parents

The things we wish we had known and your chance to be in a Mamamia video ...

Mamamia Publishing’s Bec Sparrow

I cried. That’s what I remember. When they handed me my daughter Ava for the first time I remember looking into her pink, scrunched up, anguished face –  her beautiful, beautiful face – and  I cried. Cried because I was flooded with happiness and it couldn’t help but leak from my eyes and splash down my cheeks as I stared in wonder at this divine little creature who was mine.  It was the happiest I had ever been. That’s what I remember.

Fastforward six weeks and I was crying again. But this time it wasn’t quite such a tender scene. For starters, we were in Coles.  In the cereal aisle. Or was it the baby aisle?  It’s a blur to me, even now.

Wherever I was in Coles that day, I had a  wailing baby strapped to my chest in a sling and we were both crying big heavy tears because neither of us had slept. For weeks. My beautiful baby girl had reflux – not that I knew it then. All I knew was that I had a baby who wailed day. And night. All night. And it was slowly killing me. At least that’s what it felt like.

And there you have it.  The yin and the yang. The bitter and the sweet of motherhood.

This video on what mothers wish they’d known earlier is one of  the most watched Mamamia videos of all time.


I cry every  single time I watch it.  The line, “Millions of parents survive sleep deprivation” always gets me. Because, Lord knows when you’re up at 1am and 2.17am and again at 2.48am — it feels like it will kill you.  The darkness of night stretches on forever. Whether your baby is eight weeks, eight months or eighteen months, it’s a very, very lonely time and you often feel like you’re the only mother in the world who has a baby who just won’t sleep.

But knowing that sleep deprivation happens to millions of parents (and that you WILL survive it!) is just one of the things I wish I’d known earlier.  Here are some of the other things I wish I’d known  …

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Babies have supersonic hearing. They can always hear you. Even when you’re walking barefoot. On carpet.

AND

One day you will say the words, “Mummy needs to do a wee”. Out loud. In public.

AND

Nobody went to jail for serving fish fingers for dinner.

I’m joking. Okay, not really … So what’s the one thing I really wish I’d known before I became a mum?  It’s this:

It’s okay to ask for help.

Because it is. There are no prizes for doing it alone. No gold star. No elephant stamps. If people offer to make you a dinner or babysit or do a load of washing for you – accept it.

In conjunction with the upcoming launch of Mamamia Publishing’s first ebook,”The Gift of Sleep: the 3-day program that teaches your baby to self-settle”  by Publisher Mia Freedman’s own Sleep Whisperer, Elizabeth Sloane, we’re making our own Australian “Reflections on Motherhood’ video.  And we want Mamamia readers to appear in it!  Email us your favourite photo of you and your child (doesn’t matter what age they are!) and we’ll try to include it in the video.  Keep in mind the video will be available to watch on Mamamia and the Gift of Sleep website when it’s launched. Email your photo to [email protected]

So come on … what do you wish you’d known before you became a mum? And email us your favourite mother & child pic!

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