As a TV reporter turned mum turned life coach, Lucy Griffiths knows a thing or two about transferable skills (and puking in war zones)...
So you pee on the blue stick, and you think… OMFG I’m pregnant. You are overjoyed, ridiculously excited and a little scared. We’ve all had those thoughts: how will I cope? Will we have to move house? I’m not sure if I can handle this… We’ve all been there. We’ve felt the fear, and we are now wearing the maternity t-shirt. Well, I was until about an hour ago when it got covered in snot and vomit.
The first few months of babydom may feel like a blur of hormones and cuddles and tears, but you’ll soon realise managing life in the work place and cot are not dissimilar...
If you can multitask in the office (shop on Amazon on your phone while looking interested in a meeting), you can definitely multitask at home. My friend Charlotte will routinely change nappies while on the phone to clients. They'll never know. Well, until now.
You know when you’re on deadline, and you have to finish that report / presentation / piece of work… You faff a bit, you panic a bit, and then you get on with it. When your baby is screaming because they’re hungry, it’s the same… you just have to deliver and NOW!
Remember when you had that horrible boss that you kept working for – even when your parents and your friends begged you to quit? Having a toddler is pretty similar, says my friend Ruth: "Keeping going despite your toddler telling you that they hate you is like working for a boss that you know is never satisfied." And all that made-up corporate speak? You are now officially an expert in understanding toddler babble.
Having no lunchbreak is great practice for babydom. When you have babies sitting on your knee as you eat, you learn to inhale food.
Handling demanding clients is all the easier after dealing with a screaming baby with colic at 2AM. My friend Rae suggests visualisation to get you through: "Creating elaborate mind fantasies where you are on a yacht being hand fed peanuts by a replete Benedict Cumberbatch will get you through both situations."
THE MAN-CHILD BOSS
Remember that boss who wanted everything THEIR WAY from the coffee they drank to the presentation they wanted? How did you manage them? Think back to the ways that you would cajole, and upmanage them - having a baby is no different. You would: breathe deeply, stay calm, and speak in soothing tones.
I have a friend who’s boss was the bloke who was famous for driving fast cars on telly and being a bit of a... well, anyway; her tip for surviving the MAN-CHILD BOSS: "an intravenous drip of coffee and Chablis". Her tip for surviving parenthood: “milk, milk, rice cake, rice cake, milk, milk… and coffee, coffee, coffee for mum."
THE ALL-NIGHTER AT THE OFFICE
Having a baby is just the same. You might feel a bit rubbish and tired on occasion, but when you pull late nights in the office, you power through with a large vat of coffee. Having those disturbed night sleeps is just the same. Sometimes it just cuts out the faffing and the BS – you don’t have the patience for it, you just make a decision and go for it (and yes, OK, it doesn’t really matter if the decision is red or white wine, but choosing an olive green bathroom suite is possibly not the best move).
BEING HUNGOVER AND GOING TO WORK AFTER COMING IN AT 6AM
Remember those crazy nights? I did a few of those, and would slap on the red lipstick to look polished so no one would notice how rubbish I was. Having a baby is pretty similar… when you feel knackered, slap on a bright lipstick and people will notice the lipstick and not how tired you feel. And did I mention coffee?
GOING TO A YOGA CLASS AFTER WORK BECAUSE YOU FEEL BLAH
My friend Lisa recommends a yoga class to make yourself feel YOU again. "Baby yoga classes are my salvation when surviving on little sleep," she says. "I would check out the classes in my area, and I ended up going 3 times a week to keep me sane - and baby got to have a little play and watch people moving about. And when he got too big for baby yoga, we went to toddler yoga (you dump a load of toys in the studio, they crawl about and you do yoga). End of it, you feel sane, and little one has had a play."
Which is brilliant in most cases, except last time we went to toddler yoga we accidently infected everyone in the studio with Hand, Foot and Mouth… Yes, it was us. I’M SORRY.