What I Wish I Had Known When I Was Pregnant
I’d tell you not to worry, but that would be as futile as asking Justin Bieber not to be a camel-loined nobwit. So instead, let me start by saying this:
You will not accidentally kill the baby.
You won’t drop him on his head or fall down the stairs holding him.
He does roll off the bed once and you lose your shit, but I’m pleased to report there is no lasting damage (to you, or him).
You will spend your first month of motherhood obsessively checking whether your little one is still breathing.
I assure you, he is.
OK, so the labor will hurt like hell, but afterwards you will not care.
That nursing specialist who told you breastfeeding doesn’t hurt at all? She lied.
It does hurt. Initially. So make sure you bug all those midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding helplines with your inane questions. You’ll be glad you did.
I know you’re grossed out by me talking about boobs right now, but that won’t last long – and before you know it, you and baby will be nursing ninja masters. And you’ll love it.
When baby is six months old, you’ll reach the unexpected realization that you’re not yet ready to stop.
Talk with and listen to your fellow new-mama friends.
Because it gets lonely with a newborn at 3 a.m. – and you need someone to chat diapers, nipples and vaginas with.You will sniff your son’s bottom on a thrice daily basis.
And wonder what he’s been eating.
You will at some point get baby poop on your forehead. And not care.
Quite frankly, you could get woolly mammoth poop on your nose and not bat an eyelid. Childbirth makes you shameless.
Your beautiful home will be taken over by all things baby.
You’re going to need a bigger house.
There will be doubts. There will be tears. You will get stuff wrong. But that’s OK.
You will worry that you’re a terrible mother at least 37 times a day. You’re not. You’re freaking AWESOME. Wipe-poop-from-your-forehead-and-don’t-bat-an-eyelid awesome.
Each and every charity appeal on TV will make you cry. Finding Nemo will make you cry. Spilled milk will make you cry. Breaking a nail will make you cry.
One sleep-deprived morning you will put expressed breastmilk in your cup and coffee granules in your son’s bottle. Several minutes will pass before you realize your mistake.
You will love your husband more than you can possibly imagine.
Because he becomes a greater father than you ever dreamed he would be – and watching him with your son makes your heart pound so much you think you might be sick in your mouth a little bit.
You will love your son more than you love your husband.
You cannot conceive of this right now, but I assure you, you will. Your husband will love the baby more than he loves you too. And you’re both OK with that.
When weaning begins, you will think salt is the devil incarnate.
One cheese puff does not have the power to kill a child. Please refrain from swearing at your pal who offers your little man a single baked corn puff.
Though for reference – you’re totally within your rights to punch your brother’s girlfriend, who tries to spoon-feed him prawn madras.
When your son outright refuses to eat any of your lovingly prepared, organic vegetable purees – you will wrongly assume he’s a fuss pants.
Hand him the spoon and (as soon as he locates his own mouth) you’ll be amazed. The boy loves to eat. You just have to trust him to feed himself. That baby-led weaning hippy crap you keep hearing so much about? It has legs.*
*Just bid farewell to your pristine tiled kitchen floor.
And its freshly painted walls.
Oh, and the windows too.
The ceiling will never be the same again either.
Google is no longer your friend.
Don’t even think about reconnecting in the wee hours of the morning. You’ll spend a week thinking your son has smallpox.
You will still be you. Only a whole new you – with baby spit-up on your shoulder and peanut butter in your hair.
And although you will often worry that you’re getting it all wrong, you will like this new shabby-chic peanut butter-haired you.
You will realize how much you judged mothers before becoming one yourself.
Shame on you, oh Goody-Goody von Holier-than-thou Judgey Knickers.
You will try really hard not to tell your husband he’s doing it all wrong.
You will tell your husband he’s doing it all wrong.
Just because he does things differently, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s doing them wrong.
(Apart from the time your son projectile vomits on his head mid-air, because daddy decided to play ‘Airplanes’ with him two minutes after a feed. You’re totally OK to call him out on that. Though it is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen.)
Don’t even think about putting away any toys mid-afternoon. It will look like Toys R’ Us threw up in your living room within seconds.
Wait ’til the end of the day.
You will, at some point, blame your child for playing with something you left within his reach.
By the time he’s 10 months old, anything not kept under lock and key is within reach.
If you are unable to locate your cell phone at any point in the next few months – it’s in the refrigerator.
Along with the TV remote. Because that is where you left it.
You will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.
After all, it is, without question, the most stupendously inspired thing you have ever, ever done. And you couldn’t be more proud.
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