As it is often said, ‘The best parents are the ones without children’, and I was certainly no exception. Like most during pregnancy, I was living in a state of blissful ignorance and had many preconceived notions about motherhood and what I would be like as a parent. I had it allll figured out. Since then, our little bundle has arrived and I look back and realise just how innocent I was, how naïve…
Expectation: “I can’t wait to get this baby out and get back into shape. I’m going to work out every day, start going to yoga classes, do squats every morning, only eat healthy foods…”
Reality: “WHERE has all the cheese gone? I NEED cheese. Okay fine chocolate will do. Nope, I’m still hungry, where’s that cheese?”
It’s a pretty cruel twist of fate that the only time your child will be immobile for the foreseeable future; you’re too damn busy with the constant feeding and attention they require, not to mention too tired to even take the rubbish out, to actually even consider wasting valuable energy exercising. Besides, carrying the carseat definitely counts. If nothing else I’m the proud owner of some shiny new arm muscles. (And there’s just no denying how damn good ice cream tastes.)
Expectation: “We’re going to keep our place clutter free, we don’t want a house full of unnecessary baby paraphernalia.”
Reality: “Yes, I know we don’t need another bouncy chair but this one plays music, lights up and rocks the baby to sleep. Sleep. Remember that?”
It’s very easy to get carried away with unnecessary baby baggage; we’ve actually been fairly reserved with the baby bits we’ve bought so far and also been very lucky with some lovely gifts. But I do have to virtually handcuff myself every time we walk into Toys R Us to prevent me buying EVERYTHING in the shop.
Expectation: “She is going to look just adddoorableee in these little shoes, look at them, they’re just like adult ones, but small!”
Reality: *Has ten minute fight with baby to put on ridiculously impractical newborn shoes, ends up making baby cry and gives up*
This goes for clothes too. I’m not sure who ever commissioned the concept of ‘over the head’ newborn babygrows, but I sure would like to have a stern word with them.
Expectation: “I’m not going to be one of those people that posts endless photos of their baby on social media. It’s just SO annoying.”
Reality: “Okay so I’ve already posted two pictures on Instagram today and one on Facebook, is that too many? Oh but look at that SMILE, she looks cuter than yesterday, babe, doesn’t she look cuter than yesterday, alright just one more…”
Guilty as charged. Not even sorry.
Expectation: “I am SO looking forward to relaxing in the evenings once the baby’s asleep with my old friend, Chardonnay.”
Reality: “WHY WON’T SHE SLEEP!!?”
Turns out my idea of kicking back with Kristian and a glass of wine (or six) once the baby heads down for the night was perhaps a little deluded. As it happens, she doesn’t like to hit the hay until about midnight, plus I’d wager if there really is a hell it involves being hungover with a baby screaming at you for all of eternity. So for now, wine is definitely a no go.
Expectation: “I’m not going to be one of those over the top paranoid mothers; I think it’s important they get ill, it helps build up their immune system.”
Reality: “Look, I’m not going to wake her, I just want to check if she’s still breathing… I don’t care if I only checked two minutes ago. I just want to chec… Okay, her temperature is 37.1°C, is that a fever? I’m pretty sure that’s a fever, we should probably go to hospital…”
I consider myself a fairly rational and sane person but it looks like obsessive psychoneurosis with a side order of hypochondria comes with the whole parenting gig. Last week I misdiagnosed a mosquito bite for leprosy. (Thanks a lot Google). But I guess it does get better, now I only check her breathing every five minutes.
Expectation: “I’m still going to make an effort to look nice; I want to be one of those hot mums, y’know.”
Reality: *smudges breastmilk stain into top with spit* “Meh, looks alright.”
It is crazy to think I once wore makeup like every. day.
Expectation: “Kristian and I will still make time for each other, it’s important that we maintain our relationship too.”
Reality: “I mean yeah we could have sex, orrrr… we could sleep? ” *Please say sleep, pleeease say sleep*
Expectation: “It’s going to be so nice to go out for a meal, just the two of us. Perhaps your mum could watch the baby and we could even go away together in the summer, what about Ibiza, yeah Ibiza, wouldn’t that be cool?”
Reality: “If she can’t come, we ain’t going.”
And this is only the beginning…
Would love to hear from other mums what expectations you had pre-baby that didn’t quite match up to the reality of parenthood?!