There is so much advice out there for pregnant mothers, but it’s once baby arrives that mums start to wonder if they even know what they are doing.
From the moment baby is born right up until they reach their teens, many mums wish they had known about certain things that would have helped them on their new journey.
We asked MummyPages' mums if there are a few things they wished they had known about before having children, and here's what they said.
Top of the agenda was wishing they hadn’t felt the need to be the so-called perfect parent, advising others not to worry about that kind of thing. One mum’s advice was to “listen to your instincts” and “your heart and you won’t go far wrong.” Another agreed by saying she wished she knew how “everybody [would] have an opinion on how your parenting and how your children act, even those with children the same age or no children at all! And how hard it is to ignore them and know that they are your children and you are doing what is best for them and for you![sic]”
How overwhelmed they would feel was another thing mums didn’t expect, wishing they had known that “it's very natural [...] to feel overwhelmed”, advising new mums “not to feel your failing”. As one mum rightly said: “it's ok to feel a bit sad, a bit overwhelmed and a bit frustrated” - so take your time, you’re doing fantastic.
Health issues and knowing what to expect was another thing many had wished they had been more aware of. While most knew about postnatal depression
, no one was prepared for how it made them feel. As one mum said: “I was prepared to feel emotional and overwhelmed and exhausted but wasn't prepared to question my decision to have a baby! Luckily it passes and 5 weeks on I can't imagine life without her!” [sic]. Another felt that PND “is still widely misunderstood”, opening up about how “debilitating and overwhelming” it is going on to admit “that you can feel totally ashamed of even though it is not under your control”.
Other concerns like experiencing a burning sensation while urinating, “how the piles you get hurt more than the stitches” and how weak your own immune system becomes were among the things mums wished they were aware of before having a baby.
Feeding was also an issue, especially for mums who decided to breastfeed. One of our mums admitted that they had wished people had warned her how hard it would be: "You are told it comes naturally and shown how to latch on etc. When it came to it I was determined to breastfeed but couldn't do it for a number of reasons and how guilty you feel that you're a failure because you couldn't breastfeed. Still feel bad now one year on and am jealous of mothers who can.[sic]“
But that wasn’t all mums wished they had known about, many would have like to have known that the “rough times [would] pass” and to ignore “mothers who have the perfect child who sleeps all night, never cries, eats everything, etc”.
Finally, as one mum very elegantly said: “Enjoy every precious moment, they’re only small for a short time, they grow in the blink of an eye [and] before you know it they will be running around.”