The things they don’t tell you about motherhood

Whilst pregnant you hear a lot about how to push a watermelon out of your privates and how sleep deprived you will be, especially in those first few weeks, but here is my guide from my experience of those things they don’t tell you about:

  1. A rucksack will become your new handbag. Perfect for carrying everything for you and your little ones. Doesn’t matter whether its designer or one you’ve had for years. It will mean one less thing to carry in your hands. Changing bags seem ideal but soon become a pain in the ass to carry around. You can now get changing bag rucksacks which could be the answer if you need the insulated pockets. Only downside is watch out when you bend over with it still on your back as they tend to punch you in the back of the head!
  2. Weaning is exactly that ‘weaning’ and goes on for longer than you think. To help you out, get your hands on a small blender. If you have the budget for it try and get a hold of a Babycook which can steam, blend, defrost and reheat. This was a real lifesaver for us but do remember to put the lid on when blending or you will end up with a kitchen covered in sweet potato and carrot!
  3. Technology isn’t all bad. I was adamant my daughter wouldn’t see an iPad or iPhone for years but in ‘my’ reality this wasn’t possible. Most of my job and charity work are online so I actually embrace that technology is going to be a part of her life. She was born with a cataract in one eye which following an operation to remove it left her with no lens. Her good eye should therefore be patched for approximately an hour each day to train her brain to use her bad eye more. They encourage use of sensory play and actually recommend using technology to help. I therefore don’t feel guilty using it. I also use it sometimes when she isn’t being patched because to be honest it makes my life a bit easier. For anyone concerned she is going to be over stimulated, I do also encourage her to read books. 
  4. More wine will be drunk than you think. There is nothing wrong to admit that the thought of a glass of vino at the end of the day when everyone is asleep in bed keeps you going on those hard days.  
  5. Don’t feel guilty if your child is in nursery on a day you are not at work because looking after yourself is just as important. Whether it’s to go to the gym, do the washing, do the weekly shop, have your hair done or do some charity work, it means you will be a happier mummy because you have taken some time out for you. 
  6. Your camera roll will become full of photos of your children. Romantic selfies will be replaced with bare bottoms, first words, first days at school and even first solid poo’s!
  7. Breastfeeding doesn’t always come to a natural end. Sometimes your breastfeeding journey comes to an end for your own sake, even if it’s not what you want. Whether you breastfeed for six days, six weeks, six months or a year, don’t give yourself a hard time if you make the decision to stop.  My goal was to get to six weeks. I ended up carrying on until my daughter was 13 months. I wanted to make it to a year so I could start giving my daughter some cow’s milk rather than formula. Unfortunately I had mastitis three times in a month and a half which just didn’t seem to heal. I didn’t want to stop and it broke my heart as I wanted to let her decide when she was ready to stop, but I kept getting sick so decided it was time to look after myself and stop. She needed me to be a healthy mother so that’s what I had to do for both our sakes.
  8. Embrace the makeup free, frizzy hair you. You sometimes go through a whole day without having time to look in the mirror so my tip is to just not worry. Your child doesn’t care whether you have clean hair so if you are having one of those mornings and don’t have time, just go with it.
  9. You will burst into tears in public, maybe even more than once! I was at a supermarket checkout having somehow got me and my daughter up, dressed, fed and around the supermarket. I was tired, stressed and taking a few seconds to check my online banking when the man behind me made some comment under his breath about how I couldn’t keep off my phone. I barked back on the verge of tears trying to explain I was seeing if I had enough money in my account. I removed myself from the queue and buried my tears under my hair whilst I sorted myself out. I let him have his turn then went back to pay. He didn’t know what day I was having or how much effort it had taken me to get to this point but his comment hurt me. I was just trying to survive the day and be a good mummy and wife. If only a ‘Tired mummy – treat with care’ badge existed, it may just make people think twice about their words or actions.
  10. Last but not least…..You will listen to your child breathing in their sleep, probably more than you think….and isn’t it a beautiful sound.