FTM means ‘first time mum’. Took me a while to figure out these stupid bollocks acronyms from the mumsy websites.
I am probably not going to give you any advice that you haven’t heard before from friends or relatives or read somewhere on the net. But none the less I learned the hard way from day one when my wee boy was born. So here they are, up to you whether or not you take any of them on board!
- DO NOT GOOGLE. I mean don’t fuckin Google anything about your newborn baby. I spent endless nights/days/weeks googling shit like why will my baby only sleep on my chest or should I co-sleep or why does my baby only feed from my left boob. Reading the results to these kind of questions will either make you feel like a seriously shit mother or that your baby is suffering from some incurable disease. Honestly I really feel that googling really contributed to me spiralling into such an anxious state that I felt that I didn’t know what was best for my baby. What did mums do before the Internet was invented? Ironic I know because I am asking you to read my blog but I found texting friends with young babies or seeking advice from my mum or my sister reassured me that everything was NORMAL. Google is NOT your friend.
- If you want to breastfeed, then fantastic. If you don’t then who gives a shit. I spent the first 5 weeks of my newborn’s life struggling and crying with sore nipples and blocked milk ducts because I thought that I would be a failure if I stopped breastfeeding. I was happy I did it for 5 weeks but with hindsight happy mummy = happy baby and I was fuckin miserable. Cluster feeding, rubbing nipple cream on every 5 seconds, horrendous pain in my tits. It just didn’t work for me. It works for lots of mum and I salute them. But if it doesn’t work for you, stop the guilt and move to formula. My baby is healthy and happy.
- The first 12 weeks of your new life with your newborn baby is like the honeymoon period. The fourth trimester or whatever the fuck they call it. What I mean is there is NO routine, there is NO right or wrong way to make your baby sleep either by co-sleeping, rocking, swinging, dummy or no dummy. White noise,lullabies, fuckin Ed Sheerhan play it all. Just do what makes you happy and makes your baby SLEEP. I stupidly ordered and read the Gina Ford book and when I started reading I was suicidal. I worried myself to death that by letting my baby co-sleep with me that we would still be sharing a bed when he was 16. Go for walks, read books (not fuckin Gina Ford) or watch box sets (I watched Breaking Bad the second time round when Budbud was still breastfeeding). Just do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Every baby is different. I wish to God someone told me this and I would have stopped always trying to do the ‘right thing’. There is no such thing.
- Make mum friends. I literally had no mum friends when baby was born (his nickname is Budbud so I will refer to him as this from now on). I felt a lot of pressure to make friends it was like fuckin asking a bloke out on a date to ask a mum to go for a drink (of tea not booze). I put myself out there on netmums. A bit cheesy but it worked. I sought out the least weird mums at a swimming class and we are still friends now and hope to be for a long time to come. The reason for this was because I realised they were all going through the same shit as me. Talking to these women made me feel normal. I didn’t go to classes or meetings until Budbud was over 12 weeks old so don’t feel pressure to turn up to mummy socials when baby is only 2 days old. I am quite sociable so found it relatively easy, some mums may not. Try mummy internet dating. Honestly it works.
- Most of all really try and enjoy the first few weeks. Fuck I know it’s hard. If someone had said that to me when I was so tired I was hallucinating I would have knocked them out, but really I do regret that I didn’t ‘soak it up’ more and just enjoy him being so little. I know he is still little now but he was wee wee as in very wee. Sleep when they sleep, fuck the housework and eat ready meals or get someone to cook for you. I stayed in my pyjamas a lot of the time. Just try and get by but most of all look into those little eyes and remember them being so small and how much they depend on you.