And other favourite things people have said to me since becoming a mum. Some useful, some plain offensive. Here goes:
1. “Bloody NORA. When’s that thing gonna stop growing? How are you gonna get it out?”
Oh THANKS! Actual words said by a work colleague whilst 8 months pregnant first time round. Actual answer was “it’ll stop growing when it’s about 18 years old I should imagine, like most normal humans.” It’s NEVER clever to comment on how large a pregnant woman is because I can guarantee it won’t be well received. It’s not only hard enough to get used to your body changing beyond recognition, 4 stone on in my case, but there’s evil hormones that come with it too. And we are already completely shitting ourselves about the exit strategy, thank you very much!
It happened, it bloody hurt, OMG it hurt SO much….and then I decided that actually it was all completely worth it and I wanted to do it all again.
(35 hours of pain instantly forgotten when this little bundle was placed on my chest)
2. “Everything is just a phase”
Actually, this was the best piece of parenting advice/knowledge ever imparted on me, and it was my good old mum saying it when my son was 2 weeks old. I just couldn’t see an end to the sleepless nights, constant feeds, nappy changes etc. She said, “you know, this will get easier week by week, he isn’t going to stay this tiny forever” and I looked at his tiny, floppy little form and didn’t believe her. But sure enough, he grew and developed and changed week by week! He’s 2 years, 4 months old now and HILARIOUS. Current phase is called the “What’s that NOISE?” phase, where he repeats this question about 800 times a day and I have to explain what the noise is or make something up. Other phases have included the poking-baby-sis-in-the-eye phase, the biting-mummy-phase (not 100% sure that one is fully over actually) and many, many others that I have already forgotten (because they were over pretty much immediately). I’m not daft enough to think there won’t be any more phases, because that’s the only thing I’m certain of. Plus I’ve got all the terrible two stuff to come again with my daughter. Yay!
3. “Enjoy every second because it goes so fast!”
True, that! But some seconds are just not that enjoyable. For example, synchronised crying when you’ve not had more than 90 minutes sleep in a solid block for the last 6 weeks, is just not that enjoyable. Being woken by a crying toddler, just as you’re about to drop off, to find they’ve projectile vomited everywhere and are now hysterical isn’t my idea of a good Friday night. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mummy but some days are just a bit shit, and it’s ok to admit that! I do cherish the good times, and as above, yes I already know it’s just a phase!
4. “Do you think you’ve got Post natal depression?”
PND is a very serious issue and certainly not one to be ashamed of, so well done for caring, but tread very carefully when asking a new mummy this question. I was asked this (in a roundabout way) by people close to me both times, some of whom have had kids. So you’d think they’d also remember the baby blues that often kick in after the initial euphoria of giving birth has passed, the mental torture that is weeks and weeks of sleepless nights and the post partum hormones. Which is enough to make anyone feel a bit unhinged and snappy (sorry hubs). Add to the mix the fact that you’re recovering from either pushing the watermelon out of the lady parts OR major surgery if baby exited via the sunroof. So it’s likely that a new mum may feel a bit overwhelmed and tearful at times and that’s completely normal. It does not necessarily mean PND. The good news is, you eventually forget about most of the hormones, the birth, the recovery….I know I did in just 23 months between babies. It was all much easier second time around THANK GOD!
5. “Blimey!! You’ve got your hands full!”
No kidding. But, you know, none of this happened by accident and I chose this life for myself.
This is no big deal but I included it as it’s said to me approx twice a day, usually accompanied by a bemused look from passing strangers, whilst out and about with toddler in pram, baby in sling and the dog. I’m a big fan of killing several birds with the same stone. Fresh air for the kids, exercise for the dog and lugging that lot about has to be good for my own #losethebabyweight campaign. Plus the toddler just wouldn’t sit in the double buggy I bought especially. Money well spent….
6. You look like you’re having a blast on mat leave….I thought it was supposed to be hard work?”
Trust me, it is hard work and some days definitely don’t go as planned. Which is why I like to get out and enjoy it as much as possible. Plus that’s just how I roll, I’m not a fan of sitting at home, never have been, but I’m not for one minute suggesting that it’s a problem if that’s what someone else prefers to do. I have a dog who needs walking which has forced me out every day in wind, rain, snow & more often than not, beautiful sunshine, but guess what? Fresh air is good for mummies AND babies and waterproof items are available.
I also made a commitment to myself when I became a mum to not post poo related updates as you guys don’t need to hear about that shit, literally!
So yeah, of course I’m enjoying maternity leave, it’s precious time that I’ll never get back. It’s a lot busier second time around but I have 2 days a week just me and Baby Sis, while Big Bro goes to nursery and cuddles his hareem. I often wonder why I found it all so hard first time but it was all new. I’m lucky to have met some pretty amazing friends both times, and have some old friends on maternity leave with me, good timing girls, let’s discuss when to do it again….NOT! Plus those wonderful few who don’t even have kids and are still prepared to come and spend their free time with me and mine. Love you all. And as for the cheeky glasses of prosecco with lunch, that’s to celebrate getting through the week! (Read: we bloody deserve it and no one should ever dare question it!)