Alternative titles for this post could be…
What I wish I knew before becoming a Mum…
Nobody ever told me…
1. You know there will be sleepless nights.
It’s understood. But you will never know how utterly earth-shatteringly horrible sleep deprivation feels till you experience it. As a mother. With a newborn baby. You just have to go through it to understand.
2. Breastfeeding is hard. And painful.
And not always successful. We naive mums-to-be assume it will just happen, like the fairy-tale images we see of newborns suckling on their mothers, and feel it will be soooo beautiful. The reality is that latching on isn’t always easy, your milk will not always let-down immediately and it’s bloody painful. Oh, and there’s also mastitis. Antenatal classes make breastfeeding sound so natural, but it’s hard work!
3. Who knew you had to sleep train a baby?
I mean, isn’t sleep an innate ability??? Potty training, I get. But what’s to learn about shutting your eyes and sleeping? Especially when you’re a baby and have no agenda besides milking your mum and pooing it out later?
If only it was so idyllic!
4. You can’t do everything and you can’t be perfect.
As a new mum, you will experience levels of exhaustion you’ve never felt before. You’ve carried a human being inside of you for nine months, got him/her out of you in a not-so-slick manner, and are breastfeeding 24/7 – your hormones are a mess, your body is in pain and you are surviving on four or five hours of sleep. So don’t try and be Superwoman. Heck, you already are, just re-read this paragraph and see what you’ve done!
It’s ok if the dishes pile up while you take a nap. The laundry’s not going anywhere; you can do it tomorrow. You don’t have to cook a three-course meal every night. And it’s ok if you co-sleep sometimes. Or give baby a bottle because your boobs are just too sore. Don’t fret – in your baby’s little world, you ARE perfect.
5. Go with the flow because change is the only constant.
In the first year of your baby’s life, he or she will go through tonnes of physical and emotional developments. From being a helpless newborn to being a walking, talking toddler, every week will present a new phase, skill or emotion. If you’ve overcome one challenge, don’t be smug because another one will be lurking behind. Babies change as unpredictably as the English weather so just go with the flow.
Anything you learnt/ realised after becoming a mother? Something you wished you knew before? I’d love to hear what it is!