On the 19th December 2017, I became a mummy for the first time.
Baby Bethany crashed onto the scene nine days early; she really was the most incredible Christmas present and our lives haven’t been the same since. It really is true when people say your life is turned upside down, things are never simply about ‘you’ anymore and nothing anyone says can prepare you for parenthood.
But so far, even though I have laughed, cried and panicked in abundance, I wouldn’t change being a mummy for the world.
With being a parent though, there comes with it a whole host of things that I have never thought about or needed to know until this point.
Knowing The Location Of The Lift
Now of course when I go out with Bethany, there is the buggy to consider. The other week in Marks and Spencers, I started off towards the escalators in order to go up to the next floor. It then suddenly dawned on me. I couldn’t use the escalator!
Cue the hunt for the lift! It took me ages, even though I’ve been shopping in this place for longer than I can remember!
I imagine in time I shall know the exact location of all lifts in all the shops in various shopping centres.
Using Baby Changing/Feeding Rooms
I think so far, I have only had to change Bethany once when out and about. Feeding however has been a necessity. I found this concept quite daunting, and to a degree I still do. I am getting better at finding secluded corners and hidden spots in cafes where I don’t have to be on full view to everyone else. I know it is against the law now to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave but I have made the effort where I can to use feeding room facilities. Places like Mothercare are brilliant because of the toilet and feeding/changing facilities. I love not being far from a Mothercare! There are surprisingly many feeding facilities available in bigger shops- again, you wouldn’t ever find this out though without needing one.
Buggy & Sling Technique
‘Travel Systems’, as they are for some reason now known, are wonderful bits of engineering but take a lot of getting used to. And it doesn’t matter how many times you practice putting up and collapsing a buggy, when you need to do it in a rush/under pressure/with an audience, guaranteed things will go wrong. One of the buggy parts doubles up as a car seat, which managed to bruise my Mum’s leg on its first use and is still rather temperamental as to whether it will sit in the correct position to lock itself or not.
Recently Sam and I went to IKEA as a safe outing for an hour or so to prevent cabin fever kicking in. We got there, parked in a decent parent & baby slot, started to assemble the buggy only to realise we had left the connectors for attaching the car seat onto the frame and wheels at home. Cue slight panic.
Instead of turning round and going home though, it dawned on me- I had remembered to bring my Hana baby wrap with me.
So sheepishly the buggy bits went back into the boot and I got the sling in place (again with passers by commenting) ready to carry Bethany around.
This was only the second time I had put the sling on without the support from my sister-in-law; however, I managed it and we had a successful afternoon.
Using Parent & Baby Parking Slots
I can finally smugly make my way into these amazing parking spaces! I am now the proud recipient of glances and stares as I am judged by whether I have a tiny person on board and worthy of such a space.
That said, in some car parks I have absolutely no idea where the parent and baby spaces are and have ended up spending longer in car parks looking for them!
Sterilisers. Scary looking machines with various parts that play a vital part in ensuring babies don’t get ill from dirty bottles, dummies etc. I was so scared of our steriliser at first that it became Sam’s job. Now of course he has gone back to work, I have HAD to learn how to do this!
In fact it couldn’t be easier and doesn’t take that long.
The Thin Blue Line
No, not the 90s Police sitcom with Rowan Atkinson but rather the ingenious way of telling whether a nappy is dirty or not. When we were in hospital after the birth of Bethany, midwives and doctors would ask us about wet/dirty nappies. But we couldn’t really tell. It wasn’t until a midwife told us about the line on the front of the nappies that suddenly everything became so much more clear.
Clean nappies have a yellow line down the front of them and when nappies contain moisture, the line turns blue. A clear indication that the nappy needed changing. I think it was taken for granted that we knew how nappies worked.
But on finding out that snippet of information was revolutionary!
Uses of Breast Milk
For those of you who thought breast milk was purely for feeding babies, well I have learned over the past twenty four hours that it can in fact be hugely beneficial in so many other ways! There really should be a Mrs Beeton’s Guide to Breast Milk!
Breast milk is fantastic for things like:
– sticky eyes in babies (bit like conjunctivitis)
– to help with outer ear infections
– put it on nappy rash
– skin sores
– spots (even adult ones!)
– can help with tummy bugs
I am sure there are many more than this.
So there we have it – a small list of things I now know since becoming a mummy.
I do know, however, I have so much more to learn!