I have three children now, and often head out to the park with my girlfriends who are having/have had their first and all I feel like doing is hugging them. The questions, the uncertainty, the look on their faces make me silently high five myself that I am past being a FTM.
I became a First Time Mother (FTM) way back in 2005 and despite the absolute excitement about meeting the little soul that was causing me to vomit excessively; I embodied the very true nature of a FTM.
Firstly, the copious amounts of things I bought were ridiculous. Here are a few items that make me cringe…
A shopping trolley protective cover
How many times did I go to a supermarket with my first baby? Once. He cried and I fussed over him and then I gave up and decided to pack him back in the car, except it took longer than I thought because I had to pack away the darn COVER.
A newborn automatic rocker/swing
In theory, this sounds brilliant. But it’s a trick because the baby does not want to swing 24/7. Trust me.
A Moses basket
A.K.A. a pretty looking waste of space item.
A Tummy tub
An expensive looking bucket that you bathe a newborn in. I could have used a sink.
FTM also have the ability to make a lot of crazy promises. Here are some of my famous one-liners that I uttered while under the illusion that I can control everything my baby does.
- “I will never give my baby a dummy!”
- “I will never let my child sleep with a teddy. Or suck their thumb!”
- “I will breastfeed easily because my baby will love it!”
- “Only educational, non-Disney commercial shows will be watched in my household!”
- “They will go to Montessori schools and learn the Latin names of plants!”
- “No Barbie’s for my girls!”
- “No toy guns for my boys!”
- “My child will aspire to a remarkable career!”
I met up with a good friend of mine (FTM) the other day and she had safety plugs in all her electricity sockets, could tell me her baby’s precise age (2 months and 5 days) and gave me her baby to hold only after inspecting my sanitary levels.
However, just like puberty, FTM is a rite of passage. It is something that must be experienced and triumphed over and I am here to break some truths for you. Eventually, my FTM friend, you will start realizing that the best gadgets do not necessarily make life easier, your baby fussing over feeds will not last forever (neither will teething), ignoring your toddler’s tantrum because you stopped pushing him/her on the swing (after 55 minutes of swinging) will strengthen your kid’s innate capability of learning that mum-is-boss and watching a reasonable amount of Dora the Explorer will not ruin your kid. In fact, it’ll buy you time for that laundry. Or to breathe.
So a shout out to First Time Mothers: hang in there, the time will pass and the anticipation, angst and embarrassment levels will soon drop. When your #2 child drops that tantrum in the mall, you will OWN THE GAME. Trust me.