The Red Tent is an ancient tradition amongst nomadic cultures, where an actual red tent would be used as a retreat for women whilst they menstruated and for 40 days after birth. New mothers would not set foot outside the tent during this time and would see no-one other than their female companions.

We’ve mostly moved on from using a tent these days (camping in the garden mid-Jan just wasn’t a practical option), but in many cultures the tradition of new mothers to hide themselves away persists. My Bulgarian Grandmother begged me not to leave the house or allow any visitors for the first month of my Baby’s life. Parenthood is about getting to know your child, and what better way to do this than shielded from the distractions of the outside world?

It’s not just about getting to know your child though, it’s also about getting to know yourself and what motherhood means to you. It’s about trusting your own instincts above any advice, traditions or pleading Great Grandmothers. In the spirit of this, myself and my Daughter bust out of the Red Tent pretty sharpish. I just couldn’t wait to share her with the world and share the world with her.

So, I’m two months in and learning fast. Here are a few of my many discoveries..

– My Daughter has a cheeky sense of humour
This first expressed itself as per the oft repeated scenario below..

Baby: Ah Mummy, I note that you cleansed my posterier just now, and furnished me with some clean undergarments. Great work! I shall honour my newfound cleanliness with a celebratory poop. Huzzah!

Later on, as poops have become less frequent, we have graduated to the following game..

Scene.. Night-time, bedroom, parents asleep
Baby: Alas! I am hungry and in need of boob..
Me: [rubs eyes, and drags herself to sit up in bed]
Me: [stares confusedly at her peacefully sleeping baby]
Me: [gives up after a while and snuggles back under the duvet]
Baby: Ahahaha, I fooled you! What larks.. But seriously I really do need a feed, so if we could get this show on the road that would be great

(Yes, the internal monologue of all babies does indeed sound like Stewie from Family Guy)

– Mumsnet is a great resource for new Mums
Mumsnet gives you the chance to get answers to some of life’s essential parenting questions. Such as – What do you do if you have your baby in a sling and you need to pee? (Answer – Keep in situ and work around them. Mind their heads on the paper dispenser). Are onesies appropriate casualwear for the on-trend 0-3 month old? (Answer – Apparently so. Unless your baby has a front row seat at the Gucci babywear Spring / Summer collection. Then it may take some good accessories to pull off an Asda sleepsuit).

– Boob and poop are really fun words to say in silly voices
Motherhood is a great opportunity to move these words up the ranks of your conversational vocabulary. It is also hilarious to do voiceovers for your baby in an unspecified foreign accent. Especially when they are a bit drowsy post feed, and bearing a striking resemblance to a drunken old man. “aah, I was at the boob last night. Just the one I said, but then there were two of them (hic). I had a few too many boob..”

– From funbags to feeding stations..
It’s surprising how quickly your nipples stop feeling like private property. I am a relaxed breastfeeder, and will happily unleash the boob in all manner of public places, in front of work colleagues, anywhere really. I generally fare OK at keeping my modesty intact. Although a Mum friend recently had to point out (as I was sitting in a cafe, post feed) that my nipple was on full display. Perhaps I’m a little too relaxed.

– I prefer baking and crafts to housework
It’s just who I am. I’m sure a bit of dust is better for baby than breathing cleaning chemicals anyway.

– My life is alive, with the sound of music
We’ve all heard the saying “a face only a mother could love”. Well, I have a singing voice only my own baby could love. But luckily she does love it, and at two months old it’s one of the few things that can make her smile. This has turned my life into a musical. I find myself explaining what I happen to be doing in the kitchen to the tune of some popular hit. Although, as much as she humours my bastardised remixes of Beyonce or Bohemian Rhapsody, nothing beats a bit of “You are my sunshine”.

Bogling around your living room to dancehall reggae whilst holding your baby is also a great way to re-tone those abs.

– Life will never be the same again
The amount of love you can feel for someone you only just met is simply overwhelming.

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