If you are like me, then you devoured the baby books while you were pregnant, trying to be as prepared as you possible can be, however there is nothing that truly prepares you for how your life changes the moment you become a parent.
So, I have put together a few things that I didn’t find in the baby books, but that I have faced in motherhood: –
1. It gets messy….
You will probably clean up vomit at 1 am some point between birth and 5 years old (if not more than once)
Nappies are not spill-proof, neither are baby-growers and car seats are a b*tch to clean.
Your house will never look the same… just get over it. You will be happier the moment you stop stressing about the piling dishes or over flowing laundry basket. Promise, that laundry basket is not going to be empty for longer than 5 mins until your kids go to college and even then they might bring the dirty clothes home for you to wash!
2. Goodbye sleep, Hello exhaustion
Sleep is a distance memory. I always hear new moms say ” My baby is 3 weeks old and doesn’t sleep through, what can I do” Ah, news flash, You just had a baby and it’s just left the comfort of your womb and is learning to adapt to the outside. The small percentage of babies that sleep through from day one are the exception. Your baby is probably the rule, like mine, like my neighbours child and like the lady is the supermarket that looks so drained.
When you fall pregnant, they should hand out indemnity forms to sign – “I hereby sacrifice my sleep in order to care for my child”. My son is 2.5 years old and still not sleeping through. Do I complain about it – Hell Yes! But do I accept it, well I have no choice. So brace yourself – You can sleep when you are old.
When Connor bean was brand new… we couldn’t understand why he just cried and cried after we had done boob, nappy, wind, cuddle. Turns out he wasnt colic – just hungry. He was only happy at night if he was on the boob – which lead to C0-sleeping (that’s a topic for another blog).
3. Breastfeeding is hard…
Okay, so breastfeeding is a breeze for some woman but for me it was hard… I was adamant I wanted to breastfeed and in hindsight my boy latched like a champ. But I was uneducated. It was only after I gave up, did I find the wonderful support groups and actually educate myself of the stages of breastfeeding and the tips on how to push through.
My 4.15kg baby just wanted to eat… eat and sleep that’s all he did for the first 6 weeks. Truth is, that’s all I did… well feed him and sleep. I hardly had time to fix a piece of toast – never mind brush my hair. My irregular eating habits did not help the breastfeeding situation…
The one day he was vomiting up breast milk and not happy, I was exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed (There was quite a bit going on in our lives at this time) And I caved and gave that bottle of formula…
Another thing they don’t tell you about – how painful engorged boobs are! Ouch!
My boy thrived on formula and we never had digestive problems thankfully but if given the chance to have another little miracle, I’m much better equipped to handle the breastfeeding job 🙂 It can be my redemption story!
4. Sleep when baby sleeps
Don’t question, just do it!
5. Food Strikes
Don’t stress they don’t last forever, but you will ask yourself at least once if your child is going to be okay surviving only on 2 crackers and a few chicken nuggets every day for a whole week. It’s okay to have a staple diet of oven baked chips until the food strike is over. When you child refuses to eat one day after eating like a champ, your automatically start to panic.. But I promise you, it’s normal and soon it be a thing of the past. Connor Bean now eats everything on his plate (plenty of veggies) and has a good bill of health. As long as you keep trying and keep offering, they wont starve themselves. Fluids can be doubled during this time if they are willing. And if they aren’t on formula or breast milk – then adding a good multi vitamin will give you piece of mind that they are receiving all the nutrients and vitamins required.
Also, prepare yourself for the fact that the food that you child loves today – he might just hate it tomorrow. He might even throw it at you. It’s perfectly normal.
6. Bathroom Ritual
You will never use the toilet in peace again. The bathroom becomes an open invite for all to attend, including the dinosaur, sippy cup and 5 books. Prepare yourself for a running commentary when they start talking.
7. Abundance of Love you cannot explain
Yup, that’s right.. the baby books don’t tell you how you will feel the moment that little human is placed on your chest. Your heart feels like it explodes, over and over again.
The first few days you are in awe… The miracle that has taken place in your life is undescribable, you are mesmerized by tiny little toes and a sweet little nose. It is not until you have a child, that you fully understand the meaning of unconditional love. Nothing beats the love you have for your child. The natural desire to protect, love & nurture will consume you.
It’s the person that you would take a bullet for, the person who makes your days better and your nights looooonnng. But all jokes aside, there is nothing that can compare to the love and fulfillment that your child brings into your life!