I had so many ideas of what I was going to be like as a new parent when I was pregnant and how I was going to spend my maternity leave. Did any of it compare to the idea I had in my head? Did it heck!
Parent and baby groups
Expectation – The babies would be happily playing with the toys whilst the parents all drink tea and coffee and overshare details of birth/lack of sleep/silent reflux and will become lifelong friends.
Reality – Your dear little one will cling to you like they fear for life and with the noise that the children are making its unlikely that you would be able to hear your own thoughts, let alone hold a conversation. Not that you have found anyone there to have a conversation with because everyone already has their clique and trying to join in with their conversation is like trying to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy jeans. You try, but it’s just no use. It’s not going to happen. Fair enough, it’s not like this with every parent and baby group but this is just from my experience.
Expectation – No sleep ever again for the rest of your life.
Reality – No sleep ever again for the rest of your life.
No actually, I was pleasantly surprised by how much baby J did sleep. Obviously he didn’t sleep through the night until he was about 1 but I didn’t expect him to. He would take about 3 naps a day and would wake appropriately 4 or 5 times in the night for a feed in the first few months.
I remember hearing the advice from everyone, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. I thought, okay, so when do I do the cooking, the cleaning, the tidying, the ironing and actually EAT? But in reality, the cooking, cleaning, ironing etc, that can all wait. When your baby goes to sleep, shove some food in your face and GO TO SLEEP. There’s a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. But I will suggest that you get that food in your face as soon as your baby goes down. It’s a well-known fact that a child can sense when its parent is about to sit down and enjoy a meal (or a slice of toast or whatever you had the energy to put together) from a mile off.
Expectation – Yes, I’ll have to cut down the amount of time that I spend in the shower, but nothing will get in the way of me putting my make-up on.
Reality – Honestly, who even cares if I have winged liner and if my eyebrows are ‘on fleek’. I’ve brushed my hair and teeth today and I’ve got concealer and blusher on so that I don’t scare the kids by looking like the walking dead. Making sure that my baby is fed, clean, happy and in the cutest outfit possible is more important.
Baby massage class
Expectation – Me and my child would form a close bond and I would learn how to massage and sooth all of their issues away. It would help them to fall asleep, aid digestion, improve circulation and help relieve any trapped wind (baby, not me).
Reality – Lovely lady leading the class will do an introduction and baby will stare angelically at the teacher and smile away happily. The teacher will begin the massage. Baby will probably want to feed and after this, you will need to burp your baby. You will miss the first 10-15 minutes of class. You lay your child down and begin the massage. After approximately 3.67 seconds your child will scream blue murder so you pick your child up and calm them down. You try the massage again. Child will last 0.86 seconds before screaming again. You spend the rest of the class cuddling your child. The best part of the class is afterwards when you go and get coffee and cake with some of the other massage ladies. Repeat for 7 weeks.
Expectation – I will not have my hair chopped off into a bob like I see other new mums doing.
Expectation – When the baby is napping I will wash the dishes, dust and run the hoover round. The experts say that during the day the baby has to get used to loud noises.
Reality – Hahaha. You have just spent 45 minutes trying to get your baby down for a nap. You are not going to do anything to risk waking them now. As I said above, food then SLEEP. And honestly, people understand that you have a baby and housework isn’t on the top of your list.
Expectation – I will cook from scratch, nutritious and wholesome meals. I do not want my baby eating processed foods.
Reality – Thank god for Ellas Kitchen, that’s all I can say. Yes, we had spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, roast dinner etc, but those days where you can’t figure out how to make a baby-friendly version of what your making (chicken curry??) or you just want to order a pizza then those Ellas Kitchen pouches were a lifesaver.
Expectation – My sister made some lovely mum friends but I never expected to make close bonds with anyone. I already have the bestest friends, why would I need more? (shout out to my ‘Drunken Ladies’!) Anyway, you’re only making friends because you have children of the same age.
Reality – I couldn’t have been further from the truth with my expectation. I met an incredible lady when we were both pregnant and she has been there for me the whole time. I also made some amazing friends from doing the Knowing Me, Knowing You course from when my anxiety returned. And I still have my ‘Drunken Ladies’. I am so thankful for them all ❤️
Do you agree with the above or did you have a different experience of becoming a parent? Please do leave me a comment with your Expectations vs Reality 😊