So this can link to the ‘things they don’t tell you about pregnancy’ series that I did throughout my pregnancy on here, but it contains a mixture of facts – things they don’t tell you about parenthood, things they don’t tell you about babies and things they don’t tell you about your post-partum body, to name a couple.
- No matter what choice you make, it will never be good enough. You will always encounter the ‘perfect parent’, who insists that whatever you’re doing is wrong. If you bottle-feed, you should be breastfeeding. If you breastfeed in public, you’re exposing precious littlies to nasty boobs. If you change a nappy in a baby change room, you’re taking up a toilet that a disabled person might need. If you change it outside of the baby change room, you’re disgusting and exposing precious littlies to baby bum. These people are best avoided at all costs. Parenthood is one big competition to them – but it’s ll going to come back and bite them on the arse one day.
- Moulting isn’t just for dogs. You know all that lovely, lustrous extra hair you gained during pregnancy, thanks to your lovely hormones? Well, these ‘lovely’ hormones are now turning into vindictive bitches with hair clippers, and stripping you – not just of your hard-earned pregnancy hair, but also much more of your hair. You will look at your hairbrush in the morning, or the tub after a shower, and wonder how on earth you’ve got any hair left.
- Periods returning will make you long for the pregnancy days. So you’ve just shifted the post-partum bleeding, and within two weeks, periods have returned. Followed by another, two weeks later. That one will last a week. Then have 5 days grace, and then BAM. 18 day period. I don’t understand cycles and ovulation at the best of times (which may be why I have a pregnancy&parenting blog), but I don’t think this is normal by any stretch of the imagination. Take me back to swollen ankles and morning sickness!…. not really.
- You don’t cry at everything because of hormones anymore. You cry because you have a baby and the world is so beautiful. Or because it’s so sad. Or because you don’t really know why, but it’s happening. You cry at everything still.
- You should read up on leaps before you have the baby. In fact, read up on them before you conceive. Mark them down in your calendar. Book yourself into a nuclear bunker for these leaps. You can read more about them on the Wonder Weeks website, in the book, and the app. They are stages in baby development where your lovely, happy, smiling angel grows a pair of horns and shrieks to high holy hell, summoning up Satan and all his demons to wreak havoc upon you for being even slightly delayed in nappy changing. She wants to be held…. but she doesn’t. Makes sense, eh?
- You don’t need to have gone to NCT/childbirth classes to have a happy baby. Ditto for a succesful birth. You don’t need to pay through the nose to have an oatmeal-weaving, lentil-wearing hippie breathe at you for an hour, to have a happy birth. And your baby will be just fine. That said, if you want to make friends with other parents, or you think that feeling prepared will make you feel more relaxed, go for it – I’ve heard a lot of people say how useful it is.
- People tell you off for saying your baby’s age in weeks. Those people need to have a word with my Health Visitor. When I no longer have to go through the calendar, trying to count the Thursdays to figure out how old SB is in weeks (months just isn’t going to cut the cheese), I’ll stop referring to her in weeks. And as much as I’d love it to be that simple, sixteen weeks isn’t four months.
- Brush up on your people skills. Because everyone is going to stop you in the street, in cafes, in the supermarket, in the doctors waiting room and just about anywhere else you can think, to ask a number of questions. The basic ’20 questions’-style interrogation will inevitably include ‘What a lovely little boy’ (whilst admiring your pink-clad newborn) or ‘What a beautiful little girl’ (completely ignoring the t-shirt that says ‘Daddy’s Boy’); ‘How old are they?’ (answer in weeks for extra pissed-off points); ‘They grow up so quickly’ (never heard that one before); ‘Are they well behaved?’ (no she’s a little shit) and so on. If you’re over 31, they’ll ask how you like being a grandmother. If you’re under 29, they’ll say what a good big sister you are. Humour them.