I am a mother to two girls, aged five and two. As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to share 15 Things I Didn’t Know in my First Year of Motherhood.
15 Things I Didn’t know in my First Year of Motherhood
1. I didn’t know I could withstand the pain of giving birth. I needed to trust the process.
I was more focused on getting an epidural that I didn’t realise I somehow will muster what I need to birth my baby. As fate would have it, the anesthetist could not get to me in time.
‘Sorry, I cannot administer your epidural you are too far down the line.’
A scary line to hear when you are in severe pain on the birthing table, begging for a shot.
‘But what about my birth plan?’.
Then my husband ‘became dizzy and went to sit down.’ So he claims.
2. Breastfeeding is damn hard.
Breastfeeding was the one thing that tripped me up.
Honestly, I must have missed this in all my baby books.
What to Expect in the First Year couldn’t dedicate a chapter or two? All the gazillion google searches. Mommy friends?? No one mentioned this.
In hindsight, I was probably only seeing and reading what I wanted to.
3. I didn’t know how much I would need my husband.
The parenting gig is HARD. What made it so much easier to handle for me was that my husband was a real partner from the start. Not a ‘helper.’
4. I didn’t know on how little sleep I could survive on.
5. Following on, I didn’t know the severe effect poor sleep could have on our quality of life as a family.
So, yes you went on a routine very early. #sorrynotsorry, it was necessary and it was glorious for every member of the family. Including you.
6. I didn’t know that it was okay to feel sad too, during my maternity leave.
7. I didn’t know how much I COULD LOVE until I saw your face for the first time (you looked just like your dad).
8. I didn’t know; I could cry out of JOY. Very corny I know.
That is what happened when I saw you for the first time.
9. I didn’t know that I would compare myself to other mothers.
I still catch myself doing this, and I remind myself that it is not conducive and move swiftly along.
10. I didn’t know I would now (six years later) cherish the ‘first photos’ of us together.
You know, those unflattering pictures taken the moment after birth. Me with wisps of wild hair, no makeup, bloated face, basically an exhausted wreck. You were there, looking all sweet and new.
Your dad was looking all fresh (I mean he was passed out half the time). So in the pictures I look like I am 65 years old, next to your father who looks fresh as a daisy.
Despite everything I had just gone through I was on cloud nine holding you for the first time. I love that we have pictures of this moment.
10. I didn’t know how proud I would be of you when you met a milestone.
11. I didn’t know how people will judge me (as a mother) for having a life alongside my identity of being a parent.
12. I didn’t know that I could still be a great parent, and at the same time also damn proud of the career I have built.
13. I didn’t know what I use to do with all my free time before I had you.
Someone please help me. I am baffled, and there was no Netflix in our lives back then.
14. I didn’t know that as mothers we are all the same.
Mothers are bound together by the fierce love we feel for our children. BUT we are all different too. And that is OKAY.
15. I didn’t know that being your mother would be my greatest privilege.
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