There’s only one thing you can be sure of when you’re pregnant. You know…. nothing!
Basically, newborn mummy-hood is a very steep, very surprising learning curve.
Forgot What to Expect. Just expect the unexpected.
1. It’s nothing like the movies or TV.
Glamorised images of spotless linen couches, smiling bubs chilling with a rattle on a fluffy rug while mum looks on dressed like a model from the Witchery catalogue? It’s pretty much nothing like this. As Mum Central reader Rachel shared, ‘It’s all lies!’.
2. You become totally uninhibited.
That old chestnut about leaving your dignity at the door when you arrive to give birth? It’s true. That woman who used to hold the curtain closed extra-tight in Bras N Things? She just gave birth totally naked in front of 8 strangers, her mother, and her husband. Getting your stitches checked? Having your colostrum-milked? Somehow these things just don’t rattle you anymore. Nothing embarrasses you now.
3. Having a shower has never felt so good.
That first shower after you’ve given birth? You’ve never felt better than that exact moment. The hot water, the steam, the relief. This is the best shower you will ever take.
3a. Every shower afterwards you will be convinced you hear the baby screaming.
Fun mum fact. The minute you turn on the shower and step under the blissful water, you will be convinced you hear your baby crying and immediately need to get out. Of course, when you do get out? That new baby is still soundly asleep.
4. Tired? You only ‘think‘ you are tired pre-kids.
Insert hysterical laughter right here. Once you’re mum-tired you will look back and ridicule your old self. Tired? How could you have been tired? You slept in and still had afternoon naps, just because you could! This? This is a whole new level of tired. Pre kids you just think you’re tired. Once you have a newborn you’re Guantanamo-style sleep-deprivation exhausted.
5. For something ‘natural’ breastfeeding is tough – really tough!
Until you’re trying to latch a screaming baby onto a cracked nipple you’ll never quite know how hard establishing breastfeeding can be. Sure it’s natural but it’s definitely not easy.
6. Your own body becomes a scary, foreign place.
Sure, you’ve been fairly comfortable in your skin for 30-something years. Until now. Everything looks, feels and even smells different. Stuff is dripping that never dripped before. Things are bigger. Different colours. Fluid. Swelling. Clots. Engorgement. It’s like you’ve been dropped into someone else’s body. You will adjust. Avoid full-length mirrors until you’re fully ready.
7. How such a tiny body can produce some seriously gross stuff.
You’ve not experienced a full blown poo-nami until you literally cut your child out of a singlet rather than drag it over their little head. How can something so small possibly make so much mess?
8. How much you can love someone.
You think you love your partner until you hold a tiny baby for the first time. All of a sudden the measure for how enormously and fiercely you can love something is completely redefined. Immediately, you understand nature in its entirety. Mother lions are your new spirit animal.
9. You may not fall in love immediately – or even enjoy being a mum.
The other clanger than many new mums experience is that they expect a rush of love but… nothing. It’s a shock to not fall head over heels for your baby immediately. It’s also a surprise to think you’re going to enjoy being a mum and actually dislike it. The love, the confidence, and the enjoyment can all take time – this is perfectly normal.
10. You will do #allthethings you swore you weren’t going to do.
Remember how you were never going to have a dummy / drive around to get the baby to sleep/let the dishes be in the sink for two days / co-sleep? All your pre-baby wisdom that you so confidently sprouted to anyone who would listen? Gone. Your new post baby wisdom? Survival. Whatever it takes. No judgment.
10a. But also discover things about yourself you never even knew.
Your bub will make you summon strength and resilience you didn’t know you had. Children help you to discover how capable you really are. Whether it’s battling through hard days, dealing with special needs or simply adjusting to motherhood, watch yourself grown into someone brand new! This new chick? She’s amazing!
11. How babies are total time wasters (in the best possible way).
One of the best possible shocks about a new baby is just how much time you can whittle away gazing at your little miracle. That ten minutes you spent nursing them while they slept on the couch? Three hours! That hour you spent watching them sleep and smelling their lovely-baby-smell? Half a day. Yep, baby’s are the best time wasters of all.