Promising to be ‘the only guide to tell it like it really is’, and hailed by Mother and Baby magazine as ‘down to earth’ and ‘everything a mum-to-be needs’, this gritty, irreverent and at times really quite funny manual gives the honest, rather than the sugar-coated truth about pregnancy and birth.
Well, hey, I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’ve got the (blood-stained) t-shirt.
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Here’s an excerpt from the book.
COPING STRATEGIES FOR THE FINAL STRAIT
You really don’t need to paint the skirting boards. I say that because, in actual fact, I DID paint all the skirting boards in our house whilst on maternity leave with my first baby. And I’m still not sure why. So, with the benefit of hindsight, could I insist you resist the urge, if possible, to take on any major DIY or cleaning projects in the run-up to your baby’s birth. Lots of women get a surge of energy in late pregnancy and feel compelled to remove dust from unseen corners and get a new coat of paint on the skirting boards as they await their baby’s arrival, usually put down to the so-called ‘nesting’ instinct, but quite often because they’re simply bored out of their minds during maternity leave.
Whether or not it’s a real biological imperative, there’s no doubt that it’s tempting to try and get the house in order, because you won’t have a chance once junior’s your main priority. However, the real truth of it is that your baby won’t actually give a toss what his immediate environment’s like and, as you’ll have more important stuff to worry about and really do need to conserve every ounce of energy you’ve got for the physical challenges ahead, you’d do well to take the same attitude.
For fairly obvious hygiene reasons, a clean(ish) kitchen is a good idea (especially if you’re bottlefeeding), and it’s useful to clear all floor surfaces of any tripping hazards. But really, major renovations and decorations during pregnancy are a waste of time: unless it’s fulfilling a genuine need to entertain yourself, you’d be better off spending the last few months resting and savouring your remaining child-free moments. It’s true you won’t have much time to sort the house out after the birth, but then again, once your baby grows into a toddler, there’ll be even less point, since he will wrecked in any case.
As for the nursery, make it look beautiful if it pleases you to do so. But otherwise, content yourself in the knowledge that your baby will probably be in with you for a while and, even once you’ve moved them into their own room, many years will pass before he or she takes any interest in interior design (if at all).