In reality it is hard.
Very, very, hard.
Nothing and nobody can prepare you for the whirlwind of hormones, nappies and sheer and utter exhaustion that become your life the second that squirming pink bundle is plonked onto your chest.
I had filled my heavily-pregnant-and-housebound maternity leave days watching countless parenting vlogs featuring yummy mummies and glamourous mammas who made life with a new-born look like a piece of cake.
My expectations of how life would change were beyond unrealistic.
When acquaintances find out that you are expecting, they will usually say something along the lines of:
“I hope you’re prepared for the sleepless nights”
You take this with a pinch of salt as they laugh and smile when they say this, but if you take a second to look, really look, into their eyes, you will see a deep-rooted mania, perhaps a slight twitch, that only the sleep deprived new parent will sport.
I’d thought to myself – of course Baby will be up a couple of times in the night. I will feed them, change them and put them down to sleep and then go straight back to sleep myself. I assumed I’d be a little bit tired at first, but nothing a few coffees wouldn’t fix.
Now I laugh out loud at my own naivety and vaguely notice it has a frenzied edge.
What really happens?
You arrive home from hospital, knackered, drugged up, battered and bruised, and oh, lets throw a little “traumatised from labour” into the mix. What you really need is a fortnights break in a luxury spa retreat, a juice cleanse detox and possibly some therapy. What you actually get is a tiny person, your tiny person, who is totally and utterly reliant on you to keep them alive.
The exhaustion is the hardest part. It makes everything else harder too. Being heavily pregnant and the associated poor sleep which comes part and parcel of that is only the tip of the sleep-deprivation iceberg. You are shattered before you have even begun parenthood and I find it extremely ironic that you have to go through the most physically challenging process of your whole entire life to birth a baby whilst being in the physically worst shape possible – over 3 stone heavier for me with pain in every joint and a blocked and swollen nose which made my breathing exercises that I was relying so much upon pretty damn useless.
I like to keep it real on this blog, so have filmed a 100% truthful vlog of a typical day in the life of Me; a tired new mummy trying her best. I can’t quite believe I’m putting my dog-tired make-up free face out there on the tinterweb, but I hope to spread the message that life with a newborn isn’t glamourous, and its all about surviving one day, or even one hour, at a time. Head over to my You Tube channel to check out my latest videos.
Love gets you through
When a baby is born, a mother is also born, and with it comes an unconditional fierce love and a new reason for breathing.
This love gets you up at 2am to feed your child. Your eyes burn, your cheeks ache with tiredness, you sway and see ghosts out of the corner of your eyes in the shadowy bedroom. But you do it. This love makes your heart ache when you hear you Baby cry with the overwhelming desire to take all his pain and suffering away, now and forever.
How do you cope?
You just do.
However hard it gets, I know it will only be for a brief, fleeting moment in Art’s life and I will miss the days he would only fall asleep on his Mummy. It is so very true that the nights are long but the years are short. His complete and utter reliance on me is a beautiful thing, not a chore.
I find it amazing that my baby has heard my heart beat his whole life.
I made his.