I know we just finished chatting about leaving the fourth trimester but I really wanted to make a post that to talk about the reality of the transition into parenthood & share some fourth trimester truths!
I know its different for everyone but from what I’ve heard/read we all find it a little tough. Plus we seem to put ourselves down for not doing enough pretty frequently so its nice to remind ourselves that these things are very real!
10 fourth trimester truths
1. You are doing a good job!
First things first you’re doing a wonderful job no matter if you think you’re not. Trust me we all have days where we think we aren’t cut out for this & that we are failing but those are just tough days.
This parenting malarky isn’t easy & there’s never enough time to prepare. We are thrown in the deep end & expected to make it work so there are going to be times when we think we’re doing things wrong.
I know this one is probably hard to believe especially on those really difficult days but take a look at your happy healthy baby (I hope it’s not crying right now) & take it in. That face, those tiny toes & those big beautiful eyes are here because of you.
Your little one thinks you are blooming amazing & so do I!
2. “Bouncing back” is bullshit
Lord almighty let’s talk about this bouncing back crap shall we… it doesn’t exist.
Be it your body, your brain or your routine its not just going to return to normal. It’s been through a crazy journey & it’ll take time to get back to your new normal.
Yes some mothers will look like they’ve miraculously returned to their pre baby bods but everyone is different & trust me they are still wobbly like the rest of us. Some mothers look like they’ve got their shit together & they are bossing this motherhood thing but I’m sure they are feeling just the same!
No matter what aspect of your life you were expecting to bounce back that hasn’t just know that’s no reflection on you. That’s a reflection on the fact you are keeping a baby alive on zero sleep.
3. Planning is no longer possible
Remember that wonderful routine you had before your bundle of joy came along…. it’s time to say goodbye.
Babies are unpredictable & well no matter how hard you try to organise your day they won’t go along with it. We’ve just got to come to terms with the fact that our babies now rule the roost & we’ve got to work around them.
They are bossy little monsters who will suddenly want to feed just as your leaving the house or do a giant poo just after you’ve got them dressed.
I think it’s just a plot they have to keep us tired & weak so they can take over….
4. Babies all develop at their own pace
This one really resonates with me because Jasper was 8 weeks premature so I was in a constant state of comparison. There’s nothing worse than scrolling on Insta wondering why someones baby is holding its head up when its 3 months yet your 4 month old isn’t.
Its a tough gig being a parent especially a new parent who is trying to work out what all these developmental leaps mean.
Trust me your baby will reach those targets in their own time. Some want to speed ahead & others are happy being tiny tots for a tad longer. If you are really worried about your babies development please get in touch with your health visitor so they can either reassure you or do the tests they need to!
5. Your baby isn’t bad or good
By now you’ve probably been asked a million times “is he a good sleeper?” or “is she a good feeder?” & honestly it grinds on me because they just make us question if our baby is good or bad.
Let me tell you now that your baby is perfect the way they are.
Some days Jasper is an angel & other days he’s the spawn of evil!
6. Looking after your baby is enough
This one I’m still learning even now because I am one of those people who need to be productive. I have this obsession with making lists & getting things done.
I’m working on it don’t you worry but I think it resonates with us all. We go from being able to achieve what we want when we want to having a baby who takes up all our time.
I think we have this pre perceived notion that we’ll have a lot of free time on our hands during maternity leave when in fact I’ve never felt busier.
Keeping Jasper happy, healthy & entertained is a full time job. Looking after your baby is more than enough.
There will be days when you can juggle more but there will be days when you’re a baby focused.
7. It’s okay to take a break
We all need a break from time to time. Parenting is tough & we shouldn’t feel guilty for needing me time. We need it to regroup & recover. Babies are tough & relentless so asking for help is normal.
If you have people willing to give you help that you trust then please never feel bad for choosing to let them have you baby for a few hours. You need that time to rest or do adult things or just to melt into the sofa with snacks & Netflix.
Parents need a break too!
8. It’s okay to not feel okay
Lord have I had days where I feel like I’m going to explode. My emotions can really go into overdrive & I just feel like melting into the ground. It’s tough as a new parent to admit actually you aren’t okay. Things are dandy, your baby is driving you mad & you just want to cry.
That’s parenting! We are learning & adjusting to parenting just as our baby is to the world so of course we are going to have bad days.
Just because some people make parenting look a breeze doesn’t mean it is for everyone. It’s okay not to be okay.
9. You aren’t alone in this
Okay I’m not the most social person but I have found my people. I’m very lucky to have Jacob’s family local who help with Jasper & I also have my family who visit regularly but I’ve also found a community of people who I can look to for support.
It might be mainly online but I appreciate them so much. I love sharing stories & seeing their baby grow alongside Jasper. I know they are there if I need advice or just a good chinwag.
I may have found my people now but at first I felt ridiculously alone. I think we all do at first but trust me you aren’t alone. There are tonnes of new parents experiencing similar things. You don’t have to put yourself out there a lot but I’m sure they are people you can relate to locally or online.
Go at your own pace but please know you may feel lonely but your not alone!
10. You know best!
It turns out when you get pregnant you are bombarded with advice from everyone around you. When you finally have your baby it gets worse. Everyone is an expert; even childless people!
As you can tell it drives me mad especially unsolicited advice because it can really be detrimental to your mental health. I have been made to feel crap by family, strangers & even health professionals but guess what.. You know best!
Yes that’s right you are your babies expert. You know them best & no matter what people tell you its up to you to make the decision for them.
I’m more than happy to ask for advice & take it on board but I also know what works for my son.
Don’t let anyone bully you into their way of things.
So if you’re a new parent…
Sharing my fourth trimester truths is my way of saying that you’re doing a fab job even if you feel like your not. The fourth trimester is just as much about us learning how to parent as it is for your baby to discover the world. We are all doing our best & sometimes it doesn’t feel enough but it is. I promise it does get easier; even if its just a little easier!
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