We’re delighted to welcome Helen Neale to Mums and Me, as she shares her unique take on motherhood with us. Helen runs Kiddy Charts, an online printable sticker charts website, in between juggling part-time work, looking after her kids and freelance writing.
Helen’s blog Mummy’s Little Stars is a finalist in the MAD Parent Blog Awards Small Business Category.
In fact, to be honest, pretty much most things about being a mum, I hadn’t a Scoobies about.
The thing is though; I actually thought that I did know.
See…I’m a librarian, I know it’s hard to believe, I am soooooo glamorous; not a set of horn-rimmed specs or a pair of loafers in sight.
Apologies to other librarians amongst us, but I do happen to find the shushing, stereotypical dragon image of a librarian quite amusing…I went to Uni with some, and there weren’t too many like that at all. In fact, heaven forbid, there were even MEN there….
Now, where was I.
Ah yes, not having a clue about being a new mum.
I thought I knew because…wait for it…
I’d read some books about it. See, there’s the tweed skirt thing again.
Perhaps they were the wrong books, but they had lulled me into this strange place, where I felt I would be in control of this new life as soon as it entered the world.
I did have hints, of course…
I was the last of my antenatal group to have kids, and the look in the eyes of some of those with them when we met up as I slowly expanded should have given it away.
It was a sort of rabbits-headlights-splat kind of a look.
But when you asked, they said it was “fine” because they were good friends, and still are, and didn’t want me to be worried any more than I needed to be.
I would ask questions about “routines,” “sleeping through,” and “breast-feeding.” Generally, I was given a loving smile in return; still coupled by that glazed look that I now know was caused by sleepless nights. The nights that also caused my brain to stop functioning on any normal level for quite some time. In fact, even now it’s not quite right….
I had it all planned out.
I was going to make sure the baby was in a routine, and we were going to have lovely walks in the park together near where we live. I was going to go shopping, and have lots of mummy related baby-based fun.
Don’t think my daughter or my son got that memo when they were born. I was better prepared for number two, but he had reflux; and that’s a whole different story for another post.
The first day I brought my daughter home, my husband and I put her in the middle of our lounge floor in her car seat.
I’d been in hospital with her for a few days as the birth didn’t follow my birth plan at all. But then, how many do I suppose?
And we both just starred at her.
She was, for a newborn, pretty wide awake. We were too, for all of a day!
I said to my husband, “Now what do we do?”
And I have pretty much been thinking that ever since….
The friends we made in the early days helped us find the answers to that one. Or were sympathetic when we didn’t.
Dazed they may have been, and we all were, but we were in it together and still are.