Baby Talk: The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned since becoming a Mom
In no particular order
- Always shop around. Try to withstand the appeal of beautifully laid-out baby shops and look online as well. Gently used second-hand products can be found on Facebook – use the search function to find groups or pages. The closed group Exchange Corner and Second Hand Sales for Parents is good for posting requests and finding a bargain or two.
- People generally are really helpful when you’re moving around with a pram – especially when getting off buses which are not parked close the curb or even boats which can be a bit tricky. On the other hand you do find the odd person, who always seems very surprised and put out when they have to move from the areas designated for prams on public transport.
- You don’t automatically change your character when you become a parent. You are essentially the same person only with more cares and responsibilities. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your superpowers. You’ll still be organised and ambitious but operate on a different time schedule. On the crazy side though, if someone pushed past people to get onto a train before then they’d most likely do the same but armed with a pram. This behaviour can also be seen when it comes to jumping the informal queue to board a bus which only take three prams.
- Advice will make its way to you. You won’t see it coming and often there is no place to duck the swing. Keep in mind that people mean well even when their kindness is presented negatively. Everyone is tired out there.
- Having mentioned point 4, I’ve also learned that it takes a village to raise a child. Bear in mind that every village has a Village Idiot who is greatly outnumbered. If you’re an expat with little or no family here your colleagues and peers become your village. You’ll find them to be the most resourceful, supportive and kind group ever. Be open and nurture your friendships.
- Not everyone you meet at Mama Group is your friend. You could make an amazing friend for life though. Follow your own way of getting to know people without feeling pressurised to attend every gathering. Chemistry is key.
- No one cares about your messy baby stories except those currently in your position. Cue, the Mama Group or friends/ family. It is such a relief to know that others observe pretty much the same thing with their babies.
- I am learning a lot about what “normal” means when it comes to babies. Every child is different and their unique responses to growth and different situations are all NORMAL. No this is not obvious to first time parents.
- All second/ third time parents were once first timers. They will forget this. Nature works that way. They are amazing though. I quietly admire the parents I see out there with baby plus a child or two.
- You can never ever drink too many cups of coffee. Snobbishness around the perfect bean and brew must fall or rather has fallen. My first requirement these days is that it’s hot.
Photo: Karen Pérez Guzmán. Melker Dahlstrand. Simon Paulin.