Hi. I know you. You’ve just had a child and you’re looking at me with that “WTF” face. Yup, I’ve been there. I was you. The “WTF. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ANY OF THIS?” face. I’m sorry to tell you, but people just don’t talk about it. Probably because if they did they would scare the living daylights out of you and you’d never go through with it. So, I’ve decided to let you in on a few things. But don’t worry – we all got through it. Some of us are even onto our second child. So here’s a few things I think you should know……..
You’ll fight with your partner more
Listen, there are two people trying to keep another person alive. You haven’t slept more than four hours straight, you’re living on old cheddar bunnies that fell out of the diaper bag, and you haven’t had a second to pee without small fingers under the door. You’re going to lash out at the only person who is going through the same war as you. Unfortunately, that person is the man who washed your clothes when your breastmilk leaked in the supermarket and also the guy who held your hair back when you couldn’t keep down grated apples in your first trimester. So understand that what you are going through is f’in hard. Learn not to sweat the small stuff – who cares if he bought the wrong wipes – and realize that ‘it’s just a bad day, not a bad life’. Together you made this Tasmanian Devil. Believe me, you want to be nice to the guy who’s going to clean the car seat after the baby threw up on it. Be on the same team. It’s easier that way.
Sex will change
Schedule sex. Sound unromantic? Well try spontaneity while your child is napping. Two minutes into those good feelings you’ll hear ‘Momma I need to go pee pee’. Orgasm lost. Sex will take six minutes (who am I kidding… 3) But it will be effin’ awesome. No you won’t want to give BJ’s in the car or put on your $500 lingerie you bought when you actually had spare money to spend on things that gave you no guilt BUT you will know just the right erotic things to do to each other when you only have 3-6 minutes. Umm someone say HOT?!
You’ll have to learn how to cook whether you like it or not
I used to be that “sometimes cook”. The cook that thinks she’s a chef when she has a genius idea to cook a four course meal for her husband then photograph it from every angle and put it up on social media. Well, when I had a child, I didn’t take into consideration that I was going to cook EVERY MEAL. Think about that for a second. Think about how hard it is to figure out food for yourself then times that by four. I say that because you’ll feed your child, your husband, your child again after she tells you your food sucks by using it as body paint, then you get to eat the leftovers from your child who turned your baked beans into an art project. You’re going to have to learn how to cook whether you like it or not. My advice? Don’t beat yourself up. Somedays it’s homemade dumplings from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Perfect Mother Cookbook” and other days it’s a fried egg and an orange. They’ll survive.
You’ll drink more
You definitely won’t have those bender nights. Actually come to think of you it, you’ll never actually get “drunk” again. The threat of your child deciding that they want to wake up at 5am and recite every character of their Mickey Mouse pop up book to you is enough to never drink more than 2 1/2 drinks ever again. That being said, you’ll find having that one glass of wine in the afternoon or at dinner is something that you do more times than you want to admit. Ummm folks… HAVE THAT GLASS. IT’S OK! At some point you’ll stop beating yourself up for actually enjoying something adult. Something that doesn’t involve Dora or mud pies or Old McDonald and you’ll relax. And maybe you’ll find the funny in the fact that your daughter just put her wooden popsicle stick down the toilet and flushed it or that your watch has been missing for two days and you have a sneaking suspicion it was in the diaper pale that was just thrown out. Have that glass of wine. You deserve it.
You’ll think more about being a woman than you ever have
I never really thought too much about being a woman and what that meant until I had a child. I’d say I always identified with being a feminist (meaning social, economic, and political equality), but didn’t realize how hard it was to be a woman in today’s world. Daddy takes the baby to the park and he’s a hero. Mommy misses one school play for work and she’s a pariah. We put so much pressure on women. You work and your child is in daycare – you’re an absent parent. You stay at home and don’t work – you’re lazy and have given up on your dreams. Women just don’t win. We need to change the conversation. We need to stop the judgey Janes. We are all just trying to do the best we can in whatever fabric that is. Being a female is hard, but make no doubt about it after you’ve had a child, you feel that electric force of what it truly means to be a woman. And it’s greater than you ever imagined.
You’ll wear the same outfit too many times in the same week
God I used to love fashion. Salivate over the new Manolo Blahniks. I would spend over a thousand dollars on shoes. SHOES, PEOPLE! I would know the fashion do’s and don’t’s and yet still get that cocky spark and throw all caution to the wind and break all the rules! Socks and flats – oh you betcha.. it’s fashion baby!!!!! Then… I had a baby. I can unapologetically tell you that I wore the same grey T-shirt and pink jumper four times this week and I “might” have had to scrape the remnants of my daughter’s granola bar off of it. At the end of the day there is not much room for fashion when you have to run full tilt through the shopping centre after your two year old. Practicality, people. You’ll just have to buy those sneakers with that little bit of glitter on the back. FYI when you see those unrealistic images of celebrities looking picture perfect in 6 inch heals and impractical clothes, what you don’t see is the two flustered nannies trailing behind that are cut out of the image you see in STAR magazine.
You’ll hate yourself at least once a day
I honestly can’t remember a time I really didn’t like myself. Absolutely never use the word hate. I wouldn’t say I had the biggest ego or self confidence, BUT I pretty much always thought I was right. Now that I have a child there is at least one moment in each and every day that I have one guilty self loathing thought. FARRK, I just yelled at the baby after she drank rain water off the porch when I made a verbal vow to my husband that we must under no circumstances yell. Now he’s looking at me with that “see I told you so” face. Or faaarrrkkkk I just let her watch 2 episodes of Doc McStuffins IN A ROW because I really wanted to check fashion week on instagram. Now I’ve ruined her brain. FAAARRRRKKK, tonight I didn’t brush her teeth because fighting with her for an hour to do it seemed a little much tonight. You see where this is going? Yes, you’ll be mad (hate) yourself at least once a day BUT most of the time those thoughts are short lived because you’ll look at your rosy, healthy, happy child and you think “you know what, I’m a good mother” now if I could just be good at being kinder to myself.
Your body will not be the same
Your body WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. I don’t care what anyone says – they are lying. Whether you had a vaginal birth, a C-Section, breastfeed for three years, had twins, whatever it is your body will change. Yes, at first you look at yourself after giving birth and you’ll have a little bit of an out of body experience. “Umm I just had the baby. Is there another one in there that’s approximately six months??” or “hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, that cocoa butter commercial promised these stretch marks would fade! Jennifer Love Hewitt said so?!” But at some point you just won’t give a f***. The obsessiveness you put on your body, love it or hate it, just won’t be as intense. I’m not saying you won’t try to take care of yourself but it’s just that those damning feelings you used to have just won’t be there. You’ll be spending too much time playing peek-a-boo with your child to have time pinching your belly fat.