First thing first: you will NEVER be as tired as you are with your first newborn. The good news it that they WILL eventually start sleeping, and so will you.
It’s not over once baby is out. You still have to pop out the placenta. And the contractions keep on coming. After-birth contractions are PAINFUL, constant and get worse with each baby. But by day 3 they will be a thing of the past. Massaging your tummy and a hot water bottle really help.
When you breastfeed for the first time it can be pretty different to how you expect. It might not come naturally, be painful or make you feel icky, but honestly not everyone does it like a pro first time – in fact, nearly all of us suffer in the beginning. The trick is to just get your boob in their mouth anyway you can and aim for your whole nipple to be in there. It hurts like a b**** those first few days but there are things you can do to help with the pain. Cabbage leaves for engorgement, soaking nipples in warm water with a little salt if you’re bleeding, lanolin creams (or even olive oil), and nipple shields are a godsend!
When your milk comes in around day 3 or 4, your boobs will swell up to become ginormous, achey rocks and EVERYTHING will get covered in milk. You may even get flu-like symptoms. Don’t panic! Everything will calm down soon (but if it doesn’t check with your doctor or midwife).
Babies love to be with their mummy especially in those first few weeks. Although it feels like you might never get a break I repeat to you that IT DOES GET BETTER!
When you leave the house, bubs will really enjoy emptying his/her bowel. Over everything. And then again. Take a few extra outfits just in case!
When you breastfeed in public it can feel like everyone is watching but trust me, they really aren’t. Just tune out, focus on baby and do what you have to do. Bubs will probably choke, vomit and you may squirt everywhere in a few directions but hey – at least they’re not crying!
When bubs does cry nothing soothes them like cuddles and booby. Seriously, you will never spend so much time sitting down, laying down or even standing up, with your knockers out. Just remember to pop them back in when the doorbell rings.
You will find yourself eagerly analysing bubs’ poop. The colour, consistency, the smell … Oh my gosh why is it green today? What is THAT?! And what on earth does diarrhea look like in a breastfed baby??? So many questions …
Feeding time. What is the point of spending all of my valuable time preparing deliciously runny baby food concoctions if they just refuse the spoon, spit it out or play with it? Like seriously!
You’ve just given baby a lovely (not)relaxing bath. They are now all snuggly and clean in their pj’s. It’s looking good for bedtime. And then the explosion happens. I don’t quite know how something so small and innocent looking can unleash so much poo that it ends up in their HAIR! How does that happen?!
You will eagerly devour mummy blogs, What To Expect books, buy everything the magazine tells you to buy, sing songs to your tummy etc while waiting for your firstborn. Then you will delight in reading your newborn endless stories they are not the slightest bit interested in and probably take too many photos. With your second all of that is a thing of the past. Dirty old hand-me-downs and a couple of snaps will suffice!
You will eagerly fill in the first bits of the Baby Record Book. And then you stop. Who has time to remember to write in it when all they do is CRY?!
Showering becomes a few quick minutes while they watch you from the bouncer chair.
Everyone will love to look at your baby. Touch your baby. Tell you that baby is cold. Or that something is wrong. Get ready to adopt ninja abilities because people will try to randomly take your child from your arms or pushchair.
People have no idea how much time or effort it takes to get baby to go to sleep, hence why they think nothing of waking your baby up once they are FINALLY asleep!
Gone are the days of lunchtime banquets and four course dinners. Lunch is a quick spaghetti bolognese. Every day. Spice it up with different pasta shapes. IF you have the energy, that is.
Your child is a loving, delightful angel it really is true … until the day they start at kindergarten. Yep, those days are long gone.
You think a 2 year old can have a tantrum? Wait until they turn 3! Literally everything you say they will either disagree with, cry over or not want. Henceforth you become a jedi knight, mastering the art of suggestion, until it reaches bedtime, when all hell breaks loose. EMILIO NO MORE IT’S BEDTIME I’M NOT TELLING YOU AGAIN!!!
If you’re pregnant and reading this, I bet you are stressing about the birth and you haven’t even THOUGHT about feeding solids or potty training yet. Well you should! Birth is a piece of pie compared to the sheer stress and panic that these two things cause. Good luck and get ready to learn a whole lot of stuff about your child’s sphincter!
Your toddler WILL amaze you every single day (especially when asleep and inert). It’s just miraculous how they soak everything up like a little sponge. They will amaze you with their stories. Their imaginative games. Their songs. Their ability to remember whole passages from books by heart. And their ability to instinctively know that the F-word is naughty and that they shouldn’t mention it in company, right Emilio? Oh wait ….
We have a saying in NZ and OZ about things being “shits and giggles”. Life with your children really is a series of alternations between the two. But pooz you can just wipe up and forget about (maybe soak and scrub a bit first) and as for giggles, there really is NOTHING that will prepare you for your baby’s first laugh which is literally like a burst of sunshine. And that is honestly how life will be from now on: a bit shitty at times with bursts of pure happiness. NOTHING will prepare you for the love you will feel for your children whether they are first-born, second-born or number 5 (or even higher!). It is true when they say that once a mother, always a mother and it really is worth every stinky, sticky and wet moment 🙂
“Queueing” is a national pastime that is predominately enjoyed anywhere you may need to go to when you have limited time.
When you pay for a service it must be understood that they are doing you a favor, and not the other way around. If a mistake is made, you should apologize profusely and accept all blame (as well as any consequences).
When you eat out, never ask to separate the check.
Taxista’s will always ask you “te acostumbras?”
There are four staples in the Chilean diet: avocado, table salt, olive oil and mayonnaise.
Lunch is dinner, dinner is breakfast, and breakfast is breakfast. That means you will learn to eat alot of bread.
Cakes are not saved for special occasions but are often provided for once.
A “Fuente de Soda” that advertises that it sells pizza is telling you a lie. If by some wierd chance it does, it will be ham and cheese.
Beware the one olive that can be found in most Chilean dishes. Also the random hard-boiled egg.
Always eat your meal/pizza/chips with a knife, fork and serviette.
No bodily function should ever be made in public, be that a yawn/cough/sigh/burp or (heaven forbid) a fart.
Your first visit to a regular Chilean supermarket may make you cry. Especially when you come to the endless aisles of milk in boxes. Sitting on the shelf.
Your kitchen will soon begin to overflow with plastic bags.
Everyone who works in a service-related job makes peanuts and thus expects a tip.
If you have blonde hair, you will likely get stared/tooted at.
If you go anywhere with a man, expect everyone to talk to him instead of you (even if you ask them a question).
Do not expect people to speak English. Even though they know all the words to Taylor Swift and Metallica, and Providencia looks like suburb of Sydney, you are still in Chile!
Always remember to get your fruit and vegetables labelled with their weight and barcode BEFORE you get to the checkout!
Expect everyone to assume that you are from the United States
Do not be taken aback if Chileans refer to themselves as Americans.
Expect buskers on all forms of public transport
Expect said buskers to be extraordinarily amazing (like all Chilean musicians)
Not all pebres are created equal.
Avoid sharing political views
Never travel on public transport with a pushchair between 5-8pm on a weekday
Not all Chileans can dance
Expect to know a teatowel like never before (practicing cueca before 18 September)
Dogs have right of way on footpaths
Expect to visit the doctor more than ever before
Do not assume the metro will be push-chair/disabled-access friendly.
People will assume that you are rich, because you are foreign
You will be expected to have a good job based solely upon your English-language skills. If you break the mold and tell them you do not, they will be flabbergasted and express pain on your behalf
No-one will ever have change for 10,000 peso note. You have 20,000? Hahahahaha!
Everyone has a nana. Sometimes even the nana has a nana.
Beware the word caliente.
Never ever use the word “stupid” when conversing with a Chilean
Don’t ask to take off your shoes when you enter a house – they don’t expect it
Expect shock if you admit you don’t use shoes inside in your house.
You can go to a store and buy a singleslice of cheese
Your hair will never be “normal” when using Santiago showers
If you use heels and don’t work in an office/live in the east, they will hear you in Valpo – no-one wears heels!
Every single person on a metro trip will be using their cell phone
Dogs wear clothes
If it rains, expect chaos.
If you have a television, expect endless news and weather reports
If you find a good hairdresser, guard that information with your life (and share on English Speaking Mums!)
Patronato is not the cheapest place to buy clothes.
Chinese food is considered the ultimate in exotic cuisine.
Strikes and protests are a daily occurence. I wish you speed, dear reader, if you must travel home during one.
Parks and playgrounds make wonderful places to make out with your partner, smoke and enjoy illegal substances.
And a few more based on comments:
Dresses are not required for a night out in Bellavista
Nescafe counts as real coffee
A temblor is not a cause for alarm (rather it makes a nice way to fall asleep)
Tea is served without milk with the bag left in
Expect a paradise for cheap fruit, vegetables and flowers!
Eating out is a wallet workout
If you don’t like heights, skip Costanera Centre
Do cross the road when there are cars turning because they will always give way …
… but do not expect anyone to stop for you at a zebra crossing!
There are only three types of cakes: Manjar, Tres Leches, & Pie de Limon
About to walk into someone? Always pass to the right
Flipflops/thongs are only acceptable during the heat of summer
English “chavs” will fit right in
The best accompaniment to salad is lemon and salt
Salads are never mixed and especially never with cheese!
You will be asked for your RUT everywhere you go
Do not flush toilet paper down the loo!
Blog image kindly reproduced by Hoda Madi: https://www.facebook.com/Hoda-Madi-Artist-172734743080409/?fref=ts