How It Feels To Be A First Time Mum
When you feel like the 1st first time mum in the world
Having a baby is a big deal. It’s the kind of life changing event that takes years to adjust to. Some people will warn you about it, telling you to put it off. Others swear there’s nothing more fulfilling than having children. Don’t listen to either camp, they’re not telling you the full truth.
One thing that is for sure is that nothing is the same afterwards, and yet we often amble towards motherhood in our twenties and thirties, feeling broody and liking cute pregnancy pics on Pinterest, imagining ourselves with a baby carrier and drinking tea with our new mum friends.
The reality is a LOT messier, a lot lonelier, a lot more joyful, a lot more profound.
In fact, no matter how hard anyone tries to prepare, the reality of becoming a mum for the first time can feel completely disorientating.
Unless everyone you know is a mum, the chances are you’re going to feel like you’ve been put on an entirely different planet as your world suddenly revolves around this tiny red faced creature that’s intent on eating/crying/pooping constantly, while everyone else gets on with normal life.
That little creature is going to feel like a stranger for a while, you’ve got to get used to each other. You’ve got to get used to yourself in this new job too.
Everything feels foreign and strange, the newness of your maternity bra with the breast pads floating about inside, the smell of the new baby-friendly washing powder, the way your breasts are hard and sore, the way your body looks like a deflated balloon. The smell of your baby’s hair, the sound of their cry, the feel of their skin.
The way you walk is different. You can’t even sit down without thinking twice. You’re tired and yet alert to everything, waking yourself worried you’ve squashed the baby while sleeping – even though you put them in their cot first. You’ll worry about their weight, their nappies, their breathing noises. And you’ll worry about your recovery, your body, your relationships, your social life, your sex life.
You’ll want to show your baby to the world but you want to keep them to yourself.
You’ll feel like superwoman.
You’ll feel like a fraud.
You’ll feel surrounded by well wishers and facebook likes but completely alone when you’re struggling to cope.
Having a baby can make you feel like you’re the first mum in the world. There’s a question on your lips every other moment. You’ll want to trust your instincts (and the advice on Google). You don’t know when you’re right or wrong.
For a long time, everything is for the first time. From that first cuddle, to the first weigh in or the first time they get sick. There’s an infinite amount of things to worry about. And to appreciate.
You’ll want to take it all in and drink in their newborn cuteness, their smell; you’ll save their first clothes, first photographs, first smiling videos. You’ll want to do such a good job. You want to be the best. And yet you’ll have days when you’d give anything for someone to do the job for you.
You’ll cry by yourself. You’ll argue with your loved ones. You’ll wonder whether this mum thing is for you. You’ll find it too hard. You’ll sometimes find it easy! You’ll feel proud of yourself and invincible. You’ll find it exceeds your expectations and surprises you in untold ways. You’ll find yourself feeling nostalgic for every moment you’ve ever had in your life.
You’ll realise that one day you’re going to die.
You’ll see that life is fragile and magnificent and that the world is not a good enough place for the child you’ve brought into it.
You’ll realise you’re important in a way that you could never appreciate before. Being someone’s mum is the most important job you’ve ever had.
You’ll miss your old self and the life you had before. You’ll look forward to your child growing up and the memories you’ll share, but you won’t want it to happen too fast.
Because already even as their eyes open wider, time is moving forward, they’re not brand new any more. You’re not a brand new mum anymore.
You’re getting through. You’re doing it. You’re fine.
Soon you won’t feel like you’re acting when you speak to your baby in that mum voice that felt like it didn’t fit before. Eventually it clicks into place. You grow in confidence.
Day by day you rise to the challenge. You succeed. You make your own rules. You listen to yourself more than you’ve ever had to before. You realise that you are the first first time mum to this baby, this child. And no one is better qualified for the job than you.