I am what I has been quiet for a few months, as I became a mum for the first time back in May, and wrongly assumed that it would be easy to find time to blog once the little one arrived. The past few months have been a blur of nappy changes, bottles, tears (baby’s and mine) and sleepless nights, to the point that I lost all concept of what day of the week it was.
We’ve all heard mums exclaim how motherhood is ‘the hardest job in the world’, and probably even rolled our eyes a bit while secretly wondering how hard changing a few nappies and singing nursery rhymes can actually be. I now know first-hand that it’s hard. And I mean really hard. Yes, I have got through a few Netflix boxsets, but that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around all day doing nothing. Watching Orange is the New Black at 3am to make a sleepless night slightly more bearable is not my idea of chilling out. No, it’s not difficult to change a nappy, or make up a bottle, but imagine having a full time job that you can never go home from, where you have to be alert 24/7 and pretty much guess what your boss (or in this case baby) wants from you. The thing that makes motherhood hard is the exhaustion, and the never ending to-do list that repeats itself day in, day out and turns even the most together and loving parent into a monstrous version of themselves at 3am.
I write this a little guiltily, as in the grand scheme of things I have a well-behaved baby and a supportive partner, and I know many parents have much more difficult situations to deal with. Knowing how hard I’ve found the last few months, I can only imagine how I might have coped (or not, as the case may be) had things been any different.
I’m 3 months in now, and things are finally starting to settle down. Normality is as resumed as it’s probably ever going to be; we’ve got a routine (of sorts), I’m getting some sleep, manage to get the odd wash on, and have hopefully left the 3am version of me behind.
Here’s my summary of the last few months:
Month 1: Zero hours of sleep due to a baby who will not settle; Constant panic/worry over everything that may or may not happen; Stress over what I should/should not be doing with regards to bottle feeding (so many rules); Obsession over the frequency and consistency of poop; Pretty much housebound due to recovery from birth and fear of dangers to baby that lurk in the outside world; Inexplicable tears at any given moment; What day is it? Haven’t a clue mate.
Month 2: Zero hours of sleep due to unsettled baby/fear that when baby is asleep she will stop breathing the minute I close my eyes; Worry that I will never go anywhere or do anything interesting ever again; Panic about how an earth I’ll manage to get baby and pram on a bus to attempt to do something interesting; Gradually abandoning all rules and doing anything for an easy life; Piles of washing taking over the bathroom; It’s Tuesday isn’t it? Or Wednesday?
Month 3: Sleep! Hooray! All thanks to baby Gaviscon (reflux was the problem all along); Venturing out on the bus (the majority of passengers are surprisingly polite and helpful); Ability to cope with screaming fits due to a) I’ve had a decent amount of sleep, and b) for every screaming fit there’s a laugh and a smile to melt my heart; Washing on the line, living room tidy(ish); It’s Friday, definitely Friday.
I’m no fool, I know it’s never going to be plain sailing, but take it from a first-timer who hasn’t a clue what she’s doing: whether it takes weeks or months, it gets easier every day.