When I had Poppy and Rob first went back to work, it was scary.
I’m lucky that my mum and in-laws are not only massively supportive but also retired so I can pretty much guarantee someone will be over in a flash if I need them.
(Like today when I woke up with food poisoning from yesterday’s all you can eat Chinese buffet.)
But I didn’t have any friends with babies. All my friends work, and they either don’t have children or their kids are older.
Yes parents are great at giving you sane advice having had children themselves.
Things like “don’t worry it’s normal”, “It gets easier”, “try not to panic about everything” and yes they have years of experience and using what I can only imagine is wizadry of some kind are able to get your three month old to sleep within moments of walking round singing the Dr Who theme tune.
But sometimes I don’t want that.
I didn’t want a fresh-faced grandparent with a wealth of wisdom in my hour of need.
I wanted an equally sleep-deprived, make-up-less, baby-sick covered, un-washed mum who hasn’t worn a wired bra for 8 months and doesn’t have a clue what they were doing either.
They say misery likes company, I’ve learnt there is also something comforting in texting your new found, first time mummy friend to find out they’ve had just as little sleep as you.
And do you want to pop round for a cuppa without worrying that your house hasn’t seen a hoover; other than to create some form of “white-noise” in a vain attempt to soothe your baby, in over six weeks. But it doesn’t matter, her house looks the same, she won’t judge.
I was so lucky to meet Holly so early on.
She was a friend of Rob’s at school and just by total coincidence happened to have a baby girl on the same day. Rob put is in touch and I’d say since the middle of April when we first met we’ve exchanged on average 15 texts/whatsapps/facebook messages per day.
In fact, I’m not sure what I would have done without her.
Looking back through all the hundreds of texts (I was going to today and will do at some point make a compendium post of the best bits) I laughed at how similar our conversations still are at times.
Mainly sleep - only now Cora sleeps like a dream and I still feel like a waking zombie.
Its amazing how two babies born on the same day can be so totally different in terms of personality and development and it reminds me that at those times - usually the wee hours of the morning - when I’m googling what is and isn’t normal for my baby that no expert or doctor or book can ever define what is and isn’t normal.
Poppy and Cora are both happy, healthy babies - Cora self-soothes and eats 3 meals plus pudding a day! Poppy still wakes 2-3 times a night and needs feeding to sleep. Neither of these is wrong or right.
So as I sit here typing at 11pm with Poppy clawing at the laptop wide awake and in mine and Rob’s bed while Cora has been snoozing peacefully since 7.30 not to rouse until 8am (no pang of jealousy at all cough, cough) I’m just glad we’re mates.
Contact me via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or my Twitter account @CescaNaylor.
Read Francesca’s previous blogs - click the links below
July: It’s not easy being a mum.
August : Rock a bye baby.
August: Life is on hold but that’s alright.
August: Guilty secret.
August: In two minds.
August: Weaning issues.
September: Don’t leave babies to cry.
October: Vacation baby.