Caring for a newborn is all-consuming and majorly daunting. I remember the day we took our firstborn home. As we walked out of the hospital, I kept looking over my shoulder expecting someone to start chasing after me desperately shouting, ‘For God’s sake, don’t let her leave! She can’t even do long division how is she supposed to take care of an infant?!’ But no one did. And before too long I found my stride and I didn’t look back.
Accept that newborns REALLY like being held.
Newborns are Stage 5 Clingers, they’re not keen on letting go of you, ever. Can you blame them though? They were cradled by you 24/7 in the womb, so it should be no surprise they want the good times to keep on rollin’. It can be a tad tiring and inconvenient though, like when you need to hang out washing or eat a burrito.
If putting your koala down makes it cranky, strap it on! That’s right, chum, just wear your baby like a ho would wear bronzer — fanatically and securely so it won’t rub off. A comfortable wrap/carrier is a godsend as it helps you retain some human function by allowing you the gift of using your own arms. You can prepare food, read books, pluck your monobrow and do that funny spinning arm dance all while having your meatball safely snuggled into you. Heaven.
Be lazy where possible.
You might be tempted to show off and prove to the world that you can do it all, but really, the world doesn’t particularly care, so you might as well calm down and embrace these tips:
- If someone offers to drop overcooked meals, say hell yes.
- Ignore the tumbleweeds that roll down your hallway.
- At any opportunity, sit down and accept that Netflix and cuddling a sleeping baby is an entirely appropriate space to be in right now.
- Takeaway is now an acceptable food group.
- Dry shampoo is a thing.
Hot Tip: Glue googly eyes onto the back of your phone so your baby has someone to interact with.
The baby blues.
A few days or so after birth, mums often get the ‘baby blues’. It’s driven by weirdo hormones and causes a dip in mood that can make you feel painfully vulnerable. For me, it felt like I’d lost control of my emotions. I was overwhelmed with feelings.
For God’s sake, I cried at a beer commercial because it had a horse in it. They were trying to sell me a beer but all they sold me were my own tears and a notable dose of embarrassment. I was also overcome when looking at my two dogs — my quadruped babies. I felt for them because they now had to share their mother with a bipedal baby and as a result, I spent hundreds of guilt-dollars on Schmackos and squeaky toys. What a dork.
The baby blues should ease off after a few weeks so if they don’t, have a chat with your healthcare provider. Be gentle with yourself, girlfriend!
Your nipps might feel as though they’re going to fall off.
Breastfeeding is harder than it looks. I assumed it would just happen: that I’d merely direct my baby’s face somewhere near my hooters and it would use its location services to latch on. But it doesn’t just happen. It’s a science.
Firstly, you have to get the baby to open their mouth wider than your postpartum arse, then you have to funnel your tittle into some sort of milk volcano shape and point it right at the baby’s tiny face. Meanwhile, your gazongas get excited and start spraying like an old shower-head and milk squirts into one of your puggle’s many chin folds and you make a mental note to wipe it up before it ferments into brie cheese. Then you have to use Pythagoras’ theorem to get bub to attach at the right angle and then you have to hope like hell that you don’t shriek in pain, startle them, and have to restart the whole flamin’ process. Yep, it doesn’t come easy.
Those first couple of weeks of breastfeeding are brutal. You wouldn’t think that a tiny toothless mouth could do so much damage but it can feel as though your teats have been used as miniature batons in a monumental relay. Thankfully they start to toughen up and before long they’re so calloused you could breastfeed a lion cub.
It’s a pretty special experience once you get the hang of it, and it could become one of your most treasured memories (even with the occasional case of nipplash).
About the book, Parenting for Legends
Parenting for Legends is a hilarious, uncensored guide to parenting young children filled with confessions, tips, and stories from an irreverent mum of two young boys. This honest and frank account of parenthood will have you in stitches and bring you gently back to reality with sprinklings of sage advice.
Parenting for Legends by Shannon Kelly White
More About the Author, Shannon Kelly White
Shannon Kelly White is the bestselling author of Shannon’s Kitchen: Healthy Food You’ll Actually F**king Eat. She is a registered Nurse and lives in Torquay with her husband and two young boys.