Since having Eden our world has been thrown up in the air and flipped upside down a million times. Everything is the same, but is totally different if you know what I mean. So, for fun, I thought I could write down my ten commandments of beng a new parent. Here goes!
- Thou Shalt Be Slightly Traumatised – So, birth is hard, right? However you do it, it’s
exhausting. In my situation I spent 24 hours in labour and about 90 minutes of that in active labour feeling like my pelvis was breaking and my bum was about to fall off. Then she was born. And it was over. And I could rest… oooooooh no we couldn’t! You go straight from labour to caring for a baby. Wonderful, but challenging. I was a total zombie those first few days.
- Thou Shalt Be Exhausted – I’m tired. I’m always tired. I don’t remember what fully awake feels like. It’s a mystery.
- Thou Shalt Learn To Smile and Nod – Everyone has advice. EVERYONE! You think it was bad during pregnancy? Wait until you have a newborn. Everyone has something to say or something that “always” works for them. Or they want to tell you exactly how many things you’re doing wrong. Smiling and nodding is a saviour. If you do it long enough, they go away… Remember no one knows your child like you do.
- Thou Shalt Not Get It Right The First Time – Weren’t perfect before giving birth? No? Me neither. Parenting is a massive learning curve and as much as we want to get it right first time every time, it just won’t happen. So, if you put the nappy on backwards a few times or get confused in a never ending maze of onesie poppers, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Anyone who says they haven’t is bluffing.
- Thou Shalt Fly Solo – Amy was off work for a month when we had Eden, and I was absolutely dreading her going back because it meant I would solely be in charge of this small human that we had brought home. The actual thing is much less scary that the thought. Yes, the first few days I was in an endless circle of feed, poop, sleep, feed, poop, sleep, but it got easier. These days sometimes I actually get things done!
- Thou Shalt Take A Shower In Under Five Minutes – Long, lovely showers are a thing
of the past once you’re flying solo. The ability to take a shower in under five minutes whilst peering around the curtain at a sleeping infant is a talent. And God forbid the little one makes a sound! You will be out of that shower faster than Road Runner! Meep Meep!
- Thou Shalt Always Have Vomit Somewhere on Thy Person – If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time. If it’s not on you, it’s on them!
- Thou Shalt Become A Skilled One Hander – I can do more things with one hand than I ever dreamed of. Make a bottle whilst bouncing a baby? Easy! Although at first, you end up bouncing the bottle and get milk everywhere. It’s a learning curve… See commandment 4.
- Thou Shalt Second Guess Yourself and Everyone Else – Typical conversation between Amy and I. me – “is she breathing?” Amy – “yeah”. Then I would check anyway and she did the same too. I knew she was fine five minutes ago, but is everything fine still? Is she still ok? Is that a sneeze or pneumonia? Is that nappy rash or some deadly viral rash of doom? Welcome to parenting…
- Thou Shalt Enjoy Every Brain Frazzling Moment – Even on the bad days when Eden is a velcro baby and nothing makes her happy and she cries and cries. When the dogs are being assholes and Amy and I snipe at each other all day long, at some point I look at my little family and think “man, we’re lucky.” I remind myself that we are doing a great job with what is a massive challenge and a massive joy. Then I carry on cleaning the vomit off the sofa…