When Chrissy Tiegan (John legends beautiful wife) said “no one told me I’d be coming home in diapers too”, I laughed. I remember thinking the exact same thing. Everyone tells you about how painful labour is, how you might poo or fart in the doctors face (I’ve done both 😉) but there is so much more to it that I wished people had have told me and would have saved me so much shock, stress, disbelief, heartache etc etc
You won’t sleep:
Everyone tells you this, but really, you need to understand this in its entirety. You will not sleep. Newborns hardly sleep, and if you happen to be one of those lucky people who have a sleepy newborn, well, don’t tell anyone, because a) you’ll make some people jealous and b) they might curse you, and you’ve got a good thing going here. You might also be running on adrenaline and your body just won’t sleep, but rest assured, by your second child you will be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anywhere, anytime, if it means getting a few zzzz’s. (I can do it standing up)
Your body will do things
Remember how good it was not having a period for 9 months? Well don’t worry, your body will pay you back for that. Stock up on maternity pads, is all I’m sayin’. Maybe even invest in adult nappies, there is no judgement here.
You’ll be very sore afterwards, regardless of how you gave birth, so chill out and let someone else clean or cook or do anything. Just don’t move, at all.
Going to the toilet is a scary experience. Get some laxatives, and toilet paper and hold your lady bits if you need to. Or lean forward, that worked for me. You might not even need laxatives, you could be like me, so constipated one week and pooing my pants the next (nothing’s sacred anymore after giving birth).
Your body might also be a bit jiggly and stretchy. My first I bounced back right away, but by my second I looked like I’d been attacked by a wild bear. But you know what? I’m still sexy and I produced life, so whatever!
Oh and the mum bun? It’s not just a look, it’s to save you from being confused that chewbacca has moved in because you’ll lose so much hair. I have confused clumps of my hair with spiders and sprayed it with bug spray. Don’t try to vacuum it up either unless you’re in the market for a new vacuum.
Breastfeeding is hard
I don’t know who said breastfeeding was beautiful, but whoever it was, they lied. Well at least to me anyway. At the start it hurts, and they tell you it won’t, but it does. You could be dealing with tongue ties and lip ties and bad latches and painful let downs (when milk ejects from your breast involuntarily), and that’s all after waiting a week for it to come in. You’ll have midwives milking you, lactation consultants shoving your baby’s head onto your breast, it’s all very glamorous. It gets better rest assured, and you will get to that beautiful place but not straight away, and you know what? If it’s too much, you do whatever works for you, even if that means formula, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I also remember being told that I will lose weight breastfeeding, and if by losing weight you mean being ravenously hungry and gaining 10kgs then yes, I agree.
You will feel things you’ve never felt before
Between the sleep deprivation and raging hormones you might find yourself crying, a lot. You’ll cry because they looked at you and their so damn cute, you’ll cry because they sneezed, you’ll cry because they cried, and you’ll cry because it’s all too much. It’s all overwhelming and beautiful. If you cry for more than 2 weeks, please go see your gp or talk to your maternal child health nurse, you deserve love in all of this too okay? (PANDA is also great, I’ve used them a few times and they’re mums just like us!)
You’ll question your childhood
Whether or not you had a good childhood, there will be things you will question and you might even mourn what you missed or thought you missed. You might say to yourself you’ll never physically discipline your child because you were smacked, or you might co sleep because crying it out was a thing back in those days, whatever it is, you’ll want to do things differently. You might be afraid of becoming like your parents if they weren’t the best, and this can make you sad and open up a lot of emotions or childhood trauma if that’s what you experienced. Please seek help, again, you deserve it. We live in a time where there is even self help sections in book stores, but you don’t need to go through this alone, and nor should you.
You might be so protective that you hate other children
Bobby next door pushed your kid over, now Bobby is on your hate list. Little Lucy comes home and tells you that Sarah won’t play with her, Sarah is now on your hate list too. You’ll want to protect your little ones from having things snatched from them or having bad friendships, and that’s okay! It’s great! But just know you can’t battle all their battles and it’s all part of growing up – just think about what you were like as a kid.
You’ll remember what you were like as a kid or a teen
Kissing boys in the back of cars… Oh yes. You’ll remember how naughty you were. Sneaking out the back window to go smoke joints at the back of the oval (I swear I never did this, I was an angel). My only advice with this, is never tell your children and lock them up till their 30. Just kidding (or am I?), it’s important to remember you survived through all of it and it was all learning, so try not to stress about it, you’re a functioning adult now aren’t you? (I don’t know if I am….)
And finally, you’ll feel a love you never knew possible…
The greatest love, in fact. Sure there might be days when you hide in the toilet and write blogs on your phone, but you created life. YOU! You did this. You made a tiny human who will grow up in this world and everything they do is a wonder, and all the bad and all the heartache, and all the pooing your pants will be worth it, and you will look at them and think, isn’t this love grand. And it so is.
And it’ll be your greatest achievement in life.