I think everyone knows how hard being a new mum can be, but I don’t think it’s talked about that often. Is it because people are ashamed to admit that they’ve struggled? Or at times they’ve felt like they’re going to have a breakdown and lose it any moment? Or thinking ‘what have I done?’, because I sure have. And that’s totally okay. You’re not alone. No one can be the perfect parent, and babies can test your patience. A lot of people on the outside think ‘Oh wow, she’s doing great’ and you’ve just posted a super cute picture on Instagram but little do they know behind closed doors you’ve had a screaming, inconsolable baby for the past three hours or that you haven’t changed out of your pyjamas for three days or the fact that you haven’t eaten all day. Being a mum is hard work, and before being a mum I didn’t realise just how hard it was. But the good news is, is that you adapt and you get used to it! You end up knowing your babies routine, their triggers, what their cries mean. It gets easier and you get used to it. Over the past three months, I feel like I can conquer anything. I’ve been pushed to my limit, I’ve cried, I’ve sulked, I’ve questioned what the hell I’m doing, I’ve laughed, I’ve smiled, I’ve snapped, I’ve been strong, I’ve been weak. I’ve been human.
So what are the main things I think I’ve struggled with?
Oh man, the inconsolable crying for hours on end. Boy oh boy did that test my patience. I’d never heard of colic before, so I just frantically typed into Google, ‘My baby won’t stop crying’. And colic appeared. Crying for basically no known reason. It was hard. It usually occurred at around 7pm and lasted till 11pm. I remember it lasting till 1am sometimes. I am thankful however, I have heard nightmare stories of babies crying throughout the night. We ended up just taking Joseph out in the car and he’d fall asleep but as soon as we got home he’d just start crying again. I thought, oh my god my baby is broken and I’m going to end up insane. It was horrible, and it was horrible to see Joseph cry so much and that whatever I did, wasn’t helping. Tried colic drops, going out for walks, car rides. Worked for a moment before he came back home again. Not to mention how draining it was. When Joseph finally went to bed, me and Mathew were just so tired we couldn’t stay awake any longer and spend time together. But it passed, and I was happy to see the back of that.
This is going to sound quite selfish of me, but I’m trying to be honest. And I know a lot of mums would agree with me. I found being responsible for someone 24/7 quite daunting. I’ve always enjoyed my own company, and would consider myself to be an introvert. I like to re-energise by myself. So having a baby was a huge difference. I got quite upset with not being able to just do what I want, like go upstairs for a nap, or go out whenever I felt like. I passed that probably when Joseph’s colic stopped as he is so much fun to be around now and I love his company. But it still doesn’t mean that I don’t get jealous of friends when I see pictures of them doing things. But I cannot wait to take Joseph places when he’s a bit older. But until then, I have to be patient and enjoy my little baba whilst he’s still so small!
I used to suffer really bad with insomnia and I finally managed to get over that and sleeping was no longer an issue. It still isn’t really an issue now even with Joseph here. But I feel like I am always constantly tired. Before Joseph I could nap whenever, but now it’s more working around him. He sleeps like a dream, but in the day it’s very draining so I just feel tired 24/7. But I try to work around this by keeping my mind active by doing atleast something. I remember recovering from my c-section being stuck indoors all the time. Tiredness + looking at the same four walls = insanity.
4. A needy baby which means I get nothing done
I think I mentioned before, I don’t really like using the word ‘needy’ as he’s only 3 months old. He’s obviously going to be needy as they are so vulnerable. But I do feel that Joseph is very reliant on having constant attention. We bought play mats for him, jumperoo, etc and he can’t stand them. As soon as he’s put down and I go to do something he cries. Which means I get nothing done. I never have time to do house work, to make myself decent food or even time to do my hair and make up. So my self esteem has plummeted a bit. I do feel kind of useless like I’m just in limbo. And then I feel bad when Mathew comes home and it looks like I haven’t done anything. I know there’s time to do it when the baby naps, but my god I spend so much time trying to keep him happy and entertained that when he’s napping, all I want to do is nap. I’m sure though that in time where Joseph gets a bit older and likes to play with toys is when I can get stuff done. But for now, your wishes are my command Joseph!
5. Losing my hair
Oh god my hair! My hair wasn’t fantastic to begin with, but now that it’s literally falling out in clumps has made my self-esteem drop even more than I thought it could. So basically I just don’t bother with my appearance anymore. My mum had to come over the other day to get the biggest knots out of my hair and I could have sworn half of my hair fell out. How on earth I don’t have any bald patches (yet) is beyond me!
6. Body changes
I’ve always struggled with my body image for aslong as I can remember. So watching my body change so drastically really has hit me hard. Especially after a c-section. Having that dreaded belly pouch. Not to mention during the last couple of months I went from having zero stretch marks to absolutely loads on the front of my stomach. I have lost most of my pregnancy weight but I don’t feel like I have at all. And it’s so hard to get back into the swing of healthy eating where you don’t have the time in the day to eat frequently. So it’s just snacking and it’s the worst. Again though, this will hopefully change as Joseph gets a bit older and I can be a bit more organised.
I think that’s pretty much it. But having Joseph in my life out weighs all of these I have just mentioned. He’s perfect and the love I have for him grows more and more each day. I love his smile, his giggle, his personality, his chubbyness, just everything. I’m so, so, SO proud of him. He’s my little pudding, my little monkey. I love him so much. Sure there’s been struggles and there’s a lot more to come, but getting to see his cheeky face every day makes it all worthwhile.