Being a new mum is the best job in the world. I do honestly feel like I have been waiting to become a mum for a long time. I did quite a lot of 'research' before having my little boy and listened to a lot of advice. Some of it I took on and is now a part of my parenting, some I politely listened to but decided it wasn't for me. So with that in mind here are my top tips as a new momma feel free to ignore or take on!
Bear with me for this one. I have found the mirror on the back of my phone case really useful. If Reggie is asleep with his head turned the other way I can sneak a look at him without disturbing him and without using the selfie camera and adding to the 1,000,000 pictures I already have! Also having a mirror with you to check your face quickly before an unexpected visitor or to try and do your makeup in the back of the car, is so handy.
This hack is one I wish I had thought of sooner. You will inevitably be given a huge amount of clothes from lots of very generous friends and family. You will think you will remember who gave you what - you won't! To combat this write who gave you the clothing on the label so whenever you put your little kiddo in it you can snap and picture and send it as a lovely thank you.
read not watch
I also need to take my own advice on this hack because I find it makes such a difference. You will hear 'sleep when baby sleeps' a lot and it is great advice but in the age of Netflix that can be hard to do. It can sometimes feel a lot easier to stick something on and binge watch a new show. I find this then means I essentially have wasted nap time. Although if I read I am more likely to fall asleep for a bit but if I don't manage a nap myself I feel I have achieved something and exercised my mind.
Choose skincare over makeup
I am embarrassed to say I have got to the age of 26 and only now have figured out it is so much more important to have good skin than good makeup. Before Reggie was born I may have washed my face but always just relied on makeup to cover all the spots and dark circles. Those spots and dark circles have become even worse with all these crazy baby hormones It doesn't help that in reality you only have about 5 minutes to get yourself ready if you want to do anything in the day. So my advice is if you only have time for one thing always, always choose skincare. I went to Liz Earle and got their set and I always make sure complete the steps twice a day and have to say my skin has thanked me for it. Makeup is much easier and more effective if you have good skin underneath. I also have found I don't feel the need for makeup everyday after my new skincare routine.
ikea ziplock bags
My husband's family live four hours away from us so we find ourself on the road and away from home quite a lot. But it is ok because I am one of those weird people who love packing. For me Ikea's ziplock bags are hands down the best thing for transporting toiletries and worth having in your changing bag for those poo explosion moments on the go. They are secure and you get two different sizes in each pack. Also I know everyone is going crazy for packing cubes but my goodness they are amazing!
use your phone
Along the same lines as the fabric pen you will need to accept your brain is a sieve, nothing will stay in! I also have a husband with memory loss so my memory was already stretched before Reggie's arrival. To combat this I have everything on my phone calendar. I used to be a paper diary through and through but when your a mum you have to streamline and make everything as easy as possible. Having everything on your phone is such a lifesaver, as is the joint calendar. Will and I have a shared calendar for our stuff but we also have one with his family so everyone knows when we are coming up or when someone is away. The best thing about the it is the alarms you can attach to events. For birthdays I have an alert a month before, for calpol time i have an alert five minutes before. It just means your brain has one less thing to think about.
By far the biggest piece of advice I can give is make sure you have great support. My husband and I are so well supported by our families it has made us so much more relaxed and fully enjoy becoming parents. As a mum it can be hard to let go of your precious bundle of joy but you need to make sure you give away some jobs. One job I gave away for the most part is bath time. My husband and my dad are in charge of bath time and it is so special hearing them bond over splashes and bubbles. The jobs don't necessarily have to be taking your baby for a while it could be the washing or cleaning. It might not be done exactly the way you want but it will be done and you will be less stressed.
In the end, motherhood is messy and hard but it is worth every stain and tear! I hope one or more of these hacks are helpful. I would love to hear any of your best mamma hacks!