Today I’m interviewing a young mum-to-be to find out what’s important to her at this special time.
Michelle, I know you are expecting your first baby soon. How does that feel?
Scary, nerve-racking and exhausting but very exciting. It’s a lot to prepare for in a short amount of time! Baby brain means I have the memory of a goldfish, so I’ve found writing lists helps keep me sane.
What sort of things are you doing to prepare for the arrival?
We’ve set up the nursery, which was fun, and we’ve also tried to organise everything we’ll need for the first couple of weeks. Our neighbours just had a baby and were running out at all hours of the night to pick up baby wipes, dishwashing detergent, toilet paper… Having these things ready ahead of time will hopefully mean more time with bub, less stress and more time for sleep!
My partner, Ben, will be sharing the workload for the first few weeks, so I’ve made sure he knows where everything goes and how all the appliances work! I’ve put labels in the drawers so when we’re putting things away it’s always in the same spot, and written a checklist for the nappy bag so we’re never caught short.
What do you still have to do?
Our last big task is packing the hospital bags. The hospital gave us a list of suggested items, but I’ve also found it helpful to ask new parents what they needed most when they delivered – earplugs was a big one!
We’re also cooking some easy meals for the freezer, so we don’t need to worry so much about cooking and cleaning dishes in the first couple of weeks, as well as getting the cat prepared for the transition by clipping her claws and keeping her away from the nursery when we’re not there.
Where are you finding the information you need?
We’re reading a couple of books about the stages of pregnancy so we know what’s happening now, as well as one about the first year of a baby’s life. I figure we won’t have much reading time once the baby gets here, so knowing the basics ahead of time will be handy!
The hospital ran a very helpful antenatal class which taught us about labour and delivery, as well as some newborn basics like how to swaddle and hold an infant. Huggies and BabyCenter.com.au send out weekly emails about the baby’s progress with pictures, which my partner finds fascinating! The Internet can be a great resource, but a very scary one as well. It’s important to make sure what you’re reading is from a trusted source, especially in regards to medical information.
What other resources are helpful?
My partner Ben has been very helpful and supportive. I’ve been on bedrest the last few weeks, and he’s helped pick up the slack, as well as run to the shops when I have crazy midnight cravings. Since I’ve been at home, I’ve found a lot of jobs around the house that we need done before the baby arrives, but he got very tired of me sending nagging text messages like “Wash the windows when you get home, please.” We had a chat and decided that a to-do list would be more helpful. That way neither of us had to remember an endless list of jobs, and Ben didn’t have to do the jobs the minute I thought of them, as long as they were done by the time the baby arrives.
My mum has also been very helpful, reminding me that not all advice has to be taken and that as long as the baby’s happy, healthy and I haven’t burned the house down, I can’t be doing a terrible job!
Thanks Michelle! I’m sure you will do a great job of mothering. And Happy Mothers Day. I wonder if the baby will enter the world before then?
In case you’re wondering, readers, Michelle is my daughter and I’m very excited to be becoming a grandmother very soon.