Before my beautiful little rainbow girl arrived at the end of July, I took a lot of little things for granted. For instance:
- A hot shower. I know, mad right! But OMG it is hard to find the time, plus the Mum guilt! I cannot even begin to tell you how bad that is! If I leave her for even five minutes I feel bad, but she’s either with her Daddy or her Grandma, so why do I worry?! Anyway, back to the list.
- Manicures! Oh I miss my lovely, sparkly nails. They have been replaced by chewed stumps. I’m not over exaggerating. They’re a mess!
- A lie in. OK, I knew that one would go, and I hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months, due to feeling like a beached whale, but the sleep deprivation is probably the hardest one to get used to.
- A hot drink. Once that beautiful bundle is in your arms, you don’t want to put them down, so if someone does make you a hot drink then chances are it will be lukewarm at best by the time you get around to drinking it.
The above might seem trivial, but the message behind it isn’t. Becoming a parent is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but it’s also the hardest. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I have realised the importance of looking after yourself. It is far too easy to keep pushing yourself to keep going and going, but that’s only going to end one way, badly. You have to give yourself a break, even if it’s just ten minutes to have that hot shower. You will feel so much better afterwards.
I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is talk to someone if you’re struggling. I have a few friends who had babies around the same time, and being able to tell them all of my neurotic worries always helps as they’ve usually had the same ones. I still have lots of freak outs about whether I’m doing things right, but when I manage to think logically for more than ten seconds I realise I am.
At times it can feel incredibly lonely as a new parent, but there is such a huge network of people out there willing to listen and help, including me, so remember you are NOT alone, and you CAN do this.