Mum life: things I’ve learnt in the first year

So I know I’ve been super-crap on the old blog post front recently. Two main reasons, firstly, I don’t usually have much different to say day-to-day so instead tend to bore/Rex spam everyone on Insta stories and secondly, there’s this thing called full-time work, which is a filthy rotten time stealer 😉

I started this post when I wasn’t very well a few weeks ago, and like most things these days, never got around to finishing it. Being ill was hideous. I’m talking four days spent either sat on or with my head stuck down the lavvy. Feeling so bad you can’t move is one thing, but throw a one-year-old who simply wants to use you as a climbing frame and it’s an entirely different beast. I hadn’t felt that rough since the first few days after Rex was born, and that, my friends, is saying something. But anyway, looking on the positive side, being bed bound didn’t stopped me using my fingers (that sounds all kinds of wrong) and so voila! Another riveting blog post 😉 (Bare with me, I might actually say something of interest in a minute.)

Free writing

First thing I wanted to talk about is something called Free Writing. I know I’m probably really late to the party on this one, but I’d never heard of it until my friend Kelly suggested I try it recently (thanks Kel!). I think there’s a few ways to do it, but the one I chose was simply getting a blank piece of paper, setting a timer for 10 minutes and just literally writing down everything that came into my mind. I didn’t know how to start, so I wrote ‘I don’t know what to write’ and then didn’t take my pen off the paper for the next 10 minutes. Before I knew it, time was up, two sides of A5 were full and I was absolutely overcome with emotion. I’m really selling it, huh? Ha!

In all seriousness, I actually found my ‘brain dump’ really cathartic. So much so that I’ve done it almost every day since. Some days have been quite emotional, others have just been really helpful to clear the mess upstairs and help my focus on what is a priority that day. I’ve always had good intentions when it comes to journalling, but never stuck to it as I’ve never allowed myself the time to sit and think about what I want to write and how, which is why this is such a good habit for me to get into. No pressure of what to write and a short time limit that doesn’t allow me to think about it for too long. Like anything, it won’t be for everyone, but I’m bloody loving it.

Babies fingernails – WT actual F?

Now Rex has turned one (almost two months ago), I’ve been meaning to touch on a few things that I learnt in the first year. Much of it will be going into the book that I keep trying to write but I wanted to share a few things here too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting ideas above my station and being stupid enough to offer advice, that would be silly. These are simple observations/musings of my life as a mum in the first 12 months…

01. Babies fingernails grow at the speed of light. Seriously, like, what the actual fuck?

02. Not everyone falls in love with their baby immediately. And that is okay. Let me just repeat… that is okay.

03. You become obsessed by poo. Genuinely. In the first instance, it’s the initial poo you have after having the baby and the feeling that you’re insides may well just fall out of your ass if you push too hard. However, reality is it’s really not as scary as you think it might be.

Quickly after you become obsessed with your kid’s poo. Colour, shape, volume, consistency, the lot. I don’t need any of this Gillian McKeith shitting in a box rubbish, a few months of motherhood and you’ll be a bonafide poo expert. Ah, living the dream.

04. The joy you get when your child does anything (I’m talking just watching them breathe for fuck sake) is like nothing else in the world. If that shit could be bottled and shared, this world would be the most amazing place.

05. Described by the NHS website as ‘the name for excessive, frequent crying in a baby’ (yeah, no shit, Sherlock), I still have no fucking idea what colic is or why it happens. But what I can say is it’s an absolute mother fucker for everyone involved (not that I’m traumatised by the whole episode, you understand).

06. Babies don’t give a tiny rat’s ass how they are fed – boob or bottle – they just want to eat. And don’t let anyone sway your decision either way. Only you know what is right for you and your baby.

07. Everyone has an opinion, and most of them are more than willing to share it with you. Mostly coming from a good place, but a lot of said advice can be quite harmful to vulnerable new mums, who, like me, didn’t have a fucking clue what they were doing. Note to everyone thinking they’re being helpful, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked.

08. Despite not being maternal (at. all) or overly gushy about kids, I still, along with every other mum, am convinced that my son is a genius. I mean, he blew a raspberry at four months old for fuck sake!

09. Cheesy and cliches as they come but so true… There is no such thing as perfection, especially when it comes to parenting.

10. If you weren’t a morning person (me), you soon will be (oh hi 5am every GODDAMN DAY).

11. Kid can push relationships to absolute breaking point, where everything is a contest to see who has it harder. The only way Eamo and I have survived up to this point is our ability to talk so openly to each other. And the fact that we removed all the sharp knives 😉

12. You will master the art of literally doing everything – and I do mean everything – one handed.

13. You will quickly become aware that a large majority of the population are morons and instead of parking safely, just dump their cars on the pavement, the lack of room meaning you  end up in the road with the pushchair. I now carry a pack of post-it notes in my bag so I can abuse offending vehicles and their owners. Fucking cretins.

14. You will also start to lose your shit at the lack of or seriously crap baby changing facilities most places have. Actually lost count of the amount of times I left a toilet with my knickers halfway down one ass cheek as I’ve had to yank them up one handed while I hold Rex in the other arm. Nightmare.

15. Kids don’t fit in to you life, you fit into theirs. At least at first. Babies have their own agenda, and by fuck don’t you know about it haha.

16. You can genuinely never have enough changes of clothes. For the baby, I mean. Although worth throwing some in for you too incase whatever bodily fluid they choose to expel hits you too.

17. Some people leave your life when you have a baby, which can be really sad. But this is totally counteracted by some of the most bloody wonderful, kind, generous, supportive and empathetic entering (you know who you are). Mums (on the whole) are so bloody supportive of each other, it actually blows me away sometimes how much so.

18. Don’t know if this is the same for anyone else, but when Rex cries, I have an inbuilt response to do whatever I can to stop it. If he carries on after I’ve tried literally everything, my empathy and support turns to frustration in seconds. He can literally make or break my mood within a matter of minutes.

19. If you’re feeling a certain way but worried you will be judged for feeling it/thinking it, don’t. I can 99.99999% guarantee there are hundreds of other new mums experiencing exactly the same as you. That is something I wish I’d known in the beginning, and that is one of the main reasons I carried on writing this blog. No matter what I’m feeling – and I’ve had some batshit moments – someone is always quick to jump in with some advice, experience and support.

20. Being a mum is the most loving and wonderful experience you could ever dream to be privileged to have. But its also, without a doubt, the most terrifying, lonely and isolating place sometimes too.

Saved the best til last…

21. Despite all the hardships, I would go through every single second of it again just to have Rex in my life.

I’ve learnt a few other things I think, but now it’s time I turned my attention to the bag of revels and hot (HURRAH) cup of tea I can see winking at me 😉 Off to sniff out all the toffees…

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