A breast pump. Without being able to express and store milk for the baby, a breastfeeding mother has no independence at all and, for me, it meant I could do some feeds, which helps you feel you’re sharing the load.


Outside of the obvious – disposable nappies and formula – I don’t think there were any “must have” products. Nowadays, iPads and iPhones provide much needed entertainment, especially during airport waits and flights. Also, in my opinion the educational value of these devices shouldn’t be underestimated. One thing that has been really valuable are life vests for babies/toddlers – we use Confidence brand. As most of our vacations and weekends involve either pool time or beach time, ensuring the children can play safely and independently in the water (with mum and dad close by, of course) is essential.

We were both very tired, but you just get on with it. It’s easier if you’re working – looking after a baby when you’re not sleeping well is a lot harder than sitting in an office when you’re not sleeping well! I always encourage Sarah to rest whenever possible. Taking the baby for an hour can really help if she’s worn out, particularly when you get in from work. You have to remember that she’s been in the trenches all day and likely has been looking forward to you coming home so she can share the load a bit. The worst thing you can do is be grumpy about walking through the door and being handed a baby, because, however long your day was, hers was longer. Although my wife took on the majority of night-time interruptions, we’ve been fortunate to have had babies that both got into a good sleep cycle very quickly, and we were able to get reasonable amounts of sleep ourselves. As I was working full-time at this point, whenever sleep was an issue, I think we just soldiered on and got on with the job – I can’t say I had any clear coping strategies in place. But I must admit I am still tired every morning to this day!


To be honest, I had no real hobbies to give up. It’s hard to maintain other interests when you have young kids, and you have to be prepared for that. It’s easier if you had no interests in the first place! If you do and you miss them, you just need to remember that it’s not forever; the early years are very demanding, but when the kids are a little bit older you’ll be able to return to any hobbies you had to pause.

Spontaneity for anything, be it dinner out, socialising with friends, or travel, has all gone now.

218 KIDS’ GUIDE2019

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