This post is written by Haneefa Motani , who blogs at Stylishi Mama
10 truthful tips on surviving pregnancy and first 6 months of your infants’ life:
People tend to sugar coat the parenting journey as the most fulfilling, enjoyable and exciting time of your life, which it is BUT… Something I learned very quickly was that it is also the most overwhelming, frustrating and confusing time of your life. For first time parents, it is a process of trial and error which is fun when you’re doing a school experiment but when there is a child’s life involved, it can become quite daunting to say the very least. Since this is my first parenting blog post, I felt quite a bit of pressure to impart the right knowledge but then I though hey why not highlight the humour aspect since you’ll need to have the ability to laugh at yourself to survive the ‘madness that is motherhood’. *Disclaimer 😉 In case you’re a sensitive reader perhaps you should give this blog post a miss. While I mostly try not to offend anyone this is a story based on my journey and laughter is what’s kept me semi-sane so here goes…
Parenting Preparation Tips:
- While pregnancy can be the most beautiful time to some that’s not usually the case…
For the majority of us it is a time where we have to blindly put a blade to our most precious parts, deal with flatulence that knows no etiquette, throw up to a point where our sweat is mistaken for a pregnancy ‘glow’, aren’t able to fit in or walk in our favourite heels or jeans and may never again, emotions that you know are irrational but which consume you like a diseased hormone infested demon and by far much more. The good news is that all of these bullshit symptoms somehow prepare you for the insanity that you are about to face… because you learn to survive what you think is the worst card you’ve been dealt right? Wrong, but you’re gaining an understanding of the madness that is motherhood!!
- You will get an influx of advice from pretty much everyone!
Including random strangers (who sometimes pet your bump), whether you’ve asked for it or not. Take it all with a pinch of salt. Like the saying goes, different strokes for different folks and babies are no different. Smile and nod to what each person has to say because they generally mean well even if they have no freaking clue what they’re talking about, but do what you feel works for you and your family whether it’s conventional or frowned upon. . One of the best pieces of advice that I got was when my sister told me that I would have moments where I would want to bang my child against a wall and that’s okay as long as I didn’t actually do it .
- Ignore the emphasis placed on this magical maternal instinct theory
We come to expect it to kick in immediately however that’s not necessarily the case. It takes time to learn your babies routine, to identify which type of cry goes with which emotion and to learn what their likes and dislikes are (which can change on an hourly basis). Try not to resort to alcohol or substance addiction during this learning curve and give yourself a pat on the back for every day that you and your child have survived. That’s all that matters for now.
- Your life as you know it is going to change… drastically!
And I mean every aspect of it- from your friends, your relationship with your spouse, the way that you spend your time and money, the way you view the world and your sudden interest in politics, pollution, germs, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) paedophiles and other crap that you never took an interest in. The good news is that once you pass the initial FOMO stages, you will start to look forward to Saturday nights spent in PJ’s and passing out in front of the TV with a bite of Mr Delivery or Uber Eats finest in your hands.
- The first couple of months are like completing an obstacle course but blindfolded and drunk!
This will likely be the most infuriating time of your life. Aside from their intoxicating baby smell, and wind confused with smiles, there is not much else that they have to offer. There is a good chance that you will be battling extreme exhaustion, often mistaken for post-natal depression, and have to brave the daily hurdles, pretending to be sane in this befuddled state. You will most likely have to deal with almost losing a fingertip during nail cutting despite using the ‘safe’ clipper, your child being confused for the opposite sex or worse your grandchild, poo or vomit explosions that make you question the very existence of God- and they will happen when you’re in a rush… Then there are the eye bags which have swallowed your cheeks, leaky nipples, stretchmarks, the inability to sneeze, cough or jump without peeing yourself a smidge and a butt that is the graphic depiction of gravity at its best… So essentially you are left with a body that you no longer recognise.
- The anti-climax that is sex
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a sleeper of a baby, chances are that you won’t have much time or energy to have sex. Which means that you will have to put your arm that’s been rocking a 5+ kilo weight and your hand that’s been patting away most of the day to even more work for some much needed pleasure. Thank God for dildos as blasphemous as that may sound.
- Time is… Hell where is it?
You may have this misconception that because a new born sleeps for most of the day, you will have some time on your hands… Wrong! Sometimes the burping process alone can take up to two hours and then bang your child is hungry again after vomiting all of their food out. On the plus side, you become increasingly aware of how you spend your time and chose to spend it with people and hobbies that really matter.
- Sometimes ‘selfishness’ is your sanity
It is perfectly fine to want some ‘me time’. This DOES NOT make you a selfish mother but rather a mother with a revitalized spirit, ready to undertake the challenges ahead. Also remember that a romantic date night with your partner is a must. Whether it’s once a month or whenever you manage to squeeze it in, you need some alone time to reconnect since your priorities have changed. I think the notion that men are not sensitive or needy by nature is a big hoax. They need constant reassurance that you appreciate them even if it feels like they do fuckol for the baby in comparison.
- You can never ‘win’ so don’t bother trying
There are certain aspects of motherhood that are so sensitive and yet people, particularly fellow mothers, are dead set in their opinions. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding… sleep training vs. not or dare I say co-sleeping… homemade organic veg and fruit purees vs. store-bought ‘crap’ apparently… Homeopathic meds vs. traditional pharmaceutical products. I advise that you pick 4-5 values which you want to impart on your child, that are important to you and your partner and forget the rest. Judgement is for assholes… Don’t be one!
- Your tolerance levels go waaay down
It could be the hormones, it could be you discovering yourself, it could be your change in priorities but the bottom line is that you no longer have the patience to deal with shit. By shit I mean there may be certain people who you used to love but now you are seeing a different side to them, it could be the person who barges in front of you when you’re in a queue, it could be the hungover waiter who gets your order all wrong, it may be the idiot next to you smoking a cigarette while you’re quitting, perhaps it’s our idiot president who laughs in our faces when confronted with his corruption allegations. It could be anything really… Annoying people and situations will most likely piss you off more than usual but it’s okay because you learn to let go and let God in situations that you can’t control and to get rid of people who don’t deserve you time and energy!
I hope this brutally honest depiction of pregnancy and childbirth don’t deter you from embarking on the most exciting chapter of your life but at the same time, be forewarned because the fine print of parenting is endless but know that you are not alone!
Haneefa Motani is the lady behind StyLishi Mama, an exclusive ladies fashion brand that creates affordable, breastfeeding-friendly clothing designed to flatter a woman’s figure, during and after pregnancy.
After a very successful first year of trading, StyLishi Mama has big plans for women’s fashion, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Haneefa has partnered with some amazing woman and will soon be launching the ultimate shopping experience for families, which will provide fellow entrepreneurs with a platform to gain exposure, network and to learn some valuable marketing and branding insights.
Additionally, they are planning a training programme to teach each woman in need of surplus income how to make and market fashion accessories, such as jewelry, scarves and bags.
Her desire to help woman is a passion that she believes has the potential to change our future based on the tremendous value that we contribute, particularly as mothers, despite still being an undervalued and underestimated segment in society.