baby and dad fists together

Don’t Forget About Dad

When you become a new parent, a lot of the focus is on how mum is feeling. I get it because there’s the whole pregnancy journey, birth, sleep changes, crying, mood changes, wanting to do better etc. But not as many people think about dad. This is why I’m going to share some thoughts that have been on my mind recently. This is from my experience.

Our son has both of his parents happily living together as a family unit. His ‘parents’ are me (mum) and Danny (dad). We’re both responsible for him. The two of us give our son lots of love, playtime, feeds (formula fed), and the comfort that he needs. Some people say I’m lucky because Danny is ‘so involved’ and knows about things like nappy sizes, the number of ounces of milk, general health, milestones of baby etc. That’s how it should be though and it needs to be normalised. Yes, I am incredibly lucky but we both have a son who deserves all of the care and cuddles in the world so that’s what he gets.

Since the day I found out I was pregnant, it wasn’t just my mum instincts that kicked in. Danny also thought about what he could do to look after me and bump the best way possible. There were a few hospital trips along the way when he didn’t hesitate to take me there as soon as he could. He would drop everything in a heartbeat if it meant my or his son’s health was affected. And he is the same today.

Danny was my birthing partner. He sat behind me during labour when I was on an exercise ball. My waters broke, he heard me scream from pain, I cried, and he stayed. He held the gas and air mask for me and told me I was doing great. He seen it all but he didn’t step back or love me any less. Even though most of our time now goes to our baby boy, just as it should, we still make time for each other even if it’s just the little moments here and there. He runs me a bath, makes me a cup of tea, take it in turns to make tea, tells me to nap (you know those ’20 minutes’ ones that can turn into a few hours?!

Danny understands that us mamas need some ‘me time’ and it’s important for him to have his time too. It goes without saying though, our baby comes first and always will. There are a lot of adjustments and I think we help each other to adapt to each and every new one as we’re experiencing parenthood together. We try our best to notice when one of us is drained or feeling low and give each other time – and sometimes it means doing nothing better than absolutely nothing at all.

As a new dad, Danny hasn’t only took on the new role of a parent, he has supported me through a whole lot. I’m not going to go into detail because it’ll probably give me more anxiety than I have already without wondering what people think if I write it on here. He has had stressful days at work, our family car stolen in the last few weeks but nothing, ever comes before his family. As soon as he gets home, he smiles. The look on his face when Freddy notices he’s home is so heartwarming and Danny always asks how my day has been (and digs a little deeper if I’m not saying much).

Danny continues to motivate me. We’re back at the gym together and he compliments me every day even when I feel like none of those the things he says. If I cry, he tries to understand, always hugs me and finds a way to help.

If you’re thinking about first time mums, mums to be or mums who have been in this for a while now, remember the amazing dads out there too. There are a lot of changes that both parents can face for the first time.

Photo credit: Andreas Wohlfahrt on pexels.com

three hanging teddy bears soft toys

20 Thoughts of a Mum with a Baby

I don’t think it took for me to be a first time mum, for my mind to work overdrive. I’ve always had a little mental check list for things that need to be done (or a long one as Danny would probably say). Here are some of the common thoughts I have on a daily basis since being a mum to our baby boy. When you read some, you might think I’m crazy but I know there’s at least one other person out there who can relate… here’s hoping anyway!

I also just want to say, dads, you are amazing too. There’s not enough credit out there towards you. I notice Danny’s love and support every day. He’s a parent too and that should never go unnoticed.

1. Oh no, how many bottles are left? Do I need to wash them and put them into the steriliser?

2. Whoa, baby’s washing basket is high again, I best do another wash.

3. Am I going to bother getting dressed today? Do I fancy a walk? Hmm… we’ll see.

4. Oh, you want another bottle? Can mama have another cup of tea in a minute or…?

5. Did I empty the dryer and maidens and put the washing away?

6. What’s for tea? Oh I dunno, we’ll figure it out later.

7. Do I need a cuddle? Food? Sleep?

8. I need a shower or a nice long bath with a bath bomb, salts, the whole lot!

9. I need to descale the steriliser again and change the filter in the prep machine.

10. Wow, this look I have going on today is… not attractive in the slightest.

11. I need to top up the toilet rolls on the shelf in the downstairs toilet.

12. I need to change our bedding this weekend.

13. How many Moses/crib sheets do we actually go through?!

14. Are we stocked up on formula, nappies, and wipes. For some reason we have hundreds of nappy bags.

15. Why don’t your (baby) clothes fit you anymore? You’re not allowed to grow just yet!

16. You are so precious. I love you more and more every day.

17. Do you really need to wee and poo so much in one day?

18. Daddy thinks any time is play time (and grandad for that matter).

19. I’m gonna keep wondering how long it’ll be until you will say dada and mama!

20. How did we make such a beautiful human being?

Mamas – how many of these can you relate to? What things continuously play on your mind? Or maybe there are some funny thoughts that go on in your head? Tell me in the comments below.

cup of tea in woman's hands

Feelings during maternity leave

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about things that I probably don’t need to but anyway… I’m not sure if it’s because I’m on maternity leave so there’s a lot more time than usual for things to play on my mind or if I’m just being good old me.

After I gave birth, emotions were all over the place which is absolutely normal but I still don’t think they haven’t quite gone yet. My body is still changing, I am discovering a whole new world with a tiny human being (well, a little chunky chops), and sometimes I feel like I need to be doing more. Also, I find myself feeling pressured? It’s not like this is by anyone but I am telling myself that X, Y, Z needs to be done or achieved within a particular time frame. Take losing weight and getting back into ‘shape’ as an example. I haven’t gotten myself into a hole which is good and I am taking regular walks each day but I still don’t love my body. I know it’s not a nice thing to say but it’s true. I’m sure I’ll get back to loving my body some more, even if it’s just a little. There’s more on this if you read on.

Fitting into old clothes

Some people will compliment me which is lovely. They might say, “You’re looking well” or “Wow, your bump has completely gone”. The truth is, it makes me a little sad. I loved feeling my baby bump growing more and more every day for 9 months. How am I supposed to love my post-pregnancy body now? I can’t fit into my jeans. I am living in leggings and anything that’s comfy. I don’t want to be complaining months down the line that I didn’t “get rid of the baby weight”. That special baby that once cosied up inside me is now with me, literally right next to me. He doesn’t care about my size or how I look. I don’t want to ‘let myself go’. I don’t think I am right now but maybe running again will help me to focus and feel better within myself. I considered re-joining the gym but I’m just not entirely sure it’s for me at the moment. I feel pressured without being pressured… does that even make sense? How our minds work eh! I suppose, I also need to remember that no body is the ‘perfect’ body no matter how social media can show otherwise.

Going back to work

I have months left before I return to work so why is it even on my mind? I’ll tell you why. I’ve been lay in bed at night and I panic if I won’t be able to take everything on when I go back. No doubt, there be many changes and lots of new challenges to adapt to. What if I feel like I can’t do it? It sounds silly, I know. Danny talks me through things though. I need to take work off my mind as I have precious time to spend with my baby boy. I always count on him to cheer me up when I feel down. When Freddy smiles, those random thoughts drift away… for a little while at least.

What’s really important

Now, this is a positive one and my favourite point in this post. Since Freddy was born, I feel stronger and as the weeks have gone by, I think I’m a lot more confident in all of the new mum stuff that’s came my way. I’ll be honest, I have days where I wonder how I’m still going about my day when my energy levels are low. Then, Danny will come home from work and everything’s okay. He is the most supportive and loving person and altogether, we’re a little trio. Danny makes me a cup of tea (with some biscuits of course) and he just knows how to make me feel better. He gets it. Danny knows my mind plays about 10 thoughts per hour and he knows how to try to distract me from that overdrive – by giving me food most of the time or a little snack to pick me up, and a big Danny hug..

If you find yourself relating to any of these feelings or you want to share your own thoughts during your maternity leave, just add a comment below. And again, I’ll say, mums and dads, you have got this!

freddy's legs with socks

Things I Never Knew about Newborn Babies Until I Had One

Before I had a newborn baby of my now, there were things I kinda knew about and other things I imagined. Until it hits though, you don’t actually know what you are in for. I never thought I would find myself saying, “Awww, look!” several times a day. Each and every day brings something new. You grow as a parent as your baby grows and reaches new milestones. So, in this post, I mention a few things which I never knew about newborn babies until we were blessed with our first, our baby boy. Remember, this is based on my experience, every mum and dad will have their own points to share.

So many noises

They make a lot of noises – not just cries – I’m talking grunts, whimpers, coos, oos, and giggly sounds when they smile in their sleep. And the same goes for parents too. You find yourself making funny noises, anything to make your baby smile once they reach that stage. The other day, Freddy found it hilarious when I was dancing around the living room in the middle of the day so you know, I’ve gotta keep that up.

There really are lots of wees and poos

Yes, you hear it all of the time but it’s true. There are times when we’re changing Freddy’s nappy and he does another wee or poo. At first, lots of patience was needed. But now, we know what to expect.

The love is unconditional

When I was pregnant, I knew I had a lot of love for our little one and I imagined what our lives would be like once Freddy arrived. It’s so much more than I thought. There are hard times but he holds so much love between the three of us, it’s incredible, he is incredible!

A new tiredness hits you for real

Those first few weeks are a big shock to the system. Even though we were warned, well kinda, we didn’t get just HOW it would feel. That was until we arrived home and everything came at once in those 24 hours and following weeks. Wow, it’s tough but you do get through and as much as people say it and you might wonder, it really does get better.

How many times will they ask, “Is he in a routine yet?”

Over half of the people who meet your little one will ask this question. I remember at one point thinking, “Hang on, it’s the third week in, let’s give us all time to adjust eh!” There’s no magical dust you can sprinkle. Our baby boy is learning about a whole new life outside the womb and we are facing each day as it comes. By the way, he sleeps 8 hours at night now (at 9 weeks old), woohoo. And last night he went 9 hours+. I don’t want to say too much in case I jinx it.

Muslin cloths are my best friend

“Quick, grab that muslin cloth!” Ahh, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, muslin cloths are so handy. Earlier this morning, I was putting baby’s washing away and there were over 6 that I had in that wash alone so you get how many we go through. They replace bibs a lot of the time though and they are just so good for little spills and dribbles.

A different perspective

The other week I had my first night out in a year. I drank, I danced, a sang, laughed etc. it was so much fun but when I came home and seen Freddy’s face, I remembered that my happiness has a whole different meaning now. If I am ever referred to as the ‘boring friend’ or hear “You’ve changed.” it honestly wouldn’t matter because I have everything that I need. Since being a parent, I have also held back on a lot of worries and try my best to ignore any negativity. There’s more to life than dragging out feelings that don’t need to be there.

What did you learn when you became a parent? Did you look at things differently in any way?