So life has changed rather a lot here at TGE Towers as Baby TGE made his entrance into the world 6 weeks ago. He is clearly the best thing ever (if you don’t believe me just ask the Parentals – or new Grandparentals as I should say – who I believe have made a Powerpoint presentation on the subject) even if he is sick on me more than anyone – including myself – has ever been before. So what’s having a baby like? Well I haven’t worn as many pastel clothes and sat serenely bathed in sunshine as various baby product adverts led me to believe would be the case. Some days are really good; you manage to eat half an avocado, your hair looks actually rather nice and when you catch up with friends for tea and cake they gasp that they can’t believe that you just had a baby because you look just so good! On the bad days it’s like being in the Hunger Games whilst having sore nipples with a furby who hates you and everything you do angers it. Oh, and you’re covered in sick and your hair looks truly shit. So you know, swings and roundabouts.
What has truly taken me by surprise though is the level of stealthy kindness from both other far more experienced Mums who know exactly what it’s like, and lovely kind-hearted non parents who don’t know what it’s like but correctly assume that it’s better with booze. So thank you not just my Mum (love you Mum), or my mother in law (love you too), but family, friends, colleagues, online support groups, the NCT girls and even strangers – like the lady in Asda who gently asked how old the baby was and then congratulated me on having left the house and wearing clothes because that’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds anymore. The texts checking how you’re doing, the listening and not judging, the food deliveries, the taking dirty laundry away and bringing it back clean, the biscuits, the tea, the laughs, the assurances that you honestly are doing really well and the offers to pop round to hold the bambino so you can shower (which turn into nice hair days!). It’s all so important.
So although this will in no way turn into a ‘Mummy blog’ (there are already many wonderful writers who have this covered) I’m allowing myself this one indulgence before returning to more familiar subjects like brunch, tagines and maybe the odd cocktail or two.
So here are a few new Mum points for my stupid, sleep deprived brain. Enjoy!
- Actually point 1 is just a flat out thank you to every wise and wonderful person who has provided us with food over the past 6 weeks. Seriously, if you know any new parents or soon to be parents the best possible present you can buy/provide is dinner. Preferably something that can be easily heated up in one pot and has something vaguely nutritious about it so you can spoon it into your sleepy face in the 90 seconds you’ve actually put the baby down for and not get scurvy… Incidentally we were bought some meals from Cook from a fellow new parent which kept us going in the most sleep deprived early days and they were so delicious we have kept placing orders. They also offer a 10% new parent discount as they clearly know their market… click HERE to see.
- If the new Mum in your life is breastfeeding she’ll need an extra 500-700 calories a day so make sure you keep her well fed. If the new Mum in your life is formula feeding then SHE STILL DESERVES EXTRA FOOD, SHE JUST GREW A HUMAN YOU ABSOLUTE MONSTER, GIVE HER THE BLOODY CAKE! Incidentally Mr TGE managed to loose a staggering 9lbs in the first week of Baby TGE’s life which was actually more than Baby TGE weighed. Keep those Dads fed too!
- You will be AMAZED at what you can now eat one handed, you’ll wonder what you ever needed that other hand for. Also the temperature of food is now unimportant, hot food is beyond indulgence. By week 3 you’re basically eating tepid soup with a fork.
- You’ll also be amazed at the healing power of cake. Been awake since 3am? Cake. Colicky baby been screaming in your face for the past hour? Cake. The horrified reaction of the Postman reminds you that you have forgotten to put your boob away before you answered the door? Bloody big bit of cake.
- You’ll collect cold, undrunken cups of tea like trophies. You’ll make a hot cup and just as you sit down with it the baby will need feeding and you’ll become #babypinned. You’ll sadly watch that tea (that you left just out of reach – again) cool until stone cold. You’ll still drink it because your standards are in the gutter now.
- It’s not just your tea drinking standards that are in the gutter, it’s all of them. Older and wiser parents warned me about this but I didn’t truly believe it until it happened. Your house is basically a bin now but if you and the baby are dressed and fed then you’re still #winning so do the floors really need to be steam mopped? No they don’t.
- One of the best presents (aside from food) that you can buy a new parent is a Netflix subscription, if they don’t already have one. Watching Friends at 3am really takes the edge off the fact that it’s 3am and you’re awake until the baby decides you can sleep like a tiny evil dictator.
- Jesus Christ don’t stay for longer than an hour or so when you visit and for gods sake refuse all offers of tea/coffee. I apologise to every friend with a new baby that I visited and stayed over that time frame whilst happily sipping hot beverages that I let you make me, I knew not what I did.
- It’s not a funny or pithy point but if you work for the NHS then bloody THANK YOU. The care we all received was so amazing that it still makes me a little teary when I think about it, I wish you could all earn the salaries of the finest footballers and receive a standing ovation at the end of your shift.
- You’ll pray for the baby to sleep – please just bloody sleep – and then when they sleep you’ll end up watching them because they are so bloody lovely and suddenly it’s half an hour later and they’re awake again and you regret everything… hello Netflix and cake…
Normal service to be resumed soon and I’ll try to make it more than ‘OMG the food was hot and I used a KNIFE like I was the QUEEN or something…’