One of my oldest, dearest friends is six months preggers with her first baby, and I'm SO excited for her, there's almost steam coming out of my ears! We met at school when we were 11. It wasn't exactly like-at-first-sight, but by the time we were 16 we were Besties, and it's pretty much stayed that way ever since. Our friendship survived all those ups and downs of young adulthood: leaving school, falling in love for the first time, supporting each other through broken hearts (with lots of Coruba rum and menthol cigarettes) flatting together, and many, MANY hangovers. When she moved from New Zealand to Sydney, I followed soon after. When I upped sticks to the UK, we never lost touch (thanks Facebook!). Although we don't get much time or opportunity to speak much these days, it just doesn't matter. Even now, nearly 30 years after we first met, I know I could call her anytime, day or night, and she'd be there (the rum and ciggies - not so much). So, I thought I'd help her out with a 'Handy Guide to Mumhood'. You know; the essential stuff they don't tell you about in Antenatal Class. • By all means, write up a Birth Plan, but bear in mind: Babies. Can't. Read. He or she will do what they want, when they want, how they want; regardless of the lavender-scented water birth you have in mind. • However many baby grows you have, double it. Hell, triple it! Apply the same advice with muslin squares. • Baby wipes will be your new best friend. Carry a packet everywhere. • Don't waste your time trying to make baby socks stay on. They just won't. Put bubs in tights, or bare feet. • Ditto with shoes. Unless you want to spend hours retracing your steps looking for an AWOL foot covering, only buy the soft leather ones with the elasticated heels.
• Buy some good quality dribble bibs. It's much easier to change a bib, than an entire outfit, when those salivary glands go into slobbery overdrive. • Get used to the sight of laundry, and cobwebs. You won't have time to keep on top of either for at least a year - probably two! • Warn your friends that they won't hear much from you for the first five or six months. Babies take up an unbelievable amount of your time. Despite your best intentions, emails will go unanswered, and voice messages remain unreturned. Don't stress about it - they'll understand!! • Put all your good stuff in storage, or somewhere really really high up. Say a proper goodbye, because you won't see them for a long time. A LONG time. And if you choose not to put them in storage, say goodbye anyway, because chances are they'll be broken, torn, stained or chewed to bits within two years. • Don't buy expensive face creams, or makeup. Unless you WANT to see them smeared all over your bedsheets and walls. Which segues neatly to the next point: • Don't bother freshly painting walls, or putting down new carpet. It'll only need doing again within a year. • Remember that every mistake you make, pretty much every other new Mum has done too. A thousand times. But most importantly.... • All of the above goes out the window with a simple, gummy smile, or a dribbly kiss. So take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy!! What would you add??
Howdy, I'm Jacqui - Mum to two lovely girls; Big Sis, born Summer 2008, and Lil Sis, born Autumn 2010. In my 'spare' time I'm a freelance features and travel journalist, social media advisor, Twitterholic, and professional housework dodger