When you are pregnant you have all these ideas about what sort of mother you would like to be. BUT when you have a baby these go out the window! You begin to realise it’s all about survival and keeping your sanity.
I WILL NOT POST A MILLION BABY PHOTOS….
Well, what can I say, within the first couple of hours I hadn’t stuck to this. Even if your baby looks like some kind of scrunched up new-born Chihuahua, you will think he/ she is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. And you just want to share this with the world…..100 times….a day!! After each photo I post on social media I promise myself that it’s definitely the last one for at least a week. But then you manage to take another banger (best smile so far, best outfit so far, best baby photo EVER), and you have this uncontrollable urge that you MUST share it. After all, it’s the first time he’s had an Ice Cream…..and HE’S ON THE BEACH!!!
I WILL GO BACK TO SNOWBOARDING/ GYMNASTICS AS SOON AS I CAN EXERCISE……..
Nearly a year on and I’ve snowboarded once and definitely not gone back to adult gymnastics, not even done a handstand yet (actually going to try this right now on the living room floor…) Both sports are high impact so strong pelvic floors are a must! Although I’m mentally ready to get back to both sports, my body certainly doesn’t feel the same anymore. It took me 3 weeks to even be able to walk around the block (on my tip toes??? Seemed easier like that). I guess giving birth takes a lot out of you, even if you do listen to whale music throughout.
I also totally under estimated just how much time and attention a baby needs. To leave a baby, even for a couple of hours (let alone a weeks snowboard trip…to another country….can I do that??), is a complex mission, especially if you are breast feeding a monster child!! So you end up just karting this creature with you everywhere you go. So this does mean you end up sacrificing your whole life/ hobbies/ EVERYTHING. You loose your identitiy as “YOU” and just merge into “Mummy/ Baby”. But I’ve just got to remind myself it’s only for a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things and it’s totally worth it:). Plus adult gymnastics is waaaaaay past my bedtime these days anyway!!!! AND I can live my gymnastic days through Arlo now instead with Baby Gymnastics!! But don’t worry I WILL BE BACK……
I’LL JUST TAKE MY BABY BACKPACKING AROUND THE WORLD WITH ME…..
Yes I’ve managed to take him IN a back pack, but certainly not around the world……yet! I would love to do this, and I know some people manage it, but honestly those first few months were the hardest of my life EVER and a complete blur. I don’t know how I ever thought it would be easy to take a new-born backpacking? It was an achievement to make it to Sainsburys, let alone India!!! I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t even figure out that the remote control didn’t live in the fridge, no hope for navigating around the world. Maybe now the constant crying/ puking/pooing/ feeding stage is over it would be easier? But you also need a willing/ equally ambitious/ silly partner in crime to take with you to help you with the baby…… pleeeeeeeaaaase Rich???? Life education??? Also lots of money. Although I’m sure Arlo would feel “at one” with the Lion cubs in Africa and we would never see him again.
NO I-PAD/ TV……
I never wanted to create a couch potato, so I wanted to only have the TV on for a “treat” What was I thinking???!!! From day one the TV has pretty much been on in the background anytime I’m at home. I just get so lonely!!! Sometimes I put music on, but the TV really makes it feel like you’re not alone and you have a friend in the room, even if it is Jeremy Kyle! And it’s not been baby friendly programs either……but equally educational???? If I have to spend a day at home, the running order consists of “Good Morning Britain” (educational on political issues) into “Lorraine” (educational celebrity gossip) into “Jeremy Kyle” (Arlos favourite program, good for learning emotions??! Although I do turn it off when they all argue and hit each other), into “This Morning” and then “Loose Women” (important for him to learn about the female species)…….then a break for lunch before switching to E4 for “How I Met Your Mother” or “The Big Bang Theory”. He doesn’t understand them yet anyway right???
I also really didn’t want him to sit on an I-pad all day everyday. But …….WE ARE GETTING HIM AN I-PAD!!! We want to train him to sit still and actually watch something to give us a break!!!! Also to keep quiet on plane journeys which will be essential for our backpacking around the world!!! (see “TV training” below)
I ONLY WANT TO HAVE WOODEN TOYS…..
I had all these visions of Arlo’s nursery (which still isn’t even done btw) filled with beautiful wooden toys, and him quietly (haha) playing with them. But the long and short of it is, they just aren’t interested in wooden toys (apart from wooden spoons from the kitchen). They love the bright plastic toys that make lots of hideous noises. And to be honest, no point spending the money on wooden toys anyway as they just puke/ poo on them. Plastic is much easier to clean. Now our living room looks like Toys RUS!!
I WILL ONLY DRESS HIM IN SECOND HAND CLOTHES….
I really wanted to save lots of money and spend it on what I felt was really important to us, which were experiences and adventures rather than brand new swanky clothes/ material possessions. After all, they grow so quickly anyway, so what was the point??!
Well let me tell you, sometimes 3am online baby shopping was the only thing that kept me going!! There is something about dressing your baby that is SO FUN!!! Waiting for that little “Zara” package to arrive in the morning. Co coordinating their outfits (we make a game out of it, Arlos going to be the next Gok Wan- don’t tell Rich). And as sad as it seems, this was the most exciting thing going on in my life at some points!! (Arlo modelling his Autumn/ Winter Collection below)
I DON’T WANT TO HAVE A ROUTINE….
I really wanted to be totally free-spirited, not constrained by a baby routine. “Just go with the flow” I thought “make him fit in with our lives”………..oh dear!! I still don’t have a strict routine with him during the daytime, everyday I do different things so he naps/ eats at different times. BUT the bedtime routine, that’s another kettle of fish!! OCD much??! Sleep deprivation is hands down the worse thing about being a mum. Sleep becomes so crucial that if one night they sleep slightly better you want to keep everything EXACTLY the same the next night. Same dinner, same times, same bath/ same bubbles, same toys in bath, same PJs, same soft toys in bed/ in same positions, same temperature in room, say same things/ in same order, sing same songs etc etc!!! And god forbid if anything happens to disrupt the routine!! THE BABY WONT SLEEP
Then you have the “get out of the house on time” morning routine, and the “eat 3 meals a day” routine…….so before I knew it, our days almost resemble a sort of routine!!!!
I’M NOT GOING TO USE MY I-PHONE IN FRONT OF HIM…..
pahahaha what was I thinking!! Those 1-2 hourly feeds 24 hours a day for the first 6 months of his life were saved by my I-phone! It’s amazing how many other people (mothers) are on FB at 3am! Again, it was the only thing that kept me awake sometimes, I tried reading a book but it was awkward to hold whilst feeding, my phone however was the perfect size! Looking back on that time now, I wish I used my time more productivelyly, maybe to learn something, a language/ philosophies of life? Instead I spent my time googling “5 ways to get your baby to sleep through the night” or “different consistencies of baby poo”.
I am still on my phone a lot more than I would like to be, but it’s becoming more difficult. Arlo sees it at this forbidden fruit and its his sole mission in life to get it. If I use it whilst feeding, he tries to eat it, if I use it whilst he’s playing, he attacks me. I actually feel guilty using it in front of him now. Arlo will catch my eye now when I’m on my phone, and I’m sure he gives me disapproving looks. I have moments where I’m on FB and I think “wtf am I doing stalking other people’s babies whilst mine is right here trying to interact with me” BAD MOTHER!! . But since my phone is like THE BEST TOY EVER for Arlo, I use it as my last resort to make him quiet or keep him still. Handy tool to have, especially changing nappies!!. I really hope this isn’t going to fry his brain:(
I’M GOING TO BE SOOOO PRODUCTIVE WITH MY MATERNITY LEAVE….
I think this was one of the biggest shocks!! I really did have visions of the baby “peacefully” sleeping in the basket whilst I made lots of lovely things for his nursery, baked (well learnt how to), wrote a book, wrote a blog (took me 8 months), knitted, caught up with friends, yoga in the living room etc. Just do all those things you never have time to do. I never realised having a “real live baby” with you on your maternity leave means you absolutely have no time whats soever!! Sometimes I get to 4pm and I think “have I even brushed my teeth today????!!”