Parenting is a tough gig.
For new mums especially, the first few months of parenthood are often spent in a wave of confusion, judgement and a whole lot of dirty nappies.
As such, most women turn to parenting books or good ol' trusty internet forums for advice on how to get through this challenging new period. But no one quite knows what to expect like mums who have survived it before (and even then, no one really knows what they're doing).
Watch: The Mamamia team confess times we were bad mums. Post continues below.
So, to help you get through this particularly messy, albeit rewarding period of your life, we asked the Mamamia community for the golden nuggets of wisdom they would give to first time mums.
Here's what they had to say:
1. "Everything that’s hard is only a phase and it too shall pass, so don’t get bogged down in a tough patch."
2. "Don’t be afraid to say no to visits while breastfeeding and bonding is being established."
3. "Trust your instincts. You're doing better than you think you are."
4. "Prioritise self-care and don't expect yourself to be the perfect mother and wife."
5. "Don’t be scared to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you are not an amazing mum!"
6. "Postpartum period isn’t just six weeks."
7. "You aren’t selfish for wanting to spend a week or two or more resting and bonding."
8. "You may not have that instant all-consuming 'love' for your child. That's not to say that you don't care for them just that it can take time to 'fall in love'."
9. "Trust yourself and go with what you feel is best. No one knows your baby like you do."
10. "Instead of having to be the one taking photos of everyone visiting your baby, get them to take a photo of you and your baby no matter how tired you think you look. You’ll look back and love the photos."
11. "Every baby is different, what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa."
12. "The days are long, but the years are short."
13. "I still don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing most of the time! But I gave my baby great cuddles, I’m present and I listen."
14. "Breastfeeding is tough, bloody tough. It’s like learning to ride a bike when you start. And when the wheels fall off it hurts like hell and it’s a hormone-induced emotional mess. But... when you finally get the hang of it and the training wheels come off, the feeling of achievement is huge and it’s incredibly rewarding."
15. "You can listen to other people's advice, but you DO NOT have to follow it."