Five things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent
While learning how to keep a newborn baby alive, I also learnt a few more things since becoming a parent. These are things about babies as well as things about me as a parent. The list is actually pretty big, but I've chosen the top five that I think are worth sharing.
WhatsApp Mum groups are life
No one will ever quite get it like your fellow whatsapp mamas do. These groups will be your therapy. There for all the good stuff and for all the bad stuff. They will pick you back up when it all becomes overwhelming. They will share in your parental fails. They will agree with how much of a **** your partner is being. And odds are, one of them will be up at the same ungodly hour as you tending to a screaming baby. If you don’t have a whatsapp mama group, try to get one. NCT courses can be a good way to meet other new parents-to-be.
You will become that parent
“We will never be those parents who carry on driving past their house because their baby is asleep…” There’s no point beating about the bush, you will become those parents. Accept it now.
The sleep deprivation is real
This is one of the most challenging parts of being a new parent. You quickly understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. It can take a toll on your mood, your relationship, your brain. Everyone will tell you, “it’s just a phase”, and even though you know this is true, it feels like it will never ever ever ever end.
And then just when you think you’re nailing the whole sleep thing, or you’re getting used to surviving on 4 hours of broken sleep, fun sleep regressions rear their ugly heads. For some of us, it means being woken up every two hours. For others, it’s every 45 minutes. For the lucky few, it might mean that their darling baby, who has slept through the night since week 6, wakes up once in the night for a couple of days - try not to hate on these guys.
Leapy babies are a thing
When a baby goes through a developmental change, it’s known as a leap. Leapy babies exhibit the three c’s - crying, cranky, clingy. Leaps can be hard. Leaps can be relentless. However, they do reassure you that your baby isn’t broken. And, like sleeping, just when you think it’s never going to end, your baby does something pretty cool, like smile or blow a raspberry back at you. Download the app “The Wonder Weeks”. This app will tell you when the leaps should happen, what to expect and what new skills your baby might learn.
You’ll sing nursery rhymes to yourself
The lyrics of nursery rhymes are truly bonkers, yet they are the most catchy tunes around. They’re always on repeat in your head, and you’ll catch yourself (and your partner) singing them even when the baby isn’t around. You’ll also find that you can read stories by heart - there was a time when we went for a walk with our little one and decided it would be “fun” to see if we could recite the entire Gruffalo story. We almost managed it. It was a proud moment for us.