Welcome back to my guest blogger series, Meet the Parents. This week, we’re hearing advice from Lindsay, who blogs at Newcastle Family Life.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
Hi I am Lindsay I am 32 and I am a stay at home mum from Newcastle Upon Tyne. I have been with my partner Lee for 5 years and we have two children together, Sophia who is 3 and Jacob who is almost 2 . They were born 14 months apart and people often think they are twins as they are the same size, although they don’t look alike – Sophia has brown curls and Jacob has straight blonde hair. I also have a 13 year old daughter Chloe from a previous relationship but we all live together as one big happy family (most of the time anyway).
I blog at Newcastle Family Life (hate the blog name but it is too late to change it ) which is a blog about are family life in Newcastle. I have been blogging for 2 years now as I started when I was pregnant with Jacob and it has now grown and changed into a blog featuring days out, reviews and snippets of family life with a teen and two toddlers (and probably way too many sponsored posts these days.)
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
Practically I would say water in sports bottles, they were so useful in my three labours as I found them easier to drink out of and delivery wards are so hot!
Also magazines and snacks as sometimes you have a lot of waiting around in hospital and these would come in useful.
My husband packed a pair of shorts for him too, which was just as well as our hospital was roasting, too!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
I was quite lucky that I have had 3 ‘normal’ labours and nothing unexpected happened. Just trust your instincts, listen to the midwife and don’t worry as labour is not as bad as you imagine it to be. Also don’t be scared of inductions either, I hear so many people mention they are scared of them etc but I have had two. I actually liked them better than my ‘normal’ labour, if I am honest, and did not find them to be any more painful.
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
Good baby monitors. I worried so much when I had my girls that something would happen to them when they were asleep. I used to wake in the night to check on them. As they grew I would constantly go and check on them in their rooms on an evening. When I had my son we got some baby monitors with the sensor pad to go in the cot and it instantly put my mind at ease. I know they are not for everyone and some people don’t like them but for me personally as an anxious mum It give me so much peace of mind.
We still haven’t bought a monitor for LIttle M and she’s six months! We’re planning to get one for when she moves into her own room, though.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
The best piece of advice I have been given is probably just to enjoy it. I know that sometimes parenting can be hard work, I still struggle some days now and I have been a mum for 13 years! But it really is so very true what everyone says that babies grow so quickly. I wish I had spent more time enjoying the now as I miss the baby days so very much now my children are older.
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Sleep when they sleep. I know people mean well when they say this and it might work for some people but sleeping during the day just makes me feel a bit rubbish. I also fret that I have missed my chance to tidy up, have a shower or just have a hot cuppa in peace. I much prefer just having that hour nap time to catch up on chores or have an hour relaxing. Plus you can only really do this when you have your first, even if I wanted to I could never have done it with my 2nd and 3rd children.
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
My best advice would be to take lots of photos, seriously take them every day as babies change so much. Also even if you’re not feeling your best make sure you take lots of photos with you and your baby too as I have so few with me and my children and I regret it. I always put off getting my photo taken but no one else will care what you look like other than you and they are so lovely to look back on.
I have been trying really hard to take more photos of myself with Little M, as there are hardly any photos of my with my mum from when I was little.
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
The hardest for me has always been the lack of sleep. Even after three children I still struggle with this, I find that when I am tired I am grumpy the next day and find it hard to function fully. I have discovered a love of coffee since having my son as he wakes at 5.30 every single morning!
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
The best thing is without a doubt just the love you have for your child. Every day I think I love them a little bit more as everyday they do something little that makes me so proud to be their mummy. I often look at them and think I am so lucky that they are mine and the love that you have for them is like nothing else. Being a mum is the hardest thing I have ever done but it is also the best and most rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for anything.