During my pregnancy I would often ask people what it was like to become a parent. It was the unknown to me and I wanted to try and be as prepared as possible. I was met with replies of how amazing it is and how it’s the best thing that will ever happen to me. I naively spent 9 months believing that I would take to it like a duck to water. But the reality is having a baby is hard. Really bloody hard. And not one person told me that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a Mum to Max and I wouldn’t change him for anything, but not one person told me to be prepared for the hardest journey I would ever go on. People often leave out the lows of being a parent, not wanting to freak you out. Because of this I hadn’t heard of reflux, the awful condition that plagued us for the first 4 months of Max’s life. And I certainly wasn’t aware of the signs of post natal depression until they came and smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks.
With this in mind I asked myself what I wish I’d have known about becoming a parent. So buckle up for some hard hitting truths:
- You’ll want to strangle your other half at least 50 times in the first 2 weeks, mainly due to stress, tiredness and the fact that life as you knew it has changed forever. But please don’t, you’ll learn to love them again soon
- You will go hours, sometimes days, without eating and 3 meals a day will become a thing of the past. A packet of chocolate biscuits washed down with a can of RedBull becomes a perfectly acceptable breakfast choice
- Poonami’s are a real thing, and they are unbelievably disgusting. I’m not talking a nappy full of poo. I’m talking a full on explosion, up their back, in their hair and under their armpits. Don’t panic though, just strip them off and hose them down and they’ll be as good as new in no time
- Maternity leave isn’t one big holiday. Once you become a Mum you’ll be up earlier than ever before and work harder than you did at your 9-5 job. You’ll soon be begging to go back to work just for a break
- You’ll probably cry….lots! I cried every day for the first 3 months. A mere smile in my direction from a passing stranger would have me sobbing into my hankerchief for hours on end
- Trying to settle an over tired baby is like trying to tame a raging lion. They will bite, scratch and fight you with every ounce of their being. There is apparently a magic 10 minute window of when to put your baby down to nap – if you miss this then you may as well give up, it’s a lost cause
- You’ll leave the house on more than one occasion with sick down your top. But you’re only popping to the shops so that’s totally acceptable right?
- There will be sleepless nights, they’re a guarantee, but no baby book can describe the feeling of sleep deprivation- yes you heard me right, deprivation! There is a reason it is used as a form of torture
- On that note you will probably Google ‘can lack of sleep kill you?’ at least a dozen times in the first week of being home with your baby
So there you have it folks, an honest account from a first time Mum. Just remember one thing though, when you’re elbow deep cleaning up the latest poonami whilst simultaneously wiping sick off of your brand new sofa, smile, you’re doing a great job, and tomorrow is a brand new day.