10 completely mad things I did in my first weeks of motherhood
'Insane' is actually a pretty generous description of some of the things I got up to when I first became a mother.
Demented, ludicrous, borderline unstable would probably all cover the outlandishness slightly more accurately. At times, I was in a bad place. At other times I was just really REALLY hormonal. And I was severely tired all of the time.
Here are 10 totally demented things I did in my first weeks as a mum:
1. Went to the January sales
With a 6-day old. What the hell was I doing there? My body wasn't even remotely human-shaped at this stage. My stomach still resembled a gelatinous sinkhole that I could have reached into up as far as my elbow at least. Plus I had no money, my every penny thenceforth was to be spent on experimental interventions for colic and reflux, lactation whisperers for my boobs and more baby wipes than I every thought one individual could ever require.
2. Put on my makeup every day
I mean really, what was the goddamn point? The mini human with whom I spent 22 hours of the day, couldn't even focus on my face. Even if another human with fully developed eyesight happened to cross my path (usually a delivery or someone coming to read the meter) they were rarely looking at my face. The Sad Boob that I more or less permanently had flopped out over my vest and neglected to put away when I answered the door was usually distraction enough from my contouring efforts. Due to sleep deprivation, I looked like a wrung out old j-cloth no matter what I did. I think I could've skipped the bloody makeup nonsense.
3. F*cked a shampoo bottle down the stairs in a rage when some well-meaning visitors outstayed their welcome
And yes, I performed this charming strop IN FRONT of said visitors. I was definitely veering into demented territory that day. I was just really tired, and they kept asking if the baby was sleeping. That'd be enough to goad anyone sure.
4. Brought the baby for a walk in the buggy at three am, ranting and muttering all the way because he would not sleep or stop crying
It was New Year's Eve and even the fireworks, and happy revellers were giving me rage.
5. Wrote myself a letter warning against ever having another baby
I destroyed this letter some months later when the no sleeping thing had calmed down a bit, and the baby was smiling. But now that I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second baby I can't help but occasionally cast my mind back to that slightly mad missive penned in the early hours of the morning when The Child was just a few weeks old. What did it say? Should I have had one more read before throwing caution and contraception to the wind? No. Bad idea.
6. Explored divorcing my husband
I think the only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger on this was the mere fact that I needed someone to help me out. And he would do... just about. That first bit of parenthood can be really hard on the old relationship – you're not really on the same page as the other half. As much as they are also going through the massive life upheaval that a new baby brings they don't have the same level of hormones and sleep deprivation giving everything that crazy dimension that we have as the mum and primary food source for the baby. Not only was The Man not on the same page as me – 5 days into new parenthood he was already proposing a second baby – he wasn't even in the same section of the bookshop. I was in the True Crime section, and he was off in Fantasy.
7. Explored running away
Running away seemed like a very real option for me at times when I first became a mother. Obviously, I am so glad I didn't. I wouldn't have gotten far; I absolutely adore my son and as much as I thought about starting a new life in a remote part of Wales, my heart wasn't in it. Plus the logistics of running away would've been too much for my tired, addled brain. I couldn't find the rain cover for the buggy for God's sake; there was no way I would've been able to locate my passport, book tickets, pack a bag and cover my tracks – not a hope. Lucky.
8. Screamed into my pillow. A lot
Okay this sounds pretty mad, but I actually stand by this one – it's weirdly therapeutic. It totally works for the toddler years as well. Don't get me wrong new motherhood is a magical time of beauty and wonder that looks EXACTLY like Chrissy Teigen's Instagram, I swear. However, it's also a time when you may feel the need to scream into a pillow.
9. Started fights with practically everyone
I am a lover, not a fighter but for some reason, I thought the best time to completely alienate virtually everyone from close friends to random neighbours was this moment when I clearly needed them most. What a genius. The premises for these beefs were usually pretty flimsy as well. The beefee would do something really innocuous that Normal Sophie would hardly even notice but because Mildly Insane New Mother Sophie had all this extra awake-time on her hands, she would cook up some totally crazy Machiavellian scheme that wasn't even happening and just run with it.
10. Thought it was a great time to cut all my hair off
DON'T make irreversible hair decisions on zero sleep and weeks of colic – it's just not sensible.