A letter to my friend, who is a new mum
Put that bloody book down. You've texted me at 3am, delirious with lack of sleep, because your 12 day old baby doesn't follow the EASY routine of the Baby Whisperer. Hugely successful, you don't understand why your tiny newborn won't do as the book says, because for you, making things happen is easy. You can use a pivot table and present to 300 seniors from your firm. You can hold your own in the boardroom. You wear power heels and Reiss dresses and drink martinis. And now you feel podgy, soft and milky, tired and weepy, and you are desperately trying to be the boss.
Is it mean that I want to laugh?! That was me 3 years ago, trying to get my baby into a routine. Let me tell you something sweetheart - it didn't work then, but now I have two wee boys who go to bed, happy and warm, at 7pm each night. They don't always sleep through, but they are pretty good. And it's got fuck all to do with what I did on day 12.
Cos the only person who can look after that baby, that bundle of squished up pink, that noisy, wrinkled, wriggly little thing, is you. When he wants to sleep on you, it's YOU he wants, not the Baby Whisperer or Gina Ford. Hell, not even Mary Poppins is as appealing. He knows your heartbeat, you smell of milk, he knows your taste. You are warm and comfortable and home. Even your partner, desperate to give you a break for a shower, a pee and a hot drink, can't help, because right now, that baby craves you. So go with it, roll with it, because from such a young age they start walking away.
Put away the books. They have a use, but not just yet. Dig out the remote. Accept you will be sleeping with a tiny hot water bottle on your chest for a while. Oh my god enjoy it - it was only a year ago but I miss it. Not enough to have another baby, but enough to smile at your text and mutter about how lucky you are. That saying about youth being wasted on the young? That's nothing. Newborns are wasted on new mums, who spend too much time stressing, reading, googling. Just sit down, snuggle up, and soak it all in. And don't blink. Because you'll miss it.