A friend is waiting to have her first baby any time now and a popular blog I read often asks participants what advice they would give a first time mama and only now am I kind of ready to attempt answering that.
- A birth plan is great, but don’t be too tied to it, things happen so be flexible.
- Have a plan for who you want to visit you once baby comes. Be clear what you expect and what you would like.
- If your mom or sister, or other trusted female relative can come, let them. In laws are great but for the first one its nice to have someone you are closely related to.
- Have someone who loves you look out for post natal depression. It’s a reality.
- Little kids don’t need too much stuff and they outgrow stuff so quickly so don’t over shop it might all go to waste.
- If you have a partner, your communication will take a bit of a knock but resolve to work on it and adapt together.
- Babies cry. Soon you will develop a tough skin when they do. When you can’t settle them, give them a bath or strip them of their clothes for a little while.
- Lastly, you are the best mama for that baby. No one can do it better than you. YOU GOT THIS.
Posted in Heart matters, home, life, Motherhood/ Parenting
Tagged advice, babies, bath, birth plan, communication, depression, husbands, motherhood, parenting, partner, post natal depression
This being the last week of my maternity break, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learnt as a new mom. Please share your own lessons in the comments, thanks.
- Newborns make interesting sounds right from the beginning. Leaving the hospital the little one giggled … we should have known she had grand plans for us later that night.
- They try to turn their necks from side to side initially, at least she did.
- They are your co-partner in breastfeeding. FACT.
- Breastfeeding makes you feel insecure – get a good lactation consultant on standby and attend a good birthing class that included breastfeeding lessons.
- It does take a village, first kids are naturally born resilient coz how do they survive with parents who don’t know what they are doing????
- … but you should also control the type of visitors you get. In the early days I caught myself making lunch and teas for visitors, very very sad.
- Trust your instincts always. This took me a while to get used to but it does kick in, thank God.
- You fall in love with them coz they pin you with that intense penetrating gaze and then one day they just smile and you are captivated.
- I will honestly admit to the fact that I did not initially fall in love, like day one. It took me a week or two but when I got there, I was fully in love …
- Newborns aren’t fazed by hiccups.
- They hate to bath, at least she did. It took
three full months for it to become bearable.
- You are initially tired, lack of sleep and childbirth, but you soon learn to cope.
- The nature of the relationship with your partner will change. The most important thing is to talk about it and give each other some grace. Also, get some zzz when you can, lack of sleep exacerbates errrrthing.
- Baby breath and baby farts don’t smell at all
- Changing dirty diapers is actually not the worst thing.
The best part of it all though is getting to know her an experience that I would liken to a slowly opening rose bud.
Posted in Motherhood/ Parenting
Tagged baby, bathing, breastfeeding, childbirth, communication, hiccups, husbands, lessons learnt, motherhood, parenting, visitors
Today marks our third-year anniversary and I am not sure what it is about marriage that makes each year feel tougher and harder than the previous one yet the returns are just as fulfilling. I love being married and I love my husband and even after all these years together (nine this year) I am still remarkably happy that we are together. He is certainly my person.
What have I learnt so far?
- Communication, yes, it’s great and truly the key. Half of communication however is being mindful of how you deliver the message. It is possible through how and when you say something to break the other person or get a response that you were not prepared for.
- Regarding in-laws, that can be managed. There is a happy coexistence that you can attain. A fine line between respect for them and firm boundaries for your relationship. Also, one of the ladies that spoke to me before I got married reminded me that I can never be the best daughter in law and so I should not work on that but focus on being respectful.
- Marriage is better when you have a crowd with whom you experience it together. This calls to mind mentors, other happily married couples of all ages and even people that are dating and hoping to also settle down. Being surrounded by happy couples in different seasons of life keeps you connected and encouraged to strive more within your marriage.
- The move to the Mother City was also beneficial because it helped us build a firm foundation for this new phase of our relationship and to help the “crowd” around us begin to see us as a unit and to respect that.
- Though we had known each other since our early twenties, we only got married in our late twenties and in the last three years we have spent a lot of time integrating our single lives into our new entity. In true us style, this has involved a lot of “business” meetings to plan, dream, forecast and review our future plan. Although we are closer now than when we started we are still not done. Urggh.
- My husband is my best male friend and probably someone outside of my family that knows me best BUT having said that, I still believe it is important to keep other friendships going strong in your lives and to continue to meet new people and maintain old friendships. This is important because of the “crowd” I spoke of earlier but also the fact that when we interact with other people it draws out another side of you and also allows you to miss your partner that you look forward to seeing them.
Having said all the above, it is a fact that marriage is work. You only reap what you put in. Also, that both of you must work on it or the other party eventually gets worn out and might lash out. Each year has brought us something additional to work through / focus on and that has been interesting and kept us both connected.
What will I work on this year?
Firstly, on the words I use. I know that as a wife, I can either build him up / tear him down and I have to be very careful not to do the latter. Secondly, in the Love Dare the authors speak of guarding one self against spending time in your mate’s depreciation room. This is basically the place where we keep stock of all of his bad traits and all those things you do not like about him. I also have a depreciation room that he could dwell on but that won’t take us anywhere if we both fixate on it. Lastly, to work on making more couple friends and hanging out with those we currently have.
In closing, one piece of advice we received that I always remember is that marriage is what you make of it. Just as no two marriages are the same, you can get out of yours the things that you want and that works for the two of you despite what other people out there might feel/ have to say.
So here’s to many more and loads of love.
Posted in Heart matters, home, marriage
Tagged about us, Cape Town, communication, friendship, in-laws, love, marriage, planning, relationship advice, relationships, Three Years