I am an auntie (again!). Watching my sister-in-law at the hospital and all the doting relatives, the memories of my first child all came flooding back The most annoying memory would have to be the unsolicited advice thrown from even total strangers. More annoying is the advice usually turns out to be USELESS.
Don’t worry if the house is a mess – well yes, that wouldn’t be such a problem if people aren’t waltzing in everyday and at every hour to visit you and baby. Try as they might, they can’t keep the poker face when they enter the house and see dishes unwashed or toys lying everywhere or the unmade bed. “She’s not coping so well, her house is so dirty!”
Sleep when the baby sleeps – already the unsaid assumption is that baby actually sleeps at all. It’s all well and good to sleep when baby sleeps but what happens when he doesn’t? Who does all the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing?This one annoys me just as much as saying that you’d better sleep all you can before baby arrives,because you won’t be sleeping much after. Hello? No matter how many hours a day you sleep before baby, it isn’t going to help one iota afterwards. If anything you’re more exhausted because you were so used to getting 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Don’t eat fruit, vegetables, dairy products, or sesame seeds and caffeine and stay away from meat – so that leaves you with tofu mixed with tofu covered in soy sauce. Oops, forgot to mention – don’t eat too much soya.
[insert wierd concoction of gross tasting or totally inedible substances] will help with your milk supply. Not that I’m saying I trust scientific evidence over anectodal evidence all the time but as far as I know eating a well balanced, low fat, high protein and high calcium diet with plenty of fresh water is all a mother needs to help with her milk supply.
Baby’s crying because you don’t have enough milk - Yep tell that to your rock hard breasts soaking up nursing pads like there’s no tomorrow. It may be that he’s cold or hot or has a dirty nappy or he might be overstimulated because everyone keeps CARRYING him and shaking him.
Don’t turn down offers of help – this one for me wasn’t such a big problem because alhamdulillah I had lots of family willing to help. It isn’t so easy though when there is nobody around or nobody willing to help out with cooking or cleaning or laundry or anything.
Let the father take care of him at night so you can sleep – If all your baby wants is to nurse then I’m sorry but husband isn’t going to be much help. If baby is crying for some other reason, motherly instinct makes sure you won’t be able to fall off to sleep.
I think all a new mum wants to hear is the exhaustion, unfamiliarity, fear, love, irritability and utter helplessness are normal. She needs to know she’s doing a great job and you will be there for her no matter what time of the day or night just to listen or even offer (useless) advice if that’s what she wants.
Welcome to motherhood, my dearest sister-in-law. One more totally useless piece of advice – enjoy every minute of motherhood. It will surely be the best time of your life.