Very Excellent Habits

5 Things I Want To Tell Meghan Markle Before She Has Her Baby

This post is sponsored by the new Macro Certified Organic Brewers Yeast Cookies

Hey Meghan! I’m Carly. A writer and blogger from Australia. I’m not exactly what you’d call a Royalist but I tap in and out of your business whenever something particularly interesting happens. Like when you first started dating Harry, your wedding (although admittedly I only tuned in once I saw Idris Elba was a guest) and now the impending arrival of your wee little Lord/Lady.

I’m not really down with giving parenting advice, mainly because all pregnancies/births/babies are so different. However there are a few things I’ve learned that may just help you.

On that note, dear Meghan, I’ve teamed up with Woolworths to bring you a few things you should know about motherhood.

1. Trust your intuition… for real

So many people told me to do this before I had my daughter and I found it really irritating. I’m a science gal. I need to see solid research, a peer reviewed paper and top tips from a qualified expert before I make decisions in my everyday life and I assumed I’d be the same as a parent. I wouldn’t just listen to the engine of my car and diagnose what the problem is. I’d ask a mechanic. So when it came to raising my kid, I figured I’d just find someone with lots of child raising experience who’s run several controlled tests of different methodologies and listen to what they said. Why would I trust my instincts? It was literally the first time I was going to have a stab at this whole child raising thing. What the hell did I know?

As it turns out, I know a lot. I know the difference between my girl’s hysterical cry and her ‘I’m just being a pork chop’ cry. I know when she starts yelling at me at 8.35am she’s ready for her morning nap and she doesn’t give a crap about whatever popular sleep expert told me to keep her awake until 9am. I know she doesn’t like being held like a baby anymore and prefers to be propped up over my shoulder so she can suck her thumb and watch the world go by.

Read the books, take the advice, try sleep training/child led weaning/demand feeding/whatever. Do it all. You’ll know what works and what doesn’t and you’ll know not to be afraid to back off or change direction when it’s not working. Also, DON’T read the books, take the advice, try sleep training/child led weaning/demand feeding/whatever. If it’s not you and your baby’s cup of tea, you’ll know.

Also, don’t listen to any royal advisors or whatever you have in the palace. They don’t know you or Lord Edward/Lady Evelyn. Actually, you’re a celebrity. Does a strong Hollywood lineage trump the royal tradition of Ye Olde British names? Or is there a potential Lord Moon/Lady Banana Hammock on the cards? Watch this space.

2. Leave the house… for the love of god LEAVE THE HOUSE

Okay so you’ll probably be forced to leave the house because of the whole serving the people thing but if you find yourself pacing around the halls of Balmoral with a screaming baby, pop on your Burberry trench coat, borrow a few corgis (dorgis) from the Queen and get the hell outside.

Fresh air and sunlight can fix the worst of newborn days. And unlike me, you won’t have your baby in the height of Australian summer so you won’t have to wait until 11pm for the temperature to get below 40 degrees so you can safely take your kid outside without frying her in the pram. Do watch out for the paparazzi though. Sneaky buggers.

3. Look after yourself

You’ll certainly have this covered in the form of nannys/trainers/therapists/fancy lady part doctors but you are under a lot of pressure so make sure you take some time out for yourself when you can.

The thing is, when you’re a mum, nothing is really your own any more. Your time, your body, your sanity – it all belongs to this tiny little creature. It makes you strangely selfish about other stuff. I’ve never been weird about sharing food, in fact I really like it but since having a baby I really like things that are just mine. For example I bought icy poles in summer when bub was a few days old to have as a midnight treat. When Mr Smaggle offered one to a guest one day I was kind of annoyed. I had to bite my tongue from saying ‘Is nothing sacred anymore?’

When I saw the new Macro Certified Organic Brewers Yeast Cookies in Woolies (because I wasn’t patient enough for them to send me some for this blog post) I was thrilled to discover they say ‘Just for mum’ on the packet. I stood there in the Health Foods aisle clutching them in my hands whispering ‘For me? They’re just for me?’ as a tear slid down my cheek. Okay so that didn’t happen but there’s something extremely satisfying about having a snack that literally says ‘Just for mum’ on the packet.

I actually had a mate of mine to make some brewers yeast cookies for me but she never got around to it and when I looked up how to make them myself my eyes glazed right over. Any baking that’s more complicated than adding milk and stirring is going to have to wait until my brain cells start talking to each other again. Thankfully, you can buy these pre-made ones at Woolies. The new Macro Certified Organic Brewers Yeast Cookies come in two flavours; Oats and Honey and Buckwheat and Cacao (def get both, I can’t decide which ones are the best). They are the perfect little afternoon/midnight/2am/morning treat. They have brewers yeast (obviously) and they are also Certified Organic, high in iron and fibre and the packet even says these are ‘just for Mum’. Bwah ha ha ha!

4. Try to be /parent at the exact same time as one of your closest friends – May I suggest Amy Schumer?

I only suggest Amy Schumer because I know she’s pregnant at the same time as you, but I’m sure you’ll get along like a house on fire. I’ll grab her number for you.

So obviously it is kind of hard to arrange an exact pregnancy timing match with one of your mates but if it happens accidentally (like it did with one of my best mates and myself) it’s the best thing that will ever happen. My mate Nina was ten days behind me in her pregnancy and now has a son who is ten days younger than Harri. Needless to we’ve texted each other about 20 times a day for the last year. My phone has this feature where it suggests something it thinks I might like to do based on things I often do. For it will offer me directions to the cafe I go to every morning or show me a new episode of a podcast I listen to every week. Most days when I pick up my phone in the morning it says ‘Text Nina?’ which is usually the reason I was picking up my phone in the first place. Well done iPhone. You got me.

Anyway, try to find someone who is at the same place in the parenting journey as you. My best mate has a toddler and is currently pregnant and we’re weirdly useless to each other. Pregnancy is a distant memory for me and by the time she has a newborn Harri will be six months old and a completely different beast. Join your local mother’s group or find some mates that are in the same place and time as you. It’s totally saving my bacon being able to text a friend with a kid the same age and realise HER kid is being just as weird as mine at the same time.

5. It’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you

I overheard a woman at an infant swimming class saying ‘She has an 8 month old that STILL wakes several times every night for a cuddle. She NEEDS to do sleep training.’

No. She doesn’t. She might not mind waking up to settle her baby in the night. She may not be ready to try to wean that habit. Her baby might have other issues that prevent him having a good night’s sleep.

The point is, it’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you. No one else’s opinions on dummies, starting solids, teething, rocking your baby to sleep or anything else matters at all. I’ve turned myself inside out trying to fix ‘problems’ I didn’t actually care about. When I saw Harriet starting to suck her thumb I freaked out trying to figure out how to stop her from doing it and you know what? I don’t care if she sucks her thumb. I sucked my thumb till I was eight years old and I’m fine. No biggie.

Also Megs, if you have girlfriends asking what they can buy you for your baby, send them to Australia for some essentials. Bonds Wondersuits and a few packets of Macro Certified Organic Brewers Yeast Cookies and you’re sorted.

What advice would you give Megs before the arrival of her baby?

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