Don’t worry about worrying
You will. Just accept it. In the early days it’s ‘are they drinking enough?’ ‘why are they crying?’ Or the all encompassing ‘am I doing this right??’ Get comfortable with your worrying; it doesn’t stop. The things you worry about change and you always look back and wonder why you got so het up about something that seems like second nature now or your baby reaching a development milestone that was reached in their own time.
Get out of the house
The house may seem a safe retreat but being in on your own with baby can give you too much time to think. Little things can get blown out of proportion and your perspective on things can get skewed. Fresh air and a pram can do wonders for your body and soul and the kind stranger who coos over your baby may be all you need to feel part of the world again. Even better, join baby groups and even better still join one that combines being social with exercise like Movement and Bloom!
You will get a life back
Sitting on the sofa with a little being living on you, numerous nappy changes, feeds and sick…it may seem unimaginable that you will ever get to leave the house but you will do it. Just take it step by step and one day at a time. Getting out by lunchtime may be an achievement at first but it will become second nature and you will be able to get out earlier than that. With my first little one it was almost two weeks before I felt confident to go out solo and that was just down the road. With baby two we were shopping for baby things in Liverpool on day 5 and my biggest achievement was making a 9.30am Popcats session with the two-year-old and baby!
…And when I say ‘a life’ you’ll notice I don’t say ‘your life’. It’s true- life will never be the same. You won’t be able to do what you did pre-baby at the drop of a hat, but you’re swapping that for a life that you’ll find even more fulfilling (if tiring!).
You will function on little/no sleep
You will be amazed at what you’re capable of, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get partners, friends or family to help out. The sleep deprivation doesn’t last forever. I promise. For us, at least, the worst was over by week 11.
Don’t buy everything and the kitchen sink
When you’re pregnant it’s so easy to get tempted by products and gadgets sold as ‘must haves’ as it’s a step into the unknown and you don’t want to be caught out. But take a step back and relax. Get the absolute basics and it will become clear what’s essential versus a sales pitch. A lot of what your baby needs, or what you need to make your life with baby easier, will become clear as you go through the first few weeks.