1 . Don’t compare your birth to anyone else’s – if you found it traumatic then it was traumatic, it doesn’t matter that someone else had a ‘worse’ birth than you, your feelings are your feelings and they’re very valid.
2. No one knows what they are doing. I absolutely promise you this. Yes you may have had to google in the hospital ‘how to change a nappy’ but you learn quick on this job so don’t sweat it – you’ve got this.
3. Your hormones are going to be all over the place but they WILL settle – you won’t always burst into tears randomly, or cry for hours on end without being able to stop because the film 27 dresses (not known as a notoriously sad film either) set you off.
4. It shocks every single one of us about how much of a life change it is having a new baby – it’s not just you.
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get back to normal or do things. I know that right now you’re clawing to get some control back in your life because everything feels so topsy turvy, but give yourself a break. Sit down, sleep, the housework can wait, you’ve just been through something major – be kind to yourself.
6. Ask for help and if someone offers it – accept it. You are not failing, you are not a bad mum, you can’t do it all and that’s okay. NONE of us can. There’s that saying of ‘it takes a village’ yeah it really does and most of us don’t have that village, so don’t try to take on too much. If someone offers to hoover, or wash up, or hold baby whilst you have a shower, take them up on it!
7. Set boundaries. You do not owe anything to anyone, set boundaries straight away, don’t let people just drop by, don’t let people harass you, do what you need to do to keep your peace – it’s all on your terms remember.
8. It won’t always feel like this, I promise. The newborn bubble is a myth – I’ve not spoken to one mum who found this bit easy and idyllic – I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase was coined by someone who hasn’t given birth before.
9. Advocate for yourself if you need more support from the Nhs – if anything doesn’t feel right, or if you’ve got questions, or you just want someone to check out your scars – ask and don’t let anyone say no. It’s so easy to get fobbed off when you’re a mum but don’t just try and get on with things if something doesn’t feel right.
P.s just an extra one – if you had a similar delivery to me, I promise you won’t always feel like you’ve been kicked in the fanny by buckeroo.