Baby · Parenting

10 Things I Have Learned Since Becoming a Parent

Things change when you have a baby, you can no longer just think about yourself and your own actions, you now have this beautiful little baby to think of! But it can be extremely rewarding as much as it can tiring!

Here are a few things I have learned and some things you shouldn’t take advantage of since becoming mummy to my little Oscar.

1. Patience

Since becoming a mum I have well and truly learnt the importance of patience and how much patience I thought I didn’t have. Those times when you are in a rush getting ready to go somewhere and your baby just won’t stop crying. One example was my aunties wedding back in April, my cousins partner and daughter who was about 6 months at the time were coming to pick us up for say 12 (I can’t remember the exact times), Oscar was 2 months old. I got him changed first, changed his nappy, gave him a wash, fed him, winded him and he fell asleep. I thought thank the lord he’s finally asleep I can now get ready, I started getting ready and just about managed it, with just my hair to go and pack Oscar’s many bags to go out with. I put this beautiful little chilled sleeping baby in his car seat and started getting his stuff ready and starting my hair, but them BOOM! Eyes were open, the screams had started and the arms and legs were waving around, I put his dummy back in gave him a teddy to cuddle but nothing. I was now panicking as we had about 5 minutes until our lift arrived and we still had no bags packed, no bottles filled, no food pots done, mummy still had bed hair and no shoes on.

It’s like a switch, as soon as they know your in a rush it’s like I’m now going to add some more pressure for you. I took him out and he stopped crying, I soothed him for a while and I was thinking I can’t walk round and do all this whilst holding you little man so I put him back in his car seat. And low and behold the screaming came back, the crying, the wailing! The sweat started building up on my face, I could feel the sweat building up in places I never thought you could sweat. I let him cry it out for a few minutes whilst I managed to get his bags together, I tried him with another bottle and he guzzled the lot down.

How he could have still been hungry an hour after his previous bottle I have no idea! Finally we managed to get in the car and set off, late, we were very late. I had sacrificed doing my hair so I literally looked like I had  just rolled out of bed.  We did make my aunty a little late for her own wedding as she wanted us all to be there ready, so sorry Aunty Lynz! My cousins partner was in the exact same position, her daughter was the exact same, as soon as she started rushing Summer thought the same as Oscar, right i’m hungry now, I need feeding now your sweating, your hot, you’re rushing and need to get things done before we leave so I’m now going to take this chance to cry a little bit more for you. Thankfully we got there and watched my lovely aunty get married!

I have well and truly learnt just how much patience I actually have, you really, really do need patience with a young one. Taking a step back and having a breather is needed some times, just take a deep breath, smile and carry on.

2.  Hangovers

Hangover and babies DO NOT MIX! That first night out since having dear little one you think right I’ve not had a drink for 9 months, this is going to count! You end up getting extremely drunk (well I did anyway at my works night out), and wake up with the biggest, ugliest hangover you have ever experienced. They don’t get better either, I also find they get worse with age! Your baby will be aware that you had fun last night and you’re now in severe pain with your head, they will get ups that little bit earlier for you and they will make the most amount of noise through the day.

They will lie there in their cot and demand their food right at that moment, as you come to terms with the fact you need to get up, realise you still have last nights make up on and your look like some kind of sleep deprived peacock, reality sets back in. One thing I will say is when you do go out the first few times it really is a cheap night out, you only need a few wines and it feels like you’ve drunk a whole vineyards worth.

Changing your babies nappy will also be an experience you wish you could skip at that moment and dad won’t help, not this time, not the time you decided to go out and get drunk, nope. Thats your nappy to change today, thats your nappy to change now you’re feeling extremely delicate and nauseous. Then you think inside your painful and pounding head, that was a bad choice, mummy made a bad choice.

3. Clothes

When you find out you’re having a baby its like a switch goes off in your brain, right I need everything now, everything I can get my hands on I need it now! The cutest little skinny jeans, a brand new pair of converse that will cost £30 and the latest ted baker coat that will cost about £50. Ive learnt since being a mummy, clothes last what feels like seconds, for one they grow out of clothes quicker than you can say their name. Even now Oscar is 7 months old and I’m still trying to get the wear out of everything at least once. The majority of the time now Oscars clothes end up stained orange when he’s feeding so it’s just not worth paying ridiculous prices for clothes at this point.

His 3-6 month old clothes probably lasted him for about a month before he went into 6-9. There were piles of clothes he’d never got round to wearing because he’d completely outgrown them. I haven’t chucked them I’ve kept them aside for any future children or as hand me downs for any other babies in the family. plus you can’t go wrong with baby grows, I just love Oscar in a baby grow he just looks adorable!

I tried him in a pair of skinny jeans, his thighs would not fit in them and I was so worried about the material rubbing on his delicate skin. He ended up wearing them for a couple of hours before taking them off. I think sometimes and not all the time, people go OTT with babies and clothes. Im guilty of doing it, Oscar has a brand new pair of Vans his uncle bought him and he wears them now, he can’t walk yet but he still has shoes, they are literally the only pair of shoes he has at this stage. Just remember when buying clothes, babies grow so quickly, half the time they won’t get round to wearing most of their wardrobe! Although I am extremely excited to go and get him his first ever Clarks pre walkers, because lets face it, getting your babies first ever Clarks is like a tradition.

4. Sleep

Sleep, what is a good night sleep at respectable times? Oscar managed to sleep in his routine for a few weeks but now its i’m going to cry for a few minutes every single hour through the night because I can. I used to get up at about 8am but now i’m going to get you up at 6.30am for my bottle because I can. Oscar did once upon a time start routine of going to bed at 7.30pm and would sleep through until 7.30am, This was literally about a month ago. I thought fantastic i’m currently winning at this whole bedtime thing, then BOOM! Routine gone, that routine you thought you had in place has now disappeared just like your sleeping pattern.

Fighting sleep, OMG when I’m tired I think i’d love a nap right now or its bedtime I can’t wait to get into my nice comfy, warm bed, not a baby. It’s I’m tired so I’m going to cry and scream because I might miss something, I must keep my eyes open and I cannot fall to sleep! It’s a losing battle, there is just no logic to it. We’ve found ourselves many times having to drive the long way round on the way home so Oscar falls asleep or I’ve had to walk him round the block a few times in his stroller to try and settle him.

Those beautiful lie ins you used to have will gradually fade out, you will argue with your partner on who’s turn it is to feed the baby whilst the other one sleeps. Just go with the flow, they’ll grow out of it when their 18! Babies go through phases, they go through growth spurts, they can sleep for 12 hours one night and get up 5 times the next night. Just take my advice, sleep when you can and drink plenty of wine! If you get told by someone their baby has been sleeping for a straight 12 hours with a perfect bedtime routine since they were newborn, their lying! One more thing, when they sleep, DO NOT DISTURB! this will be a regretful move that could cause miserable consequences.

5. Sophie La Girafe

I don’t know what this beautifully crafted teething toy is made from but it feels like heaven, pure blissful, heaven. I have been told many times by other parents ‘you must get a Sophie’, ‘I don’t know what id do without it’ and I tried it. My mum went out and bought Oscar his very own Sophie and he adores her.  His cousins have all had one, they take it everywhere with them and now finally, Oscar has his own little piece of heaven to chew on to his hearts content. They are completely organic made with 100% natural rubber.

6. Judged

Breastfeeding? You will be judged. Bottle-feeding? You will be judged. Weaning? You will be judged. Baby Led Weaning? You will be judged. Working? You will be judged. Stay at Home? You will be judged. But who cares?! Its your baby and your choice, do what’s best for you and what pleases you. You’re not raising your child to please everybody else, you’re raising your child how you think is right and how you want to, not how everybody else thinks you should. For starters if a mum chooses to breastfeed her baby, its not all that simple, some mums find it a lot harder to try breastfeeding then others. People are quick to judge others especially parents, and others peoples opinions and judgements make it a lot more difficult, but we all do what we think is best for our little ones.

7. Friends

Another thing I’ve learned through becoming a parent, friends. Some will stay in contact and others will fade. You will make new friends and find yourselves talking the entire time about your children and sharing your stories and experiences which is fantastic! But you will have friends who will fade away, why? I don’t know. If you had friends who weren’t supportive through your pregnancy and your choice of becoming a parent then were they really a friend in the first place?

Don’t blame yourself, these things happen. Just because you had a baby, you’re still the same person just with a new little extra tiny human. If people can’t see this then maybe it was for the best that that friendship has faded away, your happiness counts. If they can’t make time for you then why should you keep making time for them?

8. Perfect Parenting

It dosen’t exist! You don’t get a handbook for how to be a good parent and you certainly don’t get medals. You thrive from advice, first hand experiences and support from others. Nobody is the perfect parent, and if they say they are then they are lying. Nobody is perfect. People say babies only cry if they are tired, hungry or need a nappy change. I call bullcrap! I’m convinced babies love to cry and moan when there is absolutely nothing wrong, Oscar is currently at the stage where he’s learning to cry for attention and whinge for attention. Babies love attention, they love cuddles, kisses and attention, I don’t think you can every give your baby too many cuddles! You can’t give your baby too much attention, theres no such thing!

There are days I do try my hardest to be the best mummy I can be but fail. Its a new learning experience for both mummy and baby, you’re both learning and growing. Don’t try and be perfect, perfect doesn’t exist, just be you.

9. Housework

It can wait. Don’t feel bad because you’ve gone to bed and the dishes are in the sink or because you’ve not hoovered up for a while. Babies grow way too quickly and whats more important? Spending that time with your beautiful little baby watching them grow and learn or spending every day worrying about the washing up or the dust on this sides. I try not to feel guilty about spending a day on the sofa with Oscar watching TV and eating rubbish foods (me anyway) because I know as soon as I’m back at work i’ll miss out on times like this.

Housework can wait, spend precious moments with your babies! You learn over time how to be a good multi tasker, its becomes like a second nature. I find that when Oscar eventually takes a nap (which can take forever) I get the dishes done, do a few loads of washing or run the hoover round. Even if I wash the dishes up I feel a sense of accomplishment, if I manage to do all the housework I feel like a domestic goddess but that is a rarity.

You will become the king or queen of washing and sterilising bottles and baby equipment. There will be no day in the next 12 months you won’t dodge this duty, it become part of you! You end up having dreams of washing and sterilising bottles.

10. Mum & Dad Time

Just because you’ve had a baby this doesn’t mean you can no longer spend quality time together. Go for date nights, were lucky that we have family that love babysitting Oscar. Mu mum. likes to have him of a Friday night if she’s not working the Saturday and myself and my partner love spending that quality time together again. It’s nice to be back to just being Hayley and Lee for a few hours and having that lie in till 11am you often dream about.

Don’t feel guilty for needing a night on your own, you need that alone time sometimes to get back on track. We’ve had a few nights to ourselves, we’ve either had a date night or just stayed in, ordered a takeaway and watched films on the sofa. You still need your own time to claim back your sanity. Parenting has difficult stages, but it also has the amazing experiences, the first of everything, special occasions and growing your relationship.

One more thing before you go, you will eventually start to enjoy the taste of either cold tea or microwaved tea. There are very rare occasions you will be able to finish a full hot cup of tea, so if you do manage it, enjoy every sip.

Thank you for reading my experience of learning new things becoming a mummy. Please feel free to take a look at my other posts, don’t forget to like and share. Thanks again for being here,

Hayley x

Sophie La Girafe
Sophie La Girafe


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