Sure, there’s plenty of love around when a new baby arrives. But along with it, also a lot of apprehension, frustration and dare I say it? – Yes, RESENTMENT! There should be no shame in admitting that dealing with motherhood can suck. So without further ado, here are the top 8 things that riled me as a new mum:
Self-explanatory. For the first few months, you will feel and look like you’ve aged a decade. So I suggest you avoid mirrors at all cost, unless you want to sink into a dark hole of self-loathing and misery. If ever you’re forced to look at one, I pray that it’s under soft light.
After I gave birth, every action in the bathroom was at best, tediously long and at its worst, eff-ing strenuous. Even brushing my teeth was an exercise of trepidation – lest my post-c-sect belly pressed against the basin too hard or the baby wakes from his nap (again) because I was too noisy. Oh, and did I mention, mirrors? Hate, hate, hate bathroom time.
P.S. Now that I’ve had my second child through normal vaginal delivery – I HATE bathroom time even more. All I can say is, load up on the anti-constipation and pain meds.
3. Social Media
The last thing you need while coming to terms with your post-baby body is Instagram feeding you @MirandaKerr doing beach sexy in a cut-out monokini. Similarly, ordinary updates from your social feed will suddenly feel like sinister digs:
“Happy Hour with my girlies! #MoscatoMmm” (Aargh…so dying for a glass now…)
“Good morning, weekend!” (It’s 11am! I’ve been up since 3!)
“OOTD – Denim on denim” (Bitch can fit into her jeans. I hate her. I hate the Internet.)
4. Stupid Comments
Typically dispensed by innocent, well-intentioned people who don’t have kids. Things like, “You look tired.” (Actually, you mean ghastly. But thank you for holding back.) Or “He’s crying! Why?” (Look, if I knew, he wouldn’t be crying would he??) Or the classic: “Sleep when baby sleeps!” (But if I did, I wouldn’t have time to eat, shower or play candy crush!)
Alongside Backseat Parenting, scaremongering is one of those psychological jabs that make me want to scream. Over the last 9 months, I’ve received remarks about my baby drinking too little milk, too little water and now, too much milk and too much solids. In short, I was made to feel unnecessarily guilty, anxious and doubtful. Listen to the advice, but follow your heart. Because you (and your pediatrician) know best.
6. Surprise Visits
Although new mums are pretty much up around the clock, it doesn’t mean we should be okay to receive visitors any time. And yes, that includes relatives. Unless you’re able to take over the feeding, soothing and rocking of baby to sleep for us while we catch up on some Zzzz’s, please just call before you visit. It’s only polite.
7. Your Husband
When you’re sleep deprived, engorged, dealing with a colicky newborn and walking a thin hormonal line between sanity and crazy biatch, the easiest target becomes your partner. Most husbands are understanding enough when you explode on them for swaddling left to right instead of right to left. But if your repeated crankiness and sudden meltdowns are beginning to take a toll on your relationship, remember that you’re both new at this, so take a few deep breaths and go easy on yourselves.
Hungry cry. Distress cry. Sleepy cry. Over-stimulated cry. Dirty cry. Purple cry. During the tenuous fourth trimester, your angelic sweetpea will communicate with you entirely in cry-speak. The books and Internet will tell you to listen out for and detect the different intonations in order to discern what your child needs, but in my case, all cries eventually led to the same thing: boob. It was the one thing guaranteed to soothe and stop the crying (caused by acid reflux, it turns out). So I nursed until I hated nursing. And some more. Which, surprise, surprise, led to plenty more crying – on my part.
Yup, the newborn phase can be a cray-cray period for first-time parents. BUT like all rites of passage, it will pass, you’ll become stronger for it and soon, you’ll be wearing your mum-hood like a badge of honour. Plus, let’s be very clear. Any woman who has brought a baby to this world is pretty much already a superhero for surviving childbirth!
So – go get them, new mum!