What People Don't Tell You About Becoming a Mumby Emma Dowey
Becoming a mum is bloody hard. It doesn’t matter how much research you do before your baby arrives, nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Before I had my first son, now six, I felt prepared. I’d bought my pram, set up a Moses basket, read a shed load of books about how to calm and settle baby. I felt ready. Bring it on! But the first time you have a child, nothing can really prepare you for how much your life will change. And there are plenty of things people don’t talk about or tell you! Well, today I am telling you. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into. A lifetime of complete and utter love, awesomeness, frustration and worry!
You’ll spend the first few days crying.
And possibly weeks. Childbirth, hormones, exhaustion and so much love you just can’t imagine, leaves you feeling all over the place. I cried A LOT those first few days.
You’ll never feel so out of your depth.
I’d come from an office environment. My biggest challenges were all workplace-related. And those, in comparison, now seemed a doddle! Breastfeeding, soothing my baby, changing a nappy (especially the tar poos!) and poo-explosions – argh. It’s fucking hard! The amount of times I’ve been out and about, covered in shit because a nappy has leaked. Give me a backlog of emails any day!
It’s a massive shock to the system.
I think as mums we tend to hide how difficult it is. People are good at pretending everything is rosy. Especially on social media. In reality, they’re hanging out of their asses, crying their eyes out at the slightest thing. Having a baby is a HUGE shock to the system, especially for first-time mums. I found the change with my second a LOT easier.
You may grieve your old life.
I did for probably two years if I’m being honest. I didn’t “click” into motherhood at all. It took me a very long time to accept that this was my new normal and I wasn’t just free to come and go as I pleased anymore. Give yourself time. Be kind.
The newborn stage can be boring.
Personally I find the newborn stage really tough. Recovery after a c-section was hard going, coupled with emotions all over. And once sleep deprivation sets in and you realise this is the new norm, it can quickly get you down. My one tip, it doesn’t last forever. And this has certainly held true with my second. I tried to embrace sitting, feeding, winding, changing – and repeat!
You get nothing back – at first.
This ties in with the newborn stage being tough. You’re spending every hour doting on this little being and you get nothing. Nada. Just wait though until your little bundle of joy starts smiling back and cooing.
It’s actually not always easy to meet “mum friends”.
And it takes a lot of effort to go out and make small talk. Sometimes you don’t feel like chatting! And just because you both have babies, doesn’t mean you’ll have anything else in common. Don’t give up though. It takes time to meet your mum tribe.
You haven’t slept properly for weeks and you’re completely shattered. So if you’re lucky enough to get a night off – expressed milk/bottles and someone can help you out, great! Cue a night of restless sleep and insomnia. With both my boys I got into an insomnia rut which stressed me out SO much. My husband would take a whole night and I’d still get zero sleep. I think it was down to the change in routines, over-tiredness and stress.
You may resent your other half.
I did with my first massively. I felt nothing had really changed for him. He got to go to work, eat lunch in peace, and drive the car without a screaming baby in the back. I felt crap that I was stuck at home all day looking after a baby. Our son! But I felt so alone and out of my depth. Fortunately, with time things got better, and second time around I haven’t felt like that.
Babies change – all the time!
You think you’ve nailed a routine and them bam, all change. Teeth, illness, injections, leaps, wonder weeks. It’s all there to keep us on our toes.
Are you a new mum? What things had you wished people had told you before? Or perhaps you’re pleased they didn’t!