I caught up with an old friend today, one of my closest friends who I used to live with. Her delightful little girl, who’s almost one, also joined us. It was a good chance to have a chat about mummyhood, what to expect, and also get some invaluable advice about the whole pregnancy thing.
We went for lunch at The Cluny in Ouseburn, the place where we first met whilst working there many moons ago. We were house-sharing in Heaton until two years ago, and I can’t quite believe how much our lives have changed since then. We’ve gone from having strawberry beer fuelled nights in Ouseburn, to pottering around the area with a pram and a baby bump.
Ouseburn is an ideal place to go when the sun’s shining. The Cluny is family-friendly, with lots of space, high chairs, and lovely food. If you’re a cake lover like me, Steph’s range of cakes won’t leave you disappointed. I won’t mention The Cluny’s extensive selection of drinks, as that’s totally off limits for me now, but you should check it out if you get a chance. There’s also Seven Stories, Ouseburn Farm, Ouseburn Coffee Company, The Ship Inn, and the Ouseburn Trust, all within a few minutes’ walk of each other. It’s such a lovely place to go with little ones and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
While we were having lunch of halloumi burger and chips (not the healthiest choice, but very nice indeed), we chatted about the advice professionals and other parents have given us. I thought I’d compile a list of the best advice I’ve been given so far, as it might be helpful to other parents-to-be.
- You know your baby best. My friend, Yvette, gave me this advice today, and I think it makes a lot of sense. As parents, especially mums who are with baby pretty much 24 hours a day for the first few months, you get to know them better than anyone else. In general, this means you’re best placed to know what’s working, and what needs to change.
- Drink lots of water after having baby. Apparently this makes things a lot less uncomfortable in the undercarriage department.
- The first few weeks will be a very emotional and hormonal time, but you’ll get through it. Share how you are feeling with loved ones, and make full use of the support available from professionals too.
- Make friends with other mums-to-be so you can share advice, worries, experiences and offer each other moral support.
- Meet up with other mums when baby is born, as it can be quite isolating being indoors all the time when your partner goes back to work. This makes me have even more respect for single mums, many of whom have to go through this alone. I can’t even begin to imagine how much strength and resilience that must take.
- Don’t try to be superwoman. This advice came from my sister, who told me about the importance of asking for help and not trying to do everything yourself. Sage advice, especially if you’re the type of person who is prone to feeling responsible for everything and everyone.
- Aldi nappies are just as good as Pampers. I’ve been reliably informed of this by my best friend of 23 years, so if it’s wrong, please blame her. I will be trying this out for myself as of August. Just to clarify, I’ll be trying them out on baby, not on myself.
- Breastfeeding is a lot cheaper than using formula. I was quite shocked when I saw the cost of baby formula. I will definitely attempt to breastfeed when baby is here, but I will wait and see how successful my attempts are, and keep some formula to hand, just in case.
- Enjoy it, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. This is the cheeriest and most heart-warming piece of advice I’ve heard.
- There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, we’re all just winging it. If that doesn’t put your mind at ease, I don’t know what will.