*this post is dedicated to my new mother’s group first time mummas.
You’re pregnant with your first. No doubt you’ve got ideas in your head of what it will be like.
I’ll skip over the pregnancy part and delve straight into life once you’ve given birth.
Firstly, I can pretty much guarantee that your birth did not go to plan. Unless your plan was to ‘have a baby’ or your baby read and accepted your terms and conditions, then it’s already different to what you expected.
You may have wanted a water birth, or a lotus birth, or a drug free birth, or a drug-induced vaginal birth, or a Caesarian where you’re awake, or a Caesarian where you’re asleep.
There are so many variables to birth and you have to be ready to just roll with it and trust the professionals will do their job to make sure you or your partner and your baby survive the birth process.
So now you’re a parent. Did you feel that immediate rush of love and joy toward your offspring?
I didn’t the first time. I was off my face on drugs, in shock at what had just happened to me and weirded out that I had just had a son. I felt very removed from the situation.
It took quite a while for bonding to occur, something that was made harder by my shattered birth expectations, inability to breastfeed and everyone wanting a piece of my baby.
Roll on a few months. I was setting extremely high standards for myself as a parent and felt like crap when I didn’t meet them. Having post natal depression certainly didn’t help, although I was unaware I had it at the time.
Once baby is born there is a natural shift in the relationship between you and your partner. This is such a new experience. You may have been through many things together but this is the first time you’ve been parents.
Becoming a parent with someone else forces you to learn compromise, compassion, sharing, communication and love in a very different way to the way you’re used to.
We all have such different upbringings and this is what we bring to the table when we become a parent. It’s the model we were taught. Some people want to replicate that model, some wish to turn it on its head and do things very differently.
Being a parent is a pretty big deal. And it’s something that is difficult to can explain to your friends who don’t have kids.
For me, becoming a parent is easier and harder then I ever thought it would be. I have been forced to look at myself and how I handle situations pretty much on a daily basis. Especially now we are on the journey with a child with additional needs.
I’ve learned to roll with it. Being too rigid lends itself to failure.
I’ve learned that I need to work on my relationship and remember that we are still husband and wife as well as parents. Date night is super important, as is a bit of rolling around between the sheets!
I’ve learned that fighting against sleep deprivation only makes it harder to get through the day. Accepting you’retired and that you will be until you next get to have some sleep is easier to deal with than being stressed that you’re so tired.
Enjoy the ride and do what makes you happy and comfy on the inside. Take advice from people, use it or not. And open up to someone if you’re struggling. Being open and real is more helpful than pretending you’ve got your shit together.
Once you’re a parent your life changes forever. You life is not just about you and your needs anymore. You must have the capacity to put your child before yourself and hope that you do the best you can without completely screwing them up!!