I did a lot of reading when I was pregnant with my son and even to this day I’m still reading and learning as much as I can about childhood development, education, fun activities and so much more. I naturally came across lots of blog posts and videos all about the things no one tells you about having kids. So for ages I didn’t really think there were any points that had been missed in what I’d read. Most things I experienced related back to something a friend had told me or something I’d read.
I’ve been thinking about pregnancy, birth and the newborn days of motherhood a lot more recently as my sister in law is pregnant and I wanted to share the things I’d learnt with her. So, while all over the internet I’ve found people have covered so much to do with pregnancy and parenting these are the things that have stuck out to me through my own experiences.
8 Things People Don’t Tell You About Becoming A Mum
You can be blissfully happy in the newborn bubble, even after a traumatic birth and c-section recovery.
I found that people were quick to shout about the negatives that can come with having a baby but rarely the positives. I loved the newborn days, they were wonderful. Of course my son cried, I was tired and there were many days where he needed good old Gripe Water but that all comes with having a baby. None of it was a surprise. I particularly loved being awake in the middle of the night feeding my baby and watching Selling Sunset or late night shopping. I loved cuddling my new baby all day, feeding him and eating delicious food to nourish my body. It was probably the first time in my life where I’d taken things slow.
You’ll have to make lots of phone calls
Now, I’m not fully against making a phone call, I know that generally things do get sorted much quicker. However, I don’t love having to make them. I’d much prefer to send a text or email than make an actual call.
Since having a baby there have been so many occasions where I’ve had to get on the phone for long-ish periods of time. Calling the GP, 111, booking swimming lessons, nursery interviews, health visitors and more.
You will learn so much
From the first day of having a baby through to the whirlwind of toddler-life I feel I’m always learning. It might be something as simple as a mum hack to get a task completed in a simpler way, it could be learning the name of a new tree or even learning how to appreciate the small things. My son is at an age where he’s asking lots of questions and if I don’t know the answer to something we’ll research it together. I really do learn so much from him, for him and because of him.
It’s not easy to sleep when the baby sleeps
Everyone always said to sleep when the baby sleeps. Now, if you like to nap then I’m sure this will work well for you. However, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this because I’m quite simply not a napper. Also, as much as babies love routines they can be super unpredictable and in my case I had to wake X fairly regularly to feed.
You will consistently check to see if your baby is breathing
Now I think this one is pretty obvious but only one person mentioned to me just how often they’d wake and check their baby was breathing. I think EVERYONE does this though. My baby used to sleep on me a lot so on the rare occasion he was in his cot I’d find it very difficult to sleep and would tend to just keep an eye on him and never end up sleeping.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time
For some reason I only came across articles about how awful pregnancy can be and while that is most certainly the case there are also people who love it. I remember Monica from The Travel Hack saying she felt almost guilty to write or talk about pregnancy because she felt she’d had an easy time of it. This is basically how I’ve felt too. I loved my first pregnancy, felt content and look back at it with very happy memories.
It’s okay to say your birth was traumatic
I think mostly because of the types of Facebook groups and social channels I followed I found I was surrounded with positive birth stories. I wouldn’t change this at all. It’s important to go into it with an open yet positive mindset. Many people have a difficult birth but still see it as a positive experience.
I think I referred to my birth story as a positive experience when I originally wrote about it but really it was very traumatic. I’ll have to write more about this at some point but I really felt that I needed to say it was a positive experience to fit in with everyone else. I’m not sure if I was protecting the people around me who I knew wanted to have babies or if I was also protecting myself. My birth experience was positive in that it all ended well but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a traumatic experience that has since impacted me.
It’s perfectly fine to ask the hospital questions if you have to stay on the ward
I didn’t dare ask any questions after my baby was born and I wasn’t really given much information either. I wasn’t told that there was a button to call for help or that I could move the bed into a different sleeping position. I imagine these things might be a normal thought process for most people but after waking up from general anaesthetic and a very long labour I wasn’t exactly in a normal mindset.
Everyday I was in hospital I’d get dressed, put make-up on and pack my bag only to be told that I wasn’t going home. There was no guiding information as to why or more importantly, when I would actually go home. It was very frustrating and meant that I had to struggle with breastfeeding ’til we got home and I could be comfortable.