After my other-half Rob read last week’s blog he told me that any expectant mother reading it would probably be petrified and that it all sounded a bit negative.
I’m sorry if that includes you but I made a promise in my first post that this would be a totally honest and authentic account of my experiences as a first time mum.
Plus I’m pretty sure there will be other mums out there who felt the same in the first moments, days and weeks of their little one’s lives and I hope some of you reading this will be able to relate because I spent those early days wondering if those feeling were normal or even right?
But here’s the good news, being a mummy is amazing.
I’m not scared of that tiny little person that is totally dependent on me, I’m absolutely relishing the responsibility that being a mother brings. I am totally and utterly head over heels in love with her. But enough of that gushy stuff!
When Poppy was first born, I started doing lots of research, being awake with a baby every two hours during the night to feed allows a lot of reading time.
My first port of call was to try and instigate a routine, as I stumbled through each day the idea that I might have some control was incredibly attractive. So I started the E.A.S.Y routine, “Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time”, perfect I thought.
But it didn’t work, and I was left wondering why my baby didn’t behave the way this particular expert had promised me.
I read that babies of a certain age should be able to “self-soothe”, sleep ‘X’ number of hours per night, feed from a bottle as well as breast feed.
Every night Rob would come home to a barrage of facts and figures and a panicked review of how Poppy and I were falling well below these expectations.
Luckily I have a very patient husband who listened to my fears but always responded with the same... “you need to learn to go with the flow”. Endless text messages to my mum (mother of three kids) asking her to recall the minutiae of details from when we were kids 25 years ago were responded to with the same empathy but a similar message.
Go with the flow?!
How the heck can I go with the flow when every single tiny decision I make could affect months and years of our lives to come? The people writing these books are doctors and professors and experts in child psychology and this is all brand new to me!
After a fairly heated argument with Rob, (I know he said he’s patient but everyone has their limits) about some sort of parenting technique I was convinced we should try, I realised that when it comes to being a parent the answers can’t always be found on Google, that I had to do what feels right for me and the bloke who has spent countless hours walking round the house at 4am singing the “please go to sleep” song to a wide awake baby.
I’m not saying there isn’t loads of great advice and information available, there definitely is and reading and research I have done has absolutely influenced my choices.
But these choices aren’t for everyone and its difficult in a world full of information and baby groups with proud mums of darling little ones who sleep 12 hours every night not to compare yourself and your baby.
I still worry that I may be making the wrong choices or that I’m making a rod for my own back but I’m doing it the Naylor way, and that feels good.
I’d love to know about your experiences, did you find routines worked for you? Do have a particular parenting style that you stick to?
Do you and your partner have different ideas about right and wrong ways of raising babies?
Get in touch and let me know!
Contact me via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or my Twitter account @CescaNaylor
Read Francesca’s previous blog - click the links below
July 18: The day my life changed forever.