45 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mother…
1.) Your body is surprisingly good at surviving on little to no sleep at all. Even when your mind has turned to mush and you think you can’t cope with another sleepless night, that night comes around and you still manage to get through the next day.. only just.
2.) Once you have a baby everyone and anyone is your biggest critic. Stop what you’re doing and look around, every single person you see will be judging you about something you’ve done or are doing whether they realise it or not.
3.) Blood does not a family make. It’s surprising which unsuspecting people become your support system after giving birth and you start to appreciate the little things they do so much more than they realise.
4.) Baby wipes are the greatest man-made invention ever, no exceptions. Faces, spillages, bums, poop, sick, drool, tired eyes, spilled coffee- there’s nothing those watery tissues won’t fix up in no time and that includes your house (shhhhh).
5.) Your baby is the most beautiful creature to ever grace this earth in your eyes and you never tire of staring at them and wondering how you created something so perfect. You swore you wouldn’t be one of those Mams who spam baby photos all over Social Network platforms but you are and you care not. I mean, look at those eyes! Yes, I need to post all twenty seven photos and I don’t care who hates me for it.
6.) As well as being an absolute pleasure to stare at, your baby is also incredibly advanced, they’re essentially a mini Einstein. He absolutely did just say ‘Mama’ at a week old and do a back flip, it was not my imagination. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I birthed a fucking genius, look at him blowing those raspberries, have you ever stumbled across anything so mind blowing?
7.) Every body will want an input into how you parent and raise your baby. They’ll be the first ones to offer unwanted advice and the last ones to lend actual hands on help and let’s face it, that’s what new Mother’s really need.
8.) Time is now your ultimate nemesis. Days alone with a baby can be so incredibly long but the weeks fly by quicker than you can even blink and it’s something you now cry over.. a lot.
9.) You realise that getting dolled up to the nines, going on dates and having crazy, wild sex doesn’t constitute to a strong relationship any more. Granted, those things are desirable but give me a man who will take the baby first thing in the morning, cook some breakfast and change the odd nappy over one who pays for a posh night out any day. The little things now speak volumes and you appreciate everything so much more.
10.) You’re now a poop expert. You may not have any qualifications, a paying job or a degree but stick a dirty nappy in front of you and you’ll analyse that shit like David Attenborough. Pardon the pun.
11.) Granny knickers were something you got embarrassed about and hesitated over taking to the checkout when planning for the hospital stay before labour but afterwards you realise they are the best item of clothing you’ve ever owned. You are now excited for child number two purely because of the excuse to purchase some new ones.
12.) If you don’t ignore the smug gloats on Facebook about how someone’s bilingual three month old sleeps 20 hours straight without waking up once and naps all day you will become incredibly bitter and angry. Everything is a phase and everything is temporary, if anyone thinks they have a perfect baby they will get a bigger shock than those who know better when the regression hits them like a wrecking ball.
13.) You may never have committed a crime in your life but now you’re a Mother you will feel guilty about every damn thing. Perfection isn’t achievable but that doesn’t make us desire it any less when it comes to our little ones.
14.) You’re now a master of adaptation. Pregnancy goes so slowly but once you’ve given birth you don’t have a second to blink before having to adapt to your new life, your new family member, your new sleep schedule and day to day schedule, your new messy house, your new relationship dynamic and your new body. Nobody knows how we cope with the changes but we just do and will continue to with all the changes in the years to come (with a lot more experience and strength to do so).
15.) You’ll never again be able to justify spending anything over a fiver on yourself again (if that) but you can easily blow fifty quid on baby toys and clothes and manufacturers know so hence why everything is so bloody expensive these days!
16.) Speaking of baby clothes.. erm, we birth little boys too? You’ll never not feel annoyed when walking into a shop that is swamped with pink and frills while you make your way to the single rail of boy clothes hidden in the deepest, darkest corner.
17.) Whenever someone without babies/young children complains to you that they’re tired during small talk you will find yourself seriously contemplating initiating physical violence.
18.) You can be the most difficult person in the world to scare and then you go to cut your baby’s nails for the first time. Terrifying.
19.) There’s not a compliment in the world better than hearing someone say you’re a good Mam. I don’t care if you like my hair or my new natural glow and please don’t try to tell me I look fresh, we both know I look like shit but tell me I’m doing a good job and your words will motivate me to keep going because that’s my main focus.
20.) You don’t realise how selfish you used to be until having kids. Now it feels like your whole existence is to care for them and your world revolves around them you begin to wonder what the point was when it used to be all about you (days that seem like a lifetime ago).
21.) You may never be able to afford to go on holiday again in your life but managing to steal a four minute long hot shower or having a sneaky glass of wine can feel just as good, if not better than an all inclusive by the pool.
22.) Babies are so much more than eating, sleeping and pooping machines and they require so much more than just their basic needs being met despite what people tell you.
23.) You absolutely can not ‘spoil’ a baby. These little people have been in the big wide world less time than they’ve been carried in your tummy and naturally they want to be close to you where it’s warm and familiar. People will tell you you’re building a rod for your own back by snuggling them and tending to them when they cry but I think those people might need a little cuddle to help with their cold hearts.
24.) You become completely and utterly out of touch with the world. Politics, world events, celebrities, bloody Brexit. If you know what day of the week it is and can get through said day without having to clean up baby shit from the rug then you’re good.
25.) There are two words that take the biscuit when it comes to cursing. Don’t make me say them.. *cough* teething *cough* naps.
26.) You will give up on keeping your clothes dry and clean. Drool, baby wee and milk patches are the new you now and you work it girl. You also give up on breast pads because those things are like socks and by that I mean, if your baby doesn’t steal one, you will most definitely lose the other. Where they disappear to I have no idea.
27.) On the subject of boobs- breastfeeding is the most natural and amazing thing in the whole world and you’re under the impression before having your baby that choosing to formula feed will open a can of worms and judgement. Imagine my surprise when I realised how many people will try to convince you to stick a bottle in your baby’s mouth instead of supporting and encouraging you to give them what we naturally produce for them. Sadly, this is the world we live in.
28.) When someone asks if you give your baby a dummy and you reply with ‘no’ that will then forever be the reason for every problem you have. Baby not sleeping? Give him a dummy. Crying? Should just give him a dummy. Forgot to take your bin out? Probably because your baby doesn’t have a dummy.
29.) You’ve gone from social butterfly to never-leave-the-house introvert. Remember all those excited people making plans with you when you were pregnant? They disappear and you quickly become thankful they did. A small but reliable circle is key when you have a baby even if you can’t help but hurl word vomit at any adult you make contact with after spending every other hour with a baby.
30.) You definitely don’t have money but you now own a very particular set of skills: doing everything with one hand, making a chart topper off the top of your head about everything and anything, pre-empting or catching a high flying wee stream mid flow and averting a floor puddle, smiling from ear to ear when you want to cry, putting a nappy and clean clothes on a wild (often front-facing) beast, cleaning said beast’s dirty arse whilst restraining him at the same time, making an assortment of very convincing dinosaur noises and exhibiting the up most calm and patience when you want to scream into a pillow, managing to only leak when sneezing instead of actually wetting yourself.. to name just a few.
31.) Caffeine is God.
32.) You will choose practicality over style every single time from this day onwards. Be it the clothes you wear to feed in, the cup noodles that sometimes take the place over a home cooked meal, favouring baby leggings and a t-shirt over the cute dungarees you were so excited about or taking house work short cuts (who would have ever thought it).
33.) You will struggle to come to terms with the new you. Saying goodbye to the person you were so familiar being for so long is a bitter pill to swallow at first but once you see your new self in a different light and embrace the Woman you’ve become (saggy bits and all) you will welcome a new inner peace that you didn’t realise you sought after.
34.) You do not have to enjoy every second of your Motherhood journey. It’s bloody hard work, it’s emotional and it can be stressful. With that in mind, sprinkle some heightened hormones, sleepless nights and an unpredictable baby on top and you have a recipe for crazy right there. It’s a whirlwind and when the going gets tough, that, in turn, heightens the reward which makes it all worth while. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for feeling down, we are human too.
35.) Tomorrow is a new day and that’s not just a cliché. It doesn’t matter how difficult the night before was, take a look at that beaming smile on your little ones faces as the sun comes up. That right there is the reset button for the two of you.
36.) You’re not lazy, you’re a TIRED Mama. Stay in your pyjamas all day and eat junk food if need be, the dishes can wait until tomorrow and online shopping is there for a reason. Your baby won’t under develop from one day of not leaving the comfort of your home. Besides, who really wants to take their baby to a supermarket anyway?
37.) If you see the Amazon delivery guy approaching my house with a pile of boxes taller than he is, don’t judge me, just know it’s been a looonnnnng hard night.
38.) If you choose a baby name that is remotely unheard of I swear people take pleasure from mispronouncing it. There’s only so many times you can correct someone before you want to just tell them your child’s name is bloody Dave and be done with it. Also, you can choose an unusual name with no ‘meaning’ behind it, why is that so hard to understand?
39.) There is an unspoken war going on between Mothers of babies and Mothers of ten year old children in strollers when it comes to the dreaded bus journey. Please, if your child is running around the bus and shouting that they want to sit in a big seat, be respectful and fold your damn stroller, I’d like to get home with my little one too and I know you’ve been in my position before.
40.) You now know why everyone bought you so many baby blankets. They’re to place strategically over your freezing cold body while your tiny baby takes up the rest of the double bed and you’re left hanging off the edge, clinging onto an embroidered Dumbo wondering how this even happened while your partner sleeps in a single bed next door.
41.) You’ll never not roll your eyes when people ask why you don’t sleep while your baby sleeps as if that very fact diminishes your entitlement to feel tired. There’s things to do, you know. Like cleaning, eating, washing, catching up on a box set or.. sitting in silence for a few hours doing nothing but think about what you should be doing. It’s natural to crave a bit of you time regardless how you spend it and sometimes night is the only opportunity to do so.
42.) I rarely have the TV on during the day unless the baby club is playing or I fancy some background noise but in the short time it is on I have concluded that Bing is an irritating, whiny little shit of a kid, Hey Duggee is something I can see myself getting hooked on (fantastic), if I ever have a night out again I can see my drunk self singing ‘small potato’ and ‘waffle doggy’ at the top of my lungs and my I’ve always said and stand by this that I won’t let any child of mine watch Pepper Pig.. I’m not sorry. Oh, and as if I couldn’t detest Justin or Mr Tumble any more, can we please talk about Keith Fitt’s accent? Howayyyyy.
43.) Baby bouncers are revolutionary. Look at Mammy drinking a HOT cuppa she just managed to make even if she does have to sing ‘bounce bounce bouncy bounce’ over and over.. worth it!
44.) There is no manual, no right or wrong, no best way of doing this thing. Every parent, every situation and every baby is different. We develop this beautiful thing called Mother’s intuition and following our instinct is something both yourself and baby will thank you for.
45.) You are now a fucking Superhero and you need to remember that. You birthed a little human, a whole person with a face and little fingers and toes and a peachy little butt and everything all from your vagina before being thrown into the deepest end of this parenting thing (pool noodles not included). You’re still afloat even if you sometimes slip under. This is the hardest but most amazing job in the world, paid only in love and slobbery, drool covered kisses. What could be better?