10 Things They Don’t Tell you About Being a New Mum

 Being a new mum

As if the thought of giving birth wasn’t terrifying enough (thanks One Born Every Minute), there’s then the realisation that you’ve actually got a baby that’s relying on you to look after it. Even if you’ve read all the books and practised with a friend’s baby, there will be some things that neither books nor existing mums will tell you about. We chatted to some new mums and put together a list of all the things that no one ever tells you about being a new mum.

 

1. What Happened To My Body?

As a mum, after you’ve had your baby it’ll feel like you’re wearing someone else’s body. It’s like you’ve stepped out of yours and into someone else’s - it looks a bit like yours and smells like yours and has all the right moles and birthmarks in the right place but… what on earth happened to your bum and thighs and tum? They just don’t ‘fit’ like they did before. Best thing to do is prepare your body before the baby arrives to help it reform back to its old shape. Breast care cream and stretch mark cream will really help.

 

2. Say my name, say my name

This is what you’ll be wailing when you turn up to parent meet-ups and you’re known only as ‘Harmony’s mum’ or dad, or whatever your child is called. From now, your ‘parent status’ will be what you’re known as now, especially if you’re the main carer of the child.

 

3. Constant face leakage

And no, we don’t mean in any strange or weird way, we mean anything on the TV or in the news about children will make you weep. And don’t even think about watching The Lovely Bones without a bumper pack of tissues to sob into. Watch Disney instead.

 

4. Get off the stage

Your life story is no longer about you. If it was before, you’re in for a shock, there’s a newer, cuter, younger version of you and she or he is in the limelight now.

 

5. Dinner shifts

Gone are the romantic dinners where you hold hands with your partner and gaze lovingly into each others’ eyes. Chances are you’ll be having dinner in baby shifts - one of you will be eating whilst the other holds the baby and tries to eat with one hand. Expect a baked bean or two to fall on the baby’s head. Just make sure you’ve got something on hand to clean them up with later.

 

6. Why did you spend all that money?

In the lead-up to having your baby, you’ll research online and get all the magazine and speak to lots of wise parents. It’s also likely you’ll buy several gadgets and new fangled devices that are just CRITICAL to the wellbeing and happy times of this new addition to the family. But in reality, they’re not. So ignore the need for the Peepee Teepee, a wipe warmer, baby knee pads (babies are a lot tougher than you think) and even on cuddly toys (we promise you’ll soon be up to your neck in them when you’re given them for presents). Stick to the basics and load up on muslin cloths.

 

6. 5 Minutes on your own? You’d be lucky.

Sorry, didn’t anyone tell you ‘your time’ no longer exists? From the moment the new arrival turns up, you’ll be at their beck and call - feeding, cuddling, washing, checking to see if they’re still breathing, cooing at, singing to, talking to, carrying around, pushing around… don’t expect to ever have time to yourself until they’re at least the age where they can cook their own dinner.

 

7. Hairy legs are the new black.

Ask any new mum when they last shaved their legs and you’ll be met with a blank stare. Why? Shaving legs are the last on your list of priorities - your main prerogative is keeping your little one from screaming and if you’re lucky, enjoying a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Who cares about shaving! Throw on a pair of thick leggings and no one will even know.

 

8. Everyone will have an opinion

Even if they’ve never had a baby. You’ll get lots of advice on how to do things the ‘right’ way. It’ll be confusing, frustrating and annoying. And eventually you’ll realise that there’s not actually a ‘right’ answer and you were better off doing what you did before everyone started giving you advice.

 

9. Even though they can’t talk they understand more than you’d ever imagine

It’s actually a little freaky. Babies, little gurgling things that rely on you for everything, are cleverer than they appear. Every minute they’re awake, they’re learning new things and making new connections in their brain. Before they can even speak they’ll understand what you’re saying and before you know it, they’ll have you wrapped around their little teeny tiny squishy fingers.

 

10. Breastfeeding doesn’t magically happen.

Breastfeeding sounds like it should be the most natural thing to happen. Surely you just lift the child to your breast and it automatically latches on and suckles? Wrong. There will be screaming (from your child), tears (from you as you try for the hundredth time to breastfeed) and countless Googling of ‘why isn’t my child breastfeeding’. Breast-feeding clinics help and always check to make sure your baby isn’t tongue-tied.

 

Thank you to all the new mums who helped us compile this list.

Was there one thing that you never realised would happen when you became a parent for the first time? Let us know in the comments below.