Thursday, June 20, 2013

For what it's worth

My husband is off out to meet one of his friends who is six months' pregnant. He asked me what advice he should give her about becoming a mother. I told him that, as someone who only just realised that they'd been fastening the baby car seat dangerously incorrectly for the past seven months, I'm probably not the right parenting guru to speak to. But then the desire to stick my oar in became overwhelming, and here are the top three tips I came up with for any new mum.

1.  Read up on routines. 
Even if you intend to be led by your baby, just give a few books about routines a cursory glance. I so wish I'd have done this. If you are entirely clueless, as I was, it will give you a very rough idea of how an average baby might spend their day, what they might need and when. It may also prevent you from experiencing three months of round-the-clock screaming, where baby starts to view you as that nice but incompetent drip who got booted off The Apprentice, and you start to view baby as Joffrey from Game of Thrones.

2. Join an antenatal group. 
Yes, you will spend several awkward hours trying to make polite, interested, comments about uterus illustrations from the 1970s. And yes, you will try not to laugh as your teacher pretends to breastfeed a Dora The Explorer doll in her conservatory. But you will also meet a bunch of people who you may not have a lot in common with yet, but who you will soon be spending an unthinkable amount of time with discussing green poo over cold cups of tea. It may not sound like your idea of fun right now, but it's actually amazing.

3. Upgrade your socks. 
Becoming a mum goes hand-in-hand with removing your shoes on an industrial scale. Play group? Shoes off. Music class? Shed the trainers. Visiting your mummy friends? Park your boots in the hall. Don't get caught out like me and be forced to flaunt your shamefully threadbare socks to all and sundry. Get some new ones. It's hard enough trying to get yourself to look 'together' as a new mum. But when you've just about managed it (ie, wiped the projectile poo out of your barnet and put on the pair of jeans that you're pretty sure didn't get pee'd on), the last thing that's going to make you feel tip top is spending three sleep-deprived choruses of 'Row Your Boat' staring at the big toe that's poking out of your socks. For this reason I have just splashed out on some gorgeous stripy numbers from Boden. They make me cheery whenever I wear them, and they make babies think I am a CBeebies puppet. 


  1. I love the socks idea! I have a 3 old already but 6 months preggers with the next one so girding myself for more trips to play groups....I need new socks! :D

    1. They're definitely a good buy - I learned the hard way! Good luck with 2nd baby - exciting times!