From the minute your bump begins to show – or from when you tell people – you’re suddenly a sounding and ranting board for everyone who has had a baby.
From the ‘oh, when I was pregnant I had dreadful morning sickness’, to ‘Say goodbye to your life’. Harsh.
So with this in mind I’m putting together the warning I was given and dispelling them, all from the experiences I had. Of course not every mum is the same and what happens to one of us, doesn’t necessarily happen to others .
Here’s just some of the few warnings dispelled.
I was scared about the sleepless nights that mums of one, two and three children eagerly warned me about over copious amounts of coffee – theirs – nursing those headaches that you can only get from having an hour’s sleep. But I figured that if it was so bad why were there three of their children running around?
Still, the first night I bought my little man home I was fearful. I’d prepared myself for the worst after seeing my mummy friends with their bags and being shadows of their former selves.
However, that constant waking didn’t come true for us. Instead, the first night he came home, little man slept all night. I, on the other hand spent most of those hours up waiting for him to wake for a feed – because that’s what I had been warned about – and listening to him peacefully breathing.
Of course we had a fair few of those nights that people warned me about, but as many mums will say, you get used to the tiredness a little person brings. And let’s face it, ‘I’ve been up all night’ is a great excuse to sit around in your PJs all day ignoring the housework!
Ahhh… The subject many mums like to warn you about. ‘I was pushing for ages,’ ‘I was too late for an epidural’ and ‘Contractions are the worst pain you’ll ever experience’.
There wasn’t a day that went past that I wasn’t told of the horrors of labour from both well-meaning friends to complete strangers that felt it their right to warn me.
I hadn’t been worried about this. From the minute I found out I was pregnant the mentality had been, ‘There’s no point in stressing about the birth. He has to come out.’ However, all the tales had started to waiver this thinking.
And when the labour started I reached 7 cm dilated at home. I managed to do a full shop in Sainsburys with the first contractions and 8 hours without pain relief because the pain wasn’t as bad as the panic people had instilled in me.
And it’s true what they say – you really do forget how painful it was very quickly afterwards.
The first nappy and the sick
I’ll be very honest. I can’t stand sick or poo. So much so that I run a mile if someone mentions they feel just a little bit queasy. This was something I was dreading without anyone having to warn me about it. However, the tales of projectile vom and those first few nappies – thanks ladies! – were enough to send my OCD into overdrive!
Roll on the first night when little man had a whole ward to ourselves and he had his first meconium nappy. Stifled by a catheter and with no help from the midwives I had to waddle over to the sink to clean little man’s nappy. Sticky? Yes. Gruesome – no.
And when that projectile sick came it wasn’t the end of the world. Not even when it went all over my hair – and down the inside of my top!
Three years later? I’d rather someone else deal with the bugs but hey, it’s not so bad!
The end of date nights – and your ‘freedom’
Spontaneous call from your friend to say they are in the pub down the road? Before children you’d be there.
After kids, those nights take more planning than my big fat Greek wedding!
However, it’s not the end of the world as people make out.
Did I miss the freedom of being able to grab my coat and rush out for drinks? Yes.
Did I miss the hangovers with said spontaneous nights? No.
And as for date nights out – yes they were few and far between – but once little legs was asleep there wasn’t anything to say you couldn’t sit down with a nice dinner at home. In fact, making a date night round the table took more effort, more prep and more realisation that you were prepared to do as much as you could for ‘us time’.
Of course these are just a few of the bits of ‘advice’ I was given – I could be here all day. But if I could give any mum any ‘warning’ it would be that you’ll be inundated with stories from everyone. Ignore it. Make your own stories.