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Starting out your journey as a parent can be so daunting and lets face it, a little overwhelming. Whether you are in pregnancy, pre pregnancy or adopting, the journey ahead is exciting but any step towards the unknown brings different feelings out for different people which sometimes catch you off guard. The prospect of labour can make even the most together of people go weak at the knees, although by late pregnancy, you sort of have to get your head around the fact that this baby has to come out somehow! Ouch! From the day you found out you were pregnant or starting your adoption process, you begin a journey of research, hunting for information about every little thing that may come your way. My biggest advice would be to take each bit of what you read on Google with a pinch of salt, back away from the internet and find another trusted mother, father or grandparent to ask!
The most vital information for me has without a doubt come from friends and family. One of my closest friends and the Mother to my Godchildren has an approach to parenting that I really admire, and I know she has the experience to help to guide me through most situations. Similarly, one of my wonderful cousins put a care package together for me and gave it to me in the weeks before my first little one arrived. This has by far been the most useful present anyone could have given me. From breast pads to teething powder, Infacol to saline spray, every useful product gathered together in a compact little box complete with a gift tag detailing what each product is for and how to use it. By week 3 after our eldest arrived, I'd raided most of them and could not have been more grateful. In the industry I work in, it can be very difficult to balance work and home life a couple of my colleagues have been so full of how to maintain a healthy balance that enables our life to be as easy as it possibly can be with 2 children under 2. The list goes on and I have called upon my Super-Mum clan at every occasion. I know that they would always give the best advice for me because they have both the experience and care to know what is in my interest.
In turn, I try to be active in helping to share advice, tips and hacks to help to make friends, family and colleagues who are soon to be parents at ease and feel like they can ask. I say new parents, I mean anyone that I can share advice and information to make life easier from the experience I have thus far. The other good thing about sharing information is that it keep us all talking. That in itself can feel like free therapy and having an outlet to vent ESPECIALLY in times of lockdown when the smallest things can feel like much bigger problems.
Baby clothes are also a sharing premium. A neighbour who's daughter is a few months older than our little lady passed us a bin bag full of beautiful clothing that was new and some still had the tags on! Most babies move on very quickly from their wardrobes due to sizing, growth spurts and changes in season so it only seems right to pass on to the younger ones. Even after wearing some of it, there was still plenty of unworn garments that has now been passed to another couple of neighbours, along with the silent nod that means "I've got your back". 
Share information, share clothing and share your time to make memories with those who want to share them with you. Make time to ask your friends, no matter how far along their own life journeys they are, how they are doing. Just a quick message to say hello can brighten any day and remind them that you are only on the other end of a phone / email / text message. 
The Monton Mama

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