You’ve heard about the tiredness, the cute clothes, the feeding and the love. The books are very helpful, but nothing can truly prepare you for your new life as a parent.
Your old life? It’s not just on hold after becoming a mum, it is dead. Take everything you know, turn it upside down and then puke on it. That’s your new world as a mum and these are the things you now know…
1. There are so many fluids
There isn’t a surface of your house that isn’t covered in either milk, spew or poo. It is incredible how tiny humans can contain so much liquid, and it seems to pour out of every crevice. Then there’s you. Remember missing nine months of your period? You are about to get all of it – at once. Then add in boobs which are so swollen and leaky and there is just milk everywhere. It’s great when the baby sleeps, except when you wake up like Pammy with a milk soaked top.
2. Watching the news becomes really hard and a puppy commercial can get you weeping
The day after I brought my daughter home from hospital, I sat on the couch and sobbed for the best part of two hours at the enormity of everything. And while a quick Google search reassured me that the “baby blues” are common a week or so after birth, I had no idea that the hormones wouldkeep rising and falling like a crazy person for months. For the longest time, I couldn’t watch the news. Every story of a crime or war or a person dying of cancer would rip my heart up. I kept imagining my little girl in that situation. Likewise, YouTube videos of cute kittens sent me full blown weepy over how gosh darn cute they were. I cried at a Sorbent commercial. The good news is it does settle down, but WOW is it intense when you are going through it.
3. Ten minutes in a hot shower feels like a holiday
Forget Fiji, ten minutes of peace and quiet alone in the shower feels like the equivalent of a week in the sun. Even more so if you get to do something more than quickly wash your hair. A solo trip to a salon for a pedicure? Better than a week’s pre-baby vacation.
4. You will become a Broadway superstar and have zero pride
You will sing at the top of your lungs in the supermarket, wiggling like a monkey and chugging like a train if it means you can stave off a meltdown. You’ve got songs for sleep time, songs for spooning sweet potato into their unwilling face, songs for bath time and songs to try and be educational. You change words to all your favourites to incorporate the baby’s name, and often work in the words wee and poo too. If it makes them smile, you will sing in front of relatives, for Facebook or indeed the world.
5. Say goodbye to eating a hot meal or cup of tea
Those hours spent lovingly crafting the perfect meal for your partner and kids? Of course you set aside a portion for yourself, but you’ll just feed them first/change their nappy/ settle them… YEP #mumfail, it’s cold AGAIN.
6. Hangovers are so, SO much worse.
Perhaps you had a glass of wine or two in front of The Bachelor after the baby went down for their bigger sleep. Or maybe you diligently expressed a bit of milk so you could go for a cheeky dinner with your husband and enjoy a beer or three. But, your tolerance is back to one-pot screamer level after becoming a mum. Once upon a time you could sleep off the hangover, you now have to deal with a poo-covered screaming banshee at 4am with NO END IN SIGHT. Good luck with that.
7. You will sometimes hate your child
Not for very long, mind you – a couple of seconds to an hour generally. But you will rue the day where you gladly gave up SUCH AN AWESOME LIFE pre kids. No matter how badly you wanted them or what you went through, there are moments where you just want them to disappear. You feel like they are mocking you and sense your frustration about losing every shred of the person you used to be. Or you just want five more minutes sleep. The first feeling will pass. The sleep? Prepare to wave it goodbye for the next 21 years.
8. Competitive mothers are insecure
Mothers’ groups are a killer for this. But remember the golden rule. If a mother has the time or
need to judge or compare your mothering skills, your pram, bags, clothes – or worse, your baby – with theirs, it is because they are uncertain and looking for a way to feel in control. It’s probably not because they are definitely horrible, but it still doesn’t mean that you have to hang out with them.
9. It goes on and on
Motherhood is not about getting it right straight away, or being a natural. It’s a relationship – you go through periods where it’s easier and you feel like you are nailing it, and periods where it is bloody hard work and takes all your might not to put your kids on eBay (or Etsy… you made them, after all). You have lots of time to make mistakes, and then get it right again.
Now that you have the becoming a mum bit down pat, here’s how to survive going from one child to two!