10 things I wish I’d been told before we decided to have a baby

10 things I wish I’d been told before we decided to have a baby

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1. Hormones make you crazy

Think you are stroppy when you’ve got PMT? Think again. Pregnancy and being a new Mum is a challenging time, made ten times worse by those raging hormones that make you more than a little tearful, emotional and slightly crazy. I never thought I’d lose control of my body and actions in such an all-consuming way.

2. Mum guilt

When you become a Mum you also inherit ‘Mum guilt’. This basically means that whatever you do (right or wrong) you feel guilty. From breastfeeding (or lack of it) and how many times you change their nappy to leaving them with anyone else and being angry with them for stealing all your sleep. I feel guilty when the J bangs her head, when she cries, when I get cross that she won’t stop crying, when I feed her Ella’s Kitchen pouches instead of home-cooked food, and when I wish she would go away for a bit so I can have a lie in (I don’t really wish she would go away, but I am bloody knackered).

3. Lack of free time

If anyone is reading this who doesn’t have kids, make the most of your free time. I had no idea how precious this was until I had a baby. Coming home from work and sitting down in front of the TV with a glass of wine. Being able to straighten your hair in the morning. Having a bath or shower that is longer than 5 rushed minutes. The J has just started crawling and I’m waiting for that dreaded day when she follows me into the toilet – so that’s what Jumperoos were made for.

4. An immense love that changes you

I thought I knew what love was before I had the J, but a mother’s love is a whole different ball game (sorry Grump I do love you too, but it’s different). It’s this unconditional love that makes you fiercely protective. I would seriously hurt anyone who harms my baby and I’ve never felt like that before. It’s a feeling of awe about this amazing little person that YOU made. It makes all those sleepless nights and stressful days worthwhile.

5. The inordinate amount of time spent talking about the contents of your child’s nappy

I’ve always had a crude sense of humour, as had Grump. He once took a photo of his poo (it was so long it came out of the water), saved it on his phone and showed it to everyone we know. So I’m not shy about talking about disgusting things, but it amazes me how much time us mum’s spend talking about our babies’ poo. The colour, size, consistency, frequency and smell are all discussed in minute detail. Oh and you think it’s bad when you have to deal with newborn poos and then you start weaning and things get even worse. Be warned!

6. You become an amazing multi-tasker

Thought you were organised before you had kids? I certainly believed I was, but now I can juggle so many more things at once. Even with baby brain. Every time you leave the house you need to remember a ridiculous amount of things: nappies, wipes, change of clothes, muslins, bibs, dummies, toys and so on and so on. Your baby has their own social life and you somehow manage to remember doctors/health visitor appointments, baby classes and meetings with friends, as well as doing the food shopping, clothes washing (which increases three-fold with all the sicky/pooey baby clothes), cleaning and tidying of the house. Oh and cooking meals for yourself and for baby and pureeing them and finger foods and sterilising bottles… the list is endless.

7. Early mornings are the norm

I think the latest I have slept in since having the J is probably 7am. Lie-ins are most definitely a thing of the past. Unless you have amazing parents who are prepared to take your baby overnight (mine haven’t offered yet…), you might as well say goodbye to sleep for the foreseeable future. Also going to bed early doesn’t seem to help. Our usual bed time is now 9.30pm. Anything past 10pm is pushing our luck. I even tried going to bed at 8.30pm the other night and still felt shattered the next morning. Oh sleep how I miss you.

8. You don’t have time to care what people think about you

I never used to leave the house without mascara on. I think I’ve probably gone without it most days since becoming a mum and I hardly ever brush my hair. The other day I was out for lunch with my parents and the J’s nappy leaked onto my white t-shirt. In the past if I’d got poo on my top (whose poo I’m not sure? Just to be clear this has not happened to me before) I’d go straight home and change. However, I simply gave it a quick wipe and continued eating my lunch (obviously after wet wiping/changing the J). I don’t have time to give a crap what people think about me now and it is quite refreshing.

9. You are more affected by world events

I used to get a little bit upset by tragic world events, but I always felt very removed from them. Since I’ve had a baby I find the news really difficult to watch. Anything sad or cruel and I’m welling up. And if it’s anything involving children I go out of my mind. It makes me question what kind of world have I bought my child into.

10. You do everything you possibly can to avoid a hangover

Not that you really have the opportunity to go out on the lash, but there is absolutely no way I could look after a small child with a hangover. I still like the odd glass of wine, but the thought of feeling rough all day and having to wake up at 6am is just too much to bear. I’d rather stay sober and have a pleasant weekend!

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