I can’t take credit for all of these, but here are some thoughts, phrases, quotations, sayings, pieces of advice etc. that have struck a cord for me and stayed in my mind since becoming a mum. Sorry for not giving credit for all of them, if I haven’t it’s because I can’t remember where I read or heard it.
Tomorrow is another day and will always come. Keep going.
The most important thing to get for your baby is a village. Your village will keep you afloat. They will carry you when you are tired, feed you when you are starving, forgive you when you are unkempt and hours late and a neglectful friend who can’t remember to wear socks let alone whose birthday it is. They will love your baby when you are too tired or frustrated to hold her at the moment, because you are imperfect and human and have imperfect and human failings. They will remind you who you are when you start to think your whole life is only about poop. They will lift you up. (From here)
If you only take one piece of advice from me, let it be this: put the baby to bed AWAKE (my mum)
When you’ve had a baby there are two types of visitor: those who bring food and those who eat your food. You will love the first and want to kill the second.
When you find yourself getting angry at your husband, remember he is not the enemy. The baby is the enemy.
You can do so much more than you ever thought you could do. You will discover that your limit to be without sleep is much, much longer than you ever thought possible. You have no idea how bloody incredible you are (my husband)
You are not alone. Other mothers struggle, too. They flicker like candles, awake in the night in a thousand bedrooms, in the past, in the future, right now. They hunch over their babies, nursing. They are limp and worn, like wrung out washcloths. Remember them when you are up in the night for the fifth time. When your baby won’t stop crying; when you can’t stop crying. (From here)
Other people know babies, but no-one knows your baby like you (Aisling)
Sleep when they sleep (everyone, but I specifically remember reading it here)
When you feel guilty as a new parent it’s because you’ve done something wrong. Take a moment to think about what you’ve done and make sure you don’t do it again. (One piece of advice that you definitely SHOULDN’T take, because it’s an incredibly stupid and damaging thing to say. I heard it from a clinical phycologist who specialised in babies, at a baby group when Freddie was 10 weeks old. I know.)
It’s not about what we are doing: bottle feeding, breastfeeding, baking a cake, buying one from Costco–it’s that all of these things are done with love and intention. How we love and care for our children is a matter of individuality, but the whys are more similar than we think. If we as parents spent less time being critical and defensive and more time lifting each other up, the journey would be a little easier on all of us. (From here)
This too shall pass (My dad)
When you’re tired and emotional and don’t think you can get through the day, it’s amazing how much better you feel after having a shower, washing your face, getting dressed, eating breakfast and drinking a cup of tea (that’s from me)
And a current family favourite, not necessarily for new mums:
(Vivian Greene, image from here)