A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self - Jemma Popcorn for Lunch - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self - Jemma Popcorn for Lunch

Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch
Written by Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 Posted in: A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self

A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self - Jemma Popcorn for Lunch

jemma popcorn for lunch polaroid

Dear Annoyingly Thin, Pre-Parent Me,

I want you to do something.

Right now.

Go sniff your sofa. Go on.

What does it smell like? Febreeze? Your favourite perfume? Maybe (worst case scenario) there’s still a faint smell of the macchiato you spilt the other week?

Drink in that unoffensive odour. Savour it. Soon your sofa will smell like sour milk and farts.

While we’re at it, peer into your laundry basket next time you’re passing. You can see right down to the bottom, can’t you? Take this image with you, it will be many, many years before you see it again.

I see you ironing the baby grows, deliberating over whether to paint the nursery Whimborne White or Dorset Cream, choosing a little teddy for your incoming bundle of joy.

Out of curiosity, did you know that babies can barely SEE for the first few weeks, never mind leap forth from your arms and contentedly amuse themselves playing with a teddy? YOU DO NOT NEED A TEDDY.

Ironing baby grows is also slightly ridiculous. You’ll soon develop an efficient system of having 16 baby grows in the wash while another 16 dry just to ensure there’s a clean one ready for the next shit-a-thon. There will be no ironing.

And please…don’t complain about being “uncomfortable” in the last few days of your pregnancy. You’re about to force an actual human out your foof – that’s substantially more “uncomfortable” in the grand scheme of things.

You think you know how life will be. You think life will be the same.

Life will never, ever be the same again.

The first few weeks with a new-born are tougher than anything you can fathom. They will push you to the very limits of your sanity and see you pull strength, resilience and the very last fragments of energy out of the furthermost pockets of your existence, pockets you didn’t know you had. Those early weeks will test you. They will test your marriage. There will be bickering and exhaustion and shock. In your lowest moments you’ll grieve the nice pleasant little life you had before this miniature-limbed dictator arrived and projectile vomited over the niceties.

But hold on.

Be kind to your husband. He’s trying. And struggling too. Struggling to know what his role is in this newfound mayhem. He wasn’t prepared either. Be kind and lean on each other as you stumble over the rocky, often obscured path of those early weeks.

Most importantly, don’t be so hard on yourself. Close the door to visitors, you owe them nothing and yourself and baby everything. Put on your dressing gown and plant yourself firmly on the sofa for the foreseeable. Lap up the excuse to do nothing. Take away all those expectations of “bouncing back” and “getting out and about” you’ve burdened yourself with and just survive.

Because after those early weeks, once the initial shock fades and you establish something that has the faint, pleasant-smelling whiff of routine to it, you’ll emerge out into the world, clutching a sodden breast pad and tub of Sudocrem in one hand and your beautiful baby in the other. Your hair will not be glossy nor your nails manicured. Your clothes bear dinner stains from two Fridays ago.

But you will finally know the purest, fiercest love there ever was.

Life will never, ever be the same again.

Because life is better.

Love Jemma xx

Tagged with: advice for stressed mums, advice forum for mums, family life, having a baby, mums health, pregnancy

Further Reading

A Beach Day with the Kids - Northern Ireland Style
Just for Fun

A Beach Day with the Kids - Northern Ireland Style

Created on: Monday, 07 August 2017 Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch
Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch

It's a BEAUTIFUL day. Temperatures are soaring into the early to mid-teens and you notice that it's just slightly overcast.  You’ve awoken mildly refreshed after a lovely 3-hour sleep.  'Wow!' you exclaim to the giant duvet covered...

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A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self - Angela McCann
A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self

A Letter to my Pre-Parent Self - Angela McCann

Created on: Wednesday, 29 August 2018 Angela McCann
Angela McCann

Dear Angela, I’m writing to you from beyond parenthood. You are fours years in and haven’t totally lost your marbles, so I thought it was time to share some of the things I’ve learned about myself, I mean you, well both really. I know...

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About the author:
Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch

Jemma is a lawyer turned Mummy and freelance writer.

Jemma at Popcorn for Lunch
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