‘Becoming Mum’ is a journey that’s been an exciting and scary one for sure.
I never imaged myself as a Mum, it’s something I never thought I would be.
At times I struggled to look after myself, how on earth was I going to care for another small human being?
I was so scared leaving the hospital with this new little baby who was completely dependant on me. When Reuben and I got in the car at the hospital car park (away from both of our parents), I burst into tears. I was emotionally and physically drained + shit scared about what was to come. I haven’t been around a lot of babies so can honestly say, I had NO idea what I was doing.
If I only I knew how much things would really change when this little life entered my world.
I had so much advice thrown at me while I was pregnant, while some of it was pretty good, the rest of it was pretty shit.
A good friend told me ‘you find out who your true friends are when you have a baby’. There is SO much truth in this but when she told me at the time I thought, really? Fuck yes. Since becoming a Mum, I have come to realise its better to have a small amount of really good, close friends than a bunch of people you barely hear from. Some of my friends who I considered close haven’t even met my kids. I am OK with this, I’ve come to realise who my true friends really are based on their actions throughout my pregnancies and the birth of Baxter and Lily.
I guess a big thing for me that has changed is that, I used to be that somewhat cautious friend. I didn’t have a baby so I didn’t realise how much you’re life was turned upside down, especially in those first few weeks. I didn’t want to be that clingy friend while they were extremely sleep deprived but I also didn’t want to disappear of the radar and leave them wondering why. As somebody who has now been on both sides, the advice I can offer is just be there, send a text every now and then so they know you’re thinking of them, offer support where possible and understand that they’re probably tired as hell and won’t respond straight away or always be up for visitors. Know that they appreciate the invite out even if they can’t make it, it’s the thought that counts. Going out with a newborn is tough, being on time is a thing of the past and quickly ‘popping out’ is no longer possible.
Patience, what patience? I seem to have lost it in the delivery room alongside my dignity. I have the lowest tolerance for bullshit these days, from dramatic friends to opinionated people online (ironic as I am one of them). I have so much more to worry about these days, and have just found I simply can’t be bothered with trivial things that are of such low importance to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much patience when it comes to my son, I just seem to have lost it for everybody else and I think I put that down to the fact that my life is so devoted to him right now.
I could have never prepared for how much I could love another being, how much energy I would devote to them, how much I would worry, protect and second guess my parenting decisions.
I’ve grown closer to my family, they’ve been amazing and I love seeing them with the kids. I’ve gained some amazing new mummy friends through the internet and have also reconnected with some old friends who now have kids.
Being a parent is fucking hard; I am not going to lie. If you disagree, you must have a dream baby and I extremely envious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son to bits but nobody could have prepared me for what these first few weeks would be like.
I waddled more after having my son that I did the weeks leading up to the birth, I have been milked by another human and I’ve had more hands in me than the pick & mix lolly bin at the local supermarket. We lived in the lounge for the first 2 weeks and it’s a good day if I manage to eat a proper breakfast; Tim Tams are nutritional, right? I had 5-minute showers every 2nd day if I’m lucky and my hair has been in a scraggly mum bun for about 3 years now.
When people told me being a parent is the most rewarding yet hardest job ever, boy were they right! I now have so much more respect and love for my own parents knowing what they went through with (although I would have been one of those dream babies we spoke about earlier).
No two days are the same and each and every day I am learning something new.
The thing that fucks you most is the sleep deprivation, the first two weeks were horrible (for us anyway) and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Things seem to be on the up now that we have somewhat of a routine in place and are starting to get the hang of this whole parenting thing.
What upsets me the most about being a parent is how judgmental other people can be, who in turn make you question every parenting decision you’ve made to date. Breastfeeding was a horrible experience for me and I constantly feel like I’ve made a poor decision to formula feed my child due to all the ‘breast is best’ propaganda. You would think somebody; somewhere claims commission every time a child latches. Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everybody, for whatever reason. You don’t know their reasoning, and you don’t need too. 8 weeks in and I was still nervous about pulling out a bottle in public, it’s sad that society has made us feel this way. I constantly sit and wonder if I should have persevered through the tears, the blood and the sleepless nights, all so I wouldn’t feel guilty and question myself. You know what? That sucks and people shouldn’t feel this way. If you are successfully breastfeeding your child, I applaud you.
I hear about people being judged over trivial, and personal decisions. Where their baby sleeps, the use of a dummy, what they choose to share on social media, the list goes on. It’s tough being a parent and it’s only now that I am one, I feel like I can truly comment.
At times I miss aspects of my old life but I wouldn’t go back. I am not the same person anymore, I am a better person.
Life changes so much and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What’s changed for you?