10 ways I was completely delusional about motherhood before having kids
Mother's Day has us looking back on all the ways we were a sweet, innocent, summer child in our expectations...
During my pregnancy, I was careful to avoid any films or books or TV shows that would derail my notion of motherhood as a blissful, rose-tinted interpretive dance through glorious meadows of joy and wonder.
This was a mistake.
Because I never once delved into Rosemary's Baby or We Need to Talk About Kevin or Child's Play 1, 2 or 3 (Or indeed Child's Play 4, 5 and 6: Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky and Revenge of Chucky), I was completely unprepared for the apocalyptic sh**tstorm of colic and soothers and actual s**t that was about to rain down on me (along with all the joy obvs).
So, here are the ten ways in which I was completely delusional about motherhood prior to having kids.
1. I thought the birth was all about me and what I wanted
Ha. Ha. Sure, it must be for lots of lucky women, but for me when push came to shove my 'plans' were fairly low down the list of priorities. Get the uncooperative baby out safely was the main objective and thankfully they did.
2. I thought breastfeeding would be grand
And it was... eventually. But I didn't even give a thought to the fact that breastfeeding might be a bit hard at first. I just assumed I'd be a lactating champion first go, meaning I put absolutely zero effort into preparing for it by either opening a book, asking another mother or going to the class in the hospital. Because I am a genius.
3. I thought 'bedtime' was a real thing and not just a cruel joke
I thought that bedtime rolled around, and they, the kids, would realise this and oblige by, well, going to bed.
4. I thought my kids would slot into my life like a new handbag
Simple. No life-altering upheaval of epic proportions. It's just a tiny human, I reasoned, how hard can this be?
5. I thought routines were optional and that mothers whose kids weren't in routines were simply rejecting the notion outright
I will literally never stop laughing at this memory. A friend of mine had said: "Are you worried at all about how you'll manage?"
Me (heavily pregnant beached under a mound of Roses wrappers): "No, not at all. I'm just going to have the baby in a routine straight away."
Little did I realise that, in fact, it would be the baby who'd have ME in a routine right away. A routine of utter chaos, round the clock pacing, jiggling and rocking – with occasional breaks to scream into a pillow out of sheer frustration.
6. From my limited experience of babies, I thought that they cried 24 hours a day
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was more like 19 hours a day. Yay.
7. I thought that wind was just a small aspect of babyhood
I did NOT realise that it would virtually overshadow nearly ALL OTHER BABY ailments for months on end. Wind is one of those things that you never give a moment's thought to until you have a tiny baby. Then it dominates your every waking thought for five or so months and when BAM one day you sit the baby up, and it burps on its own, you may quite literally weep from the relief. Well, if you're anything like me anyway – maybe I was just really shit at winding.
8. I thought that having a newborn might be a bit tiring
Ha. Ha. Ha. HAAAAAAAAAAA.
The things that sleep deprivation can do to a person can never, ever, EVER be overstated. I could go into it in great detail here but a more effective way to convey it is to simply say this: One time I forgot who had my baby.
Yes, it could only have been one of three people: The Man, my mother or my aunt. And still, I just couldn't quite remember. I had to do a ring around to find out. That, my friends, is true exhaustion.
9. I actually thought I might be a bit bored
Here comes the part where we all throw our heads back in laughter: I once feared boredom would be a major part of being a parent. So, yep, safe to say I was completely delusional.
10. I figured I'd be back to "normal" a few weeks after giving birth
I'm not exactly sure what constituted my "normal" back then but I was completely naive about how life-changing having a child actually is. I can safely say that things never went back to the "normal" I had before becoming a mother – and I'm more than happy with that.