It’s become a bit of a cliche, but it really is true that nothing prepares you for the whirlwind that is motherhood, especially those first few months. Everything changes: your sleep, your identity, your hair… and it can come as a bit of a shock. Here are the five biggest lessons that I learnt.
1. That it’s a massive learning curve. Some things come naturally and you feel like you were always meant to be a mum and that’s such an amazing feeling. Some things you just have no idea what to do. But you just figure it out, you have to. Just when you think you can’t deal with it anymore, something clicks. And then once you start to breathe again they decide to change the game. But don’t worry, I guarantee you are doing much better than you think.
2. A lot of things are trial and error and every baby is different. What works for your friend’s baby may not work for yours. Actually, you can almost guarantee that it won’t. Some self settle, are really cruisy and fall asleep anywhere; while others will only sleep if they’re in their bed or somewhere familiar. Some sleep through the night early on, some never do. You really just have to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and when you figure out what does, it’s awesome, because then you feel like you’ve achieved something and, for some, don’t feel like such a failure.
3. Your day revolves around feeding, putting them down for a sleep, and cleaning up after them. Even though my son’s not crawling yet, for some reason there’s so much mess! If it’s not his toys I’m putting away, it’s changing his clothes because he’s either dribbled all over them, there’s food on them or he’s hot or cold. And then there’s the normal housework!
4. That it’s just like high school. Well, sort of. Sometimes. You like to think that you’re supported by other mums as we’re all in the same boat (and for the most part you are). On some level we’re all struggling through something until we find our way, but it can feel quite competitive. We all have different ways of doing things and every baby is different and develops in different ways, but mums (and some dads, and even some non-parents) will still make comparisons. I guess it’s just human nature. You want your baby to be gifted and do things first, but you just have to roll with it and they’ll do things in their own time. As long as they develop it doesn’t matter at what age they do what.
5. It’s hard work, amazing, but hard work. You don’t get a day off, it’s 24/7. Even if you have an amazing husband like I do (he is the cook in this house, loves to spend lots of time with our boy and encourages me to have ‘me time’ on the weekend) it’s still hard. It’s also very rewarding and it’s a love like you’ll never know. I can’t tell you how many kisses my boy gets in a day, I just love his smooshy cheeks and I love making him laugh, it’s the best sound in the world.
So if you’re a ‘mum to be’ don’t be frightened, it’ll be alright. You’re female and you’re wired to be amazing!!