When I was pregnant with my first child I lived in a world of candy floss clouds and rosy dreams.
Every mother I knew filled me with their stories of the joys of motherhood. How I would fall in love at first sight with my child, how I’d never want to leave my child’s side, how I would never experience another joy as bright as that of having a baby.
I was on cloud 9. I imagined my maternity leave, basking in the sunshine smiling on at my adorable little one as they gurgled and gaga’d, happy as a little pig in poop.
Ahhh, you should have heard the thump I made when I hit the ground hard after giving birth. I quickly fell from the dream clouds to that of the nightmare reality than can be motherhood.
I quickly realised that all the positivity my friends had filled me with was just a ploy to keep me happy and motivated through my pregnancy when my ankles had swollen to the size of watermelons and the baby was playing tug with my intestines.
Although I understand their motives for keeping me naive to the real side of parenting until I actually had to deal with it, I really would have preferred to be better equipped with the knowledge of what was ahead for me.
Parenting a new born may not have then come as much of a shock.
So this is the top 5 things I would advise to my old naive self:
*WARNING – if you are expecting your first child and want to stay in lala land please read no further*
- Love at first site
After you have been in labor for over 20 hours, your mentally and physically exhausted and can barely see straight in front of you, don’t be afraid when they place that little bundle covered in blood and what looks like horse sweat on you that your reaction is … OH!
Love at first site is the fairytale, in reality it can take a little longer to get to know and realise how much you love your little one. It’s just that not very many people admit to it.
2. The hell of the first night home
You dream of taking your little one home from the hospital during pregnancy. The first thing you do is pick out their coming home outfit and look at it for over 6 months of your pregnancy getting excited at how cute they will look in it.
While it is nice to get out of the hospital and look forward to sleeping in your own bed, you will be lucky you get to sleep at all as the night from Hell awaits you.
I’ve came to the conclusion that children, like dogs, like to mark their territory. Unlike dogs who spray their scent, babies surround, what was once a calm house, with the hellish screams of a pterodactyl throughout the night. You can almost hear ‘This is my house now bitch!’ through the screams.
Not to worry, in the morning they will quiet and sleep all day just to get ready for the next night. Which gets a little easier.
3. The feeding police
Bottle feeding, boob feeding, mixed feeding, expressing, there are so many variations of feeding your baby, but don’t get sucked into the feeding wars brought on by the breast feeding police.
So much guilt can be placed on a mother for either choosing not to breast feed or not being able to. It can be pretty damaging for the mental health.
All you need to remember is what ever your choice, if your baby is being feed and thriving, your doing the best job you can for them.
4. Its OK to cry
Mummyhood is hard! Some days, when you haven’t slept for the fifth day in a row, your B.O. is offending your nose, and your in the same pajama bottoms from last week, its OK to think ‘Why the fuck did I do this?!’.
Trust me every mom says this at least a few times a week, its just another thing that people don’t tend to admit.
Put on top that your vagina can now be used as a skipping rope and your considering buying adult diapers for your incontinence its OK to sit and have a little weep into your meal replacement chocolate hob nob. In fact its quite normal.
However if your finding that your having a lot more weepy days than good, it would be a good idea to talk to your health visitor or doctor.
5. It will get easier
or you just get used to it.
Either way your going to start feeling better.
It might take a few weeks a few months or a few years but you will get to a point where being a mother becomes a bit like second nature. You’ll fall in love with your mini screaming machine, you’ll start to get a little more than 20 mins of sleep each night, the crying will eventually die down and you will begin to enjoy those days looking after your child.
You just have to give each other time. Time to get to know one another, time to get used to your new role and time to develop your relationship.
And when that time comes you’ll look back at when your mini came into your world and wish to hell that you had enjoyed it that little bit more, because it all goes so bloody fast.