Blogger and stylist Lauren Silvester from SassyInTheCity.com and LittleInTheCity.com lives in London with her husband and 6-month old baby girl. A big fan of JoJo Maman Bébé, Lauren has been a customer since discovering she was pregnant and continues to shop for her daughter. Here she shares her experiences of motherhood and what the books didn’t tell her.
Like many pregnant ladies I spent lots of time reading. From 'The Pregnancy Encyclopaedia' to 'How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out', my determination to be well prepared became a project in itself. But when my baby arrived, I realised almost instantly that nothing fully prepares you for motherhood.
I felt so confused seeing my baby for the first time! It was only then that the realisation of this new responsibility hit me like a brick. Life had officially changed for good and I wasn't sure what to do first; laugh, cry, smile, dress, sleep or feed her? I learned quickly that there's no right or wrong thing to do in hospital and even after 36 hours of labour at 3am when my new-born was crying, I fell in love with this strange new role of being a mother!
Welcome New Baby
Those first few weeks are a total blur. For me there were struggles, a lack of sleep and overall total shock that we now had a little bundle permanently living with us! Truthfully no-one really knows exactly what they're doing and lots of other mums are obsessed with checking babies every 5 seconds too.
You might feel there's a race to feeling 'normal' again but embrace the craziness and do things on your terms because the time flies by. In the first couple of weeks some days I didn't leave my bed and I never felt guilty for resting when visitors came to see the baby! It’s OK to do what you want.
Crying, Hormones & Dad
Some cry for weeks, others just on day 5. Women are different and comparing yourselves to other mums is like comparing apples and pears. I still have days now where I get super emotional and cry over a TV advert! I also never realised the strain that would be put on my relationship with my husband. Communication is key and it’s good to have a support network – even a WhatsApp group with your other mum friends – to know that every couple experiences something similar!
You will make plans and she will laugh. Sometimes she loves coming shopping with me (yes, it can be done!) and other times she’ll be upset (how dare I take her!). She may love visiting family one day and be irritable the next. There’s no point being hard on yourself! At 5 months I decided it was time to consult my friend, Heidi, from The Parent and Baby Coach for a routine and sleep plan. We needed a schedule! It’s been really great (Heidi is my Fairy Godmother). Some days Mia won’t sleep for her full one-hour nap though and now and then she won’t finish her bottle but that’s fine because babies are, after all, human just like us!
You Need a 'Thing'
When hubby returns to work and everyone seems to be getting on with their life except for you, it can be frustrating. It's so important to get a balance. My 'thing' is 'The Real Housewives' series!
I often find myself wondering what she’ll be like on her first day of school, who she’ll be friends with, first boyfriends that kind of thing. I wonder what our relationship will be like when she’s older too. I don’t want to wish her life away but it’s so fun thinking about the future! You develop this overwhelming protective urge and to want only the best for them.
Having a baby girl has totally changed my perspective. Everything I do and say now affects her in the future. For instance, I never want to talk about my body image issues in front of her because I don’t want her growing up body conscious! I want her to grow knowing that beauty comes from within and it isn’t something that can be removed with cotton wool too.
Over on LittleInTheCity.com Lauren is sharing her favourite picks from JoJo Maman Bébé!