be your lifeline. Never underestimate the power of knowing someone else is up at 3am, feeling like you’re feeling.
•Try to get some fresh air every day. Even if it’s just for a walk around the block.
•Get support if and when you decide to return to work. You can never predict how you’ll feel. Having someone to talk things through with, could mean the difference between a happy return and one fraught with self-doubt and anxiety.
What would you add?