"Hi, I’m Naomi Price-Bates, I’m 27, a wife to Sam, mum to 16-month-old Myla and also a midwife in Cardiff.
Sam and I met in 2011, when I was a student midwife and Sam had just started his first teaching job. We were engaged 18 months later and married eight months after, in February 2014.
In autumn 2015, we were delighted to discover we were expecting Myla. She was born in May 2016, and our lives changed instantly.
"As I’m a midwife and Sam is a PE teacher, we’d assumed I’d be an expert at the baby stage and that Sam’s experience working with older children would be beneficial in years to come. He may still come into his own but how wrong I was! Caring for our own newborn felt so different from caring for the newborns at work, and those first few weeks proved a huge learning curve for us both."
Becoming parents is wonderful, but it is a huge life adjustment. The books can't tell you precisely what will work for your child - everything is trial and error, and it takes time to get to know them, and understand your own parenting beliefs. Nothing ever clicks into place at the same time: as soon as your child starts sleeping a little better, they may get fussy with their food or start hating the buggy.
In those challenging early days, we learned to do whatever helped to cope – for Sam that was going to the gym or for a run, for me it was getting some sleep. I learned it was okay to take myself upstairs and have some quiet time when visitors were there. You don’t have to entertain all the time. And I asked for help when relatives came around, and they were happy to feel useful and be a support.
We firmly believe parenting should not be about feeling the pressure to have a perfect child. It’s about embracing the rewarding moments – like dancing together in the kitchen or seeing them hug a relative or friend for the first time - and learning that you can't control everything.
I'm an advocate for slow living, enjoying the little things in life and not putting demands or pressure on our family to be a certain way. Myla is a happy little girl. She loves having her photograph taken and we are really lucky to live near a park so she goes every day.
"My ‘tip’ to new parents would be to communicate: with your partner, other parents, friends and colleagues, anyone. Talking things through always makes things better, whether it's a ranting session or a proud-mummy chat about new words your toddler can say. Sharing is the best way to support yourself and others. But don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Ignore that perfect-looking family on social media, just do what works for you and your family. Everything is back to front for the first few weeks, but it’s not forever and it always gets better."