Things they don't tell you


When you announce you want a baby, are trying for a baby or are pregnant with a baby everyone has advice for you. 'Don't use these nappies' 'Only use this cream' 'Bath them everyday' 'Don't bath them everyday' 'Use Cow and Gate formula but only until the third full moon after their birth if it is on a Friday'... Yeh it does get that ridiculous.

My whole pregnancy I was given lovely advice and comments, and some not so lovely advice and comments. But now I find myself as an actual mum I've found that people left out a lot of the harsh realities of being a parent. I am by no means a pro or vastly experienced, but in the few months I have actually been a parent I've discovered a fair amount of truths that no one tells you but nearly everyone experiences. I have compiled a list of the 'things no one tells you' for other mums who will be searching, hoping they find someone who has experienced the same as them in order to not feel so alone and crazy.

  1. You secretly feel ungrateful. 
    Everyone and their dog want's to come round to your house and visit your new bundle of joy, and while that is so lovely and exciting to show off your new ray of sunshine, it's also a huge nightmare. You're told to sleep when the baby sleeps, but you can't because your entertaining guests. You're told to relax and take it easy, but you need to 'super-clean' the house before they all arrive. You're supposed to leave them alone to self soothe but they end up being passed around like a hot potato and you feel horrendous! Horrendous for feeling resentment at all these fabulous family and friends wanting to share your joy and celebrate your happiness. I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I've heard from a lot of people that its completely common to feel this overwhelming wave of ungratefulness because you just want a day to yourself. 
  2. You're obsessed with bottles and bowel movements.
    Whether it's reading up on sterilization vs hand washing, or phoning your health visitor every day because you haven't seen a poop we all become obsessed. It's normal. We're getting used to their routine just as much as they are, my girl goes days without a dirty nappy and I begin diagnosing her with IBS or Hirschsprung's disease. Obviously sterilizing ensures the bottles are germ free, but while Aria was in hospital they never sterilized them just washed with hot soapy water. As soon as I got home I was dedicated to sterilizing, but after a few weeks I found it easier to wash them by myself ensuring they were spotless, then rinse them out with boiling water just to ensure they're clean. 
  3. You fight. 
    This is one I wish someone told me. You have a literal hatred for your other half. Both of you. It might be the lack of sleep, the differences in opinion or again those splendid hormones but you will fight. A lot. Nothing serious (hopefully) and it is all better after a 30 minute sulk and a sorry hug, but serious brace yourself for arguments galore. 
  4. You're tired.
    Not physically from the lack of sleep (although that as well) but mentally from worrying. You worry about feeding, if they've taken enough. You worry about the snuffles they make if that means they have a cold. You worry about their breathing, crying, routine. Any spots on their skin, any patches of hair missing, any dry or flaky bits or milk spots. Absolutely everything causes you to worry and it drains your brain, you think baby brain will stop after birth but it's worse than ever! 
  5. You're lonely.
    When your partner goes back to work and it is just you and the baby you expect it to be great. Finally peace and quiet, the visitors have trailed off and you can actually rest and begin to normalize your life. And that is right it is lovely to finally be alone. But then you realize you're alone. Like seriously alone. I know you'll read this and be like 'duh that's what you wanted' but I became aware of the fact that I hadn't heard anyone's voice yesterday until Connor came home at 6pm. I hadn't had an actual conversation that whole day, apart from my random chatterings to Aria which obviously she doesn't respond to. 
  6. You hibernate for winter. 
    Now this one might be specific to babies born in winter, or premature, or (like Aria) premature and born in winter. But I have developed such a crippling anxiety of taking her out of the house in case she gets sick. The nurses have told me I can't prevent her getting ill, if she's going to get ill she's going to get ill and I just have to accept it. However in saying that, keeping her in, nice and cosy warm, will at least ease my worry if not anything else. 
  7. You hate yourself. 
    Now hate might be a strong word but I've read a lot that this is a common feeling for many mums out there. Regardless of if you went full term, went early, had natural birth, stitches, c section, whatever your case may be, and whether you admit it or not, you go through a feeling of self loathing. Your boobs are bigger, full and sore, your stomach is nowhere near what it was, you have stretchmarks, lumps and bumps in places you never had lumps and bumps before and you can't really imagine getting a pre-pregnancy body back. I can say, the weigh comes off quite easily, especially if your breast feeding or expressing. But as for the stitches and scars they take a while for you to see them as your war wounds to be proud of. I'm still waiting to see mine that way. 
  8. Baby blues.
    Baby blues are a completely normal part of post labour recovery. However, in the case of having a sick or early baby that is obviously amplified and I don't know if this feeling is common but I do know of others who've experienced it. Sometimes I will look at Aria and in the midst of the awe and love I'm feeling, a little niggling upset creeps in. The upset comes from the fact that although she is fully dependent upon me still, she doesn't need me as much as she did when she was inside. Obviously. But it is hard to see that she is suddenly this formed baby girl who can drink and breathe without needing me to do if for her. 
  9. You need constant reassurance.
    And it can come from anywhere. Forums, mum group chats, friends, your partner, your mum, absolutely anywhere. But you need to be told your doing OK. You need to hear the words 'you're a natural'. You crave the nod of approval from other, experienced mums and it's honestly something everyone does and it's OK to do it. 
  10. You'll burst with love.
    I know people always tell you you'll never know a love like it but seriously, you'll never be able to fathom the words to express the feeling you feel when you look at that bundle of joy that you've made. And regardless of all those other emotions going on, it's the best feeling in the world. 


CONVERSATION

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