A good friend of mine is expecting her first baby and recently asked me if I had any pearls of wisdom to share. Here’s what I told her…
Don’t obsess about a clean house: I hear people say this all the time yet their homes are always immaculate, and they often stay up late cleaning. My motto is that as long as it’s relatively tidy and there’s no food on the floor, it’s clean enough 😉
Make time for the things you love the most: my two big passions are writing and creating great food. It makes me miserable if I go a whole day without doing something related to at least one of these two things.
Don’t compare your kids to other people’s kids: someone always ends up feeling bad. No good can ever come of talking about sleep or toilet related matters as far as I’m concerned.
Don’t feel the need to listen and take onboard every piece of parenting wisdom you hear: we are all different, our kids are all different and we should just accept that we all do things differently.
Try not to expect too much from your little cherub: my eldest still doesn’t consistently sleep through at 5yo; my 2.5yo slept through at 10wks and has been doing so most nights since; and baby boy is up and down like a yoyo at 6mo. They will do these things when they’re ready.
(Assuming you have one) invest in your relationship: child rearing is bloody hard work and it can be too easy to go days without saying a nice word to each other. Appreciate all the little things the other person does for you and tell them so regularly.
Invest in your friendships: I have a handful of really close girlfriends who are all a train journey away, then several more who live abroad. I put dates in the diary throughout the year to ensure that we have some adult time planned without the kids. Even if it’s just to meet for a long lunch, it’s absolutely necessary to keep this going. I’m in regular phone and Skype contact with my girls who are far away.
Enjoy it: as hard as the newborn days can be at first try and enjoy them, because they are gone in the blink of an eye!
Do you have any tips to add that I can pass on?