A word with myself, a year ago.

A friend of mine gave birth to her son exactly one year and four hours after I had my daughter. It made me look back on all that I know now and how little I knew then. So, here are my top 20 things that I’ve worked out this year, in no particular order. This is me talking to myself a year ago. 33 calling 32.

  1. Labour hurts. Truly, madly, deeply painful. Astonishingly bad. Don’t waste your time asking people to describe it. They can’t. It is way beyond the realms of explanation.
  2. You may worry about your modesty, bodily functions, your husband being at the ‘business end’. When it comes down to it, you really won’t give two hoots.
  3. All those people who told you to rest, sleep, read, watch TV, go out to eat etc etc…..well, you should have listened.
  4. There’s nothing more embarrassing than buying Tena Lady pants in a packed pharmacy. Or wearing them for a whole week. And actually finding them pretty comfy.
  5. They say that babies don’t really bite when breastfeeding and teeth cut through. They do bite. And it is eye-watering. You wouldn’t put your nipple in a hamster’s mouth, would you? (Perhaps you would, but what you do at weekends is your own business).
  6. The worst time to catch a cold is shortly after birth. Sneezing with no pelvic floor is bad news (See item 4)
  7. Motherhood means that you have to sing in public, a lot. Sometimes with sign language. Always with a manic grin. Doesn’t matter if you are no Adele. It’s compulsory, get used to it.
  8. Carrot puree can stain any surface within 10 metres of the baby. Don’t waste time washing clothes, just allocate the baby a specific carrot-eating outfit.
  9. Do not freak out when giving up breastfeeding and going to buy formula for the first time. Get your friend to buy it and then you can say it wasn’t you. Or wear a bag over your head. Nobody else actually cares, just you. You’ve done your very best.
  10. Hangovers and babies do not mix. So, just keep drinking.
  11. Delete any email that comes near you entitled “what your 25 week old can do” or similar. Ignore it, read it at your peril. All babies are different and you will only get worried. You don’t see grown-ups crawling along the street or communicating only with “ba-ba-ba” (Well, maybe at pub closing time). Your baby will get there.
  12. ‘Baby brain’ is real and true. You may have been intelligent previously but you are about to become sponge.
  13. There are not enough muslins in the world to cope with a sicky baby.
  14. The first time your baby voluntarily gives you a kiss or a hug will make every day’s graft prior to that more than worth it.
  15. You can happily discuss intimate details with random strangers. Met a new mum at a baby group? Tell her about your stitches, it’s a guaranteed icebreaker. Possibly a bit weird more than a year after the birth though.
  16. At some point, you really do have to pack away your maternity clothes and wear proper stuff.
  17. You’ll appreciate your own mother so much more when you become one yourself.
  18. You’ve never heard a sound more beautiful than that of your husband and daughter making each other giggle.
  19. You can’t put your iPod on shuffle anymore, it’s not your iPod. It’s full of nursery rhymes and animal sounds.
  20. Get a bigger washing machine.

9 Comments on “A word with myself, a year ago.”

  1. Steve says:

    Brilliant. This should be handed out in leaflet form to all new mothers! As a ‘house dad’ for the first year I can relate to most of it (ie I have no recollection of having sore nipples or needing Tena pants, although that doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t?!!) and it’s all sage advice indeed. Well done Lynn. Great writing. This blog is going to be brilliant, keep it up 🙂

    Oh, and as a Dad of a now fairly stroppy (but always lovely deep down inside) 13yr old son, it doesn’t get any easier or harder… just different. There’s always a whole new raft of (wonderful) challenges to deal with. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

    Enjoy every single moment guys 😀


    • I thought that once we all survived the first year that I’d have cracked it. No?! Someone recently told me that parenthood is a “life sentence” (encouraging!). I can’t wait for all the challenges ahead. Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated. PS You are mentioned in a blog post – A Wee Motherly Influence

  2. Chrissie says:

    I am completely over the moon that you have decided to do this! Your wit and intelligence comes through in such clever writing and this blog will surely bring us all many smiles and laughter as we share this amazing journey with you… super excited!
    Miss you loads but this helps the distance feel smaller xxx Chrissie.

  3. Tamara Gleadhill says:

    Oh Lynn well done on your blog you seem a natural. This article has just had me in hysterics resulting in my Dad asking what is wrong with me I was laughing so much! So true all of it and would have been nice to have that advice 12 months ago!!! In reference to your Goals post I would say get an i-Phone. Since getting one i have 742 photos of Ruby and she is only 6 months old today! Next step is to actually put them into an album.
    Good Luck and I will be reading!!
    Tamara xoxox

  4. Karen says:

    Love your blog. It made me laugh and get choked up, although since becoming a mum I am ludicrously emotional. I was at the doctors yesterday for myself for once, and I saw a little girl of about 4 being sick in the sink of the doctors office with her mum holding her tightly and her hair off her face and it made me cry. Its lovely when you are able to write things that people can relate to, and you have done that beautifully. My little man (who’s 3) tells me daily “mum, I just love you” and my angel (who’s 7 months) kisses my cheek with such slobber and determination that I can feel her love without words. My heart melts when I watch my husband’s eyes light up and find mine for us to both proudly acknowledge something wonderous our kids have done. I can’t wait to keep reading your blog.

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