I’m a total rookie at this parenting biz. It’s hard work, much harder than I was expecting. I knew it was going to be tough but no-one could even slightly prepare me for just how much of a life change having a baby really is.
I’d like to share with you the things that surprised me most about having my daughter, Edie, if you’ve been in my position hopefully you’ll relate, and if you’re about to be a mama bear yourself then maybe this will help…(and not scare you too much)
1. The love. Nothing and no-one can prepare you for the love you feel for this little person who you’ve only just met. For me, it was love at first sight. And that love just grows every day. So much it almost hurts. Mind blowing, holy shit, amazing love.
2. The relentlessness. It never ends, like, never. There is no break. There is no getting to Friday and being excited that it’s the weekend so you can sleep in and laze around the house binge-watching Orange is the New Black. Sleep-ins and lazing around are over. So. Very. Over.
3. The responsibility. The weight of knowing you are entirely responsible for looking after this mini human and keeping them alive is massive.
4. How hard it is to leave the house. I imagined my baby and I would go for shopping trips, meet friends at cafes for lunches every day, go to mums and bubs exercise classes…you get the drift. But, not so much! Sure this does happen, and it’s getting easier as she gets older, but it’s quite the excursion to venture out and not as easy as I thought. I don’t know why my little one won’t sit still and be happy in the pram for an hour while I catch up on goss with my gals over a chai? And why she doesn’t want to watch me try on clothes all afternoon? Seriously, rude!
5. Falling in love with my partner all over again. Watching my husband and daughter is the most special thing in the world. But it’s not just this. It’s him having my back like never before. It’s him cancelling his day of meetings to work from home because he can see in my eyes I am having a rough time. It’s taking her out of the house for a (very) long walk at the dreaded witching hour when I’m at my wits end. It’s him trying to breastfeed… if only!
6. The appreciation beyond belief for everything my own mother has done for me. Sure, I have always appreciated my mum and been grateful for everything that she’s done and sacrificed for me. But having a daughter of my own has sky-rocketed this to a whole new level.
7. How much I needed my mum. I have always been super independent, I love my mum more than life itself but I have never needed my mum as much as I did when my daughter was born. Whether it’s advice or babysitting or just someone to have a cry to when it all gets too much. I need her like never before.
8. The tiredness. Everyone tells you won’t get much sleep for the first three months but man it hits you like a ton of bricks and then some. Nothing can prepare you for that. But then I am greeted by that little gummy smile at 7am and the fact I have had a total of two hours sleep doesn’t seem so bad.
9. The joy that comes from the simplest things. Everything is paired back. It’s her smiling at me for the first time, her eyes lighting up when she sees me, her holding her rattles for the first time, her giggling for the first time. It’s the little things.
10. How I am more comfortable with my body than ever before. My body has been through the ringer…my birth and post-birth was not an easy ride. And getting pregnant via IVF wasn’t smooth sailing on my body either. But I did it. I bloody did it. I housed my baby for nine months and gave birth to her. And that is incredible. What my body has done is insane. The wobbly bits, the stretch marks, the cellulite, it doesn’t matter nearly as much now.
11. How little patience I have and how much is needed. SO MUCH patience is needed. Like, a truck load. I am super impatient and wasn’t aware how much patience really is required to care for a baby. I am still working on this.
12. That the sound of their cry is much harder to bear than I expected. I have always thought I wouldn’t be one of this mums that runs every time her baby cries, that I would show my baby some tough love. What the hell did I know? It’s so much bloody harder than I thought it would be. Someone else’s baby crying? No problem. My own baby crying? Hell.
And to be honest, there are things that still surprise me every day. This bebe is keeping me on my toes, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What surprised you most about becoming a mum?