As a general rule, nothing can truly set you up for Motherhood. It’s an unknown world of anxiety, guilt and judgement peppered with love, happiness and pride. There are trials and tribulations that you didn’t know were possible, and there are highs that can’t be topped by anything imaginable. I thought I’d share some of the things that surprised me about Motherhood.
You life REALLY isn’t over, it’s just different.
The second you fall pregnant everyone seems to want to tell you how your life is over. This really isn’t the case, your life is different, but in a much better way than you could have imagined. There is sacrifice, exhaustion, panic, guilt and fear but none of that really matters because you have an overwhelming love for this human being that you made from scratch (probably the best homemade thing you ever created right?). Sure, like they tell you, you will always come second now but what they fail to mention is that is a choice you make quite happily e.g. your baby will absorb all your money BUT that’s because you want to buy your baby things. It’s not that your life is over. It’s that it has changed.
You’ll be mind blown by your “superpowers”
This is quite hard to describe but I remember in the first 24 hours after Rory was born, I was just mind-blown by myself. I couldn’t believe that not only did my body make this baby from scratch, my body went through an immense process to deliver him into the world. My body has done things I didn’t know it was capable of, it did what it was designed to do. Even pregnancy and a labour aside, the first few weeks with a newborn are gruelling. It’s crazy how you are able to function on that little sleep and once again I was so proud of myself.
You might not the parent you thought you’d be.
Pre-baby I was the first person to bleat on about how persistence was key and I thought we’d have a strict routine. Lets fast forward a year, to be fair we do have a routine but it took a long time for us to get there but overall I am too tired to be persistent. I am very much a “baby led mummy”, not only do I find it easier for Rory to lead his routine, weaning and learning, I find it more successful! If you’d told me I’d be that mummy a year ago I wouldn’t have been very happy, I believed parents should lead the way but here we are!
It can be judgey place.
Find your tribe and love them hard because motherhood can be a very judgey place. That’s a sad thing to say and NOT EVERYONE is judgmental but it can be pretty intense. In my head being a mummy is my favourite, most privileged “job” so when someone tells me I am not doing it right, that hurts like hell. Avoid it at all costs.
You may lose yourself, try and find her again.
Babies are really time consuming and before you know it you haven’t made any time for yourself. You haven’t taken time out to stay up to date on the world outside your baby, you haven’t taken time out for self-care and it doesn’t take long before you don’t know who you are anymore. I remember taking Rory on a walk one day to try and get him to sleep when he was 5 months old, I brought my headphones and it dawned on me that I didn’t know any of the current songs in the chart – Ed Sheeran released a whole album and I had no idea what it sounded like! It’s really important to take time out for youself each day, even just 20 minutes. Paint your nails, pop on a touch of make up, listen to some music, read a book… just do something that gives you a talking point above your baby.
You’re going to be made vulnerable.
When I was quite heavily pregnant with Rory I was watching a programme about natural disasters. Pre-pregnancy I would have been the first person to run into a burning building and help as many people as possible but in that moment I realised that life was now very different. Now as a pregnant woman I would run and hide to safety for the safety of my baby because that is now my job. My job is to protect my “young”. Rory (and my unborn baby) are my kryptonite, they are my weakness. They both put me in incredibly vulnerable positions and at times that can be quite scary! I no longer have to just, inevitably, worry about myself. I have two little souls whose safety is so incredibly important. Being put in a vulnerable position is an odd feeling but also incredibly empowering, you have a huge sense of responsibility and a duty.
It’s so fleeting.
No one wants to be THAT mum but I am gonna be… it’s so fleeting! I can remember the day Rory was born like it was yesterday, the smell, the temperature, the emotions YET I can’t remember all the newborn sounds and faces I vouched I’d never forget. Those first few months are a little grainy. You honestly can’t take enough photo’s but also take videos! I bought extra cloud storage and an iPhone with more memory when I had Rory but we also need to print them out. I temporarily misplaced my phone when we went on holiday and it absolutely broke my heart. Although deep down I knew everything was in the cloud storage system until I could physically see my priceless photos of those first days with Rory I couldn’t rest. I like to have copies in both places. I have cloud storage, but I also have printed copies and photobooks. Truprint offers some amazing deals on photobooks that create perfect keepsakes to help you document those early years of your baby.
*This is a collaborative post.