This is a list of things I realized I never knew about before venturing on this journey called motherhood. I tried to read up a lot during pregnancy, and what to expect after your baby is born but some of these things were never really spelt out anywhere. To me, it does seem like a lot of this stuff is shrouded and the old mothers don’t want to tell the new mothers so they can experience it themselves. This list is by no means exhaustive or universal, but I’m just talking about mine. Here goes:
1. Your body changes and you will never really get your pre-baby body back
Never. Your breasts are going to sag and your stomach isn’t going to be as flat as you want it. Even if you didn’t breastfeed for one day, your breasts will sag. Even if you had small perky breasts. So you can imagine what happens if you breastfeed that baby for 18 months after 6 months exclusive.
2. You will have memory loss, and become very forgetful
It’s called “baby brain” and if you’re not careful, you can go out without your clothes on. You’ll have your glasses on and spend a whole hour looking for them.
3. Pelvic floor will disappoint you
You’re going to be peeing on yourself a lot. Almost every sneeze will come with your pants a little wetter than the last time.
4. Your wrist isn’t going to be able to support you anymore
You can’t lift your baby and raise yourself off the floor by leaning on your wrist. It’s called “baby wrist” and it hurts like hell.
5. You feel guilty about buying stuff for yourself.
Every time you find yourself in shops, you naturally start gravitating towards the baby section. When you do find something for yourself you really like, you calculate it in diaper costs and end up not buying it.
6. You will be sleep deprived, like really
When people say most babies will wake up at night for a few minutes to suckle before going back to sleep, you didn’t imagine a scenario where you’re holding a wailing infant at 2:37AM, with mastitis in one breast, a headache, runny nose and the temperature at 35 degrees! And you have had only one meal plus no bath.
7. You will go a shoe size up
Yes, most of your shoes will no longer fit. All those pretty heels and flats from your former pre-baby life, ha! And then when you really do need a pair of shoes, remember number 5 above.
8. You lose some old friends, and gain some new ones
You’re going to unintentionally lose some of your friends who don’t want to tag along with a baby, and you’re going to get new ones who do.
9. You can’t take an impromptu night out
This doesn’t need explaining. A night out becomes a huge production; who to babysit the baby, what time to give the last meal, how to put the baby to sleep, calling every 5 minutes to know if the baby is still breathing etc. I might just stay at home and do this than spend 2 hours explaining how someone else should.
I’m sure others have theirs and would love to share. Do leave a comment.
About the Writer: Oluchi lives and works in Lagos. When she’s not looking for trouble online, she’s mother to a precocious toddler and sister to many sisters. She can be found on Twitter @LuchiesO