Skip to main content

New baby wisdom

Six days to go before the arrival of #3. Now have ankles to rival Shrek and a waddle like Jemima Puddleduck. Neither v glamorous. Enough already, it's time.

With D-day fast approaching, I've been thinking back to the misty months following the births of Firstborn and the Small(er) One and trying to give myself some good advice for this time round. There's nothing quite like hindsight, after all.

1. Give yourself a break. The world will not end if the house is a mess for the first couple of months or if you stay in your PJs all day for the first couple of weeks (try to change and shower once a day, though - there is a difference between being a tired new mom and a dirty slob-out). If hubby has the nerve to complain that the house is more shanty town than Martha Stewart, tell him he's a schmuck who needs to shut up and cough up the moolah for maid service. If he bitches that you don't look like Heidi Klum two weeks after birth, present him with a cost estimate for large amounts of plastic surgery, weekly oxygen/ caviar/ gold dust facials, a new designer wardrobe, a fancy home gym plus personal trainer, oh and don't forget the nutritionist, food delivery service and home visits from a top celeb hairdresser. Then watch him turn an interesting shade of puce and choke as he attempts to eat his words.

2. Don't let supermodels be your baby weight role models. Get this straight in your head right now - you are going to look as if you're six months pregnant for longer than you're likely to feel comfortable with. It takes nine months to put it on and can take a year to come off (and even then you'll probably never be quite the same again). Unless you're willing to commit to a hard-core diet and fitness regime (and as per above - a little help from your friendly neighbourhood surgeon) don't bother to cry over tight jeans. The best things you can do for yourself are breast feed (helps your uterus to shrink back to normal size), stay positive and start some light exercise when your doctor gives you the all clear.

3. It's all about Me: it's all too easy to be so focused on your baby that you forget about yourself. But remember this - if you don't eat properly then your baby won't either. Yes, you'll be exhausted and the last thing you'll want to do is cook. So enlist help from whoever is around to assist you in the early days by asking them to prepare some easy and nutritious stuff that you can grab from the fridge when hunger strikes: raw veggie sticks to dip into a tub of low-fat cream cheese; a big bowl of fruit salad; cheese cubes and cold cuts; natural yoghurt with a drizzle of honey for a sweet fix; tubs of nuts (especially brazil nuts which contain selenium, good to ward off the baby blues); salads; cold pasta to throw into the microwave with a simple tomato sauce or pesto... just keep it healthy. Take it from a former sugar junkie: eating well makes a big difference and a plate of wholemeal pasta will make you feel better for longer than the quick-fix you get from a donut. Sad but true.

4. Don't turn yourself into a social pariah: ok, so you'll still be fat, cry at the drop of a hat, have leaky boobs and bags under your eyes to rival Luis Vuitton, but if you're still mooching at home by the time your perinium/ c-scar has healed then you need to get out. By this I mean, you need to have gone out with your girlfriends without baby and had a bloody good laugh at least once. If you are still breast feeding then express some milk before you go so you can let your hair down without worrying about getting back in time for the late feed/ intoxicating your baby when you do so. And whatever you do, don't feel guilty about leaving baby with your partner or a babysitter; it is highly unlikely that your baby will hold a grudge about it.

5. Take it easy: babies are babies. They are not a challenge to be won or lost. Don't get into competition with other mothers about how well or badly your baby sleeps/ cries/ poos. It's normal to worry, especially for first time mothers, but babies do cry - it's how they express themselves, you could almost say it's their hobby. Not all babies are placid little bundles of joy, but that doesn't make them 'bad' or mean that you are failing somehow; read Tracey Hogg for valuable insight into different personality types and some helpful tips on calming your baby. Couple of hints though - try not to let them fall asleep on the breast or be rocked to sleep every night or naptime; this is charming when they are tiny but it gets quite dull if they won't/ can't sleep any other way one year on... teach them to fall asleep on their own, without you, as soon as you can, for the sake of your marriage and your sanity!


Popular posts from this blog

Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...)Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!

Recommended & the Mahiki dance-off

My GFs and I went to Mahiki last night, great fun as usual but made me feel a bit old; it seems that Thursday night is the playground of the just-past-pubescent. Oh well. Good tunes though, so whatever.In between taking over the dancefloor - the youngsters may have youth on their side but frankly that shrinks to insignificance in the face of two decades of clubbing experience - one of my GFs and I got into a conversation about why so many people are full of bull.It appears that many people we come across are content to live their lives in a superficial way, skimming the surface of what life has to offer and equating the ownership of stuff (cars, houses, boats, jewelry, designer clothes) with happiness. They converse in terms of status, strut their possessions as a measure of their own self-worth, take themselves far too seriously, are quick to judge others, easily annoyed, complain a lot about very little and their worries seem to far outweigh their joys. Personally, I think all that…


Following on from the realisation that my lungs are filthy and if I don't give up the smokes soon I face a life of wheezing at best, off I trotted to see the charming Dr T.

Dr T, who's charming by virtue of the fact that he's less jaded than the other doctors in the surgery (in other words, he treats patients as if they're human beings with a right to NHS services rather than annoying fraudsters trying to gain sympathy for imaginary illnesses) promptly put me on potentially habit-forming drugs to get me off the evil weed. Something doesn't feel quite right about this but since I'm so pathetically grateful to have a doctor who's willing to give me more than two seconds of his precious time, I have acquiesced to his demands.

Anyway, this wonder drug is called Champix and promises to have me merrily chucking my smokes in the bin in no time. Or it will if I can get past the possible side effects, the highlights being abnormal dreams, nausea, flatulence, snoring, …