'5 New-Mum Mistakes I Wish I Never Made'
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
When I was pregnant with my son Ethan, I was that pregnant lady that read every book, scanned every article and watched every YouTube video on parenting methods, routines and milestones. I was almost a little complacent before giving birth, and felt pretty 'confident-ish' that I would do a good job at parenthood. Whilst I do feel this is true -- I'm not doing too bad at this mama-hood thing -- it's true in a very different way; my confidence in parenting is knowing that I am wise enough to learn from my mistakes and vowing to not make them again! Fast forward a year and 2 months, I've learnt a heck of a lot, so here we go: a few mistakes I made, but will not be making the next time around:
1. Assuming I Was the Only Mum Facing the Struggles I Did.
I couldn't understand why I was so down after having my son. I didn't understand why he would have to cry whenever we stopped at a traffic light in the car, or would flip out if we fed him with a spoon. But now I know that it's all normal; babies like what they like and cry over the little things, it's normal. On a more serious note, I really did feel very alone after having my son. I felt defeated and down, but now I know that postnatal depression is a common problem, affecting approximately 1 in 10 women, with 'baby blues' being even more common. Just remember, tons of mums go through body image insecurities, babies falling out of routines, and much more. Just take a deep breath and remember they'll be just fine, and so will YOU!
2. Not Being Quick to Ask for or Accept Help.
Looking back, I was a little territorial over Ethan, he was my little miracle baby and that meant that when offered help, I felt guilty, or like I wasn't being a good mum by not doing it myself. Boy was I wrong! Now, I'm in the mindset that, whether you get help or not, as long as the job gets done, that is what's important. I've learnt to give up being the 'martyr' all in the name of seeming "perfect" to others, and even to myself.
3. Being Too Hard on Myself for Not Being Able to Breastfeed as Long as I Anticipated.
I was so hard on myself for only being able to breastfeed for a few months after having my son, and I tried, and tried, until my nipple literally bled open and I got mastitis. I learnt to cut myself some slack after that!
4. Feeling Insecure About My 'Mum-Tum'
My body changed a lot after having my son, and in the beginning, I was embarrassed and uncomfortable with my body post-labour. But, time -- and just being a woman -- has taught me that your body will be ever-changing, and if you don't start loving your body now, you never will. I'm embracing my 'tummy pouch', stretch-marks, and all that cuddly extra 'fluff'.
5. Worrying Over Development and Milestones
I would stress over when my son would start to crawl, walk, clap his hands or say his first words. As a first-time new mum, I would constantly compare Ethan's milestones and development to the regular 'standards' etc. and now Ethan is 14 months old, he does all of them without skipping a beat, and, most importantly, he is happy. If I could go back in time and say one thing to that anxious, apologetic for everything, first-time mum, I would say this:
"trust the process, when the time is right, it'll happen."
Simply Deborah xo