I’ve always wanted to be a mom – a title I longed for and knew would be my ultimate achievement over absolutely any career, any day. Dyl and I wanted a family long before we were even engaged, and we were on the same page – we wanted to try for a baby straight after the wedding. The notion I had of what becoming a parent would be versus what it’s actually like was pretty skewed, I won’t lie!
You never know how long making the baby will take. Honestly, you always try not to fall pregnant, so you never know how long it might actually take and if you can fall pregnant at all. Don’t let it become an obsession, the more you stress about making that damn baby, the longer it’s going to take. Relax and enjoy this exciting time throwing erm ‘caution to the wind’/ contraception out the window.
Sleep. Take those lazy afternoon naps on the weekends, and relish the Sunday morning lie-ins. In fact, just sleep as much as you can. Once you’re pregnant, sleep will most likely become a battle – it’s a toss-up between the bladder kicks, the vomit runs and foot to the ribs that will keep you up, and awake – almost at perfect intervals that you’ll be feeding said baby at once he/she is earth side.
Enjoy spending your extra money on YOU! Once your child is born, every spare cent will go towards everything from nappies, to the cutest, most unnecessary pair of baby Nike’s your baby definitely does not need, but would look super cute in.
The birth of your baby will be the first instance you might possibly have no control over, and you need to come to terms with it. I had a birth plan. Neatly typed out in a plastic folder, along with my ID book, a black pen and anything else I may need in hospital. I’d planned every step of the birth, until Oli decided otherwise. Get used to the fact that you won’t ever have complete control over a situation regarding your child again – babies, and kids have their own minds, and temperaments, you’re going to need to relax and go with the flow.
Once your baby arrives, again, nothing will be text book. You can never ‘prepare’ for a baby. I’m a Virgo. It’s in my nature to want to prepare for every situation and eventuality. Surprises have to be the worst thing in the world for me. I read every book available to me before the birth of my first child. Everything including what to expect in the 1st year of my child’s life. Still, I was never prepared. Your friends and family, heck even the lady in the Woolies line behind you will give you their 2 cents on how to rear said baby but trust me when I say take it all with an open mind, and a pinch of salt, and do whatever works for you, and your family. I thought I had the perfect idea of how I’d raise my children pre-mom, but besides for loving my children more fiercely than I ever thought possible, I can only laugh at my notion of pre-kid me.
As a parent you’re going to worry, a lot. In fact, it becomes your number one job after loving your child and keeping them alive. There won’t be a day that passes that you won’t worry about your child and wish you could protect them from every situation thrown their way. The first worry starts with feeding – am I giving them enough milk? Am I over feeding my child? Why is my baby crying (your Google history is going to look like a general ‘Dummies Guide to Parenting’ I can promise you that). Then comes the worrying over the milestones your baby is meant to meet at various intervals in life. Take that milestone guide and burn it. Every child is different, and agonising over each and every milestone is going to bring on every grey hair imaginable. Your child will get there, at their own pace.
Take every photo and video imaginable. Besides random bar night parties in my Varsity days, I didn’t take all too many photos or videos. Record every second with your precious babies – it’s the number one cliché in life but it is 110% valid – you’re kids seem to grow up overnight and you will pour over those baby images (maybe tugging at your ovaries simultaneously) and every photograph will bring a smile. My children absolutely love us showing them silly videos and pictures of them as babies and the stories that go along with them. Too many photographs is never enough.
You’ll learn to grow a tough skin and get over those embarrassing situations you never had before becoming a parent. Think you’ve been embarrassed in public and experienced embarrassing situations prior to becoming a parent? Think again honey. Only once your kid has shouted at the top of their voice ‘Mommy, I just poo’d’ inside your local Pick ‘n Pay will you truly reach embarrassed parent status. Shit happens. Literally. Poo will also become a popular topic of conversation amongst your parent friends over lunches, coffee and dinners.
Never again can you just up and leave the house in a moment’s notice, or schedule your social calendar the way you used to. Text from friend (pre-kid) – “Keen for lunch in 30 minutes”
Reply (pre-kid) – “Totally, see you in 30”
Text from friend (post-kid) – “Keen for lunch in 3 weeks?”
Reply (post-kid) – “Totally, see you in about 3 months!”
Reply again (post-kid) – “Find somewhere that’s kid friendly…”
Your house. Your house will become a lethal weapon. You can baby proof as much as you can but kids are inquisitive by nature and soon they’ll be poking and prodding their fingers into anything they see – especially plugs. Once they’re up and about they will be climbing up the kitchen cupboards or burglar bars and they will inevitably run into or trip over anything and everything in any room of the house, and lastly the once peaceful sound of silence – now becomes something to worry about!
That’s a lot to take in, and ‘prepare’ for I know, but honestly, above anything, being a Mommy is my absolute favourite thing on earth. Every yawn, wiped bum, embarrassing moment in public, every moment of worry is worth it, and more. I was completely naïve going into mommy hood but I reckon I’m doing an okay job at it, even if I do say so myself. Momma’s can you relate?