Your experience with your baby is unique, just like the two of you, and the family the baby was born into. It won’t be possible to not compare your milestones with everybody else’s, but try and remember, this is your journey, nobody else’s.
People will want to help you. And everybody defines ‘helpful’ in different ways. The only person who knows what is helpful to you is you. Try and find a nice way to communicate what you find helpful. “Thanks for offering to put the baby to sleep - if you have time, I’d love for you to pick up some milk for me instead.”
If you’re on this journey with a partner, let them be a part of it too. If you’re a breastfeeding mother, it’s very easy to be absorbed in the baby because the baby is so dependent on you. Let your partner do something – picking up the baby when she cries, putting her to sleep, taking care of you.
Tip No. 4
Mind your back. You may handling a load (small and light as she may be) more than you are used to. Getting her in and out of the car, bending to the cot, picking her up, playing on the floor, falling asleep in odd postures in the chair, carrying her on one side – all new movements for you, just be mindful of your back.
Tip No. 5
Have on hand the numbers for your GP, after-hours service, early childhood centre, nearest hospital and paediatrician. Sounds ominous, but when you feel your new baby is sick, it is easy to panic and feel helpless. At least this way, you have many options ready to call for help.
Tip No. 6
Be prepared to be surprised – by yourself. You may feel that you are coping with a new baby much better than you had every hoped for. Or you may feel this is all much harder than you imagined. It’s all new. One morning you will be half way through your day and you will realise it doesn’t feel like you have to think too hard anymore, and you will know your new life and you have met in the middle.
To all the new mums, very best wishes for this journey ahead.
Mihiri Udabage is a 30-something mother of two, now feeling old enough to use terms like 30-something. She loves Sundays more than Saturdays but is grateful for both. She hates ironing. In between growing up two little citizens, Mihiri spends time working on her on-line Fair Trade and Organic business www.generationwonder.com, volunteering for global charity Room to Read, doing canteen duty at school, and entering Fun Runs she has no hope of actually running. Mihiri has a husband who thinks she is loopy but who supports her anyway. She wishes she had written Twilight but acknowledges that could never happen because she can never remember her dreams. However, Mihiri is about to enroll is a screenwriting course that will see her to write a movie that will knock Twilight for a six. Mihiri continues to dream…