I read this article the other day about the darker sides of parenting and being a new mum, and it gave me goosebumps. It reminded me of those early days of being a mum when I had no clue what was going on.
A rocky start to parenting
I’d gone 2 weeks overdue, been induced and ended up being put to sleep for an emergency c-section – it was as far from the perfect start to becoming a mum as you could get.
We had a colicky baby who cried solidly from 5pm – 11pm every night for around 6 weeks, which meant that I cried every night. We all did.
When she finally went to sleep at around midnight we would collapse into bed absolutely shattered, only to be woken every 2-3 hours for a feed. I felt like a milking machine. A zombie milking machine.
During the day she was lovely. Except when she cried every time we left the house. But if we were in the house then lying on the sofa, having a cuddle was lovely.
This, combined with not being able to drive for 8 weeks, meant that I didn’t leave the house on my own with her for the first 2 months.
There were dark days where I thought that maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a mum. Mums are rarely honest about how hard being a new mum can be, I guess mainly because they don’t want to be seen as a failure, so you end up feeling like you’re the only ‘bad’ mum out there. But as soon as you admit to having a bit of a hard time, everyone else starts confessing too – it’s just that no one wants to be the first to say it.
Things can only get better – even parenting
It got better as all things do. The colic disappeared as the books promised it would, she slept for longer, drank milk from a bottle so that Daddy could do some of the night feeds instead, and we gradually all got a bit more sleep.
4 and a half years on I can honestly say that being a mum is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have the most beautiful, clever, funny, amazing little girl (biased, me?!) who I wouldn’t change for anything. So I have to answer 1 thousand questions a day, never get to go to the toilet on my own, and have to repeat every request 400 times, but that’s all forgotten when she tells me that she loves me or that I’m her best friend.
Hang in there new mum!
The point of this post was really just to say that if you are a new mum reading this and feel like you’re struggling then I can tell you that it honestly does get better. Everything will gradually become easier, you’ll both stop crying all the time, life will get into a routine, and you’ll have lots and lots of fun.
On the surface there aren’t many articles in magazines or online that don’t paint a lovely, smiley, rosy picture of life with a newborn. But if you are struggling please remember that you’re not the only one. Go and read some other mummy blogs or chat to some mums on Twitter and I can guarantee you’ll find many other parents who feel the same.
So hang in there new mum, you’re doing a great job. Now pour yourself a big glass of wine!