Advice To Your Pre-Baby Self For Mother’s Day

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Our gift to you this Mother’s Day – the things we wish we’d known when we were new mums.

My first baby’s due date was Mother’s Day. She didn’t come that day – taking after her mum from the very first opportunity she had, she arrived late, a bit stressed and with a touch of drama. Despite her no-show, we marked Mother’s Day all the same with a long, lazy lunch (remember those?) and an epic walking tour of South London in an attempt to kick-start her arrival.

It felt right to celebrate Mother’s Day. By that late stage the fact that she was still inside rather than out seemed a mere technicality. I’d been looking after her 24/7 for the last 40 weeks after all. That’s qualified me, right? If my 10-days-in-the-future post-baby self had been able to jump in at this juncture she would not have agreed.

At MGF, we’ve been thinking about what we’d tell our past selves about motherhood if we could go back in time. And as our gift to you this Mother’s Day, we’ve collated the most popular bits of  (sometimes brutally) honest advice from over 200 suggestions from Gin Funders. There are some real gems and it’s heart-warming to see how similar people’s experiences are – we really are all in this thing together.

So, if you’re a soon-to-be mum or celebrating your first Mother’s Day, consider these our top tips for the months and years to come. If you’re a Mother’s Day veteran we’d love to hear yours too – comment below or add to the still-growing original post.

Here is our advice to our pre-baby selves for Mother’s Day

Guilt, comparisons and competition: “There is no way to be the perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” – Gabriella

“We all parent differently” – Ruby

“Look for progression, not perfection” – Gis

“Don’t worry about getting it right, right away” – Laura

“Happy Mummy equals happy baby, please don’t compare yourself to others” – Suzanne

“Don’t take people’s Instagram lives too seriously. They are just showing the bits they want people to see!” – Helen

“The world does not fall apart if they are not plotting along a chart or to a ‘standard schedule’” – Kirsty

“It’s a tricky one, but try really hard to leave your guilt at the door. It will eat you up if you don’t…You’ve really no idea what goes on behind closed doors and, even if they do have a perfect life, every challenge you go through makes you a stronger more resilient person and with life these days you need to be resilient!” – Caroline

“Every baby is wonderfully individual. Our pregnancies and births were all unique, how could it then be that all babies are born the same and follow the same patterns and developmental leaps. Take advice but try not to compare or follow rules” – Sarah

 

The fleeting baby phase: “Babies don’t keep” – Laura

“Enjoy every second with your baby as they grow up so quickly!” – Lily

Don’t sweat the little things – they grow up way too fast” – Evie

Don’t wish for the sleepless nights to end (!!) as when they do it means another stage has passed that will never come back again” Karen

“Your child won’t remember how clean your house was – they will remember that you never played with them – enjoy them while you can, they don’t stay little for long” – Paula

“Treasure it all, the good times and the sleepless nights and the non-stop crying, love, cuddle, kiss and treasure very single second” – Dee

“Don’t blink too much…. as they grow that quick!!!” – Kym

“Enjoy the new born baby bit… it’s the easiest and goes so quickly!” – Suzanne

“Be with them and love it…It goes so fast” – Nerys

“Cherish every milestone they grow up too fast” – Alison

“It’s not about material things – have fun, make memories – they will last much longer than “stuff”” – Gilllan

“Appreciate the baby phase as it is gone in the blink of an eye” – Angela

“Don’t wish the day away and enjoy all the little things” – Claire

“Believe people when they tell you it goes fast. It’s true! – Kat

“The long rollercoaster journey towards motherhood is absolutely worth it. You’ll fall in love like never before and every day is incredible. The moment you go into your babies’ nursery in the morning and they giggle and wriggle with excitement – just wow the novelty never wears off. Oh, and batch cook whenever you can” – Laura

 

Mother’s intuition is the real deal: “You are doing amazingly well – you got this!” – Jenny

Definitely trust your own instincts” – Caroline

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” – Philippa

“Be prepared to get a second opinion…if you’re convinced the first may not be quite right. Doctors make mistakes like the rest of us” – Lucy

Do what’s best for you, not what others told you to do” – Yvonne

“Always trust your instincts, don’t worry about what everyone else thinks, do what’s best for you and your baby always” – Lily

“Don’t read baby books – they feed your anxiety” – Alison

“Listen to your gut. Don’t think there’s one way to parent” – Natalie

“Trust your instincts, let go of the guilt” – Sally

“Trust yourself, never doctors (so called “professionals”) and don’t ever let them tell you you are a drama queen because babies are not born at 26 weeks. They do and they did! – Dominika

“Don’t read anything on the internet!!! It’s all rubbish and will make you super paranoid about everything!!!! Just trust your instincts and enjoy every second” – Lily

“Relax!! No-one will ever know your baby as well as you do, so just trust your instincts and go with the flow. Also, it’s ok to ignore the advice of others if it doesn’t fit for your family or lifestyle… or just isn’t what you want to do!” – Chris

“Don’t fret about all the advice and trust your instincts (that includes everything from hospital bag packing to baby sleep!)” – Hazel

“Trust your instincts” – Sandra

“You are not a failure if you cannot produce breast milk!” – Memory

“Relax, enjoy it, everything’s going to be fine” – Sinead

“Just do it! If you wait for the “perfect time” it may be too late…” – Patricia

“Never doubt yourself, you can do it!” – Samara

“Choose your battles. You’re doing a better job than you think” – Jodie

 

It won’t always feel like this: “Everything is just a phase…it will pass…” – Eloise

“It’s all a phase and will pass. When you are in the midst of colic, sleep deprivation and the like it’s hard to see how it will ever get easier but it will” – Claire

“Everything is a phase – handy to remember when going through tough times!” – Katie (Valentine)

“Nothing’s prepares you for the lack of sleep you will have but it does get better!” – Elaine

“That the sleepless nights, the relentless crying, the tantrums and the poop doesn’t last forever!” – Kym

“Have patience it will get easier!” – Hannah-louise

“It doesn’t last very long, none of it does. Breathe and try to find the joy in life” – Maryann

“Nothing terrible will happen to either of you if your baby isn’t a great sleeper/napper. It’s the luck of the draw, and despite how it feels sometimes, you’re unlikely to die from being tired” – Kate

“It’s ok if you don’t love every minute of it. It is hard” – Lirona

 

An apt one for Mother’s Day: “Chill the F out!” – Sharon

“Relax and enjoy it. It’s all over before you know it” – Nicola

“Chill out! You are doing the best you can you don’t need to be perfect – give yourself a break!” – Faye

Learn Mindfulness before…” – Lirona
“To Chill out lol” – Clare

“Don’t leave the house for the first two weeks at least. It’s too stressful. And any preconceived notions of being a domestic goddess, trying that new recipe you have been waiting to do or having time to keep the house in order are a fantasy until the go to school.” – Sara

“Have patience and don’t sweat the small stuff!” – Yadira

“Slow down, embrace the cuddles, and trust your instincts” – Vickie

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” – Regan

“Don’t panic when every midwife you see tells you something different” – Kate

“Be in the moment instead of obsessing over getting it on camera! One pic will suffice then have fun! (Something I find very difficult)” – Myriam

“Go with the flow…” – Claire

“Worry less!” – Gemma

“Make a nest on the sofa for the first few weeks. Binge watch TV, don’t do housework (that doesn’t HAVE to be done) and cuddle bubba” – Chana

 

Take time out: “Don’t beat yourself up for occasionally wanting to hide in a cupboard, it’s ok to need 5 minutes” – Kayleigh

“Happy Mummy equals happy baby” – Suzanne

“Be kinder to myself! Trust that they can also do more than I gave them credit for” – Rajinder

“Treat yourself… Have more than just motherhood if you need it, don’t neglect your career” – Lirona

“Make new friends, no matter how hard that may be make them when your kids are young; talk to that mum at the singing class or getting changed next to you at swimming, if you’re lucky they’ll be friends forever” – Emma

“Make time for your family but also know it’s ok to have some you time” – Karen

“Keep your eyes closed and your mobile off when you go to bed!” – Suzanne

“Stack up all the sleep where you can, the little monkeys are sleep thieves” – Kirsty

 

You don’t have to do it all: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help” – Jenny

“Don’t be afraid to tell people what help they could give you. Even if it seems completely obvious!” – Lucy

“It’s ok to ask for support. It’s ok to admit that it is hard. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed” – Laura

“Buy help: Cleaning and child care is money well spent” – Lirona

“Agree that whatever you scream at your partner at 2am feed is forgotten in the morning!” – Julia

“Pick your battles!” – Jayne

 

Last but not least, if only it went without saying: “Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle them” – Vicki (and pretty much everyone else).

 

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Katie is on a quest to bring all the things she is in her working life (organised, timely, well respected, listened to!) to her world beyond the office. So far, it's not working. Two children in and she has yet to get to a baby class before the first song has finished and her preschooler specialises in advanced selective hearing. And these are the least of her worries. Subjects she gets cross about on Twitter (@katie__holl) include, but are not limited to: toddlers, early gender stereotyping, and retailers seeing maternity and nursing clothes as a single category (she mans - womans? - the Can I Breastfeed In It Pinterest pinterest.co.uk/cibiiuk). She is obsessed with interior design hacks she'll never have time to implement, cake in all its wondrous guises and clothes with pockets.

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