So here we are, 4.5 months post-partum and just about surviving parenting life with the help of my top 5 essentials to make it seem like you’re nailing motherhood when in fact you would actually bite off your own little finger in exchange for just one full nights sleep. I am aware that most posts of this title would provide you with nuggets of wisdom for nurturing your small people and recommendations for the must-have baby products on the market. I’m making no bones about it, this post is much more about sanity and survival. It’s also about the person who needs to keep their shit together for your family to get through this – you!
- Bobbi Brown Corrector
Now I’m 4 months in and the smallest one is still not sleeping through the night. Granted, it’s just one feed that takes all of ten minutes but then I need to get back to sleep afterwards. And that can take a while. Therefore, anything that will make me look slightly more awake and less like I’ve been punched straight between the eyes due to my insane dark circles is a winner in my book. The Bobbi Brown corrector uses a pink or peach based formula to neutralise undereye circles. It also doesn’t cake up into those fine lines that have suddenly appeared recently too.
2. Instagram Stories
When I had my firstborn son 4 years ago, Instagram wasn’t quite the ‘big thing’ it is now. During the midnight hours I had only my Facebook feed which was mainly full of my actual friends rather than the sponsored posts and status updates from people I’ve never met (friends of friends twice removed or something) that endlessly pop up now. The downside of this was that no one really updated their status at 4am or, most inconsiderately, more than once a day. Can you even imagine such a thing. Conversely ‘Insta-Mums’ have recently (and in my view unnecessarily) gained a bad rap for selling out and becoming too commercial on the Instagram platform but I can tell you, they provided that 4am lifeline I was looking for second time around. As well as beautiful imagery that can be silently scrolled through during the early hours, the creation of Instastories takes away any mum guilt for staring at your phone for all of 15 seconds whilst chaos ensues around you. You can get a quick fix without having to carve out 15 minutes to watch a complete Youtube video, as if you had that amount of spare time, it would be spent catching up on the aforementioned lack of sleep. My favourites who happened to have babies at the same time as me and who provided much hilarity on their lactating escapades are @susiejverrill and @mother_pukka
Now, whilst pregnant I abstained whole heartedly from caffeine. I’ll be honest and say that although I appreciated the health benefits of removing this much maligned substance from my daily routine, I tend to develop a ridiculous intolerance to caffeine whilst pregnant so it really was a no brainer. And, like many of us, I was steadfastly on the bandwagon of continuing to abstain when baby arrived having gone through the headache/irritable/tired withdrawal week and realising how much I was actually consuming. I’d say my resolve last approximately 48 hours post birth and my consumption has continued to see new heights ever since. I am of course entirely blaming the 4am feed…….have I already mentioned that? I’ve had a Bosch Tassimo machine for the last few years which has been great for a super convenient one-handed quick fix but am shortly to cross to the other side and join the Nespresso club very soon. Whist I’ve loved the Tassimo, the range of coffee options is in my view quite limited and seems to be increasing in price so I can’t wait to see how my new Nespresso machine satisfies my caffeine addiction. Santa will be bringing me my new toy but I’m hoping for something like the Krups Nespresso U Machine or the CitiZ Nespresso Magimix. There are obviously much more pricey versions on the market but as I’m not a qualified barista, these budget friendly options suit me just fine.
4. Dry Shampoo
If like me you have hair of a reasonable length, the whole palaver of not necessarily washing but in fact drying your locks is a time luxury you can no longer afford. Attempting to not look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards will encourage you to actually leave the house in your kiddy stained attire to get some much needed fresh air and human interaction, saving your sleep deprived sanity. My experience of dry shampoo in the past has not been entirely splendid as many appear to leave a strange white residue on your hair which may be mistaken for a manic episode with the baby powder. Colab Dry Shampoo is a game changer and does exactly what it says on the tin without making your hair look like a slightly bonkers dandruff infested birds nest.
It’s a money-can’t-buy recommendation this one as it’s entirely free. If you’re currently wrestling with motherhood first time around, well done you if you even managed to get dressed today. And just to confirm, feeling like you’ve been run over by a bus is completely normal. But even if you’re a second, third or fourth time mummy, I really do think that getting out of the house with the pram for walk in the fresh air is soothing for the soul. I’ve always found that the days cooped up in the house are much more testing than those that are sprinkled with a little bit of outdoor time. You don’t have to take yourself off to the rolling countryside if it’s not on your doorstep, just pound the streets and let the movement make you feel (if only slightly) more alive once again. We do have a National Trust membership (signalling the ultimate advent of middle age?) which I would totally recommend but just a 10 minute power walk around the block is all that’s sometimes required for some much needed head space.
What are your best tips for the first few months of motherhood? Did you have a bunch of favourite things that helped you get through the day? I’d love to hear all about them x