The truths of motherhood are a closely guarded secret, that even the closest of my mummy friends did not care to share before it was too late. So here they are girls…in all their ugly, naked, glory….
1) You will experience a level of tiredness that you never thought was possible. Who knew that you actually CAN survive on 4 hours of broken sleep each night?
2) In the first few weeks you will cry. A lot. Often for no reason and at the most inconvenient of times. Blame it on the hormones and lack of sleep…and if you are breastfeeding, keep the tissues handy for a bit longer.
3) You will become obsessed with poo. Colour, consistency, frequency, smell, volume… Poo will become a frequent and recurring topic of your conversations.
4) You will make mistakes. No amount of reading can prepare you for this experience. You need to learn on-the-job, and often you will learn the hard way.
5) You don’t need all the stuff they sell in the baby stores. The secret to getting your baby to sleep all night does not lie in a pretty cot sheet set. Besides, internet shopping will soon become your new best friend.
6) You will leave the house wearing your trackies, no make up and your husband’s jumper covered in milk/vomit/food. And not care who sees you. Some days it is just not possible to take a shower.
7) Previously a high flying, multi-tasking executive, you will suddenly start to dither over even the smallest decision. Choosing which outfit to put your baby in today becomes a 10 minute task.
8) Your priorities will change. Who cares about going out for a night on the town when you can play peekaboo with your baby instead. Seriously.
9) Your relationship with your husband/partner will change. There is a third person in the equation now, and they are usually the most vocal of the trio.
10) Your body will continually change, even after the birth, and perhaps never be the same again. Fact. Forget about the glossy images of yummy mummies. You will definitely get at least one of the following: stretch marks, a cesarean scar, hair that falls out and thins, weight gain, a saggy tummy, and a collection of different sized bras…now isn’t that something to look forward to?
11) Both the amount of washing and the size of the bag you carry are inversely proportional to the size of the baby. Who knew that a little person could need SO much stuff?
12) You can kiss goodbye to spontaneity. It will take at least 10 minutes from the time you think “Let’s go!” to when you actually reverse down the driveway. And sometimes even leaving the house at all feels like a major achievement.
BUT…in return you will experience LOVE like you never have before. Every day, you will look with wonder at the little life that you made, and your heart will melt. Every smile, cuddle, and ‘first’ will fill you with utter bliss.
You will suddenly feel empathy for all the other mums out there who are doing the hardest – yet most rewarding – job in the world. Maybe the mother of that tantrum-throwing toddler in the supermarket is not such a bad mum after all. And you will realise (sometimes too late) what your own parents did for you.
That old adage “this too will pass” was never more true. Babies grow up so fast and while you can’t wait for them to reach the next milestone, don’t wish away your time. So amid all the tears, tiredness and dirty nappies, take a moment to enjoy all the love, smiles and joy that your little person has brought you. If the truth hasn’t scared you too much 🙂