I recently went to a good friend’s baby shower, and it really set me thinking.
It was the first one I’ve been to since Miss O was born, and pre-baby me and post-baby me definitely had very different (internal, I feel it is important to stress here) reactions as the gift giving commenced:
Mum-to-be unveils a gorgeous tiny dress/tights/cardigan ensemble
Pre-baby me: Oooh, so adorable!
Post baby me: F**k that for a game of soldiers! After your fifth poonami of the day, deliciously sandwiched between two sneak-attack wees and three out-of-the-blue vomiting sessions, you’ll be hot footing it down to Tescos for as many sleepsuit multipacks as you can squeeze into your trolley.
Mum-to-be struggles to maintain her level of enthusiasm as she unwraps yet another set of animal-themed bibs and muslins
Pre-baby me: We really should have all coordinated beforehand, we’ve massively overdone it on the dribble catcher front.
Post-baby me: There is NO SUCH THING as too many bibs/muslins; there WILL be a point when every radiator/banister/family member in the house will be draped with the bloody things, and you’ll still have to resort to using the nearest throw/tea towel/ item of your husband’s clothing for emergency damage control.
Mum-to-be coos over tiny pack of scratch mitts
Pre-baby me: What a useful gift!
Post-baby me: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (big congrats if you cracked the mystery that is shoehorning tiny flailing hands into these ridiculous contraptions without them being unceremoniously thrown across the room seconds later, but I never did!).
Anyhoo, the part that I really struggled with was during the grand finale of the shower, when we each had to write down a little ‘pearl of wisdom’ for her in a keepsake book.
What on earth do you say???
I didn’t want to freak her out too much, so resisted the urge to walk her through my postpartum lady bits regime, or emphasise just how handy it is to have a fishing net within reach of the baby bath (really don’t want to elaborate on that one…). I also vowed that I would never join the ‘cherish every moment’, ‘everything is a phase’, ‘before you know it you won’t even remember the early days’ brigade, because, whilst all irritatingly true, it made me want to punch people in the face. Really hard.
So that left me with this.
There will probably be times over the next few days/weeks/years when you feel overwhelmed, when it feels like you’re making a bit of a hash of the whole raising a tiny human thing. I just want you to know that you’re not alone.
It’s completely normal to regularly feel like a complete idiot. Pre-Miss O, I felt like a together, can-do kind of human. Post-Miss O, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually managed to do up a baby grow without having a fecking popper left over. Other highlights include setting fire to the bottle warmer, getting Miss O completely redressed and only then realising I’d forgotten to put another nappy on her, and sobbing down the phone to J because I’d forgotten how to undo the release catch on the pram. The pram I insisted on because it was so easy to fold up and open…
You’re doing an amazing job. If she’s fed, warm, (relatively) clean and you can’t remember how many kisses you’ve given her that day, take the win. In the meantime, take a deep breath, grab that bottle of wine I gave you at the baby shower (now THAT’s a practical gift) and call me.
On second thoughts, I probably should have just stuck with ‘buy more bibs!’ but hey, what’s done is done!
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