Welcome back to Meet the Parents. This week we’re hearing from Kirsty who blogs at Life with Boys.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
My blog – Life With Boys – centers around my life, with two boys, believe it or not. My son, Harrison, who is 4 months old, and my boyfriend, Jordan, who is not anymore mature than the baby. We’re a little family from little Scotland, stumbling through one day at a time. I probably share a little bit too much of our lives online, but Life With Boys is my outlet, my diary, my friend, and my medium to moan endlessly through, much to Jordan’s dismay.
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
Make-up. It may sound like an odd one, but having given birth in a matter of hours, I was in and out of the hospital quicker than you could click your fingers, yet I still looked like I had very much been dragged through a bush backwards. I’d have loved to be able to walk out feeling confident and happy in myself, and while sure, make-up is probably the last thing on your mind after pushing a water melon out of your vagina it is definitely something I’d have liked to have had the option to slap on. It’s the little things.
Ha, I was the opposite. I packed makeup but didn’t end up using it.
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for that. I didn’t expect the positive experience I had. I coped fine – I either just had a really good labour, or a really good pain tolerance, but either way, I got through labour fine. I didn’t get my epidural, and I didn’t need it. I never knew that could actually be the case. I’d always assumed it HAS to be extremely painful and I would be screaming no matter what experience I had – not the case though. It won’t always be the way it appears on One Born Every Minute, every woman is different and your not guaranteed to have to feel like your ripping in half. For some, labour is an extremely difficult experience, everyone’s body reacts differently, I was just lucky, but I wish I’d had it in my head that maybe it would be like that. I near enough gave myself a complex worrying about labour – when I needn’t have bothered.
It’s great to hear that you had such a positive birth experience.
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
Our Purflo Breathable Nest; it’s been an absolute lifesaver. I was a bit too frugal to fork out for a Sleepyhead prior to Harrison being born. Call me stingy, but I couldn’t justify the price for a product that he might not take to for a second. We were sent the Breathable Nest by Purflo, and it is essentially like for like with the sleepyhead – simply another bed nest but we wouldn’t have been without. At a fraction of the price, it does the same job, and he wouldn’t have slept nearly as well without it.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child
Stop buying clothes. I hated everyone that told me this at the time – honestly, when your in the late stages of pregnancy and can’t do much else there’s nothing better than filling your basket with the entire Peter Rabbit range in mother care. You can imagine my face when my predicted ‘tiny baby’ came out as a little chunk and never managed to make it into half of the bits I bought. Sure, buy pieces before the birth, but Mothercare will still be there after, and you’ll get much better use out of clothes in the proper size.
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Breast-is-best. I have no intention of starting a debate in the middle of an innocent guest post. To be frank, I do not care about the breast is best debate, what any mother chooses to do to ensure their child is fed is completely up to them, but the fact that anyone would preach that a single specific method is THE ONLY way to do something is enough to send me reeling. As someone who was set on bottle feeding from the outset for reasons personal to me, having people tell me that my choice was the wrong one had me doubting everything.
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
Read blogs. Not the blogs that tell you step by step exactly how to make your child sleep. Or how to transfer them to their cot. Or how to pack a hospital bag. But the posts that talk about how difficult it is to be sleep deprived, the ones that explain how much of a task it can be and how hard it is to let go when they move to their own room, or the posts where we confess everything we managed to forget during labour. The real posts that make us feel like we’re not alone in the big scary world of being a new parent. (PS read the step by step blogs also… every view helps).
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
Sleep deprivation. I wish I could come up with an original answer, but unfortunately, like many new parents, I’m a key member of the no-sleep band wagon. I’m crabby, I’m overtired, and there’s little to no respite. At 4 months my little one isn’t sleeping fabulously, but it’s better than it was and for every hour of sleep we manage there’s a considerable difference in all of our moods.
It’s amazing how much difference even an hour’s sleep can make!
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
The ability to catch up on all of the Jeremy Kyle reruns I’ve been missing for the past decade. Failing that, having someone who relies on you for absolutely everything is a feeling like no other. You have a new purpose in life, and the love you feel for this little person is something I cannot explain. The smiles, the giggles, they all make all of the bad days forgettable.