Last week I started with talking about things I didn’t know about before D came into the world and those bits about being a parent that parents don’t tell non – parents about. This week I wanted to share with you changes that have happened to my life and how I see life since I have become a mum to D.
Over the last 22 months our lives have changed dramatically. Those first few months of baby smells, cuddles, recovery and one-handed completion of everything on your ‘to-do’ list are long gone and fast becoming a distant memory. Now we have tantrum control, tidy up time, cleaning around the toddler who no longer naps and very little time. However looking back on all the changes that have slowly happened in our lives, I can notice great changes and growing as a family is important to fit everything in.
I remember during pregnancy and at the start of parenthood feeling very apprehensive at all the daily tasks that seemed so daunting with a baby in the mix. We made it work and developed skills I regularly put to good use! That time I now look at as a time for learning, growing and preparing. Yes, you did read that right I said preparing because doing everything in your daily life will seem like a doddle with a baby once they become a toddler. Everything is harder to do with a walking, playing, talking toddler following behind you saying ‘no mummy’, ‘me now!’, ‘yum yum mummy’ all while pulling any body part they can to get you to go play with the ball instead of cleaning the dishes.
Okay, I think I have rambled enough (I am still working on that one) here they are, five things I couldn’t do before becoming mum.
1. Surviving on very little sleep – I distinctly remember while I was pregnant everyone saying ‘enjoy your sleep while you still can’. To this day this advice still baffles me, it’s not that I slept the same amount after having D as I did before. During pregnancy everything changes, including our sleep. During the last trimester we all experience a greater need to go to the bathroom, especially at night. So by the time of giving birth your getting up between 3-5 times a night if not more yes? Then if your like me you spend what feels like forever getting comfortable to get back to sleep. You sleep for no time at all or so it feels and repeat the process. With this slowly creeping into your life your body adjusts to the change. When D was born he fed 3 times a night, for around 30-40 minutes at a time. D was breastfed so I was the only one who could feed him, 3 30-40 minute feeds ment that after D was born I was actually sleeping for longer than I was when pregnant I woke most mornings feeling refreshed and well slept. Now maybe this is just me but I don’t understand why people say that to pregnant women. I can however understand when it is said to a man, they have no preparation for less sleep.
2. Leaving the house – This was a big shock for me when D was born and leaving the house ment starting 2 1/2 hours before we actually had to leave. It didn’t even take me that long to get ready for a night out before D was born! It’s hard at the start to imagine a time when getting yourselves and a child ready to leave the house in a reasonable time frame. It now takes us under an hour for all 3 of us to be completely ready to leave and that’s when I put make up on! (not very often) I would never have thought it possible at the start for all of us to leave in a reasonable amount of time but here we are with changing bag packed with everything from nappies to snacks and a change of clothes, all 3 of us washed, fed, dressed and wrapped up leaving in under one hour! It is possible if your still at that starting point, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Multi-tasking – I should start with I could multi task before just not in the way I can now. Becoming a mum means you need to have a lot of arms and eyes basically everywhere and
while it’s a shame we can’t just grow them, we do seem to adjust to being able to multi-task more as babies grow and we get to grips with being parents. I can now keep D occupied while I tidy up, do the dishes and make dinner (when Daddy is out) or I can clean, tidy and sort two rooms out at the same time as playing with D. We just bring the toy that D is playing with along as we move around or I get him to help by putting toys away or lifting bits up and bringing them to me! There are great games you can make up to get toddlers to help with the daily tidy up!
4. A sixth sense – Wow that sounds quite ominous! I have started to notice I can always tell where D is and what he is doing most of the time while I am busy. I can tell how far away he is by the volume of sound I hear and gauge where he is in the house. I can easily recognise by the sounds of movement if he is on the carpet, tiles, stairs or up stairs. As a parent of a toddler you quickly learn that silence indicates they’re up to no good and a quick search usually proves you right!
5. Confidence/ Body acceptance – This has to be the biggest change for me. In the world we are living in body image is a huge thing for females and until recently the media has been all about how skinny and perfect females are and aren’t. Fat was a word used in media for women who have gone past a size 8. When I was a child and in primary school I remember that I was ‘fat’ in primary 5 or 6 I was having to wear adults sizes as teenage sizes where too small. Considering when you leave primary school you should be about 11 not fitting into an age 14-15 was quite bad. When I reached secondary school I was determined to be skinny and I went to extremes to achieve it too. I can remember one of my extremes was mushrooms, my mum started to buy these massive mushrooms every week and I loved them! So that was pretty much all I ate for a week or so. She still tells people about that! She tells me that I was just ‘weird’ which to be fair I really was. Anyway I did get to a size 8 but I never looked like the pictures in the media, I have big hips and always have as far back as I remember. This means that I would probably never looked like those pictures. But the point I am making is my body has always been a sticking point with me. I always felt ‘fat’ and I now HATE that word. I ended up being a size 18 a few months after D was born and remained that size until a few months ago. The difference between before D at size 12-14 to now size 16 is that I am happy to be a flabby mummy! (Never thought I’d say that) My size only matters if I let it, having D has taught me that I can be happy with my body. I have stretch marks, a birth mark the size of my hand ( only really visible in winter) and I have fat. But I don’t care what other people think when they look at me. So this has been my biggest achievement since having D and has changed my life in so many ways.
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