Falling in love with your baby
What really happens when you become a mum.
If you are pregnant for the first time and reading this, you are on the brink of a scary, but amazing life changing adventure. If you're pregnant with baby number two, you kind of know what to expect, but never the less it's still exciting yet a little bit scary to do it all over again!
After you've had children, things do change- routines, emotions, sleep and your general outlook on life. You will probably think for a moment ‘oh my god what am I doing ?!’ But once you see your baby, it's a mixture of shock- ‘how did that fit inside me?!’ relief- ‘‘I did it! I gave birth!’ and nerves- ‘oh my god, I don't have a clue about babies, help!’
When you have your baby, cheesy but true, you realise what true love is- you can look at your little baby and feel the strongest warm glow inside, an achey heart, and the desire to just kiss them and (I'm sure this is not just me) smell their head constantly.
You do feel tired. A lot. And want to sleep. A lot. You will get told ‘sleep when the baby sleeps!’. As tempting as it is to wash up, hoover,put the washing in-DON’T DO IT. Lie down, close your eyes and force yourself to sleep! It really does work. With baby number two I took full advantage of my husband being at home and literally spent two weeks in bed, in my pyjamas. I didn't wear makeup for two whole weeks(now that is something!) And I felt so much better for it. As all babies are different and my baby literally didn't sleep all night for two or three weeks. I was exhausted. Still 16 months later,I have a snooze with her in the afternoon, as she still seems to be a bit of a night owl!
You’ll realise that you have to think about somebody else other than yourself. You can't just nip out to the shop, go on an impromptu night out and get drunk or put your feet up with a brew in peace. In the early days going out anywhere will become a military operation (if you ever get out of the door) and as soon as you are ready to walk out of the door your baby will want a feed, have a poo, fall asleep, and then repeat this twice, then you may get out hours later than you planned.
But it's not all doom and gloom and tiredness with a baby! Make the most of your maternity leave - go shopping, have lunch out, have endless daytime naps, go for a pedicure with babe in arms, relish evening snuggles,sit for hours staring at them laying still and cooing away, as soon enough they will be toddling about and into everything. It really does go so fast! And when they're older you will find yourself wishing they were younger again.
You may also find that you get endless amounts of advice from everyone. Sometimes when you don't even ask for it. Especially from friends who already have children, there's always one that thinks they know everything, ‘they really should be sleeping through now, I wouldn't let them fall asleep on your boob you're making a rod for your own back there!’ That old ‘rod for your own back’! If there is a rod it is well and truly on my back as I didn't do anything that anyone said, let my baby fall asleep on the breast, cuddled her constantly and held her when she wanted to be held. She has been, wait for it, ‘spoiled’. Then there's the array of parenting books, sleep books, weaning books, routine books, baby whispering books that are out there. There's so many books saying so many different things you can end up more confused about things than before. If you do decide to read a book, don't take it as gospel as all babies are different. But every baby is the same by needs of love, affection, feeding, sleeping and using lots of nappies!
So being a mum is the start of a new crazy adventure, you’ll be surprised at what you can do with one hand (I managed to put eyeliner and mascara on once whilst breastfeeding getting ready for the school run-now that's another blog piece in itself!), and you'll be surprised at how even the most un-child friendly women become the most naturally amazing mothers. Enjoy your journey!