Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dear Kate ...

Dear Kate, (or any other new mum)

Firstly, congratulations. You're a mum for the first time and regardless of the spotlight being on you, you'll  be feeling like all new mummies - knackered and bewildered.

I only ever experienced those feelings once, nearly eighteen years ago, but watching your face as you left the security of your hospital room yesterday brought it all back to me.  It's an exciting and terrifying time - hugely rewarding, draining and a constant learning curve.

So here are Mummy Misfit's tips on surviving motherhood.

* He might be a real Prince but every son is a Prince to his mum.  Remember he's YOURS.  He's your precious bundle and what you say goes.  Spend time with him, get to know him, don't let people insist they have a piece of him.  He COULD be your only child - no one can predict that they'll have the 2, 3, 4 they want.  Cherish every minute as if he's your last baby.

*  If you want to breast feed, give it a go.  If you can't, don't beat yourself up.  Some can, some can't.  It's not a competition and you can only do what works for you and your baby.

* You'll sometimes feel like you don't have a clue what you're doing and everything you do is wrong.  You'll ask for advice and some of it will make sense but you'll still want to try to have a go at doing things your way.  Sometimes it will work, sometimes you'll stuff up and wish you took the advice.  That's part of being a mum.  Don't let people give you advice you don't want - tell them politely that you're fine.  Opinions can overload your thoughts to the point that you don't remember your own.

* There will be times that you're cross-eyed with tiredness.  I had a baby who liked to feed every hour on the hour for the first year of his life.  You'll get to the point where you think you can't cope.  You will.  You have no choice.  And it does come to an end.

*  Your body will do what it wants to do, in its own time so be kind to yourself and don't expect too much too soon.  What's wrong with a 'baby belly'?  Wear it with pride - it's much more attractive than the wrinkles and grey hairs they give you as they get older!

*  You'll never sleep the way you used to, pre-baby.  From those early sleepless nights you'll move on to  colic, teething, nappy rash, coughs and colds.  As a mum you develop a third ear - what was that noise?  Are they OK?  Then they grow up, refuse to go to bed, play loud music, go out on the town and leave you awake and worried. Your sleeping days are over!

*  He'll  bring out instincts in you that you had no idea you had.  You'll become a fighting, spitting tigress if you need to.  Only a mum can know this and it will surprise you the first time it happens.

* Your husband is your best friend and ally. Don't fight one another when you're both tired because you both want the same thing - a happy baby and a good night's sleep!  Keep talking and, when you can, have a giggle.

* You'll think that every mum is doing a better job than you.  They're not - every baby is different so if your best friend's baby is sleeping through the night at six weeks, big deal.  Your baby's the best, and you know it!

*  One minute he'll be snuggled on your lap and  the next he'll be a strapping lad with thoughts of his own.  You won't believe the speed with which that happens.  For a while, it passes slowly then ... woosh, they're an adult.

There you go - my Misfit tips on motherhood.  I may have only had one baby, but the feelings are the same and if just one of my thoughts goes on to give a new mummy an ounce of comfort, I'll be happy.

Above all, enjoy your time and sleep whenever you can - that final piece of advice is one I never took.  Why would I want to sleep when I had a lovely baby boy to look at?


  1. I was very lucky my little bundle of joy arrived with my partner and she was 6 years old. No feeding in the night and not a single nappy. xx

  2. Amanda, I loved this post. So true and put in a frank but sincere manner. This should go on the NCT website!

    Kathryn Player

  3. There will be many times you don't know what to do. Go and make a cup of tea. In the time it takes for the kettle boils your head will clear and you'll be able to see more clearly. (Ps, you'll drink an awful lot of tea!)

  4. Thanks for your comments - totally agree with the tea-thing! Babies and writing make you drink a lot of tea/coffee even when you don't want or need it and the kettle boiling is most definitely a head-clearer! ;)

  5. Great advice. My mum always told me when up feeding a baby in the middle of the night,if you peak out the curtains and see how many people have their lights on too you won't feel so alone. I don't think that will apply to Kate in a palace though.