Being a parent is at times the hardest job in the world, yet it’s also the most rewarding and awe-inspiring thing. It’s full of incredible highs and lows. It can redefine you as a person and will ultimately change your life irrevocably. But no matter how many books you might read, or people you ask for advice in advance of becoming a parent, when the moment comes that you actually realise you are leaving the hospital with a very tiny, precious life to look after and protect, you start to wonder how they hell this could be? How can you be just let home with no instructions and no clue of what to do or to expect.
It’s a crazy time. Hormones awry, a battered body and sleep non-existent, you’re often left feeling as if you’re surviving on fumes in those first few weeks. And of course it’s right at this time you’ll likely be bombarded with visitors. Which is natural. They want to see the baby and congratulate you. All lovely things. And visitors who bring over food, offer to help out around the house or watch the baby while you sleep or have a shower, are even lovelier. What’s not lovely though is the sort of crap these well-meaning guests often unwittingly lob into the conversation, when you literally don’t even know what day it is, you’re crying over the smallest of things and you may very well be questioning why you did this in the first place!
So with that in mind, here’s 10 things no new mum wants to hear... like ever!
1. Is he/she sleeping through the night for you yet?
Can you not tell from the humongous black bags under my eyes, coupled with the scarecrow hair and old sweatpants covered in baby sick that I haven’t had a chance to wash, that I am completely exhausted from the lack of sleep?
2. You should really sleep when the baby sleeps.
Righteo, I’ll do that. I’ll also clean when he cleans, hoover when he hoovers, shower when he showers, make you a cup of tea when he does and cook when he cooks, will I?
3. Just wait until he is crawling and then on his feet!
Er… I’m just about coping with him as a tiny new-born crying and eating every couple of hours, I’m not even remotely thinking beyond that right now!
4. Don’t worry, it gets easier on the second one.
F*ck off! I still can’t sit down yet without wincing and I’m leaking milk like a hose and my partner and I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in weeks, so the thoughts of getting jiggy for a second baby are about as appealing as having root canal treatment with no anaesthetic while going through my natural birth, drug free at the same time.
5. I bet you can’t imagine life before he/she arrived?
Er… yes. Yes I can. Only too well! It was only a few weeks ago my life was relatively normal and not full of nappies, crazy hormones, crying and being in a permanent state of exhaustion!
6. You’re breastfeeding right? I found it so easy.
Good for you! Funnily enough, my boobs and my feeding decisions aren’t any of your business but thanks for your concern.
7. Have you thought about schools yet?
Well he’s only two weeks old, so we’re more focusing on the whole feeding, changing, winding and sleeping thing as opposed to picking out school uniforms yet!
8. Are you just completely besotted?
Actually no! Not yet. In fact, I’m feeling pretty guilty about the fact that I haven’t bonded with the baby yet and you asking me about it, is making me feel worse.
9. You're not going to drink that glass of wine are you?
Yes... yes I am. And I might even have a second one!
10. I fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans in two weeks!
Okay seriously, you need to leave now before I slap you!