Return to Grown-Ups

New mum, please go easy on yourself.

Gah! You had a baby! Congratulations!!

Your life will never be the same, and you’re so much luckier for it. Being a mother will change you in unimaginable ways. It’ll delight and reward and exhaust and thrill and challenge you, and fill and empty your love and sanity tanks in equal measure.

These next few months will be exquisite and overwhelming and, just, well, a lot. You thought you were tired before? No, no, no. That was just a tired canapé. But us parents always pull through. We put one foot in front of the other and we get it done. We’re hardcore. We’re amazing. (And tired.)

For the next little while you won’t feel very in control of your boobs, body, brain or baby. Your wardrobe, your diet, sleep and moods may all go to shit. Everyone’s does. 

It will pass – parenthood is a never-ending cycle of phases, some bewildering, some magnificent. But remember: you are qualified for this challenge! Ask for help, have food delivered; look after yourself in any fashion that brings peace. Forget about The Real World. You’re not missing a single thing. You’ll only have this sweet teeny blob for such a short, short time: inhale it. The days (and nights) feel desperately long and slow, but the years are short and they will scream past.

From day one you’ll question your parenting choices. We all do! Four hundred times a day! None of us know what we’re doing. We’re all guessing; we’re forever on our parenting Ls. Well-meaning folks will offer advice, please prioritise your instincts and go with what works for you. This is your kid, your journey. Don’t beat yourself up, or allow guilt and comparisons to infect your outlook. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. That’s all anyone of us can hope to do. Oh, and love that kid deep. That’s important.

When, at 3:14am, your baby starts crying again just as you sink into bed after 55 minutes of shooshing and settling, take solace knowing that literally millions of parents around the world are doing the exact same thing. 

We’re all in this together.

With affection,