There are things no one told me about being a mummy that I am glad they didn’t share you know like their birth stories or worst still birth videos, but there are also things no one told me about being a mummy that I wish I had known so that I could have been prepared.
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It hurts like a bitch and yet the books and the experts will tell you it doesn’t… They are lying!! I don’t know what this conspiracy is about as it doesn’t help, when you are sat there with curled toes or feeling like crying whenever the baby wants to feed, to have someone telling you that it will only hurt if done wrong.
Great so not only am I in agony it is apparently my fault!!
So here is my theory… I am, by the way,entirely unqualified to be giving this theory, except that I have breastfeed four babies and had the chapped nipples to show for it. Anyway I digress… my theory is that it hurts whilst everything is toughening up and getting used to its new role in life. You know like when you first wear your flip flops in the summer – it takes a while right, but then they feel like the most comfortable thing ever and that people is breastfeeding summed up for me. So if you are there in agony slapping on the lanosil like it is life’s very elixir then don’t worry the pain will stop. In my experience the pain eases after a few weeks and then just when you start to think this is such a mission I can’t possibly keep this up (around 2 months for me) then it all falls into place and just works.
You will become strangely comfortable with bodily fluids
Prior to becoming a mummy I hated snot. Even someone blowing their nose in front of me could make me heave. Then along came the littles and now I can regularly be found wiping away snot with my hand as I always forget the wipes or tissues! I am also not the least bit fazed by having someone else’s poo on my hand. In fact this is pretty much my daily routine. I am assuming that this tolerance only extends to the fluids belonging to my little people, but I don’t think I will test that theory. Anyway I wish someone had told me this about being a mummy as when I was pregnant the first time I genuinely felt concerned that I wouldn’t be able to wipe bums etc…
On this point beware you may also lose all awareness of social norms and boundaries and begin discussing your child’s poo, wee or snot with anyone without a thought for context or location. Just a thought, but there is a fair to middling chance your hairdresser or ex colleague don’t want to know what happened to your baby’s poo when they ate blueberries!
You will hear your mother speaking when you are giving out to the children
At some point or another you will morph into your own parents and start saying things like ‘ there are children starving in this world and you won’t eat your broccoli’ ‘that will all end in tears’ …. At that point you will hate yourself a little and realise just how annoying you were as a small child. If I had known this one before I was a mummy I would have actually listened to what my mum said only now I can’t always remember the mummyisms and get them wrong to the amusement of the children
School catchment areas will become an obsession
Unless your little one is headed off to prep school, you are very likely to know exactly how far you live from your preferred primary school in metres by the time your little is 3yrs old. That primary school admission is all consuming and is very worrying. This is one of the things no one told me about being a mummy that really would have been jolly useful. I knew that there was such a thing as a catchment area, but what I didn’t know was that in London you almost need to be living in a tent in the school playground to be guaranteed an in.
Even when they go to school your work is not done
I sort of lived under the impression that once they all went to school that was it – easy street! No one told me that my presence at the school would be required (mostly by the kids who think I must be at every single thing and are devastated if not) for a myriad of different reasons. This term alone I have attended school trips, school mass, assemblies, the big dance, school discos and family learning workshops. I also didn’t realise that the kids homework is as much mine as it is theirs as of course they can’t do it by themselves when they are little. I should have been able to work this out myself I am sure, but it came as news to me….
Oh and don’t go clearing out that craft box as there will be projects to be done or costumes to cobble together.
It is hard to know who YOU are
Being mummy becomes you and it is hard to know where mummy stops and you begin. I can’t be glib about this one as this concept has been a proper struggle for me and I know for many of my friends. I really felt like I had lost myself for a bit and in many ways I am still a bit lost as I pretty much always come last. I don’t know what I would have done with this information if someone had said it to me. I know it wouldn’t have made me any less desperate to become a mother, but maybe just maybe it would have helped me to remember to look after me too!
I needed to be told that if I didn’t look after myself I wouldn’t able to look after them. I still come last most of the time, but I am much better at taking time for me and making sure that I still do things that I love or that help me to be my best self. That might be going for a run or getting a facial or most importantly making sure my grey hairs are covered, but whatever it is I know now that I need to do it.
You need mummy friends
This is another of those things no one told me about being a mummy which I think is vital information. You need mummy friends. It doesn’t mean your old pre baby friends are just thrown out with the bath water, but those relationships are different. They are super important as they know you before all you talked about was poo and sleep, but they may not get the mummy you as much and also are just a nice respite from mummy ville. Even if pre baby friends have children I always think when you are together you go back to pre baby mode. So anyway you need mummy friends and particularly local mummy friends so that all those playgroups and mummy groups are actually fun for you too. It can be so lonely having little kids so it is just vital to get out there and make friends with other women in the same boat. I warn you though pick carefully as it is all a bit like freshers week at university where you rush to make friends only to discover three weeks down the line that your new bestie is a totally lunatic… that’s another story altogether though.