Remembering The Early Days Of Parenthood

My daughter will be two and a half on Christmas day and it's hard to believe, even now, that I can remember every moment with her during the early days. After what seemed like forever we were finally holding our daughter in our arms and immediately fell in love, we were so happy that we had become a family of three. Those first few days as new parents was an emotional time for us, with exhaustion taking over one minute and then feeling total elation the next - and there was much that neither of us anticipated.

I guess we were feeling so over whelmed to really understand what we were actually going through in the early days of parenthood. Even though we were ridiculously prepared, nothing can quite prepare you for becoming a parent - the exhaustion, the black poos, understanding each others needs, and more importantly making sure that our daughter bonded with both my husband and I.  Our daughter came into the world and turned our life upside down and right side up again but we didn't mind, we were very thankful for her. So remembering the early days of parenthood...

Tiredness is relative.
Every new parent is sleep deprived. It was pretty much all we were told at our antennal classes, midwife appointments and by family. But I guess until you have actually been awake six days straight you cannot really understand the sheer exhaustion new parents feel in those first few days. I was actually that tired I thought I was going to die, I know it sounds a little melodramatic but dealing with that type of exhaustion is just awful. Being that exhausted does make me wonder how on earth did I manage to still function like a normal human being I think that there's just something that drives you, that and lots of coffee!!!
Everyone has an opinion.
On everything! Isn't she too hot? Is she cold? If you keep cuddling her you'll make a rod for your own back, it never ends! I quickly realised that it was best to smile, nod and accept unwanted advice, gracefully. For whatever reason, people love to offer their advice on babies - everyone has an opinion and everyone likes to share. Don't get me wrong I knew that most of the advice that was given was well intended, everyone wants you succeed in getting this parenting malarkey down - no one is out to get you. I spend nearly every waking minute with my daughter and majority of the time she was happy in the early days and when she wasn't she would soon tell me. We created our own ways and they have been working ever since.
I wanted it all.
Just because I became a mother doesn't mean I was going to completely give up on myself. I remember wanting to find a way where I can be a great hands on mother and also be happy with myself, my career and anything that gives me a fulfilling life. But life and situations change and after much thought I became a stay at home mum, but it has also lead to doors opening and leading me into directions that I never thought was possible. After all I need to be happy and my daughter deserves to have the best role model I can possibly be.
Reading blogs and exercise kept me sane.
All any new mother needs is a little time for themselves, my husband and my family made sure that I had a few hours off mum duty, and it made all the difference for me. It helped with my stress levels, helped me feel more refreshed, energised and more motivated which was the perfect combination to tackle the early days with a new born.
Baby giggles.
Aren't they the best sound in the world? Except at 3am, no noise is good at 3am!!!
Often quality was worth it.
Having a baby without a Moses basket and other such baby items is like building a house without a hammer or a drill. You will still find a way, but it's a lot more difficult. I found that by talking to other parents, family and asking them about what they couldn't do without and then going out to buy those items helped us prepare for her. Some baby items don't come cheap but they are so worth investing in. I can't put a price on our baby swing, slumber elephant or rocking chair! But even though there were items that we couldn't have managed without we still bought so many baby related items that we really didn't need - did we really need two different play mats? What about that special net that was a must have in Mothercare for the Moses basket? How about that gro egg room thermometer? No, No and No!
Supportive network.
Not everybody is blessed with a supportive family, but you do have control over the family and friends in which you surround yourself. It helps to have people around you that truly care about your happiness and the success in getting this parenting thing down. My family and friends did everything the could to enable me to be there for my baby, it's a great feeling knowing that you have people you can count on during these special moments in your life. I wouldn't be the mother to my daughter if it wasn't for them.
I actually liked my daughter.

Now I know what you may be thinking. Of course I love my daughter that's unconditional but I actually liked her during those early days, she was so much fun, and even though she would sleep during the day and be awake most the night she would always find a smile for me during feeds, nappy changes and the night time cuddles. This is pretty much the same now that she's two and a half years old, she makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she amazes me everyday.
I love being a mother.
Nothing can prepare you for being a mother. You can read all the books go to the antenatal classes but when it comes down to it you never know what it's really like to be a mother until you become one. There are loads of things that I would love to have done before my beautiful daughter came in our life, but you know what, I wouldn't trade places with anyone. I am so lucky to have an amazing little girl, to me she is perfect and I couldn't possibly imagine my life without her.

Can you remember the early days of parenthood? If so what stood out for you?