I was chatting with a friend when she said this to me. Now I know where she was coming from, but it got me thinking.
Are there any Mum's out there who are truly being the Mum they expected to be (before kids)?
While I was pregnant I had time to Google. I checked Pinterest boards and I had in my mind the things that a 'good Mother' should do.
How wrong was I. Expectations versus reality. I expected to be my old self straight after birth.
I expected that my baby wouldn't arrive until 40 weeks (9.5 months right!).
I expected that all baby clothing in size 00 would be the same size.
I expected to have Kim K’s body 8 weeks post-birth (but without her personal chef, personal trainer, nannay and so on).
Not only was I wrong about all those expectations, but there was a whole set of unexpectations (yeah I made that word up)... that I was totally unprepared for.
I didn't expect an induced labour.
I didn't expect stitches.
I didn't expect to feel quite helpless at times and need support.
I thought it would all come naturally to me, when in fact most of it didn’t feel at all natural.
What I realised after the birth of my baby was that there were plenty of lovely 'nice to have items' and 'fun to do things' on social media, but the important stuff was really basic.
Getting our basic needs met came first. Eating, drinking, breastfeeding, nappy changes, bathing, wind, and sleep.
Once we had mastered those basic needs, spending time together bonding, creating shared family memories, and having fun.
It took some time before my partner and I felt we had the stability (and enough sleep) to turn our attention to the outside world. By then weeks, months had passed and those dreams of perfect, clean, flat lay style, scene, baby/family photos had long passed.
We had become our new us. Parts of our former selves had merged with our new selves and here we were - shiny and new.
I thought the Mum I wanted to be had everything perfect. A clean, organised house, a schedule, a clean baby, and no baby weight gain after birth.
The reality was a baby that vomited, poo that was like mustard that went everywhere, days that became seamless as the end of day and night blurred. Love and laughter as my baby peed all over me, and then cried as he peed on himself. Frustration when he wouldn't sleep, and even more when he would sleep all day and wake at 2am.
So where did the Mum I really wanted to be go? She's still there, but I'm smart enough to know that she's a fictional character, in a fictional story, and she's probably too busy being perfect to enjoy this precious time with all of its trials and triumphs.
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