I have decided that six weeks in ‘parent years’ is basically three and a half minutes. That’s how quickly it feels time has flown by. It seems like it was only a day ago we were preparing for the big day and only minutes ago that a gooey, sticky baby was pulled up from behind the sheet. I am slowly beginning to realise why parents constantly say “it seems like only yesterday”.
The twins arrived routinely on the 15th April 2015. I did fall in love. My fears that I wouldn’t connect with them soon washed away and I am slightly obsessed with their gurgles and cuteness.
Matilda arrived first with her red face and piercing cry. Emma a close send with her frowning forehead and big eyes. Both magnificent.
These six weeks have been the quickest of my life and I still don’t know where the time went. I’ve been a parent for a WHOLE six weeks and I’ve learnt a few things which I want to share with you.
- It’s not that scary
I must admit I did live in fear towards the end. Would I be a good parent? Will I know what to do? I’m not ready to be a parent! Yet as I explained to a friend, there is actually no time to be afraid. It’s like here – WHAMMO – this is your baby now go forth and make it survive for the next X years.
There is no time to freak out about the impending end of your social life (and sleep). It’s simply – take your baby creature and live.
Sure life changes dramatically but you’re too busy to lament the end of your previous freedoms and too busy trying to remember where you put the dummy. (Pacifier to you foreigners!)
So for all your worrying about parenthood – I wouldn’t.
2. They are cute which makes most things ok
So I was worried that my babies would look like aliens OR they would look like those ugly babies you see in shopping centres being pushed by women with half a cigarette hanging out of their mouth and an energy drink in the other.
But guess what? They are frickin cute. Well they could actually be pretty ugly, but they are mine and that makes them cute. Cute in the way that you want to squish them till their eyes pop out (metaphorically of course).
Even if they’ve been screaming for two hours whilst vomiting and filling their nappy at the same time – they are still, well, kinda cute!
3. Don’t listen to all the advice – lies!
So we got told that after six weeks everything gets a bit easier. THAT IS A BIG FAT LIE. It doesn’t actually get easy, you just get used to it. The routine of not sleeping, drinking cold coffees and watching the clock tick down to feed time becomes the norm.
Six weeks and it can all still be pretty shit, but you now have the ability to go into autopilot which makes it all a bit less daunting.
4. You can never have enough towels/spit rags/bibs
One of my lovely work colleagues turned up to our ‘baby shower’ with what looked like 12 million towels and face cloths.
“Trust me, you will need every single one of these.”
She was right, every one of them. You can’t move two foot inside our house without having some sort of wiping implement handy. Milk, snot, collecting multiple bottles, poo on hand…I tell you, there is no end to their usefulness.
So point is – having a baby? But every wiping cloth/towel/bib you can find.
5. Manage your nappies
We spent a week in the special care unit in hospital and one of the most valuable things I learnt was… before removing used nappy, slide new one underneath and under no circumstance move this new one until you are sure the coast is clear.
That has saved my life. Babies wriggle and there’s nothing like a badly placed baby heel pushing the dirty nappy everywhere to make you very wary.
HOWEVER – no one warned me about the poosplosions that can happen even if everything is secure. One morning (Mother’s Day ironically), Matilda did her usually – grunt – red face- grunt – redder face – grunt – state of bliss – routine. The odour filled the room giving me the tell tale sign it was time for a change.
It was everywhere. It was between her toes. It was up her back. It was…hard to describe. It was on my hands.
So I have learnt to prepare wipes in advance and refer to this handy chart for future reference. (FYI Matilda was a cross between the Inverted Exorcist, Houdini and the Squirrel)
Time disappears when you are a parent. One minute you just woke up, the next you are struggling to find your pyjamas for bed. No one warned me how quickly the time flies, seems like yesterday they were born. No one also warned me that by the time you change, feed, burp, placate etc. it’s time for the next feed.
My life now seems to run in 3 hourly cycles and I have learnt how to sleep for 18 minutes and be happy with that.
7. Coffee is your friend
Look, I loved coffee before right – a skinny flat white is actually on my list of favourite things (apart from Susan, raspberries and Liverpool FC) but coffee is edging to the top of that list (sorry Susan.) I think I actually broke the coffee machine and I’m sure Nespresso should be getting in touch with me shortly to ask if I am ok as my coffee order has tripled.
It’s hot, it’s delicious and it keeps me going. Thank you to all my lovely friends who have provided a hot beverage to me. I walked into work the other day after a night of zero sleep to find my work colleague had left a cheeky coffee on my desk – now she is a true life saver.
Coffee – I love you.
Well there ends my musings for now and what I have learnt in this very short amount of time.
Till next time, I’m off to make sure I put Matilda’s nappy on properly just in case.