Welcome back to Meet the Parents, my weekly blog series where a blogger and parent shares their advice for first-time and expectant parents. This week we welcome Rebecca, who blogs at The Ish Mother.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
I am a thirty-something mother of two children – Eleanor (5) and Ezra (nearly 1) – based in West Yorkshire. I blog at The Ish Mother, about raising my children in a gentle-ish, green-ish and feminist-ish way!
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
CHOCOLATE! With Ezra I had a home birth but had to transfer to hospital afterwards and I was gutted I couldn’t sit at home eating chocolate – so I sent my husband to get me some!!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
My first labour was a whopping 70 hours long, with irregular contractions for two whole days. I had no idea this could happen and wish I had, if I’d known I’d have tried to rest more rather than anxiously monitoring contractions.
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
For me it was muslins – but then I make pukey babies!
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
I honestly can’t think of anything I was told before my first child was born, but I remember being told to take it one day at a time when I was struggling in the early weeks. That really helped, especially with breastfeeding.
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Not so much advice, but a work colleague told me than little babies just sleep all the time. I’d pictured getting loads done while baby napped in the cot. Nope – she hardly slept in the day and only ever on me!!
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
Get a support network in place. Second time around we had friends who brought us meals which made a huge difference. We wish we’d had that support first time around! Also, if you plan to breastfeed, knowing your closest support group or breastfeeding counsellor is invaluable.
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
Adjusting to your new life – being totally consumed with caring for this tiny new person is so overwhelming.
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
Having an excuse to just sit! I didn’t value it enough at the time, but actually those long feeds and in-arms naps were a great time to work through my DVD collection!!