Inspired by a recent post at The Motherload (https://the-motherload.co.uk/letter-pre-baby-self/) I also wrote my pre-baby self a letter. It feels weirdly good, actually 🙂
1 – Be suspicious of mainstream advice; most of it is driven by consumerism.
2 – Do not discount the hippies. They may smell of patchouli and muddy vegetables, but they have some things right on the money. One day they will inherit the earth.
3 – Get your head out of the sand and learn some stuff. It won’t freak you out I swear. The facts are actually wonderful and fascinating and mostly reassuring.
4 – Admire your belly. I know you hate it, but enjoy it now, in it’s unscarred state. And when the time comes, enjoy its soft scarred wobbliness, too. Everything only lasts for a season. You don’t have to love every bit of it, but take care at least not to miss the good bits 🙂
5 – Treat both babies as if they are your last. Because the end will come sooner than you are ready for.
6 – Have more sex. You love it, so why not? You’ll have less time for it in the future.
7 – On a related topic, for goodness sake, stop thinking that motherhood is frumpy, snot-covered baggy clothing. Okay, okay, SOMETIMES it is, but sometimes it’s fucking GORGEOUS. One day you’ll look back at your pregnant, milky self and realise you missed a trick.
8 – No one is looking at you when you breastfeed. No one cares. Honest. Except a few people whose entire day was lifted by catching sight of you, and a few who feel like, yeah, maybe I can do that, too. You’re going to do something wonderful. Embrace it.
9 – While we are on the subject, breastfeed that little lad longer. You’ll regret it otherwise. Well. Regret is a strong word. But you’ll wonder how much stronger his immune system would have been and how his mircrobiome might have been different. I know, you don’t even know what a mircrobiome is do you? See (3)!
10 – In your entire breastfeeding experience (which as of now is almost 6 years) you will encounter exactly 4 mild unpleasant reactions. 2 from your husband, one from your MIL and one “eye daggers” from a bint in Liverpool who you don’t give a flying flip about.
11 – Ditch the disposable pads. They make you sore. Use washable bamboo ones, and go without as often as you can. If you feel full, guess what? That’s what your baby is for. It’s a two way street.
12 – Also get some maternity sanitary ones in bamboo as well if you can, because ohmygoodnessme, that stuff is so SOFT it is like Christmas Day for your vulva and dammit IT DESERVES A TREAT.
13 – You’re going to have a home birth. Stop laughing. Really. Pack a birth bag just in case. Do not send hus home for supplies without a very specific written list. Let’s just say he has some funny ideas about pre pregnancy skinny jeans being acceptable post natal clothing.
14 – You’re going to grieve for this version of you – your pre-baby self. No offence, but you’ve got a lot of pre-conceived ideas about what parenting is and should be and what it takes to be a good mum. The sooner you let that version of us go, and all that baggage too, and jump into you new self with both feet, the happier you will be. Don’t worry. You’ll find us again 🙂
15. In some ways, it is harder than anyone ever told you. But it’s also nowhere near as bad.
What about you? What would you write in a letter to your pre-baby self?