Baby's First Christmas - The Realityby Emma Dowey
Your first-time parents and ah, it’s baby’s first Christmas. What could be more exciting? Well, today I’m giving you the truth. Sorry, Christmas with a baby is not all it’s cracked up to be. I had such high expectations for Christmas with our firstborn. I had images of us snuggling together, being one happy family. In reality, Christmas Day ended up more vomit day, with a trip to A&E thrown in for good measure! I had plans to get our little boy in bed by seven, then crack open a bottle of champagne while watching Downton. That idea was soon scuppered by a high temp and projectile vomiting.
The main point of this post is to pre-warn you. Go into Christmas expecting it to be amazing and you’ll be sadly disappointed. Plan for the worst and you may be pleasantly surprised. I put so much pressure on myself and my husband to have this amazing first Christmas that, when it didn’t go to plan, I ended up feeling miserable and sad. Here are a few things to be mindful of as you prepare for this magical time of year!
1. Plan ahead. Don’t leave all the Christmas or food shopping to the last minute. Shopping with a baby is never very relaxing.
2. Be sure to visit Santa. Just don’t expect it to be anything amazing. I expected it to be really magical. It was shit. And this is the photo I got. Shit.
3. Stockings. You’ll be given more “baby’s first Christmas” stockings than you can count. In fact, you’ll get tonnes of baby’s first Christmas crap. Teddies, socks, mittens, hats, cards. And off it goes to the charity shop in the New Year.
4. “Hand and foot print” gifts. Urgh, yes these are cute but argh what a pain in the ass getting them done. It’s a mess and the prints always smudge. Yep, you’ll so be done with hand and footprint stuff!
5. Christmas Eve is now a quiet night in. Sure, go out and get smashed like you used to during those kid-free Christmas days. But it’s just not worth it anymore!
6. Christmas lunch will not be relaxing. Cooking a turkey is stressful enough without having to coordinate nap times too. And then eating Christmas dinner is more like feeding your child while watching the rest of the family tuck on in. Fun times.
7. No more post-lunch slump. Nope. If the baby had a nap during dinner then they are most likely up and need a feed/change/entertaining. And if you have a toddler, expect tears and tantrums over presents pretty much the whole day.
8. Travel hell. Last but not least, travelling any time of the year with a baby can be super stressful. Add in Christmas traffic and drama to the mix and you’re asking for trouble. If you do have to travel over the festive period, plan ahead and think about places to stop to break the journey up. Basically, be prepared. The year our son was poorly, we then had to travel to see my parents. It was a three-hour trip and the temperatures were minus 11 outside. It was pretty stressful and looking back we probably should have just said no.
I hope I haven’t put a real dampener on your Christmas spirit! Of course, I really hope your first Christmas turns out better than mine. Just don’t go into expecting it to be amazing!