Before I start this post properly I think I already need the flashing neon disclaimer sign that 99% of what I’m about to write is supposed to be humorous. It’s my way of detracting from the ongoing shit storm that is my life at the moment. I can’t believe I am having to justify myself this early on in my blogging experience but there we are. Of course if you don’t like my content then that is absolutely acceptable. I would wholeheartedly encourage you to move on and have a jolly nice day. If you like what you read then why not like, follow, or comment? You could if you don’t like it as well actually. Constructive criticism always helps… once the tears have dried up, and the self hating abates of course. Again I jest. If you know you know I suppose.
I couldn’t wait for my maternity leave. I took some holiday and went off about 4 weeks before I was due to give birth (although that turned into 3 weeks because he came a week early). Cue the crazy nesting and reading up on helpful hints and tips for mummy’s to be. Here’s some of the things I thought I’d be doing as fabulously fantastic yummy first time mummy…. err yeah right!
Myth- Breastfeeding and pumping will be a breeze. There would be so much milk in fact I will have to store it in special breastmilk freezer bags (that I actually purchased and still have in his cupboard upstairs).
Fact – It’s fucking hard. The reasons I stopped are manyfold and have been discussed in a previous post so I won’t bang on about it. Instead I found I spent at least half my maternity leave (and more) waiting for kettles to cool down to the required temperature as I was scared to death of making my LO ill. Just another thing to add to the all consuming anxiety beast. Also the breast pump I used about as effective as a chocolate fire guard.
Myth- I would turn into a batch cooking, bake off whirl and who will probably be able to start a cake baking business I’d be so good at it.
Fact- I can’t cook. I have never enjoyed cooking, and becoming lost in the fog of the fourth trimester meant that cooking dinner for myself and the rest of the family was way down my list of priorities where keeping my tiny human alive was concerned. I don’t know why I thought I would suddenly become a master chef when I didn’t even have the energy to boil an egg for about 6 weeks after the baby arrived. Fair play to OH though he does cook when he’s not working. I can’t complain about that (see I am nice sometimes).
Myth- I would be a yummy mummy pushing a yummy mummy pram around town to meet my yummy mummy friends for coffee and play dates. I would still manage to look respectable doing said activities.
Fact- I didn’t go out of the house with the pram for at least a month. Partly because I was sore and poorly but also partly because anxiety is a wanker. What if it started raining, was he warm enough? Was he cool enough? Was the baby bag carrying everything plus the kitchen sink? Let me tell you now once you have a child you don’t simply leave the house. It becomes a military manoeuvre just to push a bloody buggy over the threshold of the front door, let alone the walk down to town. Also I have very few friends to meet for coffee, but those I did meet up with, by the time I got to meet them I looked more like some kind of bedraggled dog that you see in those ugliest pet competitions. Also my pram is definitely not even worthy of competing in today’s pram wars you see around town these days. It’s *sharp intake of breath* second hand. Absolutely not a yummy mummy. He was a pretty good baby to take out in his defence though. He did coo all the cuteness from his pram sometimes to take the attention away from me looking like an absolute mess thankfully.
Myth-would not be spending all my time watching crappy day time TV.
Fact- I was just lying to myself and there’s not much else to say on this subject. I was blessed with a baby who slept reasonably well and had good naps. I actually watched a lot of one born every minute and other baby related programs as my head was now suitably mashed by hormones to be able to watch this crud. Also a lot of cartoons when the sprog was awake which has mashed my brain in other ways. This links me on nicely to the last point:
Myth- My child will have zero screen time and will never be allowed near my phone or iPad and the telly will never be on.
Fact- Hahaha! Cue Baby TV, CBeebies, milkshake, and all the other cartoon reasons for all that is wrong in the world. Don’t even get me started on Peppa Pig or Bing (echoing so many other blogger parents here but wtf is Flop?). Your child will soak up the crappy telly like a sponge. They will also dismiss any toy phone, tv remote and car keys set that you buy them to play with in favour of the real thing. They just will. It’s baby law or something. They may be taken with it for about 5 seconds, but then they know it’s a ploy.
Myth- I’d be weaning my child with lovingly prepared organic food in baby led feeding style.
Fact- Ok so I didn’t try the baby led feeding avenue so successfully but again I blame anxiety for that too. Weaning without doubt has been one of the most stressful experiences of motherhood so far. He definitely has a “not this homemade shit again” setting and he won’t eat whatever I make him, so yes he does eat out of jars and packets somewhat (not even then sometimes though). I will never ever forget Pea Gate either for as long as I live. He also is able to manage hard things to eat if it’s a chocolate biscuit say, but if he has lumps of pasta in his spaghetti bolognese (the absolute gall!) then all hell breaks loose. He does like garlic bread though. Who knew?
Myth- My child will have a schedule.
Fact- A baby will do what a baby will do when a baby will do it. To me sleep training and crying it out etc is all bunkum (sorry my opinion). Staying on the precious issue of sleep for this point, on the whole he has never been an awful sleeper, for which I am extremely thankful. He has his moments though, and they couldn’t be more maddening. The other day for example I had been trying to get the little angel to nap for about an hour an a half before resorting to the buggy and walking around for an hour in the pissing rain. I also got splashed by some bastard in a big jeep driving too fast down a road full of parked cars. He did get a sleep though, after 3 days of no naps in the day so I have had to take getting wet on the chin. I am still claiming a soggy victory for that one.
So I’m going to finish on that semi victorious note. Believe me you’ve got to take small victories where you can in this motherhood life. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’m sure I’ll think of more things in the meantime. I’m off now to to go back in time and give childless me and all her ideals a great big slap in the face! If you can think of anything else to add let me know!!
#maternityleave #expectationsvreality #motherhood