So, like many other bloggers before me this post comes to you direct from the loo. I’m a new mum on iron tablets and antibiotics and let’s just say – I could be here a while.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this blog yet. Rate and review items I buy from independent Instagram shops probably.
Back to the new mum thing – I’d like to make this a really brutally honest post. About the side of having a newborn that I didn’t expect. We’ve all seen Huffpost entries titled ’10 things you didn’t know your newborn could do’ etc. I was pregnant for almost 10 months – believe me I read them all. I was still woefully underprepared.
Here’s a confession for you – I didn’t have that ‘instantaneous rush of love’ that TV, books and well-meaning strangers had led me to believe was my destiny. No. In fact she’s 8 weeks tomorrow and while we have an incredible connection now, I don’t remember when that happened. Like all great love stories, ours is building over time. I was in all honesty overwhelmed for the first 14 days of Matilda’s life. Like walking through treacle “what have I done? I can’t be responsible for a human. I can’t even plait my hair” << confession number two for you right there. Yep. I’m a bun or nothing kinda gal. Visitors came and cooed over my baby and asked me to recount my birth story in as much gory detail as I liked. It’s a haze, a blur.
I’ve always been a classic neurotic over thinker. Now as a new mother with a loud baby just crying and staring at me, I began to let the self doubt creep in. “Look how easily she settled with Karl. It’s obvious she doesn’t like you”. Or “you ungrateful cow, you are meant to be walking around in a warm fuzzy postnatal cloud”. Two friends had lost babies during my pregnancy. I couldn’t feel any more guilty if I tried that every waking second wasn’t some magical Amaro filtered wonderland. I expected it to be hard and relentless and unforgiving work – at least until those first toothless smiles! I didn’t expect the loneliness. The claustrophobic closing in of my four walls. I didn’t expect that. But it hit me square between the eyes.
I’m not even sure when the change happened. I stopped being terrified of her crying in public and the looks (disgust from 20 year olds without a hint of muffin top or camaraderie from other dishevelled zombies – or new parents as they are more commonly called). I stopped dreading night time in case she would wake up – or worse it would be ME awake checking that everyone was still breathing. I stopped apologising and saying “she cries a lot”. She’s a baby. Babies cry. I stopped feeling like a whole day indoors would make me a nervous wreck in the corner come 5:30pm.
I began to enjoy my baby. She’s 8 weeks old tomorrow and we are off her first lot of vaccinations. I’m dreading it. But I enjoy playing with her. I don’t break out into a sweat when she cries anymore.
If anyone is reading this and questioning whether being a mother is for them or that they’re obviously the worst parent in the entire world – I’m with you. You’re not. You’re doing just fine.
Oh and step away from Google. Especially at 3am.
Step away from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Those mums have doubts too. They just show you a snapshot of the happier times. Don’t compare. You’re doing just fine.