Pregnant or just had your first baby? Congratulations! What happens next might surprise you…*whispers* it’s all going to change.
Thanks to the nostalgic and slightly cringetastic wonder that is Facebook memories, I’ve recently been reminded that five years ago (five YEARS!) my impending motherhood became Internet-official as I announced that I was pregnant with our first baby.
And looking back at my pre-child self, happily lying on the spotless sofa in our beautifully decorated, minimalist flat, updating Facebook, non-shared snack in hand and all the time in the world to just do nothing, I had no idea about what would happen next. Obviously. Because how can you at that point?
What to Expect When You’re Expecting outlines pregnancy to the nth degree, right down to random left-hand-side niggles at 16 weeks and all the 35 week hormonal outbursts, but there’s no real manual to parenting, is there? I mean, obviously there are hundreds, but clearly none of them have the actual answer.
What things did you have no clue about, before babies? Casting a look five years back, to my pre-child self, here’s everything you have no idea about. Oh, innocent times…
- That all those annoyingly smug people who say ‘Enjoy this precious time before the baby arrives’ are right. Still so very annoying though. Especially when you’re floundering around, uncomfortably whale-esque, impatient and just want the baby to arrive. And people to stop telling you to enjoy the time
- Labour seems like a big thing, and it is, but it’s what happens next that’s the important part. It’s the equivalent of scaling The Wall in Game of Thrones, but once you’re over on the other side that’s it, relief! You just have to make it towards King’s Landing…(ha)
- P.S. It probably is going to hurt a little bit more than period pains
- P.P.S. You’re not going to get the epidural
- Don’t worry about turning into a baby bore on Facebook because to be brutally honest, you’re pretty dull already (in my mind, pre-pregnant me = modern / contemporary Samuel Peyps, with a side order of scintillating wit. In actuality, pre-pregnant me = ‘I am out for drinks.’ followed by ‘I am never drinking again.’ Repeat to infinity. Zzz)
- You probably won’t get any sleep in a really, really long time (this is still us two years on!)
- You’ll become the sort of person who puts the cork back in the bottle of wine instead of reaching for a second*. My god, what have you become? *Apart from on the days where you could happily reach for the wine at 9am. Or three hours earlier
- That you should embrace the sheer luxury of doing absolutely nothing because it doesn’t happen often / ever
- That you should embrace the sheer luxury of being alone because it doesn’t happen often / ever during loo trips
- Hear that ringing in your ears? It’s silence. It’ll become as unfamiliar to you as most forms of music, because you only listen to a) film soundtracks b) you singing nursery rhymes on repeat
- Enjoy that cinema trip, because you won’t go again for about five years
- Motherhood will strip you of embarrassment or shame, which is super-handy because you’ll frequently forget the ends of sentances, ends of words, your name even, or be on the phone to the bank to report yet another credit card lost somewhere in your child’s bedroom or between the floorboards
- Or going back to the shop to retrieve the forgotten shopping. Again
- ‘Oh, my children will never wear tasteless cartoon character clothes.’ Newsflash: your 22-month-old will only go out in a Frozen t-shirt and an Anna hair clip
- Oh, your 22-month-old is already the boss of you
- And her shoe collection is a million times better than yours
- I’m pretty sure that, despite your best before baby intentions, there’s no kale in the ice lollies your children sometimes eat…for breakfast. They’re not even organic
- Your motherhood slogan t-shirt will read ‘I pick my battles!’ on the front
- And ‘I took the path of least resistance’ on the back
- You’ll embrace all those alien-sounding things like this, this and this
- You’ll blink and the baby bubble will burst and your teeny tiny newborn will be nearly as tall as you and you’ll be picking primary schools and buying uniform and how is this possible already?
- It never gets easy. This is difficult. This is tricky. This is really hard. This week I witnessed a group of Twitter parents moaning about teenagers. It’s going to happen. And having been a teenage girl, all I can say is yikes
- But you get better. And it gets brilliant. Soon you can sit on the sofa and actually *read a magazine.* It’s a magazine you bought four years ago and they’re wrestling each other off the sofa, but hey!
- And you can do fun things like chat with them, and have in-depth conversations, favourite things to do, in-jokes, introduce them to amazing things you love and sing and make up dance routines non-stop
- That children are exhausting and exhilarating and trying and weird and heart burstingly, love-of-your-life, die-in-half-a-second-for wonderful in ways you have no idea of knowing…just yet.
If you enjoyed this post on things I have no idea about before babies, make sure you read these: to all the less-than perfect mums and everything you’ll obsess about in the first year and everything they DON’T tell you in baby classes, but really should