Becoming a mum is a wonderful experience, you are bringing new life into the world and you get to watch that wonderful wee creature grow and learn.
But there are a lot of things no one tells you before you have kids. This is probably something to do with species preservation or something but I’mgoing to spill the beans.
Becoming a parent and being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. Why? Well there is the physical aspect, your body has to grow and sustain another life for around 9months.
But even after you have delivered your beautiful baby it is still hard, as a new mum you will find yourself worrying almost constantly if it is your first. If you are lucky you will get sleep in between the three hourly feeds, burps, and nappy changes. You will experience a new kind of tiredness one which you most likely have never experienced before.
The first few weeks of being a new mum my partner would say to me (in all his wisdom with Miss Six) it gets better, it gets easier trust me. When Little Man is awake at 3am after waking every half hour because he is teething I do wonder when exactly he was meaning. But when Little Man’s face lights up and he is eagerly reaching out for me as I walk through the door after a day at work all the hardness melts away.
There is more they don’t tell you about, hormones, I haven’t learnt are the most powerful and temperamental things to have ever exist. I have always been sensitive to hormonal changes, synthetic hormones included (a contraceptive pill gave me morning sickness) but I wasn’t expecting to be more of an emotional wreck after I had Little Man than I was when I was pregnant.
It can take up to a year for your hormones to sort themselves out after you have a baby longer if you are breast feeding. Little Man is almost 10 months, I breast fed for three months, and the easiest way to explain it is my body is completely unbalanced. I’m severely iron deficient, my emotions can go from ecstatic to depressed with the flick of a switch, I’m having full blown migraines on a monthly basis. Complete with visual effects, slurred speech, motor issues and the head ache. No one ever told me about all this, maybe I was naive in thinking that my baby would be born and after a few weeks or a month or two my unseen internal body would be back to normal. That it would just sort itself out.
I did miss health class at school on the grounds that I was in hospital and recovering at home after being clipped off my bicycle by a truck, even then I don’t think the birds and the bees went as far as to what to expect afterwards. I’d read the baby books but it all gets a bit vague.
What else is there?
Oh you will find yourself with an almost obsessed concern over your childs bowel movements. Asking your partner in the middle of dinner when your child last pooped becomes casual conversation, sniffing your childs bottom becomes an autonomous movemebt that you hardly realise you are doing until you notice you are in fact in the middle of a shopping mall and there is a teenager staring at you disgusted. Poop becomes the centre of everything.
On top of that you should know that no matter what you do someone will critique your parenting and make you feel like you aren’t doing a good job. These can be family, friends, aquaintances or complete strangers. Remember the true measure of your parenting is done by your child, are they happy, healthy and safe? yes? than you are doing a good job.
Another I have recently noted is that no matter what you do or how hard you try becoming a parent will affect your career. Unless of course you are a parent who puts their career before there child (I’m not saying it is a bad thing, it is a personal choice how you manage your time), there will be times where you have to drop everything for your child, there are certain trips, or opportunities that you will miss out on because you have a family.
As they grow certain things get easier, for one you actually get sleep. One thing never changes though and that is that you will always worry about them.
It is the hardest thing you will ever do, your child will challenge you, test you and really try your patience at times.
But it is the most wonderful, most rewarding, most amazing thing you could ever do with your life.