Yes, seriously. I’m going to start with this because it is up there on my holy-hell-no-one-told-me-about-this list. I put on three and a half stone during pregnancy, and that combined with the two hours of pushing ‘down into your bottom like you are having a poo’ has left me with one rogue pile that pops out like a little Diglet. Not piles plural, no bunch of grapes here thank you very much. Just one. A PILE. Gross, I know, but pro tip for any mums out there who have been visited by the haemorrhoid fairy – those Ella’s kitchens prune pouches? They aren’t just good for keeping your wee one regular.
2. Not just the bumhole. Your body.
I guess this is related to the above point, but my bumhole deserved the number one spot. Your body will also change completely. Well duhhhhh I hear you saying, but I will only drink green tea, I’ll work out when the baby naps and the weight will drop right off. LOL. Good on you if you manage that but firstly the breastfeeding hunger is real, and secondly your body will never go back to being exactly the same again. Sorry ladies but it is a fact, having a baby is completely life changing. You might lose the baby weight, get back into shape and look bloody amazing but it won’t be the same. The weight will stick stubbornly to different places, whereas your arms will be the toned and sculpted biceps of a goddess from lugging your little monster, a nappy bag and a pushchair everywhere. Learn to love it ladies, that body has done an amazing thing.
3. Clean clothes are a thing of the past.
This is something that surprised me, within about 48 hours of R being here I quickly realised that the washing machine was going to be on non-stop as he puked EVERYWHERE. All the time. four/five outfit changes for him a day was the norm. And then an outfit change for me. Then chuck in a bra/top that I had leaked milk all over and the bed sheets because of a milk/sick combo. You get the idea. And it doesn’t slow down, I thought it might when R started eating proper food and his sicking up stopped. Ironed a lovely maxi skirt the other day (yeah I know, ironed it and everything check me out) and then put sun cream on R ready for a day out. Like a little eel he slipped out of my grasp grabbed my skirt and wiped his suncreamed face across it. Then fished half a gingerbread man from somewhere and smeared that over to me too. Invest in some at home scruffs, and expect those electricity bills to soar.
4. You become an emotional wreck.
Not just in that immediate post-partum phase, although goddamn those hormones are a bitch. When baby arrives you will catch yourself crying over every single thing that happens, good or bad. You will cry because they are so freaking cute. You will cry because your milk has come in and the baby has fed for an hour straight and your nipples hurt. You will cry because your partner made a rubbish pasta dish for dinner and you didn’t like it. Ten months in and the waterworks have calmed down a little bit. Although I still can’t pass a dropped teddy or sock without breaking down, because what if somebody’s child really misses that teddy right now, and that poor little sock looks so sad. Like I said, emotional wreck.
5.You are now known as so-and-so’s Mummy.
Ok, I personally HATE this one. So you are at a baby group, you meet someone who isn’t just talking about baby socks and you think that you might be friends and then they don’t ask you your name. Oh no, I am now known as ‘Rufus’ mum’. Which I love, I love being his mum but hi, I’m also Becqui with a job, actual grown up hobbies, a Zoflora addiction and an amusing collection of bumhole anecdotes. My child can only just say ‘Baba’ ‘Dada’ and ‘Mama’ and spends hours fascinated by a shoelace. I don’t just want to talk about our adorable little critters, I have a name!
6. Poop becomes a dinnertime conversation topic. (And a regular Instagram story feature)
The poo fascination starts as soon as your child lays their first beautiful little log. That black sticky first poop known as meconium. Fun fact, Rufus did his first as he exited me and his second all over the lovely clean nightdress I had put on after showering and feeling like a human once more. What a welcome to motherhood. From then on its been an endless discussion; from the korma-like explosions that stained many a babygrow to the fascination of weaning poos… I’m never feeding my child blackberries again as I can confirm they do create satanically black shits.
7. You have so much more respect for your parents.
My parents brought up four children on one full-time wage. At one point my mother was at home with four children under the age of six. How she isn’t completely grey and still has most of her marbles is beyond me. You gain a whole new appreciation for your parents, as you begin to understand parenting yourself. And this extends to all parents. Whereas I might have been a bit judgy pre-baby at the mum who shouts at her tantruming toddler, I now just think bloody hell she is having a hard day. Of course the odd bit of judgy-ness creeps in, but I am trying hard to change that mind set. #positivevibesonly
8. Your relationship with your partner.
I’ve mentioned this in my post on sleep deprivation, how me and D felt like ships that passed in the night for the first few months. It’s a struggle at first as the baby takes up so much of your time, and all routine goes out of the window. Even at dinner time when we would usually sit and chat became a dance with one or the other of us rocking R. You will argue, you will fight, you will get unreasonably irritated at each other. That’s fine – that’s normal. But you both need to look after each other. R smiles now when he sees D give me a kiss, and I want that to happen always. For R to see a loving happy relationship, for us to be a strong role model for his future relationships, but to do that its gonna be hard work. We’ll get there together.
9. Everyone has an opinion on your decisions.
I’ve touched on this before but it’s really true. As soon as you announce you are pregnant you get offered unsolicited advice from everyone. Well-meaning I’m sure, but I did my research, spoke to the health care professionals, and am a big girl who can make her own decisions. And it got worse when R arrived. Literally everyone has their own ideas about how to raise a child and wants nothing more then to tell you that what you are doing is wrong and that you should try what they did. As a new mum, its really hard to tell people with more ‘experience’ of raising children then you that you aren’t going to take their advice. It’s really hard to stick to your guns when you are being told you are doing it wrong. However I met a fantastic health visitor early on who said something I won’t ever forget; ‘this is your baby, no-one else’s and you are the one who knows them better then anyone else in this world.’ That stuck with me because everyone’s child is different, everyone’s parenting style is different, and no-one else has spent as much time with R as I have. You’ve got this mama.
10. Your garage begins to resemble a unit from Storage Wars.
Babies come with SO MUCH STUFF. Like seriously. Again, this is something you will hear before your baby arrives but its true. And we-were pretty low key in what we bought for our bouncing bundle of joy, no all-singing all-dancing gadgets for us here. We kept it all fairly simple. Then he turned up an we were inundated with gifts. The outpouring of love and support from our friends and family was incredible, but our living room has turned into Toys ‘R’ Us. And the clothes, oh the clothes. We bought a fair few totally impractical outfits, imagining the adorable Pinterest-worthy photos, I mean nothing is cuter then a baby dressed as Buzz Lightyear amiright?! But not only was manhandling my newborn into proper clothes way way too much stress when he puked over everything, but they grow so bloody fast. Again, yes I state the obvious, but its a whole new wardrobe every three months for the first year. That’s a lot of IKEA bags of baby clothes. Do you hang on to it all in the hope you’ll pop out another sprog before too long? Our new shelving system in the garage says YES.
11. You never realised how much you could love.
Its not all bumholes and baby sick. From the moment R was placed on my chest, I was hopelessly besotted by him. He’s the most perfect thing I have ever seen, and I can spend hours admiring his fuzzy little head, his new pearly gnashers and the peachiest most dimpled bum that has ever shat on a carpet. Its mind-blowing to think that he has a whole lifetime of adventures and possibilities ahead of him. There’s something wondrous about seeing him experience something, anything, for the very first time.
Seeing your partner as a dad is beautiful. You made a tiny person together, and now they are holding them and you know that everything from this point onward is about you three as a family. That’s incredibly special. The three of us were sat having a picnic at the weekend, and a man caught D’s eye as he sat holding R’s hands helping him stand and totter around. The man said to Danny, ‘You are so lucky’ before continuing on his way. D and I were humbled that afternoon. We really are lucky, and so loved as a little family that everything else pales beside it.
With love, B x