Having my first child was a shock to my system. When you’re pregnant you receive so much advice it is unbelievable. Now, I’m not really sure who wrote this rule but, being pregnant means that any Tom, Dick, or Harry, known to you or unknown, can give you advice about how to rear your child “correctly”!
As a first time momma you worry about every single thing. You worry if you’re eating the right things during pregnancy (will that one stray bitesize piece of nut that somehow appeared in your carefully dissected cake give your child a nut allergy or a serious illness?) or will lying on your tummy somehow harm your baby. You spend every waking thought conjuring up worst case scenarios and how you would deal with them.
As a first time momma you plan all the things you’re going to buy; the cot, the moses basket, the bumper set, the bottles, the steriliser, the cot mobile, the pram, the car seat, their first outfit etc. You plan all the baby crafts you’re going to do and all the memories you’re going to make. You look forward to maternity leave and the lunches you’ll have, and the trips to the park.
As a first time momma you are very unrealistic. Nobody told you that you’d be so sleep deprived you’d sit on your bathroom floor crying uncontrollably at 2am because your baby will not settle for the sixteenth night in a row. Nobody told you that’s normal. Nobody told you how colic tests you to the limit. Nobody told you your laundry basket would never be empty. Nobody told you that the ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ advice is rubbish advice because it never happens. Nobody told you a simple trip to the grocery store would take you three hours just to leave the house.
During pregnancy nobody told you that you’d feel unattractive. Nobody told you you’d feel distant from your husband because your brains constantly running on overdrive mode. Nobody told you that you’d rather spend your days locked away in your house wearing your pyjamas. Nobody told you that you’d feel antisocial. Nobody told you that sometimes you have to rewash the clothes in the washing machine for a third time because they’ve been in there wet for two days. Nobody told you going to baby groups would be as nerve racking as starting high school.
Being a momma is hard, it’s a learning journey. You have to learn how to juggle being a momma with housework, appointments, grocery shopping, being a wife etc, whilst trying hard not to let go of the person you are also. If you achieve all of this then let me know your secret!
When you become a momma you compare yourself to so many ideals, and you aim unrealistically high, so sure enough you fail to reach your impossible standards. It’s very easy to fall into that trap, but if you do then you have to pull yourself out of it! Motherhood is a personal journey, a unique journey. Your motherhood journey will never be the same as anybody elses, and that is something to cherish; you write your own story. You don’t need to compare your story with anybody else’s, and especially not to another mums highlight reel!
My first child was a shocker to my system, but a good one don’t get me wrong! Nobody can prepare you for the experience though, and nobody can write your story either. You suddenly have this little human for whom you’re responsible. They come before everything, everyone, and even yourself. You burp them. Feed them. Bath them. Clean milky spew. Make bottles. Worry when they have a fever. You know everything about them, every detail. You wipe their tears. You cuddle. You snuggle. You sniff them. You fall asleep with them. And you turn into a momma bear if anything compromises their safety or their feelings!
Being a momma is hard. Being a momma is sometimes stressful, you worry constantly if you’re enough for them. You are! You’re perfect for them. The only momma they need! And that perfectly tidy house you think you should have!? That’s a load of rubbish too! Obviously don’t live in filth,
but if it’s a choice between nurturing your child through playing etc or mopping the floor choose your child every time. With your last breath you’re not gonna wish your house was cleaner!
Enjoy your journey, it’s something no one else can experience!