First Time Mother, my beautiful daughter 'Quinn' born in September 2019.
A Note From the Writer
If you're the expecting mother to be, congratulations! You're about to embark on the most wonderful personal journey a woman can experience. It's a precious time in your life. And getting ready for it can be overwhelming. The purpose of this article is to save you time and grievance now and in the near future. I'll list some things to avoid and reveal some hard learned truths about babies and being a mother.
#1 Nurseries are a Myth
I can imagine the good majority of first time mothers spend a lot of time during pregnancy picturing the warm glowing moments that will take place in the beautiful, personalised nursery they've created or plan on creating for their precious baby. I know I did. I know my facebook friends did. And think 'nursery envy' might just be a real deal thing.
Unless you intend on being a die hard 'baby sleep's in their own room' type of parent though, the reality of it is baby's don't really need their own room. And having your change table and baby's bedding in a separate room just means you're going to be travelling further to feed, change, comfort and clothe. This isn't awesome, especially at night. Put it in your bedroom or the room you spend most of your time otherwise.
So before you spend your time and effort on a nursery, ask yourself. Are there better ways to be prepared for baby?
#2 Gorgeous Outfits Are a Lie
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to shop for baby clothes and even stock up in larger sizes to have clothes on hand as baby grows. I certainly don't regret doing that myself! But in hind site there's plenty of outfits I didn't really use much and definitely didn't need.
Fortunately many of the amazing and probably expensive outfits we do have were gifts from family and friends. But I think with all the picture-perfect, camera-ready bubs on social media have us potentially confused about what clothes we really need to focus on. I literally only use such clothes for such photos. Headbands, halter necks, fluffy skirts and unforgiving materials are all pretty intolerable to a baby. And these outfits usually make changing your baby way harder than it already is.
So my advice to new parents is sure, get the beautiful outfits. Take the gorgeous photos. But expect your baby to live in plain old rompers and of course, the amazing bonds wonder suits. These are your every-dayers!
#3 "You" Time is Over. Sorry!
I'm not telling you that because you chose to be a Mum that you have to sacrifice yourself and give up hope at ever having a minute's peace to eat, shower or go to the bathroom. No I'm saying no matter how good your circumstances, no matter how much support you have, It's likely to be the case for at least the first 12-47 months.
I thought I'd go back to work. I thought I could leave baby with her grandparents for the occasional gym sesh or "me" day. I had no idea none of this would be possible let alone realize that from the day she was born, I'd have to come up with solutions as to how I'd accomplish a meal, a shower, two minutes on the toilet.
I also didn't realize that as much as it's 2020 and expectations of equality meant I thought "Dad" and I would be 50/50 responsible, it just plain wasn't the case. To babies, Mum is a very important person. Imperative in fact! And majority of the time for the first year (and then some) your baby will want to be with you and likely demand it.
If you're pregnant and reading this, my advice to you is to savour the freedom while you've got it and book that massage!
#4 Snaps are Evil
Snaps or 'push buttons' are an unnecessary evil. Buy as few snap up suites as possible! It's too late for me but save yourselves.
Zips are great!
#5 Shoes and Socks are Bulls**t
Like gorgeous outfits, baby shoes and socks are almost a complete load of crap. If socks weren't necessary to keep footsies warm, I'd advise you to skip them and shoes altogether for the first twelve months. But I can almost definitely say the shoes won't be worth it.
Now I gave up on shoes and socks pretty quickly. So some Mums might beg to differ. But I personally could not get them to stay on my daughter's awkward little feet! Socks, the slippery little suckers, have always slid off. Shoe's never lasted more than a minute either.
A baby's development is best facilitated by bare feet. They start by merely feeling with them. Then crawling, standing and walking. All of this is easier done with bare feet. Truth be told, as cute as those tiny shoes are, they serve no real purpose aside from keeping feet warm. But since they fall off so easily, this is much better accomplished by a closed toe suite!
#6 Nothing's going to be clean. Ever again.
Going into motherhood, nesting instincts mean we like everything to be spotless, sterile even. But not far into the journey, it can become just too hard to try to maintain. With sleeplessness and a demanding baby, you become too tired to care so much anymore.
The mess triples as you begin solids. Then baby starts to crawl and explore. You find more time to keep up with it. But baby will always find new messes to make. Keeping you forever on your toes. Forever reaching for the wipes.
My advice is not to buy anything in white! And accept second-hand things that's offered to you. It might not be appealing at first, but spending lots of money on clothes they'll ruin and toys they'll get bored of quickly gets old fast too!
© 2020 Stephanie Purser
Tracy Lynn Conway from Virginia, USA on July 23, 2020:
You had me at point number one! Your points are so true! I wish I had read this many years ago before spending time, money and effort on purchases that had very little value in the art of parenting. ‘Hind sight is 20/20’ but I hope this article can save other parents from these misconceptions. Great article, keep up the great work!