Welcome to the land of winging it!
5 years ago I gave birth to my beautiful son, only to realise that my idealistic views of motherhood, during my pregnancy, were way off!
The first time you see your baby a state of euphoria envelopes you. Those precious first few hours are a wonderful time for a new parent. This, however, is short-lived. Reality has a whole new plan.
My first attempts at nappy changing resulted in no nappy again once I lifted him up. Previous origami skills did not prepare me.
Breastfeeding was a struggle, after having an emergency caesarean. I did master it eventually, after numerous visits from a lifeline of breastfeeding counsellors and their knitted boobs (not their real boobs ... the ones they demonstrated on ... that would have really freaked me out!)
You will require new skills that will make parenthood easier. These skills need to be honed before the big day to prevent the chocolate box cottage view of parenthood becoming the derelict house that nobody wants to visit.
The following list may just be your saviour.
1. Think happy thoughts around strong smells
Your new baby cannot put a tiny foot wrong, but perfection does not extend to sweet smelling nappy changes.
What lies beneath is too much for any human nose to bear. It seems impossible that so much can escape from something so little, but it sure does.
2. Learn to Speak ‘Cryish’
A baby is not satisfied with just one standard cry. There are several modes of crying to identify before the calming can begin.
A baby crying is like someone shouting at you in a language you don’t understand whilst going purple with rage at your lack of ‘CryLingual’ skills.
3. Increase Pain Threshold
Razor milk teeth from a teething child can gnaw through any finger quite easily. No mercy is shown in order to soothe areas of the gum where more teeth are about to appear.
Being head butted by your baby is a shock the first time it happens. Their lack of spatial awareness and structural integrity of their neck lends itself to a blow to rival any featherweight.
4. Stay Awake for Hours
Sleep is overrated. Your baby will feel you are getting far too much of it.
Your only hope is to get used to it or buy a large supply of matchsticks to prop those eyelids open. The latter, not being practical, gives way to the former, in the hope it is a temporary measure. Baby will have other ideas.
5. Dress a Jelly
Babies fidget – a lot! A jelly would probably be easier to dress.
6. Never Go Alone to the Toilet
A copy of your favourite read in the little room in the house will be a thing of the past.
Now you will be subjected to your every move being watched from a baby bouncer.
You will learn to go in record time, before your ‘Cryish’ skills have to kick in.
You soon learn to adapt to your new addition. It’s a steep learning curve, the gradient of which is greatly underestimated.
A new baby is wonderful. There are many great memories ahead. They make you laugh, cry with frustration, cry with love and the rewards are limitless.
You look back and wonder how you managed to get through it, but you do. It’s an amazing experience. Enjoy every minute, as it goes by in the blink of an eye.